Was the US involvement in WWII inevitable?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Nothing that happens in human society is inevitable.  There are always things that countries could have done differently to avoid war.  For example, it is not as if the US absolutely had to go to war after the Pearl Harbor attack.  It could have pulled its military back to the West Coast and simply ridden out the war.  It is not at all likely any American administration would ever take that choice, but it was a choice.  Nothing of this sort is inevitable.

The US involvement in the war was not inevitable.  The US had stayed out of the war fairly well up until the Pearl Harbor attack.  If the US had not been so strongly opposed to Japan having an empire in the Western and Central Pacific, the attack would not have happened.  If the Japanese had not been so set on getting an empire, the US would not have had to oppose them.  Either of these circumstances would have prevented US involvement in the war.

US involvement in the war was likely, but it was by no means inevitable. 

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