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Lecture 8

HIS 377 Lecture 8 Week 8 March 7th 2013 - Kennedy Administration.doc

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Professor Candace Sobers

HIS 377 – 20 Century American Foreign Relations Lecture 8 Week 8 March 7th, 2013 Forging a Grand and Global Alliance: Kennedy and the “Ranks of the Free” o Kennedy and the New Frontier o National Security and Flexible Response o Modernization and Cold War o The Persistent Problems of Berlin and Cuba o Conclusion Building the Ranks of the Free o Kennedy and the New Frontier: o Eisenhower ends with a paradox – Americans are more stronger and prosperous than we have ever been, yet they are more fearful than ever o He passes civil rights legislation, but he is not anti-racist o When Kennedy becomes President, there is a change from a madman era to a more liberal and hippy era o Domestically, the US changes vastly – civil rights, women’s rights, liberalization, etc  The Kennedy administration will not be afraid to meet these challenges because they are a younger generation, the baby boom generation o The 1960s invokes youth, vigour, vitality and confidence o Kennedy was only 43 years old at his inauguration o Kennedy was the first President born in the 20 century o Kennedy was also the first TV president o Kennedy was born into money and privilege, “whizkid” o Nixon was sick and clammy during the first televised debate – people who listened to the debate thought Nixon won, but people who watched it said that Kennedy had won o From the very beginning Kennedy presented himself as the arbiter of the new – he wanted to appeal to younger Americans so long as they were willing to do their part o Kennedy surrounded himself with an active team – Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara and NSA McGeorge Bundy o Robert McNamara:  Left a successful company to become Sec. of Def. o McGeorge Bundy:  Worked for the council of foreign relations – became the youngest dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard at 34 o Walt Rostow:  Entered Yale at 16, finished his PhD at 24  Deputy NSA for Kennedy o Attorney General, Robert Kennedy: o Secretary of State, Dean Rusk:  Kennedy believed he was slow  Theory that Kennedy picked him so that he could control foreign policy himself o Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson  Makes people feel uncomfortable  Kennedy picked Johnson to win over the south o President John F. Kennedy:  Kennedy doesn’t care about domestics – he wanted to be a champion of international relations – he is defined by his era of masculinity  It is Kennedy’s goal to project toughness and vigour  He believes America is becoming soft – everything is too easy now  He was obsessed with masculinity – he loved John Wayne, James Bond, his operation to take down Castro was called operation castration and he felt the need to stand up to Khrushchev  Kennedy hated indecisiveness  Kennedy brings gender into politics o National Security and Flexible Response: o Khrushchev gives a propaganda speech after the Suez Crisis as it is seen as a Soviet victory and gives them good press o Kennedy doesn’t believe in containment – he doesn’t think its an adequate formula o Kennedy believes that you have to go forth and engage communism o Kennedy doesn’t believe in nuclear build up and mutually assured destruction o Kennedy wanted to show the Soviet Union that he was willing to fight if provoked o Flexible Response:  Increase in the nuclear arsenal  Increase in conventional forces  275 based in 31 countries by 1963  Increase use of Special Forces to deal with unconventional warfare - counterinsurgency  Increase ICBMs from 60 to 400 o There is a need to standardize NATO among all of its members o Space Race:  Operation Paperclip at the end of WW2 – took German scientists into custody and used their ideas and knowledge – these scientists avoided persecution for war crimes  US gets the V2 rocket which is the father of all rockets  Sputnik I and II are launched in 1957  NASA is created in 1958 and they pass the defence education act  The new goal becomes to get man into orbit • Soviets achieve this with Gargarin • February 1962 the Americans get John Glenn into space  The new goal becomes the moon – Kennedy goes to congress in May 1961  Space becomes an area for Cold War competition – both sides want to control the region o The Nuclear World:  Manhattan Project  Atomic Energy Act in 1946 • US will keep nuclear technology to themselves  Limited Test Ban Treaty 1963 • Bans all testing except for underground • Signed by the US, UK, and Soviet Union  The last US nuclear test was in 1992 o Modernization in the Cold War: o The US has a belief in technological and social progress as an innovating process o Modernization is not only a political instrument or a rhetorical tool – modernization was a cognitive framework (way they actually think of the world) – ideology based on a specific set of assumptions about Americas past and what they should do in the future – a belief that America SHOULD modernize other countries o Modernization wants to channel the fervour of developing countries into
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