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Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations The development of a common set of principles to govern Western relationships with Asiatic Moslem populations... It seems to me that we must develop a set of principles to be observed by all three nations [the United States, Britain, and France] in their relationships with these great areas principles that will take into account both the legitimate aspirations of these people and the practicalities of earning a living in the modern world. We should develop a program that would at least eliminate differences in essentials in our several approaches to all these people and a program which would be appealing vis-a-vis the Russians, who are in effect offering nothing but political and social revolution... These three countries might well expand this idea to include relationships with other important parts of the world. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 2 January 1952 (Introduction: The Middle East and the American Idea of a World Order) Part One.
Eisenhower. In the beginning of 1950 s President Truman undermined his authority as well as American economy. His political achievements were quite modest; administration was involved in the chain of numerous scandals and disputes related to corruption in the presidents milieu. The war in Korea couldnt be called the triumphal march for democracy against impious communist aggression.
With the Korean conflict, the Cold War became increasingly global in scope. In the decade that followed the onset of the Korean fighting, few corners of the world managed to escape the ensnaring web of superpower rivalry, competition, and conflict (Mcmahon 56). The administration managed only to restore status-quo by means of huge losses and finances. Although Korean War didnt arise as many mass protests as Vietnam War, its unpopularity contributed to Truman's decision not to struggle for Presidents Chair during the next presidential elections. Eisenhower started his career as President of the United States of America in January 1953.
He was the 34 th American President. Eisenhower was the hero of World War II, firmer military commander-in-chief, American general awarded by the Soviet Victory order. One of his first achievements was signing peace treaty that put an end to Korean War in 1953. Eisenhower tried to renew Soviet-American meetings (Geneva, 1955 and Camp David, 1958). At the same time he was firmly convinced in reality of communist threat and realized the necessity to strengthen American security. During his presidential career he continued anti-communist policy started by President Truman (for example, prohibition of communist ideology in America, 1951).
Development and perfection of technologies of thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bomb) was one of his primary tasks. President Eisenhower also initiated the creation of nuclear submarine fleet that was called one of the most important components of so-called American nuclear triad. The base of legal defense policy conducted by Eisenhower administration was the doctrine of mass retribution that foresaw considerable extension of strategic aviation with nuclear weapons onboard as well as possibility of sudden nuclear attack on China and USSR. Eisenhower's first priority on taking office was to reassess American strategy in the Cold War (Divine 33) The doctrine of deliverance (in relation to the countries of Eastern Europe) and the doctrine of Eisenhower (in relation to the third world countries) were the important part of the 34 th presidents plan to preserve America in role of world leader. Robert A. Pastor in his article U.
S. Foreign Policy: The Carribean Basin also dwells on motives for Americas involvement in the internal affairs of its neighbors. He says that Instead of a single answer, they have amassed a collection of explanations that range from security (keep out rivals, maintain stability), political / ideological (promote democracy, prevent Communism or "alien" ideologies), economic (imperialism, access to investment or trade), to psychological (an impulse to dominate, a fear of insecurity, misperception) (Pastor n. p. ) To make the things clear, lets make a short excuse in the history of the world under American sauce: March 12, 1947 Truman's doctrine. The doctrine represented the American intervention into the affairs of other countries to protect them from the communist threat (primarily it was aimed to help Greece and Turkey). According to Freedman (p. 27) the United States was well placed to bond with the nationalist regimes of the third world and help guide them into representative democracy and successful industrialization June 1947 Marshalls plan.
The aim of this plan was to help to restore economics of Western Europe, to strengthen the basics of capitalism and consolidation of political hegemony of the United States. Further, the military alliances were created: September 1957 The inter-American agreement about mutual security was signed (pact Rio-de-Janeiro); April 1947 The creation of NATO Besides, Berlin crisis of 1948 was one of the first acts of the cold war. It was a strong stimulus to disintegration of Germany. Korean War (1950 - 1953) also played the important role. Speaking about the era of cold war, Robert A. Pastor says the following: while some U.
S. government officials were concerned about the spread of Communism in Latin America in the 1940 s, the first serious intrusion of the Cold War occurred in Guatemala where the Eisenhower administration covertly tried to unseat the leftist Arena government in June 1954 (Pastor, n. p. ) The lesson from Guatemala was well learned by Fidel Castro and within a year Castro gained power. At the same time, the dreadful fear of "more Cuba's" led President Eisenhower and then Kennedy to propose "Marshall Plan-type" schemes to facilitate the region's development (Pastor, n.
p. ) Part Two. Kennedy. Vietnam In July 1973 the American society discovered that the president of the United States of America records his meetings with his immediate advisors as well as their phone conversations. We speak about those famous Nixon's tapes that revealed the 37 th president of the United States in illegitimate shadowing of his political opponents.
