Was it possible for the US to stay completely neutral in WW2?

Nov 2014
464
ph
Or at worst limit their involvement to an arms embargo on all European combatants, with the reasoning that the Pacific and the US colonies there should be the center of US attention, and that the US should not get involved in entangling alliances in Europe.
 
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Oct 2015
1,011
Virginia
It is difficult to remain neutral when someone has declared war on you, as Germany did on December 11, 1941.

Nor is it particularly wise, by limiting your involvement, to allow a single regime (and a particularly obnoxious one at that) to dominate the entire of Europe, and possibly use the fleets and colonies of the states it dominates to threaten the security of your hemisphere. (though this is actually what happened)

US military and political leaders had agreed in 1940 that due to its superior technological and industrial potential, Germany was a far more dangerous long term threat to US security than Japan.
 
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Jan 2020
2
sg
It was not possible for the US to stay neutral during WW2. They were supporting the Allies without formally entering the war through the sales of arms (cash and carry) to the Allied powers to support the war effort in Europe. In Asia, the US had also started to impose embargo for the ban of steel, iron and oil to Japan after public opinion in the US was sided with the Chinese which pressured the government to impose the embargoes. It was impossible for the US to stay neutral despite the isolationist policy that they had. The public opinion changed, the government was pressured to do something and that was what cause the US to be stationed at Pearl Harbour which ultimately aggravated the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbour and the Axis powers declaring war on the US. Plus it was in the US' interest to partake in the war because the US stood for democracy and it would have irked them if they had to do business or trading with fascists or even communists. This can be seen from the way the US and the USSR handled post WW2. It led to the cold war which was based on their fundamentally different ideologies. Once again proving that it was impossible for the US to stand by and watch without doing anything. So during WW2 the US would have stepped in, in order to preserve democracy but it was the direct attack by the Japanese that provoked them to be confrontational, otherwise they would have just continued to supply the Allies financially without actually doing any of the front line fighting.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,866
Georgia, USA
Or at worst limit their involvement to an arms embargo on all European combatants, with the reasoning that the Pacific and the US colonies there should be the center of US attention, and that the US should not get involved in entangling alliances in Europe.

Pearl Harbor meant neutrality was impossible.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,151
Bulgaria
.. yes, erase Pearl Harbor from this speculative scenario and voila. How? Support the IJA and their dream to invade Siberia, the strike north, their Hokushin-ron plan, let them crush their opponents IJN by simply not enacting an embargo on their empire, then watch how the nations and ppl of the other hemisphere kill each other and when insanity ends go there, help them and make some bucks.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,866
Georgia, USA
.. yes, erase Pearl Harbor from this speculative scenario and voila. How? Support the IJA and their dream to invade Siberia, the strike north, their Hokushin-ron plan, let them crush their opponents IJN by simply not enacting an embargo on their empire, then watch how the nations and ppl of the other hemisphere kill each other and when insanity ends go there, help them and make some bucks.
It was the policy of the USA to curtail Imperial Japanese expansion.

The young USSR was not seen as an enemy back in the 30's.

Japan's access to raw materials - especially oil - was restricted because of the expansionist policies. Japan had to either give up its military ambitions or start a war.

It chose war.

Pearl Harbor was inevitable. The irony was that it was such an unsuccessful attack cause little damage.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,151
Bulgaria
@Poly OP asks for a scenario where USA is completely neural in the second world war. The US policy between the wars was to avoid being drawn into wars not related to direct territorial selfdefense, referring to the Neutrality Acts. I merely presented in a few words a scenario where the American govn and the ppl are extremely staunch non interventionists/isolationists and are ready to avoid this war at all costs.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,866
Georgia, USA
@Poly OP asks for a scenario where USA is completely neural in the second world war. The US policy between the wars was to avoid being drawn into wars not related to direct territorial selfdefense, referring to the Neutrality Acts. I merely presented in a few words a scenario where the American govn and the ppl are extremely staunch non interventionists/isolationists and are ready to avoid this war at all costs.

You're confusing the USA's policy to the East with its policy to the West.

To the East (Europe) the USA was most definitely opposed to intervention and wanted to remain neutral in any power struggle or hostilities.
However to the West, the USA was anything but neutral and was actively interventionist specifically with regard to Japan which it wanted to limit the growth of its power.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,866
Georgia, USA
@Poly So the neutrality legislation of 1935–37 was only about a war in Europe? I didnt know that. I will try to research this subject.


The USA had several territories to the West as well as well as a few military bases.

It has a separate policy towards intervention to protect those assets than its policy towards Europe.
 
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