This article argues that in the run-up to the US occupation of Iraq after Saddam Hussein was toppled, there was much argument what could be learned from previous American occupations and nation building experiences (especially post–World War II Germany and Japan were seen as models). The successful Austrian occupation after World War II was ignored—“successful” in the sense that the country was politically democratized and economically stabilized. Running through the historiography of scholarship on the Austrian occupation then, the article draws four concrete lessons from the Austrian occupation case study for the US occupation of Iraq. In other words, the U.S. military tends to forget its rich previous occupation experiences for the contemporary world.

Occupation is not a science but a deep art that can only be learned through experience.

Rory Stewart, Deputy Governor of Amara
This article briefly assesses the historiography on the post–World War II quadripartite occupation of Austria. I first speculate why, in recent analyses of historical case studies of the United States as an occupation power, as well as in US “nation-building” efforts, the case study of the highly successful American occupation regime in postwar Austria is largely ignored. Second, I run through the cycles of scholarship in contemporary history research with the Austrian occupation and note that the high point of occupation studies came with a cohort of Austrian “baby boomers” mining the newly opened Western archival holdings in the 1980s, with another brief flurry in the 2010s. Occupation studies—as has much of the scholarly engagement with military, political, and diplomatic history—have largely fallen by the wayside as a priority in recent gender- and cultural studies–driven Austrian contemporary history research.1 In concluding, some tentative suggestions are made about what we can learn from the occupation of postwar Austria for the occupation challenges in Iraq (2003–6) after the transition from war to peace in the building of a stable political and economic nation. The Iraq (and Afghanistan) occupations are the last time American scholars and the military seriously engaged occupation studies/nation-building. In making such a comparison I am very well aware of the fact that the role of the United States in the postwar Austrian four-power occupation was a different one from its role in Iraq, where it is largely in control of the occupation.

The Neglect of the Postwar Austrian Occupation as a Historical Case Study in Recent Comparative Occupation Research

When preparing for post-conflict operations in Iraq, the US Army was scrambling for viable historical models of successful operations of US military government in occupied territories. James Jay Carafano asserts that the US Army has a long “tradition of forgetting” when it comes to “dealing with battlefields after battle.” In the “fog of peace” the US military has always been a reluctant occupier and averse to thinking “deeply about the place of peace operations in military affairs,” just as Carl von Clausewitz worried about the “fog of war” but failed to mention peace operations in his classic On War.2 For Americans “occupation” (the O-word) was an ugly term associated with traditional European imperialism. Yet in the American memory after the war the US occupations of Germany and Japan were seen as “good occupations” and became models for the occupation of Iraq in 2003. Susan L. Carruthers notes that Americans have forgotten that the United States occupied many other places during and after World War II—from North Africa to France and Belgium, Italy and Austria in Europe to Malaya, Singapore, Indochina, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, and Korea. Carruthers is critical of the notion of “good occupations” in Germany and Japan; she then continues to ignore the Austrian occupation.3

The idea of the “good occupation” by the exceptional United States was advocated by historians like Stephen E. Ambrose and presidents like George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In his personal memoir To America, Ambrose wrote that the squads of teenage GIs who liberated Germany and Japan (he might have added Austria) “were associated with candy, C rations, cigarettes, freedom.” The generation born in America between 1890 and 1930 “has done more to spread freedom and prosperity around the globe than any previous generation.” And, he adds, “America's young men had gone to Europe not to conquer, not to enslave, not to destroy, but to liberate…. After the Germans and Japanese had surrendered, America extended its hand to its former enemies.” Ambrose concludes. “At the beginning of the twenty-first century it is believed by some that nation building will never work. But it did, in Germany and Japan.”4

President George W. Bush struck a similar note in a speech during the run-up to the Iraq War (in fact, it could have been straight out of Ambrose's script): “After defeating enemies, we did not leave behind occupying armies, we left constitutions and parliaments. We did not leave behind permanent foes; we found new friends and allies.”5 And President Barack Obama in a more contemporary version of the same sentiments: “We have no interest in occupying your country [Afghanistan]…. We will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect—to isolate those who destroy; to strengthen those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner, and never your patron.”6 Eleven years after Obama's speech at West Point in 2009, American troops are still there.

Historian Jeremi Suri in his book Liberty's Surest Guardian writes about exceptionalist American “nation building” through the spreading of “American-style institutions.” His case studies deal with US occupations where nations were rebuilt also: the US South during Reconstruction after the Civil War, the Philippines, post–World War II Germany, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. He argues, “Americans are a nation-building people, defined by the partnerships we have formed in a two-century-long process of problem-solving with a clearly defined, if rarely fulfilled, purpose.” In his case study of postwar Germany he notes how the immediate postwar years looked like a failure of American nation-building. But then former president Herbert Hoover came to Germany to study the situation for President Truman. His “vision” was to partner with the Germans since their economy was needed for continent-wide European economic reconstruction. This led to the Marshall Plan. Americans acting as partners rather than as victors led to the construction of a “common civilization.” Suri concludes: “Nation-building, in its most common and often necessary form, involves just what the term implies: helping a society to emerge from destruction with new institutions and practices that promise its people a better life.”7

The United States invaded Iraq and got rid of its dictator, Saddam Hussein, in March 2003. But once the occupation of Iraq began to deteriorate into another quagmire, like Vietnam, the comparative study of American occupations throughout history experienced a sudden renaissance.8 In the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, think tanks and academic literature of comparative postwar American occupations proliferated.

But a strange thing has happened: the four-power post–World War II occupation of Austria has dropped out of sight. In the major Rand study by James Dobbins and associates, America's Role in Nation-Building, seven historical case studies are analyzed (Germany, Japan, and more recently Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan) from which to draw lessons from for Iraq. The Austrian occupation is ignored because its “lessons” were assumed to “parallel those of Germany and Japan.”9

Similarly, in Minxin Pei's and Sara Kasper's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace study, Lessons from the Past, fifteen case studies are analyzed (Afghanistan, Haiti, Panama, Grenada, Cambodia, South Vietnam, Dominican Republic (1916–24, 1965–66), Japan, West Germany, Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba (1906–9, 1917–22), and Panama). The postwar occupation(s) of Austria (along with Korea and Italy) are conspicuously absent.10

Niall Ferguson's ambitious Colossus features an appendix with a list of eighteen “Major American Occupations of Foreign Territory, 1893–2003”: Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, The Philippines, American Samoa, Panama (Canal Zone), Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, West Germany, Japan, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau Micronesia, Marshall Islands, South Korea, South Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In this odd list of American “major occupations,” the postwar occupations of Japan, Korea, and West Germany are listed, but Austria is off Ferguson's radar.11

Moreover, in the extensive electronic debates by specialists in various Internet fora such as H-Diplo and History News Network (HNN), as well as high-brow journals such as Foreign Affairs and Boston Review, historical comparisons of American occupations experienced a renaissance.12 Every possible analogy to the 2003–4 American occupation of Iraq was mined and analyzed, yet there's a curious absence of the Austrian occupation as a successful American state-building effort.

What might be the reasons for such benign neglect of the Austrian occupation by scholars and American think-tank experts in general and in recent literature on “nation-building” in particular? After all, was the quadripartite occupation of Austria—next to the postwar occupations of (West) Germany and Japan—not one of the few highly successful American nation-building efforts in the modern era? Austria's quadripartite occupation evidenced a complex interaction of four occupation powers within the larger East-West divide, but so did Germany's. The Austrian occupation has always been overshadowed by the German one, where more was at stake and for which scholars were more likely to receive generous research grants. The complexity of making sense of the ten-year four-power occupation of Austria cannot be the reason for ignoring it; Austria being second rank to Germany is nothing new in American academe. Considering Ferguson's list, was the American nation-building effort in Austria not more successful in reintegrating Austria into the stable democratic family of Western nations than those in the notoriously unstable Haiti and Panama (where the United States had to reinvade not too long ago to stabilize the polity), or in South Vietnam, where the Communists have ruled for thirty years? Has the American contribution to Austria's economic reconstruction through the Marshall Plan not shown more impressive results than similar efforts in Samoa and the Dominican Republic, especially when taking in to account that Austria, considered economically nonviable after World War I and a basket case after World War II, has been listed as the fifth wealthiest nation in the world in per capita income in a recent survey of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development? What, then, might be the reasons for the scholarly shunning of the Austrian occupation?

First, after the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 1955, Austria ceased to be a charge (Sorgenkind) of the international community in the East-West conflict. The Austrian Treaty and the withdrawal of the occupation forces by the four powers (actually few Western troops were left by 1955) left Austria behind as a politically “stabilized” (i.e., democratized) and economically reconstructed society.13 The ÖVP/SPÖ “grand coalition” was carefully monitored and nurtured by the Western occupation powers. This nurturing of the grand coalition served as a tool to overcome the tensions and violence between the political camps going back to the post-World War period. It may well be one of signal political achievements of the Allied occupation of Austria as it survived for another decade after the end of the occupation and was revived for a while in the 1980s to 2010s. The Austrian economy, injected with an overabundance of European Recovery Program funds, produced “miracle” growth figures that matched and at times surpassed the German ones.14 Maybe for the Rand and Carnegie Endowment “think tankers” Austria is too small, unimportant, and quaint to provide lessons for Iraq. When it comes to small-country occupations, maybe the recent short-lived occupation in Grenada and the disastrous one in Somalia provide better lessons for Iraq than the successful Austrian one?

Second, Austrian neutrality was considered a paragon of probity during the Cold War and increasingly morphed into an oddity in the post–Cold War era. Austria's neutralization in 1955 was the condition for the Soviet Union to leave the country and allow it to be sovereign again. So Austrian neutrality was a legacy of the successful conclusion of the four-power occupation of Austria. While most of Austria's neighbors are now safely ensconced in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and are part of the Western defense community, Austria has maintained its neutral status in a dramatically changing European and global security environment. While the conservative parties would like to move the country into NATO, the Socialists and Greens (regularly backed by up to 70% of the public) stubbornly resist Austrian NATO membership.15 Yet in spite of this stubborn embrace of “permanent neutrality,” membership in the European Union has further “thinned out” (Ausdünnung) Austria's neutrality.16 Securing the survival of neutrality in the post–Cold War world may have been one of the reasons behind the election of Socialist Heinz Fischer to the Austrian presidency in late April 2004. Fischer has long been one of the strongest advocates of preserving Austrian neutrality, even though he softened his stance during the campaign.17 “Being neutral” has become part of Austria's post–World War II identity.

