L15-JFK and LBJ Cold War

L15-JFK and LBJ Cold War - Dr. tonya thames taylor West...

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Dr. tonya thames taylor West Chester University--American History Since 1865 John F. Kennedy entered the White House in 1961 determined to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy then had his predecessor President Eisenhower. In his inaugural address he announced, “Let every nation know that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.” In part, Kennedy was responding to The Soviet Union’s 1959 announced intention of shifting focus from Eastern Europe to “wars of national liberation” in the Third World.” Whereas Eisenhower had sought to deter communism with the threat of a large U.S. nuclear arsenal, JFK became committed to the principle of “flexible response” -- he sought a military buildup which would permit the U.S. to meet any kind of warfare, from guerrilla combat in the jungles of the Third World to a nuclear showdown with the Soviets. Of course, such a buildup costs money, and defense appropriations increased by nearly a third over the next two years. The expenditures went to increasing the nuclear arsenal of the U.S. and to outfitting the Army’s new elite Special Forces which acted as a supplement to CIA covert operations in Third World guerrilla operations. These soldiers, fighting under the direct orders of the president, were capable of rapid deployment to meet any emergency where Soviet influence appeared to threaten American interests. The Special Forces, whose were unofficially named the Green Berets which they wore, reflected Kennedy’s desire for great flexibility, secrecy, and independence in the presidential conduct of foreign policy. Not all of Kennedy’s foreign policy, however, relied on the application of force and the buildup of arms. He also attempted to build goodwill in Third World countries through aid. In Latin America, Kennedy sought to prevent the influence of various revolutionary movements by creating the Alliance for Progress, a ten-year, $100 billion plan to spur economic development in the region. Kennedy intended the Alliance for Progress to act as a kind of Marshall Plan for Latin America. Its goals included increasing industrial and agricultural growth, improved health and housing, and greater equitable distribution among the population. Through economic growth and social change the program was to make communism less attractive. But although the Alliance did increase economic growth rates in Latin America, it actually did little to aid the poor or to encourage democracy. The Peace Corps was another attempt to provide help to the Third World while creating goodwill toward the U.S. A pet project of Kennedy’s which he created in 1961, the Peace Corps sent teachers, agricultural specialists, and health workers into developing nations throughout the world.
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JFK & LBJ Cold War, Two important Cold War confrontations occurred during Kennedy’s administration. The first crisis, the Bay of Pigs, actually derived from plans inherited from Eisenhower’s presidency
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course HIS 152 taught by Professor Prof.thames-leonard during the Fall '07 term at West Chester.

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L15-JFK and LBJ Cold War - Dr. tonya thames taylor West...

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