Kennedy Doctrine

Topics: Cold War, Cuba, Cuban Missile Crisis Pages: 3 (1159 words) Published: June 14, 2013
The Cold War and U.S. Diplomacy
James Cantrell
POL 300- International Problems
May 16, 2013
Professor Mark A. Stallo, Ph.D.

During John F. Kennedy’s presidency the United States was seriously concerned with stopping the spread of communism throughout the world and there where hot spots that sparked the Kennedy administrations attention. Containment was the United States foreign policy doctrine that proclaimed that the Soviet Union needed to be contained to prevent the spread of communism throughout the world. This containment policy meant that the United States needed to fight communism abroad and promote democracy worldwide. During President Kennedy’s time in office he was faced with the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, the Berlin Wall Erecting in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the escalation the United States involvement in Vietnam. Kennedy implemented his own version of the Containment policy with the Flexible Response policy. This Flexible response was the doctrine implement and was used during political situations that occurred under President Kennedy’s watch.

“Flexible Response was no highly explicit theory written in a single authoritative source. Flexible Response was realistic in that nuclear weapons couldn’t be used. It tried to provide credible means to match non-nuclear escalation. The word “flexible” stressed the value of having “multiple options” available should a crises arise. Having multiple options was thought to enhance the credibility of the U.S. deterrent (reassuring allies while deterring the opponent). At the same time, however, flexibility made it also improbable that the U.S. would want or need nuclear attack” ( Nuclear Files, 2013). The Bay of Pigs was the first situation John F. Kennedy had to deal with as president. The Bay of Pigs was an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) trained a force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba all with the support...

References: Roskin, M., & Berry, N. (2010). IR: The New World of International Relations, 2010 edtion (8th).
San Fransico, CA: Longman/Pearson Education
Time Magazine 1961 Article: How the Cuban Invasion Failed (September, 1961) Retrieved from,33009,939805-3,00.html
JFK in History: Cuban Missile Crisis (n.d.). Retrieved from
Schoenherr, S. (2006) The Thirteen Days. Retrieved May 16, 2013 from
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