I venture to guess that American observers and probably also Austria's neighbors consider Austrian neutrality as political “fence-sitting” and security “free-riding” and as a lack of international commitment to participating in the maintenance of world order (Austrian diplomatic activism in the Balkans and United Nations [UN] “peace-keeping” contingents notwithstanding). In Donald Rumsfeld's polemical and divisive rhetoric, Austria was a member of “old Europe.”18 In this view, then, one of the legacies of the Austrian occupation and the 1955 “neutral solution” was the shutting down of Austrian air space after the Lebanon crisis of 1958 for NATO aircraft; this continued in the post–Cold War world during NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia in the Kosovo conflict. Moreover, Austria prohibited the shipment of military hardware from American bases in Germany to the Near East through its borders during the recent Iraq conflict. From the perspective of the G.W. Bush administration, then, Austrian neutrality might seem as “quaint” as the Geneva Convention. Scholars suggesting the Austrian model of neutrality for a solution of the quagmire in Afghanistan were not being published and and were ignored in the political discourse of the time. The utilitarian great power interest in neutral Austria as a principal site of diplomatic mediation, namely Austria as a respected venue in East-West conflict resolution and Vienna as a premier site for great power summitry and nuclear arms limitation/reduction negotiations, experienced a precipitous demise when the Cold War ended in 1989/90. Vienna serves no longer as a neutral mediator in great power conflicts as it did during the Cold War (Kennedy–Khrushchev Summit in 1961, Carter–Breshnev Summit in 1979). Could it be that the recent American neglect of the lessons of the Austrian postwar occupation reflects the Bush administration's disrespect for Austrian neutrality and the perceived lack of Austrian solidarity in the nation-building efforts in Iraq?

A third, highly tentative reason for the neglect of the postwar Austrian occupation could be that since the occupation of Austria lasted “only” for ten years, it was never militarized during the Cold War like the other “occupied enemies,” Germany and Korea (and to a lesser degree Japan with the massive US military bases in Okinawa and elsewhere). Daniel Immerwahr counts the countries occupied by the United States after World War II (Austria included) as part of the “Greater United States.” Divided Germany and Korea, of course, became principal allies of the two respective superpowers and were inundated with American military bases. The global American base system—“baselandia” as Immerwahr calls it—has correctly been identified as constituting one of the principal assets in the postwar “American empire.”19 So Austria was part of the “Greater Unitd States” only for ten years—Germany, Japan, and South Korea are still part of it with the American military bases there.

Initially, bases guaranteed the presence of often-overwhelming American forces in these countries along with the growing ties of friendship and intimacy and “foreign relations” between GIs and German, Japanese, and Korean civilians.20 The continued presence of these troops also fortified bilateral relations on the state level and led to regular military cooperation, providing American security for these allies.21 While West Germany kept supplying “GI brides” to American soldiers for more than forty years during the Cold War, Austrians stayed at home in their neutral haven and remained absent from such intensifying security cooperation with Washington. Austrians, it stands to reason, were not “Americanized” and “Atlanticized” to the degree the West Germans were. So Americans were ignorant of “little Austria” when compared to Germany. Scholars usually turned to studying German, one of the most important allies in Europe, since plenty of research grant money was available from German foundations.

During the recent debates about the Iraq conflict, Americans were aggrieved and hurt by the opposition of their most reliable ally in continental Europe. Germany refused to join the “coalition of the willing.” Few people in the American public seem to even have noticed that Austria, too, was safely ensconced in the “coalition of the unwilling.” The Austrians experienced none of the depth in personnel (for example, through military exchange programs) and mutual emotional infatuation that developed between West Germans and Americans during the Cold War.22 Americans, of course, see this close and often-intimate relationship with the West Germans as the result of the highly successfully political democratization and economic stabilization of West Germany during the American occupation (as the late Stephen Ambrose doggedly repeated, “America's young men had gone to Europe not to conquer, not to enslave, not to destroy, but to liberate,” or as George W. Bush has said, “We did not leave behind occupying armies, we left constitutions and parliaments”).23 So while the German (and South Korean and Japanese) occupations are seen as great success stories from the perspective of “nation-building” and strong post-occupation alliance partnerships, the success of the Austrian occupation can be safely ignored by today's American “defense intellectuals” since it never led to such intimate bilateral ties and strategic partnerships.

Fourth, Austria, particularly as part of the American occupation presence, was culturally and mentally Americanized (or in Reinhold Wagnleitner's words “coca-colonized”) like the rest of Western Europe and the world.24 Niall Ferguson sees this cultural Americanization as part of informal American postwar empire-building, positing “that foreigners will Americanize themselves without the need for formal rule” (what Geir Lundestad has called “empire by invitation” and Victoria de Grazia as the “irresistible” American “market empire”).25 This is juxtaposed to traditional European formal empire-building by territorial expansion overseas.26 While the American occupations after World War II pushed and accelerated Americanization trends launched before the war, the process continued into the post-occupation period. The Austrian occupation is no exception here and has been ignored by scholars such as Ferguson as a possible model of American nation-building via consumerism and mass culture infusion since it is not unique in any way. Ferguson, by training a historian of British and European economic history, is less conversant with the fine points of American history and American Studies literature; he ignores Wagnleitner's trend-setting study as one of the early, path-breaking scholarly contributions to the Americanization discourse. In other words, Anglo-American scholars such as Ferguson are not familiar with the Austrian occupation because they are conversant with the larger literature on “empire,” but less so with the specificity of Cold War scholarship, of which the Austrian occupation is a part. With their inclination to generalize, scholars such as Ferguson and Dobbins simply turn a blind eye to the specificity of case studies such as Austria. The mirror image of this would be narrow-minded Austrian scholars who ignore the larger trends of Cold War scholarship and/or comparative occupation studies.

The Austrian Occupation and the Cycles of Its Historiography

Scholarly contemporary history research is driven by archival access.27 Western archives usually begin opening most archival records twenty-five to thirty years after the event. These archival access practices directed scholarly attention in the 1970s and 1980s increasingly to the Austrian occupation period. As British and American archives began opening their post–World War II records on the Austrian occupation regime and their Cold War policies in Central Europe in the 1970s, scholarship on the Austrian occupation began to pick up and prosper. Apart from “lone wolf” efforts such as Manfried Rauchensteiner, the most valuable work came largely out of the dissertations originating from the seminars of Gerald Stourzh in Vienna and Fritz Fellner in Salzburg, complemented by Rolf Steininger's new Contemporary History Institute established at the University of Innsbruck in 1982.28 Siegfried Beer, Oliver Rathkolb, and Reinhold Wagnleitner's seminars in Graz, Vienna, and Salzburg in the 1990s continued this tradition in Austrian occupation studies.29 Only some of these valuable dissertations on the Austrian occupation have appeared in book form, let alone in English translations. Probably the most useful summaries of—for want of a better term—this baby-boomer generation of Austrian occupation scholarship is conveniently provided in their respective articles in the scholarly collections only published in German: Die Bevormundete Nation (1988), Österreich unter allierter Besatzung 1945–1955 (1998), and more recently Die Gunst des Augenblicks.30

Even though valuable dissertations like Thomas Angerer's study of the French occupation policies continued to be written in the 1990s, it seems to me that there was no longer a cohort of young scholars pushing Austrian occupation studies forward and inspiring and reinforcing each other's work through a community of scholars as had the 1970s/1980s baby boomers.31 Maybe the retirement of professors Stourzh and Fellner in the late 1990s took the momentum out of occupation studies. I suspect that the demise of political and international history in Austrian Zeitgeschichte scholarship is also related to the “cultural studies” and “gender studies” booms at Austrian institutions of higher learning and in the Federal Ministry of Science itself. In the 1990s/2000s, the third and fourth postwar generations engaged World War II, Holocaust, and memory studies. Political, diplomatic, and military history on the occupation or other periods of contemporary history, simply put, are no longer fashionable or de rigeur in the trendy historical profession in Austria and elsewhere. Political and diplomatic history are no longer at the forefront of historical studies in Austria (neither are they in the United States, even though they had a comeback in the guise of “international” and “transnational” history), particularly in the field of contemporary history.32

Institutionally there was a short-term flickering of a potentially new cohort of international historian in the short-lived Research Institute of Early and Contemporary History at the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna (2013–17). Next to projects on the “End of The Cold War” and the “Alpine-Adria Region 1945–1955,” which never received adequate funding, a cohort of young scholar produced valuable studies on Austria's Cold War relationships with the Communist neighbors of the Soviet bloc.33 Maximilian Graf and Agnes Meisinger have edited a scholarly volume Österreich im Kalten Krieg representing this millenial generation, similar to the Bevormundete Republik representing the 1980s baby boomers.34 Their introductory historiographical essay is the best summary written on Cold War Austria (including the occupation decade) that we have. Graf is also the lead researcher of biography of the Austrian Communist Franz Marek, a leading Austrian cold warrior. Manfred Mugrauer recently published a history of the Austrian Communist Party during the occupation decade; receiving special access to the Communist Party archives, Mugrauer takes a KPÖ-friendly perspective.35

There has been little recent scholarship on denazification of Austrians after the war, with the exception of Christian Stifter's ambitious study of American re-education policies in postwar Austria—a signal contribution to the field.36 This vast study is structured roughly into three main sections: (1) rooted in a long history of European and American stereotypes of one another, American World War II discourses about re-educating/re-orienting Germans after the war; (2) the denazification of Austrian universities after the war, with a focus on the University of Vienna and pernicious role some Ministry of Education officials played in leaving the Nazis in their position; and (3) the paradigm switch from military to civilian US reorientation programs after 1947, resulting in Cold War psychological warfare and the formation of US-friendly elites through exchange programs.37

Graf and Meisinger rightly point out that this younger generation of Austrian scholars have begun to study the importance of nuclear weapons during the Cold War (“the nuclear era”).38 Of course, the nuclear arms race, defining the Cold War along with the ideological competition between the two blocs, originated in the late 1940s, the mid-point of the Allied occupation of Austria. Scholars such as Elisabeth Röhrlich with her in-depth study of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the headquarters of which has been located in Vienna, have become leading researchers of the nuclear era.39

Migration studies is another field where a younger generation of Austrian scholars contributes to occupation and Cold War studies.40 During the Austrian occupation, taking care of hundreds of thousands of “Displaced Persons” (DPs) was a huge challenge for the Austrian government as the occupation powers dumped this social problem into the lap of the Austrian government. The DPs were mainly migrants from Eastern Europe—Volksdeutsche expelled from the Baltic states, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, Reichsdeutsche who ended up in Austria at the end of the war, Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, and so on. These DPs were often waiting for years in inadequate camps in Austria to get visas to such places as the United States and Australia, while the Austrian government or the international refugee organizations had to feed and house them.41

Contributions by foreign scholars to the scholarship of the Austrian occupation have been steady and significant ever since the studies by the two “Bills” in the 1960s. William “Bill” Lloyd Stearman and William “Bill” B. Bader—both of whom served in the Austrian occupation—wrote the first books on the Austrian occupation in the framework of anticommunist Cold War traditionalism.42 Robert Knight's valuable 1986 LSE dissertation, “British Policy towards Occupied Austria, 1945–1950,” was never published.43 I was a “lone wolf” writing on the Austrian occupation while living in the United States in the 1980s, yet was spirited on by a member of the baby-boomer generation in the 1980s.44 Ralph Brown was working alone on Austria at the University of Tennessee, just like James Carafano at Georgetown.45 Yet both Brown writing in the 1990s and Carafano in the 2000s no longer could rely on a well-defined generational community of Austrian colleagues as I did in the 1980s.46 It seems to me Carafano's Waltzing into the Cold War on American military policies during the Austrian occupation is the only significant monograph on the Austrian occupation published in the United States recently (apart from Stourzh regularly updating his history of the Austrian State Treaty, the latest updated version now being available in English, with the help of Wolfgang Mueller).47 The scholarly study of the Austrian occupation is no longer as thriving a scholarly field as it was in the 1980s with the exception of the recent cohort at the Austrian Academy mentioned above. This may also be a reason why scholars investigating historical case studies of previous American occupations and nation-building efforts in a larger comparative context ignore the complex quadripartite Austrian occupation these days.