Shortly thereafter the society discovered that Nixon wasnt the only person who did such things. All Presidents, starting from Franklin Roosevelt, made the same to a greater or lesser extent. There was no technical possibility to record conversations during the before-Roosevelt times. Since those days every President of America was aware of such system of secret security and used it to a greater or lesser extent. A lions share of these records is available for any visitor of National Archive of America.
We will start from John Kennedy and Vietnam War. During the cold war one of the principles of American foreign policy was the principle of domino. It is a theory, according to which the failure of pro-western regime in one of third world countries will inevitably result in collapse of such regimes in the neighbor countries as well. Journalist Joseph Alsop was the author of this definition.
President Eisenhower made principle of domino his own doctrine in the South-Western Asia. He considered that communist victory in Indochina will inevitably result in victory in Thailand, Burma, and Indonesia. According to Eisenhower such victory will become an immediate threat to Australia and New Zealand. Moreover, Japan, being a country deprived of any markets, sources of raw materials and foodstuffs will be forced to start collaboration with communist leaders. Vietnam was divided into two parts: South and North in July 1954. French troops were taken out of the country.
Ngo Din Diem, a former official of French colonial administration became the governor of Vietnam. President Eisenhower offered to Ngo Din Diem generous help and quantity of American military advisors in Vietnam exceeded one thousand and a half. Ngo Din Diem managed to establish control over the separated and exhausted country; however, the efforts of local partisans supported by the Northern Vietnam, ruined his efforts and forced him to strengthen his strategy. The 35 th president of the United States of America, John Kennedy, got Vietnam problem in such condition in 1961.
He also considered Vietnam nearly the last bastion of democracy in the region. At the same time he thought that liberalization of the regime will be a proper panacea. Such ineradicable belief in freedom, basing on postulate that when the nation will become free, it inevitably chooses freedom, several times played a mean trick on the United States. Vietnam turned out to be the meanest trick of such kind.
Kennedys Administration insisted on liberal reforms, and threatened to deprive Ngo Din Diem of American support in case he will refuse to obey. Washington concurrently increased the quantity of military advisors and seriously discussed possibility to send to Vietnam American troops. Nevertheless, Kennedys administration didnt send American forces to Vietnam and, according to Gaddis, it was not a rejection of calibration - just the opposite... Kennedy's action's reflected doubts only about the appropriate level of response necessary to demonstrate American resolve, not about the importance of making that demonstration in the first place (Gaddis 245 - 246). Finally the United Stated discovered that it was involved in Vietnam process deeply than it supposed to be. Even despite of his own will, Ngo Din Diem wasnt able to follow the recommendations of American allies.
According to those times, establishment of democracy based on Western principles meant political suicide in the country where the civil war takes place and society consists of secret sects and clans (Levering 159). In November 1960, several days after Kennedys victory during presidential elections, the attempt of military coup d'etat in Saigon failed (Frankel 217). Immediately after that Washington started to insist on dialogue with opposition. Kennedys administration also wanted to fire the most dangerous authorities (for example, president Ngo Din Diem's brother, who was the head of security). Conflict of catholic president with Buddhist clergy also had grave consequences. In May 1963, the special military troops that were subordinated to Ngo Din Nu and financed by the United States, fired on Buddhist demonstration in the ancient emperors capital Hue.
This action made political atmosphere even more dangerous. Several Buddhist monks burned themselves in Saigon. In August Ngo Din Nu ordered to make so-called pagoda attack accompanied by the arrests of 1400 monks (Brands 53). At the same time the group of Southern Vietnam military generals planned new coup d'etat. They understood the importance of American support and informed the administration of the United States about their plans (Walker 24). The head of military advisor group, general Paul Harkins, was also informed about the coup d'etat.
A number of meetings took place in the White House where the plans of plotters were discussed. The problem was that representatives of American administration in Vietnam had different points of view. For example, newly appointed Ambassador Henry Cabot-Lodge liked the plan, whereas general Harkins was firmly against it and proposed to inform the president Diem. The plotters understood situation and decided not to tell the Americans about the details of their plan: they were afraid that Americans will warn Diem about future overthrow. The majority of historians consider the meeting in the White House (October 29, 1963) to be the turning point in American history concerning the cold war and American foreign policy. This meeting started with detailed report given by William Colby.
Bibliography: Brands, H. (1993). The Devil We Knew: Americans and the Cold War. New York: Oxford University Press Divine, R. (1981). Eisenhower and the Cold War.
New York: Oxford University Press Freedman, L. (2000). Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press Frankel, B. (1992). The Cold War, 1945 - 1991. Detroit: Gale Research Gaddis, J. (1982).
Strategies of Containment, New York: Oxford University Press Introduction: The Middle East and the American Idea of a World Order. Retrieved May 15, 2006. web Levering, R. (1994). The Cold War: A Post-Cold War History.
Arlington Heights, Illinois: Harlan Davidson Mcmahon, R. (2003). The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press Pastor, R. U. S. Foreign Policy: The Carribean Basin.
Retrieved May 15, 2006. web Walker, M. (1993). The Cold War: A History. New York: Henry Holt and Co
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