March 18: Sam Wells on Stalin’s Decision for War in Korea

At the end of the 1940s, when the Soviet Union was devoting its energies to reconstruction after the devastation of World War II and establishing control over new client states in Eastern Europe, Joseph Stalin was forced to negotiate a new treaty of alliance with the victorious Chinese Communists.Sam Wells Mao Zedong won significant concessions from Stalin. The Soviet dictator was compelled to alter completely his policy for Korea. In this presentation to the Washington History Seminar, Sam Wells discussed this neglected aspect of the Cold War era.

Samuel F. Wells, Jr. is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. A specialist on international security affairs, he is working on a book on “The Korean War and U.S. Escalation of the Cold War.” His latest publication is “The Korean War: Miscalculation and alliance transformation,” in Basil Germond, Jussi M. Hanhimaki and Georges-Henri Soutou (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Transatlantic Security (2010).

A webcast is available at Stalin’s Decision for War in Korea.