Whereas research into the German occupation—especially the Soviet zone—continued unabated due to the opening of formerly East German, Eastern bloc, and Russian archives, a similar delayed interest in the Soviet zone of occupation in Austria is only produced scholarly results now with substantial historical editing projects recently completed in Vienna and Graz.48 A younger generation of scholars such as Wolfgang Müller, Barbara Stelzl-Marx, and Peter Ruggenthaler is redefining the field of studying the Soviet occupation of Austria.49 The Boltzmann Institut für Kriegsfolgenforschung in Graz, directed by Stefan Karner and now Stelzl-Marx, got into the business of vigorously investigating the newly opened Russian sources on the Soviet zone of occupation, culminating in a ponderous volume of essays published on the occasion of the busy 2005 “memory year” in Austria.50 Few publications compare to the stream of publications from the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Potsdam and German universities, let alone a magnum opus such as Norman Naimark's path-breaking The Russians in Germany, even though Barbara Stelzl-Marx published Graz Habilitation on the Soviets in Austria comes close.51 Similarly, no major study of the Austrian occupation as a whole has been written of the caliber of John Dower's magisterial analysis of the Japanese occupation, Embracing Defeat.52 Of course, Gerald Stourzh's latest version of his “Staatsvertragsgeschichte” is magisterial, but it is not on the occupation regimes per se, but on how to get rid of them by way of an Austrian state treaty, which, in fact, was the Allied “peace treaty” with postwar Austria.53 One reason may be lack of funding sources in Austria, another the usual nasty infighting and envious bickering within the Austrian scholarly community (writing a critical book review of an established scholar is the quickest way to losing friends!) when it comes to pooling resources for a large project that would redefine the field.

Then there is the zonal history of the American zone during the Austrian occupation.54 Kurt Tweraser has written a two-volume history of the American occupation of Upper Austria, south of the Danube (the Mühlviertel north of the Danube was in Russian hands). It was the luck of the draw that the gigantic industrial works, built by the Nazis during World War II (the Linz “Herman Göring Works,” e.g., steel factory, the Linz Chemical Works, the Lenzing Synthetic Fiber Works, the Ranshofen Aluminium Works) fell into the hands of the American occupiers. In mid-1946, the Americans handed these factories in their zone to the Austrian government “in trust.” The Austrian government nationalized them and invested enormous funds from the European Recovery Program (ERP) in modernizing the Linz Steel Works. Such modernization of industries allowed Austria to build postwar prosperity. Tweraser has traced the battles between government agencies to invest massive Marshall Plan counterpart funds into the Linz factories. This battle determined the postwar industrial structure of Austria.55 There are no similar volumes on the politics, economics, and society of the American occupation in the state of Salzburg.56

Austrian security and Austria's military position (including Austrian maneuvering between the two Cold War blocs—the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance and the Warsaw Pact) and defense policies in the international arena during the Cold War (including the beginnings during the occupation decade) have been thoroughly investigated in a volume edited by the doyen of Austrian military historians Manfried Rauchensteiner. Austria's curious position as a “secret ally” of the West (Gerald Stourzh), or “indirect ally” of NATO (Bruno Thoss) comes to light.57

The study of the Marshall Plan in Austria has remained a vigorous field of economic history scholarship in the occupation decade.58 The most innovative new approach, however, comes from the environmental historian Robert Groß. His book, Die Beschleunigung der Berge (The acceleration of the mountains), is a thorough history of the past ninety years of tourism in the Vorarlberg region of Western Austria. The “acceleration of the mountains” happened with the building of lifts and cable cars all over the Alps. Here the ERP-counterpart grants played a decisive role during the occupation decade in financing the new skiing industry, which led to an environmental degradation of the Alps.59 The history of tourism in Austria and the role Marshall Plan ERP-counterpart investments played in building broad prosperity in rural Austria has been the focus of a number of studies recently.60 In a more traditional vein of scholarship, Austria's integration into Europe through Marshall Plan participation has gotten attention from scholars.61 Cultural studies approaches have also been applied to the Marshall Plan, particularly with the study of ERP Public Relations Programs (film, photography, exhibits, posters, and so on).62

A focus on cultural studies and gender relations by a younger generation of historians has largely replaced the diplomatic/international history of the Austrian occupation. Reinhold Wagnleitner has single-handedly inspired the field of cultural studies in Austria's “Americanization” during the occupation era.63 His book Coca-Colonization and the Cold War was published years before the boom in cultural studies hit the field of international history and has become a model of cultural studies. More recently, Cold War discourses in the field of Austrian literature have gotten attention from scholars. A massive volume on such Cold War discourses, places many unknown Austrian authors into the larger context the Cold War battles between East and West. This fine volume represents an intellectual history of Austria in the Cold War as much as a literary history.64 After the end of the occupation decade, neutral Austria became a bridge-builder between the East and the West in culture and politics.65

Moreover, a recent exhibit at the Austrian Architecture Center in Vienna (cum catalog) has deeply studied the various architectural programs the occupation powers launched in their zones. Indigenous Austrian postwar architecture had many continuities with the prewar period. Yet the four occupation powers competed with their own architectural and urban planning ideas for the Austrians' attention. While the Soviets and the Americans competed with big projects in the Vienna trade fairs, the British brought urban planning (“new towns”) to Austria, and the French tried to sparkle with architectural conferences and iconic figures such as Le Corbusier.66 This is innovative, unknown scholarship in the early Cold War in Austria.

Gender studies has concentrated on the sexual relations of Austrian women with occupation soldiers, in the case of liaisons with Western occupation soldiers often ending in marriage. The scholarship of Ingrid Bauer (for the American zone) and her student Renate Huber (for the French zone in Vorarlberg) has been trend-setting.67 Barbara Stelzl-Marx has studied liaisons of Austrian women with Red Army soldiers and the children born therefrom.68 More recently, Austrian scholars have also begun to study the children sprung from mixed ethnic liaisons (African American GIs and Austria women).69

A peculiar Austrian malady is the scarcity of large historical sources editing projects in contemporary history.70 Austrians still have to rely largely on Foreign Relations of the United States, Documents of British Policy Overseas, and Documents Diplomatiques Francais along with many published German, Italian, and Swiss sources for the reconstruction of the international politics of the occupation period. The publication of the minutes and discussions of the Austrian Council of Ministers (cabinet records) is the only significant document publication project of Austrian sources for the occupation period but it crawls along at a snail's pace. And it's up to 1948 now (the Figl I government).71 At this pace, we will not see any volumes on Julius Raab's government in our lifetime. Anybody who has perused these volumes knows how valuable a primary source is in reconstructing the Austrian perspective in dealing with the Allied occupation and the occupation governments. Given that access to these cabinet records has been handled very restrictively in the past by the Austrian State Archives in Vienna, a more rapid pace in this editing project would be highly desirable.

Some Lessons from Building the Austrian Postwar Nation for the American Iraq Occupation

It goes without saying that comparing the occupation of Austria and Iraq—a small seven-million-person country with a homogeneous population and a 20-million-plus country with an ethnically and religiously divided population in two very different moments in history and geopolitical contexts—is a tall order. The United States was a rising world power in 1945–55, not much interested in “nation building,” and a declining world power in 2003–6 with an interest in “nation building.” American security interests in postwar Austria concentrated on containing communism (both domestic and Soviet); in Iraq the United States was fighting the global war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration launched a war in Iraq to both get rid of Saddam Hussein and, allegedly, weapons of mass destruction (none were ever located there); the United States most likely was also interested in the rich Iraqi oil fields and reserves.72

Yet tentative lessons from the Austrian quadripartite occupation for American “nation-building” in Iraq may be ventured. It appears that American occupation planners for Iraq have failed to scour the rich historical record of the American occupations in post–World War II Austria and elsewhere, as James Carafano has suggested, to learn lessons from previous occupations and civil affairs administrations, or done so only belatedly in the think tanks.73 When the United States went to war in Iraq in March 2003 to topple the Saddam regime, they failed to prepare for “postwar,” namely Phase IV of any war planning “post-conflict stability operations,” also called “nation building” during postwar occupation.74 What, then, might be some of the lessons from the Austrian occupation be?

Lesson 1

Pick the most knowledgeable and experienced experts to plan and launch an occupation regime and consult with the local elites and people's representatives as soon as possible to build an acceptable governance structure, building trust with your local partners; don't rush the job (careful planning).

The United States and the British went through elaborate planning exercises during World War II (on the political and military side) and consulted extensively and coordinated their plans for the zonal division of Austria and control agreement in the “European Advisory Commission” in 1944/45.75 When the occupation—after the initial chaotic weeks after the liberation of Austria—was launched, it was orderly. Starting in early September 1945, the four occupation powers—what Dobbins et al. call “multilateral nation building”—regularly met on a weekly basis in spite of the growing Cold War ideological divide.76 The Allied Council and its various subcommittees carried on their work on a continuous basis throughout the ten-year occupation period.77 Not like in Germany in April 1948, this control machinery never broke down and worked relatively efficiently until the end of the Austrian occupation in October 1955.

Once the Austrians elected their own government in November 1945, which gave them a crucial edge in the early transfer of authority (“Vorsprung an Staatlichkeit”) when compared to Germany, their ministers regularly consulted with the four powers and the Allied Council. This orderly partnership between the Austrians and the “four powers” invested the Austrians early on in the success of the occupation and transferred more and more powers to them early on (especially after the Second Control Agreement of June 1946). The Austrians, too, soon wanted to be “liberated from the liberators” (President Karl Renner called the ponderous occupiers uncharitably “four elephants in the rowboat”) but as the severity of occupation controls diminished (military presence, occupation costs, Soviet kidnappings, food rationing, denazification), the Austrians patiently awaited changes in the international arena that allowed for a breakthrough in Austrian treaty negotiations and an Austrian “peace treaty” in 1955. In other words, Phase IV “post-conflict stability operations” went off smoothly in the postwar occupation of Austria.

