ISS_225_Lec_14_Power_Among_Nations

The cold war ensured the need of massive national

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The cold war ensured the need of massive national security expenditures and a military build-up. Defense expenditures grew to be the largest component of the federal budget in the 1950s. Creating what President Eisenhower referred to as the military-industrial complex. 4
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ISS 225 Power, Authority, Exchange Power Among Nations The 1950s was also marked by an arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States where one side's weaponry goaded the other side to procure more weaponry. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was indicative of this arms race. The two sides were often at the brink of nuclear war, but were never pushed over. The Cuban Missile Crisis was probably the closest we ever came. By the 1960s, a point of mutual assured destruction (MAD) was reached in which each side could annihilate the other, even after absorbing a surprise attack. Justification was based on the Deterrence Theory , which assumes neither side will launch an attack because they know the other side can deter it and launch a counter attack, which would inflict unacceptable damage. The two greatest conflicts during the cold war were, of course, Korea (1950) and Vietnam. The latter had considerable domestic impact on American politics. The government lied to its citizens. Lessons from Vietnam, 1. We did not have clear goals 2. We did not understand the political aspects of the war. 3. We did not understand the nature of guerrilla warfare. 4. We were impatient with the war and were unwilling to devote unending resources to winning it. 5. We did not have public support. The U.S. has about 1.47 million men and women on active duty and about 857,000 in the National Guard and reserves. The United States has relied on a triad of nuclear weapons for defense and deterrence: 1. Ground-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) 2. Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) 3. Strategic bombers The total cost of building nuclear weapons has been about $5.5 trillion dollars. Non- nuclear weapons have become far more sophisticated and important in modern warfare. Jet fighters, aircraft carriers, and tanks are far more complex than they were in WWII. Space age technology has vastly increased accuracy (pin-point bombing) and reduced casualties. Troop devices have become more sophisticated. C. Détente Even during the Vietnam War, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger supported a new foreign policy that came to be called détente. Détente represented a slow transformation from conflict thinking to cooperative thinking in foreign policy strategy. Foreign policy battles between the U.S. and Soviet Union were to be waged with diplomatic, economic, and propaganda weapons with the threat of force downplayed. 5
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ISS 225 Power, Authority, Exchange Power Among Nations A major initiative coming out of detente was the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). This represented an effort by the U.S. and Soviet Union to agree to scale down their nuclear capabilities, with each power maintaining sufficient nuclear weapons to deter a surprise attack by the other. So instead of being able to destroy the world ten
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