chapter  3
56 Pages

“Why Not Save Siberia?” The Development of US Policy

The Bolshevik coup of November 1917 and the imminent withdrawal of Russia from the war did not inspire the same desperation in the United States as it did in Britain and France. While American leaders were cer­ tainly perturbed that Russia’s power might no longer be available, they were relatively confident about their own country’s ability to offset the loss to the Allies. America’s resources were vast and mostly untapped. Moreover, the American army, unlike the British and the French, was mostly not yet deployed on the Western Front, and so was not immedi­ ately threatened with heavy losses and possible destruction in the Ger­ man offensives of spring 1918. To be sure, the Americans certainly hoped that Russia could somehow be persuaded to reestablish the Eastern Front against Germany, but this was not as much of an overriding concern for them as for the European Allies.