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With the 41st Division in the Southwest Pacific
The Final Mission of Bottoms Up
The Darkest Days of the War
The Wrong Stuff
Guerrillas, Unionists, and Violence on the Confederate Home Front
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The Dalai Lama's Secret and Other Reporting Adventures
The Bridges of Vietnam
The Shiloh Campaign
Climax at Gallipoli

Army DiplomacyArmy Diplomacy

American Military Occupation and Foreign Policy after World War II

Walter Hudson

Narrated by Donnie Sipes

Available from Audible

Book published by The University Press of Kentucky

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the United States Army became the principal agent of American foreign policy. The army designed, implemented, and administered the occupations of the defeated Axis powers Germany and Japan, as well as many other nations. Generals such as Lucius Clay in Germany, Douglas MacArthur in Japan, Mark Clark in Austria, and John Hodge in Korea presided over these territories as proconsuls. At the beginning of the Cold War, more than 300 million people lived under some form of U.S. military authority. The army’s influence on nation-building at the time was profound, but most scholarship on foreign policy during this period concentrates on diplomacy at the highest levels of civilian government rather than the armed forces’ governance at the local level.

In Army Diplomacy, Hudson explains how U.S. Army policies in the occupied nations represented the culmination of more than a century of military doctrine. Focusing on Germany, Austria, and Korea, Hudson’s analysis reveals that while the post–World War II American occupations are often remembered as overwhelming successes, the actual results were mixed. His study draws on military sociology and institutional analysis as well as international relations theory to demonstrate how “bottom-up” decisions not only inform but also create higher-level policy. As the debate over post-conflict occupations continues, this fascinating work offers a valuable perspective on an important yet underexplored facet of Cold War history.

Walter Hudson is an active duty judge advocate in the U.S. Army.


“A significant contribution to the literature on the U.S. Army's role in planning for and administering occupations. In particular, the focus cultural determinants reflecting past military experience and the Army's organizational perceptions and practices is a novel approach. ”

—Theodore A. Wilson, editor of Victory in Europe 1945: From World War to Cold War

“A new and important interpretation of 'war termination,' something that challenges all victorious armies and governments. Considering the recent reluctance by so many politicians to conduct nation building, it seems ironic that the U.S. Army had such a long and often successful history of doing just that in the twentieth century. ”

— Jonathan House, author of A Military History of the Cold War, 1944-1962

“This book is well worth reading by any serious military historian. ”

Journal of America's Military Past

“Hudson has provided a welcome, thorough longitudinal analysis of the evolution of US Army thinking and policy regarding postwar occupations. He presents a stunningly detailed breakdown of the complex institutional relationships within the US Army and between it and the nation's civilian government bureaucracies. ”

Michigan War Studies Review

“Anyone interested or concerned with current events in the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan, will find Army Diplomacy a key contribution to the knowledge base of how to successfully conduct occupation and governance “when war stops and something like peace begins.”

On Point

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University Press Audiobooks