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By United States. Department of the Army. Office of Military History

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Fleet assumed responsibility for the Pacific. It is perhaps for this reason that the Navy members of the Joint Planning Committee seemed less concerned about the Atlantic and more interested in the Pacific than the Army planners. 9 Events in Europe in 1938 fully justified the concern of American policy makers and planners, and the Munich crisis in September of that year provided the impetus to a comprehensive review of American strategy. "° Here, for the first time, was a specific directive to the planners to study (within the context of the current international situation) the problems presented by a two-ocean war in which the United States, acting in concert with allies, would be opposed by a coalition.

Fleet to maintain naval superiority over Japan. " 6 The separate reports submitted by the Army and Navy members of the Joint Planning Committee put the choice between the opposing strategies squarely up to the Joint Board. The board avoided the choice by issuing new instructions to the planners on 7 December 1937. The new plan, it specified, should have as its basic objective the defeat of Japan and should provide for "an initial temporary position in readiness" for the Pacific coast and the strategic triangle.

24 COMMAND DECISIONS planners were to assume that initially at least the United States would be alone and that the European as well as the Latin American democracies would remain neutral. " Common to all of the plans was the assumption that the United States would face a coalition rather than a single power. The five specific situations forming the basis of the five RAINBOW plans were defined by the Joint Board as follows: RAINBOW 1 assumed the United States to be at war without major allies. United States forces would act jointly to prevent the violation of the Monroe Doctrine by protecting the territory of the Western Hemisphere north of 10° South Latitude, from which the vital interests of the United States might be threatened.

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