United States planning for the occupation of Iraq was haphazard.78 State Department plans were apparently rapidly discarded by the Pentagon.79 Top military commanders are usually not interested in making a name for themselves in civil affairs and in occupation duties, so the second tier of officers gets those jobs (in the initial phase the retired general Jay Garner). The State Department did not have huge area expertise on Iraq, so Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), and many of his top advisers were chosen from retired State Department ambassadorial staff or, worse, from the class of young neoconservative politicos “inside the Washington beltway.” Donald Rumsfeld “didn't plan for the postwar because he didn't want ‘postwar.’ It wasn't an oversight; it was deliberate,” notes Fred Kaplan.80 “Some [of these neocons] were quite competent and effective. Others were inexperienced, or ideologically driven, or employed because of whom they knew in Washington,” notes Ali A. Allawi, and concludes about their devastating ignorance about local conditions in Iraq: “The naïve, ideological or self-serving analysis of Iraq, conducted from the vantage points of Washington or London, bore little relationships to the facts on the ground.”81 We do not know the details yet, but circumstantial evidence suggests that there also seems to have been little regular rapport with the “allies” in the “coalition of the willing.” Rory Stewart, the British Deputy Governor of Amara and then Nasiriyah provinces in the south, suggests minimal guidance and lack of on-the-spot presence from the CPA in Baghdad as well as disinterest by Bremer on the few occasions he came for briefings to the “green zone.”82 The “multilateral” effort of nation building in Iraq remains the great unknown. American relations with the other “nation builders” in the coalition seems to have been rocky because of the Pentagon's unilateral setting of policies. By comparison, trilateral Western coordination was very close in the Austrian occupation as a means to counter Soviet policies.

Lesson 2

Carefully nurture indigenous governing coalitions that stick together and closely work with the local elements who are willing to cooperate with the occupiers (= base for “Phase IV” political stabilization).

The Anglo-American planners had carefully studied the inter-party feuding and high political tensions that led to a low-intensity civil war in interwar Austria and eventually to the collapse of democracy and home-grown “Austro-fascism” (Ständestaat). After the liberation of Austria from five years of home-grown fascism and seven years of National Socialism, the Western occupation elements carefully nurtured their relations with the principal political camps (conservatives = ÖVP and Socialists = SPÖ). They pushed the Austrians toward overcoming their party differences and forming a quasi-national unity ticket (which during the first two years also included the Austrian communists = KPÖ). The parties (especially the Socialists vis-à-vis their prewar Jewish leaders who had emigrated) did not invite Austrian émigrés back to help reconstruct the country. This Anglo-American pressure did produce the ÖVP-SPÖ “grand coalition” government led by the conservative Chancellor Leopold Figl and then Chancellor Julius Raab for the rest of the occupation period (lasting until 1966 led by ÖVP chancellors). The coalition partners agreed on little else but their shared “distaste of communism” and became close partners of the Western powers.83 There was constant bickering between the coalition partners in public and the highly partisan leadership of both sides regularly demeaned and blackened the motives of the other party in confidential meetings with the occupation powers (the Anglo-American record is full of this). The representatives of the occupation powers gently kept the pressure on both parties to overcome their partisan discord and transcend their ideological differences and work together and cooperate with the Western occupation powers in their effort to build a democratically stable and economically prosperous Austria in the face of the Communist threat (the “coalition” between the Austrian Communists and the Soviet occupation element).84 The Western powers considered the “grand coalition” their biggest asset in the reconstruction of a stable democratic Austria.85

The political reconstruction of Iraq after the “liberation” after Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party's twenty-four years of dictatorial rule had left the country's political culture divisive and timorous. After “de-Ba'athification” the new political class emerged from proliferating indigenous religious and ethno-political factions (Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish factions) and politicos returning from their Western exiles, trusted by George W. Bush and Tony Blair but with little popular support in the Iraqi population (exiled elites, long absent and unaware of the finer shifts in political culture, rarely cut a good figure in “nation-building” efforts after their return). The timetable imposed by the CPA to form a provisional government (following the Interim Iraqi Authority launched after the invasion and rapid collapse of the Saddam regime), form a constitutional convention and write a constitution, and hold elections and a government was brisk. Probably on orders from the Pentagon or the vice president's office, Paul Bremer pushed the entire process ahead recklessly.86 There seems to have been little nurturing and more browbeating of the entire spectrum of political parties and tribal and sectarian leaders by the unilaterally acting CPA. As a consequence, growing dissension developed between the CPA and the Iraqi parties and factions. The coalitions emerging were brittle; “broad participation” and “common visions among the participants” were hard to come by. After the dissolution of the army and the beginning of “de-Ba'athification” in the summer of 2003 under CPA orders 1 and 2, a huge group of disaffected Sunnis went underground and launched the insurgency and an incipient civil war that has not allowed yet the country to settle down and fully engage in the business of reconstruction.87

Lesson 3

Build on democratic traditions and nurture national consciousness; go slow on constitutional change; launch a pragmatic purge of the governing elites of the previous regime that you depose (= civil affairs).

Austria did not have a long and deep democratic tradition. Even though the Habsburg territories in the Alps and along the Danube that became “Austria” in late 1918 had experienced a slow expansion of the ballot among a growing number of males before World War I, universal suffrage introduced in 1919 did not produce a democratic mentality in the populace. As in most countries in Europe, democratic governance was perceived as chaotic. The low-intensity warfare between the ideologically deeply divided camps never allowed for democratic governance to mature. In 1933 the ruling Dollfuss government got rid of democracy altogether and Austrians experienced twelve years of dictatorship and police state. The Allies feared a Nazi underground movement, “Werewolves”) to challenge their presence after the war, but such an “insurgency” never materialized. After the liberation of the country in April 1945, Karl Renner formed a provisional national unity government in Vienna under Soviet aegis and with Communist representatives. After considerable haggling it decided to reinstate the Constitution of 1920 (revised in 1929). The occupation powers initially took complete control of their zones and initially tried to fashion them each in their image. Based on their thorough wartime planning, once the quadripartite Allied Council was formed in September 1945 they began the transfer of authority (and limited sovereignty) to the Austrian government, which was elected in late November 1945. (The American “grassroots” political approach in defeated Germany was much slower in the process of transferring authority/sovereignty to a national government. After local and regional elections, a constitutional convention was held in the consolidated western zones of the “Federal Republic” in 1948 and a government elected in the fall of 1949; in 1952 much sovereignty was returned to the FRG).

Washington considered a thorough political purging of the Nazis as a precondition for political stabilization and future democratic governance. The four occupation powers all began their own political purges in their zones after arrival—the initial American purge being the most radical. In the spring of 1946 they handed the tricky business of “denazifying” almost 550,000 Nazi party members to the Austrian government. The Austrian government procrastinated and in 1948 “amnestied” the bulk of the small fry (Minderbelastete) of the former Nazi Party. The active persecution of the hard-core Nazis in the “people's courts” was also slowed down after 1948. The bulk of the former Austrian Nazis refashioned themselves as the “victims of denazification” and became part of the Austrian “victims' collective” which the government constructed after 1945 as a means not to be blamed for Nazi war crimes and not to have to pay restitution to the true victims of the Nazi genocidal project.88

Many Austrians in the professions had joined the Nazi Party to hang on to their jobs. After the war it quickly occurred to the denazifiers that these professionals, in spite of their Nazi pedigree, were needed for the political and economic reconstruction of Austria. The Anglo-Americans pragmatically allowed the Austrian government to let denazification peter out after only three years. They aimed at reducing the political discord over denazification policies and stabilizing Austrian democracy by integrating the former Nazis into the body politic. A more stable Austria had a better chance confronting the Communist threat in the proliferating Cold War tensions after 1948. The hunt for Nazi voters was on by both partners in the grand coalition in the election of 1949. Embracing the Ehemalige in the daily political arena, indeed, largely ended the political tensions that this issue had sparked between 1945 and 1948. Austrian denazification was more thorough than the German effort.89 What Dobbins et al. conclude for the German case by and large is true for Austria too: “In the long run, this more practical policy [allowing Germans to run sector-level tribunals under Allied supervision] helped lead to a more-thorough repudiation of Nazi policies by the German populace an eliminated remaining support for the return of such an autocratic regime.”90

Austrian national consciousness in 1945 was weak and undeveloped and was a constant worry among Anglo-American nation builders. “German Austria,” left over from the breakup of the Habsburg Monarchy, had wanted to join Germany after World War I. The peacemakers of Paris did not want to augment the German territory and prohibited Anschluss, which eventually came by force in 1938. Economically, Austria was considered a desperately poor basket case and nonviable during the interwar years.91 An indigenous Austrian identity harkening back to the great power status of the Habsburgs and cultural achievements of fin-de-siècle Vienna emerged slowly in the 1930s to be arrested after the “Anschluss” of 1938. During the war the Austrians learned they did not want to be Germans. Postwar Austrian society built its identity on that insight, blamed Germans for Nazi war crimes, and claimed to be “victims” of Hitler rather than Nazi perpetrators. Peter Utgaard summarizes this aspect of emerging postwar Austrian national consciousness: “the identity and legitimacy of the Second Austrian Republic have largely been based on the Austria-as-victim myth since its founding.”92 Nations, like individuals, need time before confronting the skeletons in their closet and in constructing a “usable past.” With the achievement of independence in 1955, pride in neutrality and bridge-building became part of Austrian identity, along with pride in its great historical past and cultural achievements. By the 1960s Austrians claimed a strong national identity, which in turn further stabilized the political culture of a firmly implanted democracy.93

Iraqi national consciousness was notoriously weak; rapid de-Ba'athification was pushed down the throat of liberated Iraqis and they were forced to write a constitution in rapid fashion. The CPA Order 1 promulgated immediate “de-Ba'athification” in May 2003, two months after liberation; thousands of Ba'ath Party members were fired, many of the from the mid- to high-level government and administrative positions and badly needed for the reconstruction of post-Saddam Iraq. Given that these professionals were as sorely needed in the reconstruction of Iraq as the former Nazis in postwar Austria, a smaller purge of a few hundred “Saddamists” might have gotten rid of the principal guilty clique without hurting rebuilding, suggests Allawi. On top of “de-Ba'athification,” the CPA's Order 2 decreed that the Iraq entire army be dismissed, which added to the huge reservoir of Sunni discontent. Again Allawi's conclusion: “The twin Orders of de-Ba'athification and the dissolution of the army were later seen as the vital ingredients that launched the insurgency” (and later the “Islamic State”). Allawi continues; “Bremer was held directly responsible for this apparent strategic blunder.”94 General David Petraeus occupied the Mosul region with his 101st Airborne division and immediately started Phase IV operations, building bridges to the local population, even having a regional council elected. But this was a short-lived effort of nation building as the region was transferred to fresh troops after a few months.95 While Dobbins et al. meekly conclude in their German case study that “defeated populations can sometimes be more malleable than anticipated” and “enforced accountability for past injustices, through such forums as war crimes tribunals, can facilitate transformation” [emphasis added], they draw a further lesson from Germany seemingly not heeded by the CPA: “dismembered and divided countries can be difficult to put back together.”96

Like Austria, Iraq was under “total control” by the occupiers after liberation. Unlike Austria, the transfer of authority and sovereignty to the Iraqis was much slower than initially anticipated. Most Austrians accepted the early years of the occupation; most Iraqis resented it and their Arab neighbors did not appreciate the American occupiers either. The CPA slowed down the process of transferring political power to the Interim Governing Council (which in the summer of 2003 grew out of a group of seven Iraqi leaders, representative of Iraqi sectarian and religious body politic). The transfer of full sovereignty (which after World War II took ten years in Austria, seven years in Japan, and seven to forty-five years in Germany), was slow in Iraq.

