By Seung-young Kim
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Additional info for American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882 - 1950 and After: Perception of Polarity and US Commitment to a Periphery
The United States, however, remained only one of the great powers in the Far East and did not have enough capability to impose its own plans unilaterally. 16 Congress also had repeatedly avoided making an appropriation to fortify its great base at Subic Bay. 17 Although the Navy sent three battleships to the Far East during the Russo-Japanese War, it did not go beyond utilizing the fleet to support wartime diplomacy. 18 Yet, in a system of competing powers, US military power, though limited, was useful in supporting its diplomacy.
But it was not without misgivings about Japanese intentions. 19 Seung-young Kim GREAT POWER RIVALRY AND US ASSESSMENT AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 31 But, by 1903, Roosevelt and the Navy most frequently hypothesized a conflict with a coalition of enemies composed of Russia, Germany, and France while regarding the Anglo-Japanese alliance as a friendly alliance. Such an assessment was based on the analysis of Russian ambition in Manchuria; German ambitions in Samoa, the Yangtse, and the Philippines; and the French alliance with Russia since the 1890s.
But the United States stopped short of making an effort for mediation, though it showed sincerity in keeping the good office clause during the early stages of the war. 32 After an initial Japanese victory, Britain also inquired whether the United States would join Britain, Russia, Germany, and France in an intervention on behalf of Korean independence. 33 In fact, the US stance during the war was as good as pro-Japan neutrality, though Washington announced strict neutrality throughout the war. In the early stages of the war, Japan could launch an attack on Chinese forces after being assured that the United States would not join a joint intervention by Western powers.