Much is known about the efforts of the United States to democratize, reconstruct, and deliver humanitarian aid to Germany and Japan after their defeat in World War II. Much less is known about the willingness of the United States to use coercive tactics to deter and counter resistance to its military occupation of the two countries. Many of the scholars and politicians who consider the occupations of Germany and Japan to be models for success, largely because of their peaceful outcomes, often overlook the initial period of occupation, in which latent violence figured prominently. An understanding of this early period, however, is crucial to assessing the determinants of peace.

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