While the writing of a constitution in 2005 produced an election in 2006 and a government, a civil war unfolded as a product of the growing insurgency against the American occupation, led by the Saddamists and Sunnis excluded from the Iraqi body politic as a result of Order 1. Saddam and his worst henchmen were quickly put on trial to exact judicial retribution for the crimes they committed vis-à-vis their own Kurdish and Shia population. A growing religious schism and warfare between the Sunni insurgency and the Shiite militias as well as waxing Kurdish autonomous rule in the North of the country seem to tear the country apart rather then move it towards growing together. Allawi writes: “The cracks inside Iraqi society began to appear shortly after the fall of Baghdad. Iraq had never had a grand national compact, such as an overarching constitution to which all subscribed, or even an ‘understanding’ between its component groups. The ‘idea’ of Iraq took root unevenly throughout the country” [emphasis added].97 A strong national consciousness as a stabilizing factor in Iraqi political culture is unlikely anytime soon.

Lesson 4

Economic reconstruction after war (and natural catastrophes) takes a long time and requires an infrastructure that has overcome the initial post-catastrophic “bottleneck economy.” The success of the Marshall Plan in postwar Europe has produced many invocations and analogies as a model for huge foreign aid programs but it is not easily transferable.

As had been the case in the interwar years, Austria remained economically destitute after World War II. The war left behind massive physical destruction and dislocations, especially in the cities. The first four years of Austria's economic reconstruction concentrated on removing the “bottlenecks” in the infrastructure (transport = railroads, roads, and bridges, fuel = coal and electricity, labor, food, trade deficit). American aid (Army, UNRRA, private) allowed for the sheer survival of the population. Interim congressional aid and then massive Marshall Plan funding helped overcome the “dollar gap” in the trade deficit by financing the imports and stabilized the economy. The investments into the oversized nationalized industries as well as agriculture and tourism sparked by the ERP-generated “counterpart funds” put the country back on a healthy economic track toward prosperity by the mid-fifties. After Iceland ($228) and Norway ($136), Austria received the most per-capita aid through Marshall Plan funding ($132) and arguably benefited from it the most among the sixteen European ERP-beneficiaries. Austria's economic postwar prosperity stemmed from three principal sources: (1) Hitler's investments in the heavy industrial wartime economy of the Ostmark; (2) Austrians' hard work of rebuilding the country after the war; and (3) American aid programs, particularly the European Recovery Program (while the memory of number 1 is weak, and 2 is strong, it is dwindling with regard to 3). Total American assistance to postwar Austria was ca. 1,5 – 1,8 billion dollars (almost 1 billion of it ERP-funds); Austria paid almost as much in reparations to the Soviet Union and is still making restitution payments to Nazi victims.98 Victoria de Grazia is on the mark when she observed: “It's great boast with respect to all other empires of the modern period was that it never failed to supply its own people with guns and butter. And when it did impose itself militarily elsewhere, it promised to follow up with substantial aid to rebuild the ruins in its own image.”99

After the United States spent between $1 and $2 trillion on the war in Iraq, the country enjoyed massive injections of aid after its liberation.100 Next to its overseas assets and the oil revenue that the CPA liberally drew from (and apparently also often wasted), massive American (and some international) aid flowed into the country for reconstruction of infrastructure (electricity grid, sewerage system, oil industry), financing imports (especially of food), and reconstructing a viable administration. Billions of dollars were wasted. From 2003 to 2006 Iraq received $28.9 billion in aid from the United States and counting (as much as Germany received from 1945 to 1949, namely $4.3 billion = $29.6 billion in 2005 dollars, and more than Japan received from 1946 to 1952—$2.2 billion = $15.2 billion in 2005 dollars).101 Allawi calculates that Marshall Plan aid amounted to ca. $350 per capita to participating European countries (adjusted to 2003 dollars). The comparative per capita level for assistance to Iraq in its first year after liberation was a whopping $900.102 Allawi leaves no doubt in the minds of its reader what went wrong with such massive American economic assistance: “The effects of these massive transfers, as well as the CPA's own access to Iraqi funds, would be whittled away by an unbelievable combination of amateur programming, poor execution, incompetence, corruption and waste.” The growing insurgency made matters worse: “The problems were compounded by a rapidly deteriorating security situation and the targeted attacks on Iraq's infrastructure and on reconstruction projects and teams.” His devastating summary on the CPA's economic reconstruction program: “But the primary failure was policy planning and management.” Like most observers studying the transferability of the Marshall Plan to different (Third World) reconstruction scenarios, Alawi believes it has more rhetoric than reality: “The breathless comparisons with the Marshall Plan [by the Bush administration] were hugely overblown.”103

He seems to have a point. The New York Times reported that federal inspectors of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found in the case of eight American financed and completed project—that cost $150 million and declared a success—that seven of them were no longer operating because of poor designs and improper maintenance. The Times concludes: “Curiously, most of the problems seemed unrelated to sabotage stemming from Iraq's parlous security situation, but instead were the product of poor initial construction, petty looting, a lack of maintenance and simple neglect.”104 No such egregious mismanagement ever came to light during the European Recovery Program. Invocations of a “Marshall Plan for Iraq and/or the Near East” are as inappropriate as they are frequent, conclude two political scientists: “As is often the case with the use of historical analogies in policy debates, the Marshall Plan has taken on a kind of mythology, that of an all-powerful nation helping others in need to defeat mortal enemies.”105

The Marshall Plan was negotiated with its beneficiaries and gave them a voice in decision making; it also regularly got the sixteen participating countries together and fostered the spirit that would lead to a more integrated Europe.106 In Iraq a few officials in the Pentagon, Vice President Dick Cheney's office and the CPA unilaterally determined economic reconstruction policies in the first phase of the occupation; the Iraqi leadership were mere bystanders and initially not invested in major budgetary decisions. The Iraq Study Group, realizing that the “the period of large US-funded reconstruction project is over,” still recommended continued aid on the level of $5 billion a year between the United States and international partners with technical assistance and building capacity of its institutions.107

The Americans have only to blame themselves for failing in the political and economic reconstruction in the initial occupation phase. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld refused to plan to a Phase IV occupation/reconstruction phase and resisted all efforts at “nation-building.” They did not allow themselves to be governed by lessons drawn from the study of previous American occupations, the “deep art” of occupation experience (see prescript), to learn to cope with the usual postwar chaos of the “fog of peace.”108 The American occupations of both postwar Germany and Japan had lessons to teach for modern post-conflict “nation building,” but so does Austria. However, the post–World War II occupation of Austria has received less scholarly attention at home after an upsurge of scholarship in the 1980s and 1990s and it has received even less interest from historians and political scientists in their recent comparative studies of the United States as an occupier. Of course, American strategic interests in Iraq—in a unipolar moment of American power and a global war against terrorism—were very different from the post–World War II containment of communism in Austria. The recent American record of “its way of war”—namely the “turning [of] military victory into strategic success” beyond the winning of battles and campaigns—seems modest indeed.109 If Americans are a “nation-building people” as Jeremy Suri has suggested, they failed in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Note: The ideas expressed in this article were first presented at the Norwegian Nobel Institute Seminars 2007, May 15, 2007, Nobel Institute, Oslo, Norway; the first two sections of this article are based on my previously published paper “The Allied Occupation of Austria in Recent International and Austrian Historiography,” in Austrian Foreign Policy in Historical Context, ed. Günter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, and Michael Gehler, Contemporary Austrian Studies 14 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2006), 305–18; some ideas in the final section also appear in Günter Bischof and Hans-Jürgen Schröder, “‘Nation Building’ in vergleichender Perspektive: Die USA als Besatzungsmacht in Österreich und Westdeutschland 1945–1955,” in Verschiedene europäische Wege im Vergleich: Österreich und die Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945/49-2005. Festschrift für Rolf Steininger zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. Ingrid Böhler and Michael Gehler (Innsbruck: StudienVerlag 2007), 155–76. I would also like to thank an anonymous reviewer for his/her suggestions to improve this article and Michael Burri, the editor of this journal, for his sage advice. My gratitude also goes to Therese D. Boyd for a thorough copy-editing of this article


The best examples of comparative recent occupation studies are Susan L. Carruthers, The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016); Günther Kronenbitter, Markus Pöhlmann, and Dierk Walter, eds., Besatzung: Funktion und Gestalt militärischer Fremdherrschaft von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert, Krieg in der Geschichte 28 (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöning, 2006). Günter Bischof, Gunther Mai, and Akira Iriye organized a conference in March 1991 at Harvard University, comparing the German, Japanese, Austrian, and Korean occupations after World War II, the papers of which were never published and are in the possession of the author.


James Jay Carafano, “Post-Conflict Operations from Europe to Iraq,” unpublished paper in the possession of the author. The best account of the US military's failure to plan for the post-conflict occupation of Iraq is James Fallows, “Blind Into Baghdad,” Atlantic Monthly (January/February 2004): 52–74.


Carruthers, The Good Occupation, 1–14 (here 1–2, 7). For a recent assessment of the Austrian occupation, see the essays by Günter Bischof, Oliver Rathkolb, Michael Gehler, and Wolfgang Müller in the Roundtable “The Historiography and Memory of the Austrian Occupation 1945–1955,” in Austrian Foreign Policy in Historical Context, ed. Günter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, and Michael Gehler, Contemporary Austrian Studies [= CAS] 14 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2006), 306–60.


Stephen E. Ambrose, To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002), 116–25 (here 116, 117, 123, 124).


Bush's speech before the American Enterprise Institute, also broadcast on the radio, March 1, 2003, quoted in Carruthers, The Good Occupation, 2.


Quoted from Jeremi Suri, Liberty's Surest Guardian: Rebuilding Nations after War from the Founders to Obama (New York: Free Press, 2011), 210.


