The Cold War and U.S Diplomacy
The Cold War Diplomacy
When most people think of President Kennedy’s Diplomacy efforts, they will often refer to situations that were resolved using the doctrine of flexible response. This is when the military and White House planners implemented a policy that offered them a range of options to choose from: in dealing with a host of threats. These included: the increased use of conventional forces to small and large nuclear weapons. As, this was based on two main principals most notably: destroying the enemy’s ability to make retaliatory strikes against American interests and only attacking the cities along with other population centers as a last resort. (Cohen, 1986, pp. 55 – 56) This is significant, because this new approach was a dramatic shift that was embraced by many previous administrations. To fully understand how this doctrine was used to solve foreign policy issues requires examining: US diplomatic efforts during Kennedy’s time in office, the instances that this approach was utilized, the effects of these efforts on the US along with other countries and the advantages / disadvantages of this doctrine. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights as to how this approach was utilized by the Kennedy Administration to deal with a number of different challenges that they were facing. Summarize a Situation that Required US Diplomatic Efforts during the President’s Time in Office.
In 1961, the Soviet Union demanded that NATO withdraw its forces from Berlin. The reason why, is because there were mass defections from the Soviet side of East Berlin and the Warsaw Pact wanted to have entire control of the city. At the time, it appeared as if some kind of showdown would take place between the Allied forces located in West Berlin and those of Soviet Union. However, instead of engaging NATO troops in the area, the USSR decided to build a wall that would close off West Berlin from the rest of Germany and isolate it from any kind of supplies. At the same time, the leadership of the Soviet Union made everyone believe that they were prepared to launch a military attack over control of West Berlin and all of Germany itself. However, they did not have the nuclear or conventional capabilities to outmaneuver the NATO forces in region and in allied countries. To prevent the crisis from escalating out of control, the flexible response doctrine kept the leadership of the USSR guessing. Where, they did not know what would be the final results if they pushed hard on Berlin. This is because the West could attack them with: conventional forces, short and long range nuclear weapons. As a result, the coordination was considerably better for NATO through: various joint commands that were established, increasing the available options and the ability to keep the Soviet leaders guessing. Fearing the unknown outcome of what was taking place, the USSR decided to erect the Berlin Wall and leave the various partitions of the city the way they were. This is significant, because it is showing how the doctrine of flexible response kept Warsaw Pact military commanders and leaders guessing, which resulted in Berlin remaining in Western hands. (Lewis, 2007, pp. 210 – 217) Explicate the Democratic Doctrine the President followed, with Reference to Specific Actions or Events that Occurred.
A second example of the use of the doctrine of flexible response can be seen by looking no further than the Cuban Missile Crisis. What was happening is that the in the 1950’s, the Soviet Union was challenging the United States in many different regions of the world. The reason why, is because they felt that the approach of mutually assured destruction was considered to be one side. As, the US focused mainly on: its nuclear capability while not placing as much emphasis on their conventional forces. This was problematic, because this meant that the Soviet Union could challenge...
References: Cohen, A. (1986). Nuclear Weapons and the Future of Humanity. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allanheld.
Lewis, A. (2007). The American Culture of War. New York, NY: Routledge.
Lockwood, J. (1999). Russian View of US Strategy. Staten Island, NY: Transaction Publishers
Lockwood, J. (1983). The Soviet View of US Strategic Doctrine. New York, NY: National Strategy Information Center.
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