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The Cold War
Transcript of The Cold War
The Yalta Conference
Held before the end of World War II
Attended by Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill (known as the Big Three).
Germany and Berlin would be divided into four zones
Poland was a point of contention. Roosevelt wanted to avoid the problem, Churchill pushed for free democratic elections.
Stalin sought for a Pro-Soviet government in Poland essentially setting up a "buffer-zone" between the Communist East and Democratic West.
They ultimately concluded that Poland should be more democratic, but this agreement meant little .
Free elections were to be held in Eastern Europe
Germany should pay reparations
The United Nations was established
The Potsdam Conference
Held after the defeat of Germany
Following his death, FDR was replaced by Harry Truman (who hated Communism)
Churchill, after losing the General Election, was replaced by Clement Attlee later in the conference.
Poland fell to Communism and despite his promise, no "Free Elections" were held.
Also at Potsdam, the division of Germany was confirmed and reparations would be taken from their own occupied zones
Bombings of Japan
U.S. drops the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in an effort to force an unconditional surrender by the Japanese.
U.S. drops a second bomb on Nagasaki.
It was considered unnecessary by many, however most historians question whether the second bomb had ulterior motives.
It is generally accepted that the second bomb was essentially used to "flex the muscle" at the Soviet Union.
The Long Telegram
Written by George F. Kennan, known as the father of containment, in response to the US Treasury Department.
This document became the core of American foreign policy with the Soviet Union
USSR has eternal conflict with capitalism and will try to use controllable Marxists to fight.
USSR is expansionist but not adventuristic.
The Iron Curtain
Winston Churchill delivers his "Iron Curtain" speech
Following Stalin's attempts to spread Communism post WWII and build "buffer" states in an attempt to evade future invasions
However at the time of Churchill's speech Russia was still seen an ally of the United States by most Americans, and considered the speech to be "warmongering and unnecessary"
The "Iron Curtain" would be an imaginary line between Communism in the East and the democratic governments of the West
The Truman Doctrine
Truman announced a pledge of aid to the governments of Greece and Turkey, which he believed were being threatened by Soviet-led Communist interests.
Truman stated it was, "the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by arms minorities or by outside pressures."
The Doctrine was later interpreted to mean the United States would oppose the overthrow of any democratic government.
The policy of Containment
The Marshall Plan
Secretary of State Marshall’s European Recovery program, known
as the Marshall Plan, made provisions for United States’ financial
assistance to European countries whose economies had not
recovered from World War II.
The United States needed to stabilize the global economy, and eliminate another World War.
The plan was offered to all European nations, but was rejected by Communist countries, furthering the tension between the U.S. and USSR.
Article X: Sources of Soviet Conduct
George Kennan of the State Department published an article in the magazine Foreign Affairs under the pseudonym "X" that outlined as the goal of U.S. policy the containment of the Soviet Union to prevent its expansion and spreading doctrines of Communism.
Known as the Containment Policy, it was adopted as the basis of U.S. Cold war policy and underlay many of the events of the Cold War.
Although it was not originally intended to be the official U.S. foreign policy, when it was discovered that Kennan was the author it was adopted as such.
National Security Act
Act that established the National Security Council as an advisory body to the president and the CIA as an information-gathering/spying organization.
Communists take over Czechoslovakia
Soviet expansion: defensive or aggression?
Berlin Blockade Begins
Soviets block railways and highways into Allied controlled areas of Berlin, making it impossible for the West to receive supplies.
The United States and Great Britain responds with airlifts of supplies
Embarrassed by their defeat, the blockade was lifted May 12, 1949, while the United States Air Force appear as heroes for saving the lives of Stalin's imprisoned people.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ratified
NATO, the first U.S. peacetime military alliance, reversed George Washington’s advice of 1797 to avoid permanent alliances. NATO was designed to block or contain Communist, especially Soviet, expansion in Europe.
