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The Eisenhower Years, 1953-1961

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Kasper Rasmussen

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of The Eisenhower Years, 1953-1961

Eisenhower's Farewell Address
Warned against Military-Industrial Complex - afraid that it would lead the US into an arms race that would be both expensive and dangerous
The Eisenhower Years, 1953-1961
Eisenhower and Asia
Thaw in Cold War
Stalin dead in 1953 - Kremlin power struggle - Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev

Beria proposed ending support for GDR (riot broke out - not directly related - but Beria was blamed and shot). Malenkov was later ousted in 1955.

Geneva Summit in 1955 was seen as possibility for better relations, but the FRG joining NATO and the Suez Crisis stopped this development

The CIA and Covert Operations
Questions: What were the two first covert operations during Eisenhower's presidency and what was their purpose?
On the road to Berlin
East Berlin, 1953
Hungary/Suez, 1956
Sputnik, 1957
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president, 1953-1961
John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, 1953-1959
Did foreign policy change?
From Containment to Roll-back and liberation

New Look and massive retaliation
The Hidden Hand Presidency

The Rhetorical Presidency
Quemoy and Matsu
Secured armistice in Korea by threatening to use nuclear weapons and to "unleash" Chinese nationalists
Brinkmanship worked
Assisting the French on condition they give independence to Vietnam
1954 Dien Bien Phu: French bastion fell, which signaled the end of French influence in Indochina
Eisenhower at 7 April press conference:
Domino Theory: If one country fell to communism, all surrounding countries would also fall
Nathan Twining: use of nuclear weapons (Dulles thought it a good idea, Eisenhower said no)
Geneva conference, summer of 1954: truce and temporary partition at 17th parallel - elections within two years (never happened)
Chinese nationalists "unleashed" - targeting sites in mainland China
Chinese Communists retaliated on Quemoy and Matsu in 1955
Domino theory applied: if Quemoy and Matsu fell, Formosa (Taiwan) would soon follow
Eisenhower considered using nuclear weapons, built up a war scare: Chinese pressure on the islands stopped.
Successful brinkmanship
Iran 1953
Overthrow of prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh
Too close contacts with Iranian communists, potential deal with the Soviets, nationalization of oil fields
CIA agents incited riots, Mossadegh went to prison - return of Shah Reza Pehlavi
Guatamala 1954
Overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman - worked with Communists - nationalized United Fruit Company holdings
CIA engineered a coup via existing opposition in country
Fear that domino theory would come in play
Set the precedent for future interventions in Latin America
Berlin ultimatum, 10 November 1958
Khrushchev desire to "normalize" West Berlin and to integrate it into East Germany
Used as gateway to the West - professional people voting with their feet
Six month time limit - then Soviet occupation rights would be turned over to GDR authorities
Eisenhower refused existence of crisis - said he was not going to fight a ground war in Europe
Eisenhower did not want to be dragged into arms race
Invited Khrushchev to US - spirit of Camp David
Paris Summit 1960 - U2 plane shot down
Crisis postponed until election of new US president
Full transcript