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Phase IV in Japan

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Japanese battleship Nagato at anchor off the Yokosuka Naval Base, circa in September 1945.jpg
HIJMS Nagato at Yokosuka, September 1945. U.S. Navy photo [1] from the USS San Juan (CL-54) Public Domain.
I learned from H-Net that there was a lot of thinking in the US about what the post-war Pacific should look like, and some of it began even before the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor…

Of course, Phase IV of U.S. World War II planning never existed, at least by that term. However, after the invasion of Iraq the term became short-hand for post-war reconstruction, or for failure to plan for post-war reconstruction. In contrast to the situation with Iraq, U.S. analysts began planning for the reconstruction and reintegration of Japan from even before the war began. As detailed by Dayna Barnes in Architects of Occupation (reviewed here by a group of scholars), the planning process included the State Department, the military, and the 1940s version of the think tank community. Although fraught with tension and difficulty, the process managed to restore Japan’s place in the international community while also largely demilitarizing its society.

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