People Allen Dulles The director of the CIA under Eisenhower, who advocated extensive use of covert operations. Most notable among Dulles’s initiatives were U.S.-sponsored coups in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954, which installed pro-American governments in order to curb potential expansion of Communism. Although Eisenhower favored such covert operations because they were relatively low-cost and attracted little attention, the coups in Iran and Guatemala proved rather transparent and caused international anger toward the United States. John Foster Dulles Secretary of state under Eisenhower (and brother of Allen Dulles) who helped devise Eisenhower’s New Look foreign policy. Dulles’s policy emphasized massive retaliation with nuclear weapons. In particular, Dulles advocated the use of nuclear weapons against Ho Chi Minh’s Communist forces in Vietnam. Dwight D. Eisenhower A World War II hero and former supreme commander of NATO who became U.S. president in 1953 after easily defeating Democratic opponent Adlai E. Stevenson. Eisenhower expanded New Deal–era social welfare programs such as Social Security and passed the landmark Federal Highway Act to improve national transportation. However, he cut back funding to other domestic programs to halt what he called “creeping socialism.” His New Look at foreign policy, meanwhile, emphasized nuclear weapons and the threat of massive retaliation against the Soviet Union in order to cut costs and deter the USSR from spreading Communism abroad. Eisenhower committed federal dollars to fighting Communists in Vietnam, resolved the Suez crisis, and authorized CIA-sponsored coups in Iran and Guatemala. Ho Chi Minh The nationalist, Communist leader of the Viet Minh movement, which sought to liberate Vietnam from French colonial rule throughout the 1950s. After being rebuffed by the United States, Ho received aid from the USSR and won a major victory over French forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. This French defeat... [continues]
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