Communist Victory in China
After a struggle dating back to the 1920’s, the Chinese Communists under Mao Zedong defeated the Nationalist forces of Jiang Jieshi.
The Nationalists fled to Taiwan, establishing a government there that was recognized as the government of China by the United States and the United Nations until the Nixon administration reversed the policy and officially recognized the mainland government of Mao Zedong.
In the early 1950’s this “loss of China” was a divisive issue in U.S. domestic politics.
McCarthy's Witch Hunts begin
Senator Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin initiates what is soon known as "McCarthyism."
McCarthy instilled fear in the United States and accused many high profile actors, directors, and politicians as Communists.
His "Black List" ruined the careers of thousands of people.
Top secret document during the Truman Era which was later made public in 1970.
Emphasized military over diplomatic responses to Communism (counter to what Kennan suggested).
It is a "policy of calculated and gradual coercion."
Also emphasized peacetime military spending, and putting money into allies who would fight the spread of Communism.
The Korean War makes its demands legitimate
Korean War begins
Communist North Korea attacked South Korea; the United States and other nations under the United Nations flag fought for three years to block the aggression.
China funded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea).
The armistice terms essentially restored the status quo. Communist North Korea continues as a threat to international security, having announced in 2003 that is had developed nuclear bombs.
August 5-September 18
Battle of Pusan Perimeter
Battle of Inchon
U.N. forces, on the brink of defeat, rallied and formed a defensive perimeter around the port city of Pusan, at the southern-most tip of Korea. The perimeter was held for six weeks, until the counter attack at Inchon (behind the N. Korean lines) caused the N. Korean forces to collapse, which turned the war around.
Essentially, the UN was "pushed" (Pusan) back, then "inched along" (Inchon) to victory.
The Rosenbergs are executed
The United States convicted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for conspiracy to commit espionage during the war. They were assumed to have shared information about the atomic bomb with the Soviets.
The Korean War ends
The armistice, signed on July 27, established a committee of representatives from neutral countries to decide the fate of the thousands of prisoners of war on both sides.
It was eventually decided that the POWs could choose their own fate--stay where they were or return to their homelands. A new border between North and South Korea was drawn, which gave South Korea some additional territory and demilitarized the zone between the two nations.
The war cost the lives of millions of Koreans and Chinese, as well as over 50,000 Americans.
It had been a frustrating war for Americans, who were used to forcing the unconditional surrender of their enemies.
Many also could not understand why the United States had not expanded the war into China or used its nuclear arsenal.
As government officials were well aware, however, such actions would likely have prompted World War III.
After the French lost their important base at Dien Bien Phu to the Vietnamese Communists, at Geneva, a peace plan was developed for the region. It was rejected by Ngo Dinh Diem, premier of South Vietnam.
Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
An international organization for collective defense in Southeast Asia created by the Manila Pact. It was designed to contain Communist, especially Chinese, expansion in Asia.
Vietnam splits into
North and South
Eisenhower's "New Look Policy" begins
Eisenhower wanted to “roll back” the advances of Communism abroad. After taking office in 1953, he devised a new foreign policy tactic to contain the Soviet Union and even win back territory that had already been lost.
Devised primarily by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, this so-called New Look at foreign policy proposed the use of nuclear weapons and new technology rather than ground troops and conventional bombs, all in an effort to threaten “massive retaliation” against the USSR for Communist advances abroad.
In addition to intimidating the Soviet Union, this emphasis on new and cheaper weapons would also drastically reduce military spending, which had escalated rapidly during the Truman years. As a result, Eisenhower managed to stabilize defense spending, keeping it at roughly half the congressional budget during most of his eight years in office.
Warsaw Pact formed
Military defense agreement between eight communist countries established by the Soviets.
Albania (until 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany (until 1990), Hungary, Poland, Romania.
Response to NATO accepting West Berlin in the Paris Pacts in 1954
The United States became more and more involved in Vietnam as U.S. foreign policy focused on the containment of Communism in Southeast Asia.
