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Foreign Policy in Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963
Transcript of Foreign Policy in Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963
The Principal Players
Foreign Policy - foundations and crises
1963 - annus mirabilis et horribilis
Limited Test Ban Treaty - first nuclear test ban ever negotiated
US involvement in Vietnam escalates - 16,000 military advisors now in country
Overthrow and death of Ngo Dinh Diem
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
US foreign policy was complex
Focused on crises and not on long-term strategy
From Massive Retaliation to Flexible Response
Change in the Cold War - end of the European phase
Three historiographical schools:
JFK was not a great president!
His foreign policy was complex - hard and soft at the same time
He had a politician's instinct for deal-making and compromise, but also of the need to keep all sides at bay - he was very preoccupied with the media
John F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Fear of nuclear weapons
Third World modernization
Political tactics - negotiating from a position of strength
Interplay between foreign and domestic politics
Bay of Pigs
CIA plan from Eisenhower presidency to topple Castro by using exile Cubans to incite popular rebellion
Kennedy approved - wanted Castro removed - believed that Cuban people were not really backing Castro
Landing took place in April of 1961 - CIA and military were sure that JFK would agree to American military support, if needed - he did not - landing failed and exile Cubans were taken prisoners
JFK took responsibility - but blamed CIA and JCS - reputation was badly damaged
Khrushchev re-opened the Berlin Crisis in the spring of 1961 - Vienna summit in June - US deliberations in July - Berlin Wall in August - new Soviet detonations of nuclear weapons in August/September - UN GA in September basically solved the crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
Soviet missiles sent to Cuba spring/summer/fall of 1962 to level the playing field - Kennedy Administration had said it would not allow offensive nuclear weapons on Cuba - discovery in October provoked crisis
13 days of crisis - 16-28 October
Different factions - hawks and doves - advisors changing position
Different solutions: blockade/quarantine - surgical strike - invasion - do nothing
Which courses of action were chosen and how did the crisis progress?
High stakes diplomacy