Ibid., 9, 162–63.


Robert K. Brigham, Is Iraq Another Vietnam? (New York: Public Affairs, 2006); Paul Bremer, heading the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, refused to enter any conversation about the “Vietnam quagmire”—“Iraq is not Vietnam,” he insisted. See Fred Kaplan, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013), 82.


James Dobbins, John G. McGinn, Keith Crane, Seth G. Jones, Rollie Lal, Andrew Rathmell, Rachel M. Swanger, and Anga R. Timilsina, America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq (Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2003), 2.


Minxin Pei and Sara Kasper, Lessons from the Past: The American Record in Nation-Building (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003).


Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Price of America's Empire (New York: Penguin Press, 2004), 303 (table 1); for an insightful review of Fergusson's Colossus, see Paul Kennedy, “Mission Impossible?,” New York Review of Books, June 10, 2004, 16–19.


David Greenberg, “Why Vietnam Haunts the Debate Over Iraq,” History News Network, n.d., https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/4779; Leslie S. Gelb, “Fixing Germany Wasn't Easy Either,” History News Network, n.d., http://hnn.us/articles/1649.html; Gil Troy, “Germany Wasn't Rebuilt in a Year, Nor Shall Iraq,” History News Network, n.d., http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/4552.html (originally published in the Montreal Gazette, April 4, 2004); see also the discussion thread in H-DIPLO on “Behavior of Allied Troops in Post-War Germany,” in July/August 2004; John W. Dower, “A Warning from History: Don't Expect Democracy in Iraq,” Boston Review (February 1, 2003), http://bostonreview.net/world/john-w-dower-warning-history; see also Allen W. Dulles, “That Was Then: Allen W. Dulles on the Occupation of Germany,” Foreign Affairs (November/December 2003): 2–8, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2003-11-01/was-then-allen-w-dulles-occupation-germany.


Günter Bischof, Austria in the First Cold War, 1945–55: The Leverage of the Weak (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999).


Manfried Rauchensteiner, Die Zwei: Die Grosse Koalition in Österreich 1945–1966 (Vienna: Bundesverlag, 1987); Günter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, and Dieter Stiefel, eds., The Marshall Plan in Austria, CAS 8 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2000); Günter Bischof and Hans Petschar, The Marshall Plan Since 1947: Saving Europe, Rebuilding Austria (Vienna: Brandstädter, 2017).


Erich Reiter, Neutralität oder NATO. Die sicherheitspolitischen Konsequenzen aus der europäischen Aufgabe Österreichs, vol. 1 of Forschungen zur Sicherheitspolitik (Graz: Styria, 1996); Erich Reiter, ed., Österreich und die NATO. Die sicherheitspolitische Situation Österreichs nach der NATO-Erweiterung, vol. 2 of Forschungen zur Sicherheitspolitik (Graz: Styria, 1998).


See the hard-hitting polemical critique by Karl Zemanek, “Wie lange währt ‘immer’?” Die Presse-Spectrum, November 13, 2004; for a more scholarly analysis of Austria's neutral status within EU common foreign policy and security efforts, see Gunther Hauser, “ESDP and Austria: Security Policy between Engagement and Neutrality,” in Austrian Foreign Policy, ed. Bischof, Pelinka, and Gehler, 207–45.


“Neutralität ‘nicht immerwährend,’” Die Presse, January 7, 2004.


Günter Bischof, “American Empire and Its Discontents: The United States and Europe Today,” in Towards a European Constitution: A Historical and Political Comparison with the United States, ed. Michael Gehler, Günter Bischof, Ludger Kühnhardt, and Rolf Steininger, Europapolitische Reihe des Herbert-Batliner-Europainstitutes 3 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2005), 185–207.


Daniel Immerwahr, How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States (New York: Vintage, 2020), 215–26 (see 224), 355–71.


Petra Goedde, GIs and Germans: Culture, Gender, and Foreign Relations, 1945–1949 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003).


Dewey A. Browder, Americans in Post–World War II Germany (Lewiston, ME: Edwin Mellen Press, 1998); Thomas Leuerer, Die Stationierung amerikanischer Streitkräfte in Deutschland: Militärgemeinden der U.S. Army in Deutschland seit 1945 als ziviles Element der Stationierungpolitik der Vereinigten Staaten (Würzburg: Ergon, 1997); Saki Dockrill, ed., Controversy and Compromise: Alliance Politics between Great Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the United States of America, 1945–1967 (Bodenheim: Philo, 1998).


Heinz Bude and Berndt Greiner, eds., Westbindungen: Amerika in der Bundesrepublik (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999).


Ambrose, To America, 120.


Reinhold Wagnleitner, Coca-Colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States after the Second World War, 2nd ed., trans. Diana Wolf (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).


Ferguson, Colossus, 13; Geir Lundestad, The American “Empire” and Other Studies of U.S. Foreign Policy in a Comparative Perspective (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through 20th-Century Europe (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005).


On these contentious larger debates on empire, see Charles S. Maier, Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006); Bernard Porter, Empire and Superempire: Britain, America and the World (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006); Harold James, The Roman Predicament: How the Rules of International Order Create the Politics of Empire (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006).


I have summarized the historiography of the Austrian occupation previously; see “The Allied Occupation of Austria in Recent International and Austrian Historiography,” in Austrian Foreign Policy, ed. Bischof, Pelinka, and Gehler, 305–18; “The Policies of Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower toward Austria, 1943–1955,” in The Red Army in Austria: The Soviet Occupation, 1945–1955, ed. Stephan Karner and Barbara Stelzl-Marx, trans. Alex J. Kay, Harvard Cold War Studies, ed. Mark Kramer (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020), 3–22.


Manfried Rauchensteiner, Der Sonderfall: Besatzungszeit in Österreich 1945 bis 1955 (Graz: Styria, 1979), now updated and republished without substantial changes in perspective; see Stalinplatz 4: Österreich unter alliierter Besatzung (Vienna: Edition Steinbauer, 2005); Josef Leidenfrost, “Die Amerikanische Besatzungsmacht und der Wiederbeginn des Politischen Lebens in Österreich, 1944–1947,” Ph.D. diss., University of Vienna, 1985; Wilfried Mähr, “Von der UNRRA zum Marshall-Plan: Die amerikanische Finanz- und Wirtschaftshilfe an Österreich, 1944–1947,” Ph.D. diss., University of Vienna, 1985; Reinhold Wagnleitner, “Grossbritannien und die Wiedererrichtung der Republik Österreich,” Phil. diss., University of Salzburg, 1975; Lydia Lettner, “Die französische Österreichpolitik von 1943 bis 1946,” D.Phil. diss., University of Salzburg 1980. Klaus Eisterer, Französiche Besatzungspolitik: Tirol und Vorarlberg 1945/46, vol. 9 of Innsbrucker Forschungen zur Zeitgeschichte (Innsbruck: Haymon, 1991); on the foci of the Innsbruck Institute, see Günter Bischof and Ingrid Böhler, “Forschung und Lehre am Innsbrucker Institut für Zeitgeschichte (1983–2003). ‘Die Innsbrucker Schule’ in der österreichischen Zeitgeschichteforschung,” Zeitgeschichte 30 (November/December 2003): 387–98.


A more extensive treatment of the cycles of Cold War scholarship and its repercussions in Austrian academe is Günter Bischof, “Eine historiographsiche Einführung: Die Ära des Kalten Krieges und Österreich,” in Östereich im frühen Kalten Krieg 1945–1958: Spione, Partisanen, Kriegspläne, ed. Erwin A. Schmidl (Vienna: Böhlau, 2000), 19–54.


Günter Bischof and Josef Leidenfrost, eds., Die Bevormundete Nation: Österreich und die Allierten 1945–1949, vol. 4 of Innsbrucker Forschugnen zur Zeitgeschichte (Innsbruck: Haymon, 1988); Alfred Ableitinger, Siegfried Beer, and Eduard G. Staudinger, eds., Österreich unter allierter Besatzung 1945–1955 (Vienna: Böhlau, 1998); Manfried Rauchensteiner and Robert Kriechbaumer, eds., Die Gunst des Augenblicks: Neuere Forschungen zu Staatvertrag und Neutralität (Vienna: Böhlau, 2005); see also Anton Pelinka and Rolf Steininger, eds., Österreich und die Sieger (Vienna: Braumüller, 1986).


Thomas Angerer, “Frankreich und die Österreichfrage: Historische Grundlagen und Leitlinien 1945–1955,” Ph.D. diss., University of Vienna, 199


For a generational model of cycles of Austrian historical interpretations, see Ernst Hanisch, “Der forschende Blick. Österreich im 20. Jahrhundert: Interpretationen und Kontroversen,” Carinthia 189 (1999): 579–82; Hanisch, “Die Dominanz des Staates: Österreichs Zeitgeschichte im Drehkreuz von Politik und Wissenschaft,” in Zeitgeschichte als Problem: Nationale Traditionen und Perspektiven der Forschung in Europa, ed. Alexander Nütznadel and Theodor Schieder (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2004), 54–77. For a critique of Austrian Zeitgeschichte, see Thomas Angerer, “An Incomplete Discipline: Austrian Zeitgeschichte and Recent History,” in Austria in the Nineteen Fifties, ed. Günter Bischof and Anton Pelinka, CAS 3 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1995); see also Günter Bischof, “Östereichs Scheu vor Machtpolitik,” Die Presse, February 7, 1996, 2. In a recent survey among Austrian historians of contemporary history, approximately 17 percent were researchers in cultural history, whereas only 5 percent researched political history, and less than 1 percent (only one person!) had interests in international relations (Heinz Niederleitner, “Näher an der Gegenwart: Die Beziehungen von östereichischen Zeithistoriker/innen zu aktuellen Medien im Vergleich mit anderen Historiker/innen,” unpublished manuscript in possession of the author).


First and foremost among them is the massive study by Maximilian Graf on Austria's relations with the German Democratic Republic (DDR); see Österreich und die DDR 1949–1990: Politik und Wirtschaft im Schatten der deutschen Teilung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Philosophisch-Historische Klasse Institut für Neuzeit- und Zeitgeschichteforschung, Reihe Internationale Geschichte Bd. 3 (Vienna: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2016); see also Arnold Suppan and Wolfgang Mueller, eds., Peaceful Coexistence or Iron Curtain? Austria, Neutrality and Eastern Europe in the Cold War and Détente, 1955–1989 (Vienna: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2009).


Maximilian Graf and Agnes Meisinger, eds., Österreich im Kalten Krieg, Zeitgeschichte im Kontext 11, ed. Oliver Rathkolb (Göttingen-Vienna: V&R unipress/Vienna University Press, 2016).