Involvement in Vietnam
Uprising against the Soviet-installed Hungarian government
Government fell and many pro-communists were executed
New government withdrew from the Warsaw Pact
After claiming to be willing to negotiate, the Soviet Politburo reneged and crushed the new government
Imre Nagy, the Chairman, was executed on two charges of treason
May - November
U.S. and USSR are using developing countries as chess pieces, trying to gain dominance
United States feels no one can be neutral
Egypt is playing both sides against the middle to gain more money/weapons
Nasser redistributes land and plans the Aswan Dam
U.S. is to give money for Aswan Dam and U.K. is to pull troops.
However, the United States was too slow with the money, and the United Kingdom troops created a vacuum in the Middle East.
In an attempt to raise money for development, Egypt seized the Canal. France, England, and Israel invaded Egypt to regain control of the Canal. They were stopped by the United States and the USSR. This provided a rare example of superpower Cold War cooperation.
British, French, and Israeli forces attacked Egypt. The UN forced the British to withdraw and made it clear that Britain was no longer a world power. This also proved to be an Egyptian/Soviet political victory.
The Soviet's launch the first artificial satellite to be launched into Earth's orbit
Gaither Report released
The report claimed that there was a large "missile gap" between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The implication that the United States lagged behind the USSR terrified the people of the United States, although it was not true.
The Eisenhower Doctrine
Approved by Congress, this permitted the United States to extend economic and military aid to Middle Eastern countries that wanted it because they believed they were threatened by Communists.
Eisenhower also used this doctrine to encourage the people of the United States, essentially stating that the United States had the advantage on the Soviet Union.
July - October
The Lebanon Crisis
Religious tension had reached its climax in Lebanon by 1958, resulting in a Civil War between Maronite Christians and Muslims.
The United States intervened and a peace agreement was reached.
However, the ultimate goal of the United States was to prevent the Communists from seizing control of Lebanon.
The West has six months to withdraw from Berlin
Khrushchev's reason behind this ultimatum is of his claims that the United States, France, and Britain not upholding the Potsdam Agreement. As a result, the United States, France and Britain were to withdraw and leave West Berlin in complete control of the Soviets. However, the U.S., France and Britain refuse.
Castro takes control of Cuba
The Soviets shot down a U.S. spy plane over Soviet territory, which ended a move toward rapprochement at the end of Eisenhower’s presidency.
Originally, the United States denied the planes purpose and were extremely embarrassed.
The 1960 Four Powers Paris Summit breaks down as a result, and Khrushchev walked out after Kennedy refused to apologize.
John F. Kennedy elected President
Dean Rusk appointed Secretary of State and Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense
Independence of African Nations
The United Nations admitted 13 new African nations to membership. Civil War broke out in the Republic of Congo and the UN intervened.
Many of the nations were caught in the Cold War and played both sides against each other, seeking financial and military aid from both sides.
Castro’s guerrilla troops seized control of Cuba from the U.S. supported dictator. Relations with the United States rapidly deteriorated as Castro established a Communist state in Cuba. Many Cubans fled to the United States and finally the United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Bay of Pigs Invasion
Unsuccessful attempt by Cuban refugees backed by the United States to invade and overthrow Castro’s Communist regime in Cuba.
The CIA trained forces were defeated in three days.
This was supported by the new Kennedy administration
East Germans sealed off their part of Berlin from the West. The wall became a symbol of the Cold War.
The Berlin Wall is constructed
U.S. involvement in Vietnam increases
The Cuban Missile Crisis
Soviet attempt to set up intermediate range missiles in Cuba was blocked by a U.S. blockade and political maneuvering.
The missiles were constructed to be in range of all major U.S. cities.
Nuclear war was narrowly avoided as the U.S. and Soviets negotiated compromise.
Regarded as one of the most crucial events during the Cold War
First moment where Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was a considered factor in international arms agreements.
