February 12, 2013
February-12-13 11:35 AM
Cuban Missile Crisis
- It ended without war.
There was an important arms agreement that was reached during the later 60s.
- The Hotline Agreement
○ To create a hotline between Washington and Moscow.
○ If things ever got that tense again, they'd have a last chance to
communicate (something that couldn't be interfered with by a third party).
Both could be worried about China.
- The U.S. was also instrumental in the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, signed in 1963,
and it prohibited the test of nuclear weapons above ground.
○ Two important consequences:
Limit on size of nuclear test you could undertake.
Some of the worst damage could by halted, at least by the signatory
France and China refused to sign.
For the Soviets, Americans and British, this was a very significant and
symbolic type of agreement.
□ This type of agreement would not have existed in the 50s.
- Outer Space Treaty
○ It was an agreement not to put missiles on Mars.
Both the Chinese and the French refused to sign, again.
□ They said it preserves a hegemony by the Soviet Union and the
U.S.A. that is intolerable.
□ Both said they'd continue to test above ground.
- Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
- Later on, it becomes important.
- One part permitted existing nuclear powers not to provide nuclear
weapons or materials to non-nuclear powers.
The flipside committed non-nuclear powers not to obtain nuclear
weapons or new materials to be used for the development of nuclear
- Vietnam War
- The Vietnamese war was surfacing in the late 50s.
Vietnam was an important part of the change in American view (shift
to the third world).
It was thought that if the Soviets were to start a war, it would be over
Europe and a confrontation over NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
- The United States eventually began to support dictators with terrible
human rights records simply if they were anti-Communist.
- The United States got sucked into a conflict in which its interests weren't
really a stake, and it lost a lot of lives needlessly.
Ever since this war, Congress would have been reluctant to enter
wars in which there was no common goal.
The Beginnings of Vietnam
Vietnam was a French colony.
- Throughout the 20th century up until World War II, when the Japanese overran
Southeast Asia, they also overran Vietnam, thus kicking France out.
- It eventually turned Vietnam into a Soviet state.
- When the Japanese surrendered, they were forced to withdraw from Southeast
Asia, including Vietnam, Korea, etc. Asia, including Vietnam, Korea, etc.
- When the Japanese withdrew, the French decided to come back and restore
the control of administration over Vietnam, prior to the Japanese conflict.
- Problem: while the Japanese had occupied Vietnam, an active nationalistic
and Communist movement had grown up to resist the Japanese.
- Vietnamese guerrillas.
- They mounted an offensive against the French in 1954, at Dienbienphu.
Despite the number of French troops, France held off for a third time
because of the Vietminh.
- The French public got fed up with this whole distant mission in