Maximilian Graf and Agnes Meisinger, “Österreich und der Kalte Krieg: Forschungsstand und Desiderata,” in Österreich im Kalten Krieg, ed. Graf and Meisinger, 9–48. This is a hard-hitting rejoinder to my earlier historiographical essay on “the poverty of Austrian Cold War scholarship”; see “Vom Elend der österreichischen Geschichtsschreibung zum Kalten Krieg, in Der forschende Blick: Beiträge zur Geschichte Österreichs im 20. Jahrhundert. Festschrift für Ernst Hanisch zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. Reinhard Krammer, Christoph Kühberger, and Franz Schausberger (Vienna: Böhlau, 2010), 371–90; Maximilian Graf, Sarah Knoll, Ina Markova, and Karlo Ruzicic-Kessler, Franz Marek—Ein Europäischer Marxist: die Biographie (Vienna: Mandelbaum, 2019); Manfred Mugrauer, die Politik der KPÖ 1945–1955 (Göttingen: V&R unipress/Vienna University Press, 2020).


An exception is Walter Schuster and Wolfgang Weber, eds., Entnazifizierung im regionalen Vergleich: Der Versuch einer Bilanz (= Historisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Linz) (Linz: Archiv der Stadt Linz, 2004).


Christian Stifter, Zwischen geistiger Erneuerung und Restauration: US-amerikanische Planungen zur Entnazifizierung und demokratischen Neuorientierung österreichischer Wissenschaft 1941–1955 (Vienna: Böhlau 2013).


Graf and Meisinger, “Österreich und der Kalte Krieg,” 16–19 (see n. 35 above); see also the essays by Christian Forstner on the splitting of the atom and Austrian neutrality, and Doris Neumann-Rieser on nuclear fear in Austrian literature, in Österreich im Kalten Krieg, ed. Graf and Meisinger, 73–120.


Elisabeth Röhrlich, “The Cold War, the Developing World, and the Creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 1953–1957,” Cold War History 16, no. 1 (2016): 1–18.


Maximilian Graf and Sarah Knoll, “In Transit or Asylum Seekers? Austria and the Cold War Refugees from the Communist Bloc,” in Migration in Austria, ed. Günter Bischof and Dirk Rupnow, CAS 26 (New Orleans–Innsbruck: UNO Press–Innsbruck University Press, 2017), 91–112.


See the essays by Philipp Strobl, Nikolaus Hagen, Heribert Marcher-Kroisenbrunner, Jim G. Tobias, and Philip Lehar in the special issue “Displaced-Persons-Forschung in Österreich und Deutschland: Bestandsaufnahme und Ausblicke,” in zeitgeschichte 47, no. 2 (2020).


William Lloyd Stearman, The Soviet Union and the Occupation of Austria: An Analysis of Soviet Policy in Austria, 1945–1955 (Bonn: Siegler, 1962); William B. Bader, Austria between East and West, 1945–1955 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1966), recently translated and published in German without any updating of a text written more than forty years ago as Österreich im Spannungsfeld zwischen Ost und West 1945 bis 1955, trans. Alexandra Stibor-Milovcic (Vienna: Braumüller, 2002). In a similar vein Alice Hills's 1975 King's College dissertation, “Britain and the Occupation of Austria,” was published twenty-five years later in 2000 by Macmillan without any updating of sources and scholarly interpretation, see Alice Hills, Britain and the Occupation of Austria, 1943–1945 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000).


Robert Graham Knight, “British Policy towards Occupied Austria, 1945–1950,” Ph.D. diss., London School of Economics, 1986.


Günter Bischof, “Between Responsibility and Rehabilitation: Austrian in International Politics, 1940–1950,” Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1989; see also Patricia Blythe Eggleston, “The Marshall Plan in Austria, 1945–1950,” Ph.D. diss., University of Alabama, 1980.


Ralph W. Brown III, “A Cold War Army of Occupation: The U.S. Army in Vienna, 1945–1948,” PhD. diss., University of Tennessee, 1995.


On the importance of generations in history, see David Kaiser, “Ernest R. May and the Silent Generation,” in Rethinking International Relations: Ernest R. May and the Study of World Affairs, ed. Akira Irive (Chicago: Imprint, 1998), 241–47.


James Jay Carafano, Waltzing into the Cold War: The Struggle for Occupied Austria (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2002).


A quasi-summa of research on the American zone of occupation is Christoph Weisz, ed., OMGUS-Handbuch: Die amerikanische Militärregierung in Deutschland 1945–1955 (Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1994). Stefan Karner, Barbara Stelzl-Marx, and Alexander Tschubarjan, eds., Die Rote Armeee in Österreich. Sowjetische Besatzung 1945–1955: Dokumente, Veröffentlichungen des Ludwig Boltzmann-Instituts für Kriegsfolgen-Forschung, Sonderband 5 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2005); Wolfgang Mueller, Arnold Suppan, Norman M. Naimark, and Gennadij Bordjugov, eds., Sowjetische Politik in Österreich 1945–1955. Dokumente aus russischen Archiven, Österreichisches Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philospohisch-Historischer Klasse, Historische Kommission, Fontes Rerum Austriacarum, Diplomataria et Acta 93 (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2005).


Wolfgang Müller, “Die sowjetische Besatzungsmacht in Östereich 1945–1955. Forschungsstand, Quellenlage und Fragestellungen,” Zeitgeschichte 28 (March/April 2001): 114–29; Müller, “Sowjetbesatzung, Nationale Front und der ‘Friedliche Übergang zum Sozialismus’: Fragmente sowjetischer Österreich-Planung 1945–1955,” Mitteilungen des Österreichischen Staatsarchivs 50 (2003): 133–56; and now the monograph, see Müller, Die sowjetische Besatzung in Österreich 1945–1955 und ihre politische Mission (Vienna: Böhlau, 2005); Peter Ruggenthaler, ed. and introduction, Stalins großer Bluff: Die Geschichte der Stalin-Note in Dokumenten der sowjetischen Führung, Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 95 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2007); see also Mugrauaer, Politik der KPÖ.


Stefan Karner, Barbara Stelzl-Marx, and Alexander Tschubarjan, eds., Die Rote Armee in Österreich. Sowjetische Besatzung 1945–1955: Beiträge, Veröffentlichungen des Ludwig Boltzmann-Instituts für Kriegsfolgen-Forschung, Sonderband 4 (Graz, 2005); now also in English in a shortened version, see Karner and Stelzl-Marx, eds., The Red Army in Austria; Wolfgang Mueller, Arnold Suppan, Norman M. Naimark, and Gennadij Bordjugov, eds., Sowjetische Politik in Österreich 1945–1955. Dokumente aus russischen Archiven, Österreichisches Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-HistorischerKlasse, Historische Kommission, Fontes Rerum Austriacarum, Diplomataria et Acta 93 (Vienna: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2005).


On the stream of publications see, for example, Hartmut Mehringer, ed., Von der SBZ zur DDR: Studien zum Herrschaftssytem in der Sowjetischen Besatzungszone und in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1955), or the ongoing controversy over the “Stalin Notes” of 1952 in Wilfried Loth, Stalin's Unwanted Child: The Soviet Union, the German Question and the Founding of the GDR (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998), and Loth, “The Origins of Stalin's Note of 10 March 1952,” Cold War History 4 (January 2004): 66–88. Norman M. Naimark, The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949 (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1995). Barbara Stelzl-Marx, Stalin's Soldaten in Österreich: Die Innensicht der sowjetischen Besatzung 1945–1955 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2012).


John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999).


Gerald Stourzh, Um Einheit und Freiheit: Staatsvertrag, Neutralität und das Ende der Ost-West-Besetzung Österreichs 1945–1955 (Vienna: Böhlau, 1998); for the larger international context, Bischof's Austria in the First Cold War complements Stourzh; for an English translation of Stourzh's magnum opus, see Gerald Stourzh and Wolfgang Mueller, A Cold War over Austria: The Struggle for the State Treaty, Neutrality, and the End of the East-West Occupation, 1945–1955, Harvard Cold War Studies, ed. Mark Kramer (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019); for Rolf Steininger's readable short survey, see Der Staatvertrag: Österreich im Schatten von deutscher Frage und Kaltem Krieg 1938–1955 (Innsbruck: StudienVerlag, 2005).


Günter Bischof, “Die Amerikaner als Besatzungsmacht in Österreich, 1945–1955,” in Die Gunst des Augenblicks: Neuere Forschungen zu Staatsvertrag und Neutralität, ed. Manfried Rauchensteiner and Robert Kriechbaumer (Vienna: Böhlau, 2005), 75–112.


Kurt Tweraser, US Militärregierung Oberösterreich, vol. 1, Sicherheitspolitische Aspekte der amerikanischen Besatzung in Oberösterreich-Süd 1945–1950 (Linz: Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv, 1995), and vol. 2, US Militärregierung Oberösterreich: Amerikanische Industriepolitik in Oberösterreich am Beispiel VOEST and Steyr-Daimler-Puch (Linz: Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv, 2009); Tweraser, “The Marshall Plan and the Reconstruction of the Austrian Steel Industry 1945–1953,” in Marshall Plan in Austria, ed. Bischof, Pelinka, and Stiefel, 290–322.


The Salzburg historian Ingrid Bauer has investigated sexual relations between local women (“chocolate girls,” “Ami whores”) and American occupation soldiers in numerous publications, see, e.g., Welcome Ami Go Home: Die Amerikanische Besatzung in Salzburg nach 1945–1955: Einnerungslandschaften aus einem Oral-History-Projekt (Salzburg: Pustet, 1998); Bauer, “‘Austria's Prestige Dragged Into the Dirt’? The ‘GI-Brides’ and Postwar Austrian Society 1945–1955,” in Women in Austria, ed. Günter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, and Erika Thurner, CAS 6 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1998), 41–55; Ingrid Bauer and Renate Huber, “Sexual Encounters Across (Former) Enemy Lines,” in Sexuality in Austria, ed. Günter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, and Dagmar Herzog, CAS 15 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2007), 65–101.


Gerald Stourzh, “The Origins of Austrian Neutrality,” in Neutrality: Changing Concepts and Practices, ed. Alan T. Leonhard (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988), 35–57 (here 39–40); see also Günter Bischof, “Österreich—ein ‘geheimer Verbündeter’ des Westens?,” in Österreich und die europäische Integration 1945–1993, ed. Michael Gheler and Rolf Steininger (Vienna: Böhlau, 1993). Thoss in Manfried Rauchensteiner, ed., Zwischen den Blöcken: NATO, Warschauer Pakt und Ősterreich, Schriftenreihe des Forschungsinstitutes fűr politisch-historische Studien der Dr.-Wilfried-Haslauer-Bibliothek 36 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2010).


Bischof, Pelinka, and Stiefel, eds., Marshall Plan in Austria; Hans Seidel, Österreichs Wirtschaft und Wirtschaftspolitik nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (Vienna: Braumüller, 2005); Bischof and Petschar, Marshall Plan Since 1947.


