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Personal Leadership: An Element of National Power

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Master's thesis

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This study explores the personal leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru of India and Ramon Magsaysay of the Philippines with a view toward determining the impact their leadership had on the security of the United States. Although the situation existing in India and in the Philippines was markedly different in many respects, there were striking similarities both gained independence from a colonial power, both had large dissident elements, in both countries economic conditions were chaotic, and both were required to commit their armed forces early. Fundamentally, the leaders were different, yet they had many common characteristics. Nehru was from a wealthy elite family, was well educated, and was a writer and philosopher of note Magsaysay was a peasant whose education was at best spotty, and he was politically immature. Nehru concentrated on industrialization at home and played a leading role in international affairs Magsaysay concentrated on domestic issues, specifically raising the standard of living of the poor. Nehru was an adamant proponent of nonalignment Magsaysay favored military alliances and close cooperation with the United States. In spite of these fundamental differences, both were highly nationalistic. Both were strong personalities who provided the leadership so critically needed in the unstable years after independence, both were men of unquestionable integrity who enjoyed the implicit faith of their people, and both were committed to solidifying the emerging nations of Asia. This study concludes that both Nehru and Magsaysay contributed to the security of the United States. Nehrus stability and maturity exerted a stabilizing influence in Asia, and his personal prestige and power made him a valuable mediator between East and West. Magsaysays pro-American attitude and his permitting U.S. bases on Philippine soil also contributed directly to the security of the United States.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

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