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty ratified
After many years of bomb testing and unilateral stopping of tests, a treaty was signed between the United States, Soviet Union, and Britain banning the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, in outer space, or underwater. Underground tests were permitted.
Hot Line Agreement
Established direct rapid communication between Moscow and Washington, suggesting cooperation was possible between the superpowers.
First used during the Six-Day War of 1967 between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
President John F. Kennedy assassinated
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) created
Gulf of Tonkin
The Gulf of Tonkin incident consisted two reports of attacks on U.S. ships in Vietnam's Tonkin Gulf. The first attack lead to a sea battle,
The second attack, although claimed by the U.S. National Security Agency, never happened.
However, these reports led to the ratification of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
This was used to escalate U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and ultimately allowed the United States to intervene in the Vietnam War ( and any other Southeast Asian nation) to fight against communism.
Dominican Republic Intervention
President Johnson sent U.S. troops into the Dominican Republic to crush a “band of Communist conspirators” who the president claimed had gained control of a revolution against an authoritarian president.
The Six Day War
Israel launched a surprise preemptive air attack against Arab forces.
Within six days of the Israeli's had defeated the Arab forces and gained control of the Gaza strip, Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank and West Jerusalem.
Outer Space Treaty
Banned military bases, weapons, and weapons tests in space
and established principles for peaceful development of space.
Signed January 27, 1967
1968 Presidential Election
LBJ unexpectedly pulls out after losing the New Jersey primary
Robert F. Kennedy (democratic candidate) is assassinated after his victory in the California primary.
looked as though the United States was losing the battle, however they ultimately won
psychological victory for the Vietcong/Vietminh
Anti-War protests, sometimes becoming very violent at many primaries
Hubert Humphrey wins the Democratic nomination
Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate, wins the election.
Spiro Agnew chosen as Vice President
Surprise attack by the Vietcong on the South Vietnamese on the Vietnamese New Year
Both sides has agreed to a case-fire
Largest military operation from either side of the war
Previously U.S. public was convinced that the Vietcong were not able to mount an offensive
Loss of morale for the United States
wake up call that they were losing the war
USS Pueblo seized
A U.S. intelligence-gathering ship was seized off Korea.
After a U.S. officer signed a statement accepting guilt
for spying, the ship was released by the North
Czechoslovakia revolts, but are crushed by Soviet troops
Richard Nixon enters office
Ran on platform of getting the United States out of Vietnam
Peace with Honor in Vietnam
Appealed to the "Silent Majority"
a socially conservative group who dislike hippies and the anti-war supporters
Appoints Henry Kissinger as his Secretary of State
Apollo 11 lands on the moon
America is the first country to land on the moon,
Neil Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon.
Major victory for the United States in the "Space Race"
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
The treaty banned the spread of nuclear weapons among signatory nations. It approved of access to nuclear energy for peaceful uses.
Nixon extends the war in Vietnam into Cambodia
Treaty of Moscow
Treaty between USSR and FRG (West Germany) that forced the USSR to recognize the FRG and the FRG to recognize the GDR.
Normalization of relations between the two Germanys.
Pentagon Papers published
The public is informed of the government's deception surrounding the Vietnam War.
Nixon visits China
A new era in relations was confirmed with President Nixon’s visit to the People’s Republic of China. The U.S. accepted the People’s Republic, not Taiwan, as the holder of the Security Council seat.
President Nixon visited Moscow and signed several agreements including
the ABM (Anti-Ballistics Missile) Treaty. An easing of Cold War
tensions was obvious and given the name détente by the press.
Break-in at Watergate, scandal begins
Nixon's people break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters.
Nixon and his administration planted bugs and tape-recorded conversations to aid in his campaign.
Nixon's involvement ultimately leads to his resignation.
SALT I signed
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between U.S. and USSR.
Led to Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Stopped intercontinental ballistic missiles, however it did not address the specific ballistic missile type, MIRVs
SALT I is often seen as a failure to lower arms tensions significantly.