Robert Groß, Die Beschleunigung der Berge: Eine Umweltgeschichte des Wintertourismus in Vorarlberg/Österreich (1920–2010), Umwelthistorische Forschungen Bd. 7, ed. Bernd-Stefan Grewe, Martin Knoll, and Verena Winiwarter (Vienna: Böhlau 2019).


Günter Bischof, “‘Conquering the Foreigner’: The Marshall Plan and the Revival of Postwar Austrian Tourism,” in Marshall Plan in Austria, ed. Bischof, Pelinka, and Stiefel, 357–401; Simone A. E. Telser, “Fremdenverkehr und Marshallplan in Österreich: Wiederaufbau bis 1952,” D.Phil. diss., University of Innsbruck, 2008; Robert Groß, Martin Knoll, and Katharina Scharf, eds., Transformative Recovery? The European Recovery Program (ERP)/Marshall Plan in European Tourism (Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press, 2020).


Michael Gehler, Vom Marshall-Plan bis zur EU: Österreichs und die europäische Integration von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart (Innsbruck: StudienVelrag, 2006), 23–44.


Günter Bischof and Dieter Stiefel, eds., Images of the Marshall Plan: Films, Photographs, Exhibits, Posters (Innsbruck: StudienVerlag, 2009); Maria Fritsche, The American Marshall Plan Film Campaign and the Europeans: A Captivated Audience (London: Bloomsbury, 2018).


Reinhold Wagnleitner, Coca-Colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States in Austria after the Second World War, trans. Diana Wolf (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994); on the Americanization of Austria, see also Günter Bischof, “Two Sides of the Coin: The Americanization of Austria and Austrian Anti-Americanism,” in The Americanization of Europe: Culture, Diplomacy, and Anti-Americanism after 1945, ed. Alexander Stephan (New York: Berghahn, 2006), 147–81.


Stefan Maurer, Doris Neumann-Rieser, and Günther Stocker, Diskurse des Kalten Krieges: Eine andere österreichische Nachkriegsliteratur (Vienna: Böhlau, 2017); see also Günther Stocker and Michael Rohrwasser, eds., Spannungsfelder: Zur deutschsprachigen Literatur im Kalten Krieg (1945–1968) (Wuppertal: Arco Verlag, 2014).


See Stefan Maurer's case study on Wolfgang Kraus and the Austrian Society of Literature as “bridge-builder” between East and West during the détente period of the Cold War, “Wolfgang Kraus: Impresario of Austrian Literature and Cold Warrior,” in Austrian Lives, ed. Günter Bischof, Fritz Plaser, and Eva Maltschnnig, CAS 21 (New Orleans–Innsbruck: Uno Press/Innsbruck University Press, 2012), 256–76; Maurer,”‘Der Boden des neutralen Österreich scheint uns besonders für eine Auseinandersetzung zwischen Ost und West geeignet zu sein’: Wolfgang Kraus' Netzwerke im kulturellen Kalten Krieg,” in Österreich im Kalten Krieg, ed. Graf and Meisinger, 209–30.


Monika Platzer, Kalter Krieg und Architektur: Beträge zur Demokratisierung Österreichs nach 1945 (Vienna-Zurich: Architekturzentrum Wien-Park Books, 2019).


See the literature cited in n. 56 above. The classic study of liaisons between American GIs and German women is Petra Goedde, GIs and Germans: Culture, Gender, and Foreign Relations, 1945–1949 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003); on the issue of prostitution and venereal disease in occupation liaisons, see Almuth Roelfs, “‘Ami-Liebchen’ und ‘Berufsbräue’: Prostitution, Geschlechtskrenkheiten und Besatzungverhältnisse in der Nachkriegszeit,” in Besatzung, ed. Kronenbitter, Pöhlemann, and Walter, 201–10.


Stelzl-Marx, Stalin's Soldaten in Österreich; “occupation children” has been the focus of her research lately, see Stelzl-Marx and Silke Satjukow, eds., Besatzungkinder: die Nachkommen alliierter Soldaten in Österreich und Deutschland (Vienna: Böhlau, 2015).


See the exhibit catalog Niko Wahl, Philipp Rohrbach, and Tal Adler, Schwarz-Österreich: Die Kinder afroamerikanischer Besatzungssoldaten (Vienna: Löcker, 2016). Novelists have also dealt with this subject matter; see Peter Henisch, Der Schwarze Peter (Salzburg: Residenz-Verlag, 2000).


Michael Gehler, “Sources on the Diplomacy of the Ballhausplatz,” in Austrian Foreign Policy, ed. Bischof, Pelinka, and Gehler, 58–79; on big editing projects of Soviet sources, see n. 50.


See my review essays on four volumes of 1947/48 Ministerratsprotokolle in Austrian Environmental History, ed. Marc Landry and Patrick Kupper, CAS 27 (New Orleans–Innsbruck: UNO Press-Innsbruck University Press, 2018), 301–13.


The study of the post-9/11 buildup to the war in Iraq continues to receive scholarly attention; see Michael L. Sifry and Christopher Cerf, eds., The Iraq War Reader: History, Documents, Opinions (New York: Touchstone, 2003); John Prados, Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War (New York: New Press, 2004); Michael R. Gordon and Bernard Trainor, Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq (New York: Vintage, 2007); Daniel McCoy, “‘Our Responsibility and Privilege to Fight Freedom's Fight’: Neoconservatism, the Project for the New American Century, and the Making of the Invasion of Iraq in 2003,” M.A. thesis, University of New Orleans, 2015; Robert Draper, To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq (New York: Penguin, 2020).


Dobbins et al., America's Role in Nation Building. This essay may be read as the draft of a missing chapter in Dobbins et al.


Kaplan, The Insurgents, 71 and passim; in their massive history of the Iraq War, Cobra II, Gordon and Trainor dedicate an entire chapter, 158–87, to the failure of Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department to plan for Phase IV; Suri, Liberty's Surest Guardian, 210–65.


Susan L. Carruthers dedicates a long chapter to thorough American postwar planning during World War II in the School of Military Government on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville; The Good Occupation, 15–49.


Ibid., xxv.


When I summarize the occupation experience in postwar Austria, I draw on my book Austria in the First Cold War and Rauchensteiner's Der Sonderfall and the literature mentioned above in the historiographical part of this essay.


I have culled evidence on the American occupation of Iraq from the following books: George Packer, The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2005); Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (New York: Penguin Press, 2006); Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside the Green Zone (New York: Vintage, 2006); Ali A. Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007); Rory Stewart, The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq (Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2006).


Gordon and Trainor, Cobra II, 162 and passim.


Kaplan, The Insurgents, 59.


Allawi, Occupation of Iraq, 120, 130.


Stewart, Prince of the Marshes.


Such building of “trust” with the local population (Kaplan, The Insurgents, 19 and passim), or partnership with the local political elite, is the essence of “nation-building” in Suri's estimate see Liberty's Surest Guardian, 8–9, 124–64 (referencing Germany).


Rauchensteiner, Die Zwei.


Bischof, Austria in the First Cold War, 73–74 and passim.


Bremer was a “martinet” and with “far too much confidence in his instincts and abilities.” Upon arrival he issued two devastating edicts—CPA Order 1, banning Baath Party members from holding any government job, and CPA Order 2, disbanding the Iraqi Army. Both these orders sparked the deadly Iraqi insurgency. Kaplan speculates where these orders originated—in the Defense Department? He thinks probably from Vice President Dick Cheney's office. See Kaplan, The Insurgents, 74, 376n74.


Allawi, Occupation of Iraq; Dobbins et al., America's Role in Nation Building, xxv.


Peter Utgaard, Remembering and Forgetting Nazism: Education, National Identity and the Victim Myth in Postwar Austria (New York: Berghahn, 2003).


Dieter Stiefel, “Forschungen zur Entnazifizierung in Österreich: Leistungen, Defizite, Perspektiven,” in Entnazifizierung im regionalen Vergleich, ed. Schuster and Weber, 52–53.


Dobbins et al., America's Role in Nation-Building, 13–15 (quotation 14).


Günter Bischof and Peter Berger, “Nicht lebensfähig?: Austria's Economic Viability after the Two World Wars,” in Myths in Austrian History: Construction and Deconstruction, ed. Günter Bischof, Marc Landry, and Christian Karner, CAS 29 (New Orleans–Innsbruck: UNO Press–Innsbruck University Press, 2020), 195–212.


Peter Thaler, The Ambivalence of Identity: The Austrian Experience of Nation-Building in a Modern Society (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2001), 2; see also Bischof, Austria in the First Cold War, 56–67.


Ernst Bruckmüller, The Austrian Nation: Cultural Consciousness and Socio-Political Processes, trans. Lowell A Bangerter (Riverside, AL: Ariadne Press, 2003); Utgaard, Remembering and Forgetting Nazism.


Allawi, Occupation of Iraq, 151–52, 159.


Kaplan, The Insurgents, 71–78.


Dobbins et al., America's Role in Nation-Building, 20.


Allawi, Occupation of Iraq, 145.


Bischof, Austria in the First Cold War, 78–103; Bischof, Pelinka, and Stiefel, eds., Marshall Plan in Austria; Bischof and Petschar, The Marshall Plan Since 1947.


Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through 20th-Century Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 9.


Jon Finer, “The Last War—and the Next?: Learning the Wrong Lessons from Iraq,” Foreign Affairs 98 (July/August 2019): 183–91 (here 184); in this essay, Finer is reviewing a massive two-volume history of The U.S. Army in the Iraq War (Washington, DC: Strategic Studies Institute and the US Army War College Press, 2019).


Nina Serafino, Curt Tarnoff, and Dick K. Nanto, “U.S. Occupation Assistance: Iraq, Germany and Japan Compared,” Congressional Research Service Report, March 23, 2006.


Allawi, Occupation of Iraq, 250–51.


Ibid., 251; on the Marshall Plan's transferability, see also Derek Chollet and James M. Goldgeier, “The Faulty Premises of the Next Marshall Plan,” Washington Quarterly 29, no 1 (Winter 2005–6): 7–19.


James Glanz, “Rebuilt Iraq Projects Found Crumbling,” New York Times, April 29, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/29/world/middleeast/29reconstruct.html.


Chollet and Goldgeier, “Faulty Premises of the Next Marshall Plan,” 8.


That is one of Suri's main points about nation building in postwar Germany— “Americans entered towns [in the German occupation] less as all-knowing victors than as soldiers and entrepreneurs seeking partners among the people” (my emphasis); Liberty's Surest Guardian, 151–64 (quotation 162).


The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward—A New Approach (New York: Vintage Books, 2006), 86–90.


Carafano, “Post-Conflict Operations from Europe to Iraq”; see also Carafano, Waltzing into the Cold War.


Antuilo J. Echeverria II, Toward an American Way of War (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, March 2004), v.

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