Multiple Independent (targetable) Reentry Vehicle
One missile that carries many nuclear warheads
SALT I discussed how many nuclear missiles each country could have, but with MIRVs they can have less missiles but just as many nuclear weapons.
Ceasefire in Vietnam
Yom Kippur War and Shuttle Diplomacy
After the overwhelming Israeli victory in the Six-Day war of 1967 an uneasy truce settled in the Middle East.
War erupted again in October 1973, which resulted in a costly Israeli victory.
Secretary of State Kissinger undertook a series of visits to the Middle East (“Shuttle Diplomacy”), which resulted in cease-fire agreements between Israel and Syria.
The Soviet Union sought influence in the Middle East to balance that of the United States and Israel. Arms were sold to both Arab nations and Israel by the United States and to the Arab nations by the Soviet Union, which led to further Cold War tensions.
Nixon resigns, Vice President Gerald Ford takes over the presidency
North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam
Although the war was between North and South Vietnam, it is considered a "proxy war" between the U.S. and USSR.
The Soviet Union funded and aided North Vietnam, while the United States aided and intervened in South Vietnam.
U.S. troops officially leave Vietnam in 1975.
Final act of the conference
35 nations participated, and agreed that Europe's existing political frontiers could not be changed by force
Accepted numerous provisions guaranteeing the Human Rights and political freedoms of their citizens
There was an attempt to improve relations between the Communist bloc and the West.
Jimmy Carter enters office
President Sadat's speech
Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat delivers a pivotal peace-seeking
speech in front of the Israeli Legislature.
U.S. and communist China establish official diplomatic relations
SALT II signed
The agreement limited the number of missiles and long-range bombers
held by the United States and the Soviet Union. President Carter
asked the Senate to delay ratification after the Soviet Union
Camp David Accords
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, met with Jimmy Carter at Camp David from September 5 to September 17, 1978, to discuss peace in the Middle East and created two frameworks outlining how to achieve peace.
Sadat and Begin ultimately received the Nobel Peace Prize of 1978.
Shah of Iran overthrown; Iranian Hostage Crisis
Iranians were unhappy with their U.S. supported Shah.
Therefore, following the United State's efforts to crush the Iranian Revolution, 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days in the
This was a huge embarrassment for the United States
Soviets invade Afghanistan
The Soviet Union sent troops into Afghanistan to maintain Soviet influence over the government.
President Carter responded with a grain embargo, cutting off Soviet food supplies from the United States.
With the advent of glasnot, an agreement involving the Soviet Union, the United States and various Afghan factions was negotiated and Soviet troops were withdrawn.
The United States ignored fighting in Afghanistan among warlords and the Islamic-Taliban until September 11, 2001, and the start of the war on terrorism when an invasion was launched to drive out the Taliban and destroy the bases of al-Qaida.
War broke out between these two oil-producing Muslim nations on the Persian Gulf. Both the United States and Soviet Union had important interests in the region and the conflict added tensions to relations between the superpowers. The war became a stalemate with neither side able to win. With the change in U.S.-Soviet relations after 1985, a cease-fire was finally negotiated in 1988
The "Evil Empire" speech
In a speech President Reagan declared his view of the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” responsible for the evils of the world. The policy dominated his administration’s foreign policy in the first five years and led to such policies as the Anti-Soviet trade boycott that followed Reagan’s declaration that the Soviet Union was responsible for repression in Poland.
Early in the Reagan years guerilla movements in El Salvador and their relationship to the Sandinista-controlled government of Nicaragua, considered communist by the U.S. administration with many Cold War ramifications.
The administration established a guerilla organization, the Contras, in Nicaragua to oppose the Sandinista government, and asked Congress for funding, which was alternately given and denied.
Invasion of Grenada
The Cubans and Soviets appeared to be building a major
airstrip on the island of Grenada. Reagan ordered an invasion
“to protect” Americans there. A new anti-communist
government was established.
Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power
Mikhail Gorbachev emerged as the leader of the Soviet Union after several Communist leaders died having served brief terms as head of the Soviet government. As a member of the younger generation, Gorbachev addressed domestic reform (peristroika) and changes in foreign policy (glasnot). His goal was to create limited reforms while maintaining Communism, but changes came rapidly in foreign affairs yet too slowly for many of the Soviet Union and the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Iceland Summit (Reykjavik Summit)
Ronald Reagan meets with Mikhail Gorbachev
Talks failed, however lead to the crucial Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Important step for U.S.-Soviet relations in order to release tensions
Reagan wanted to discuss human rights, while Gorbachev wanted to focus on arms issues
Eventually from this talk, Reagan and Gorbachev spoke about human rights
Denied funding for the Contras, the Reagan administration developed a complex plan to free the American hostages held in Lebanon by selling arms to Iran thus getting Iran’s support to release the hostages.
The monetary profits were then used to fund the Contras fighting against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
The plan was developed secretly and lacked congressional approval.
Several individuals involved in this plan, including President Reagan’s National Security Advisor, Admiral Poindexter, and White House Aide, Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, were indicted on several counts of lawbreaking and found guilty.
On appeal the judge dismissed charges because testimony freely given before Congress by North and Poindexter was used to convict them thus encroaching on their Constitutional rights. The investigation ended inconclusively.
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Signed by Gorbachev and Reagan, this treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground launched missiles.
Each nation was allowed to watch the other nation destroy their missiles.
Decline of the USSR
Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan
Poland becomes independent
Tienanmen Square protests
As China began to liberalize their economy, people started to vocalize their issues with inflation, limited job opportunities and corruption within the party.
When General Secretary Hu Yaobang died, people started gathering for protests (mostly students).
Seven weeks of protest was ended by violent acts from the government as they tried to disperse the masses (using fire).
Hungary becomes independent
The Berlin Wall falls
President Gorbachev refused to suppress reforms and changes in Eastern European nations militarily as had been done during the Cold War.
Changes in Poland led by Solidarity, a nationalist, anti-communist labor union, and the “Velvet Revolution” in Czechoslovakia are examples of the changes.
Finally, the East German government announced in November that the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War, would be torn down and Germans could travel freely between East and West.
Within a year the two Germanys voted for reunification, thus ending the division created by the “Iron Curtain” after World War II.
Communist governments of Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania fall
Persian Gulf War (first Iraq War)
Iraq invaded Kuwait and the United States led a multinational effort through the United Nations to reverse the aggression.
While not supplying troops, the Soviet Union and China supported the move in the Security Council.
After considerable debate in the country, on January 12 the Senate narrowly passed (52-47) the Resolution on Use of Force Against Iraq, which authorized the use of U.S. military force.
Operation Desert Shield
Designed to protect the Gulf States immediately after Iraq’s attack. Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm – the first Iraq War.
UN negotiates end to military conflicts
With the Cold War ending, an end to several international conflicts with roots in the Cold War were negotiated including an end to the war in Afghanistan and an agreement ending the conflicts in Cambodia and El Salvador.
The Soviet Union breaks up
Common Wealth of Independent States:
The Soviet Union broke up into its separate states. A loose confederation, the Commonwealth of Independent States was formed. The Communist Party was declared unconstitutional in Russia and other states, thus ending the 74 years of Communist rule.
Nuclear Arms Negotiations
With the breakup of the Soviet Union, four successor states held nuclear weapons. Tentative agreements were reached that would reduce arms by half. Russia was identified as the sole successor nuclear power. In spite of negotiations and agreements the future of Soviet nuclear weapons still remains unclear. Russia was allotted the Soviet Union’s seat in the Security Council.
Post Cold War
Russia and most of the other successor states to the Soviet Union struggled with economic reform made more difficult by high inflation, a rising crime rate, and intense nationalistic sentiments. Russia’s invasion of the Muslim region of Chechnya provoked a continuing conflict that became involved with the war on terrorism.