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HIS377 Lecture - March 20th.docx

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Pouls Wegner

HIS377 Lecture – The Nixon Era March 20 , 2014 I. Nixon, Kissinger and the “Grand Design” - Nixon was a foreign policy president, had always gone on foreign trips as VP - Post-1962 loss: Career is over. Made worse by gubernatorial loss - Did the rubber chicken circuit and built up a favour bank - Writes “Asia after Vietnam” and theorizes that the US is largely a Pacific power b/c the Pacific has centred on all its wars o Japan was the reason they joined WWII. - In “Asia after Vietnam” he brought up the idea of integrating China further into the system - Nixon and Kissinger believed the world was going to hell, declinism. They also believed that becoming more internationalist was a good response. - Therefore, Nixon became something of a Wilsonian. - Was not a high-minded internationalist - Feared disorder above all else. Distrusted communism, but felt disorder was a bigger threat. Grand Design or Grand Strategy - Peace with Honour and Vietnamization - Nixon and Kissinger did not like or trust each other. - Agreed that détente was the best policy - They liked sneaky, covert operations - Believed they needed to centralize foreign policy decision-making: Eventually, Kissinger will run the State Dept. as a fiefdom. - Both Nixon and Kissinger thought they were smarter than everybody else - Both of them considered themselves to be realists, rational actors - Nixon and Kissinger only cared about Japan, China, Europe andAmerica o Kissinger said nothing had ever happened in the south - US allies outside of those places had one job, don’t rock the boat. Don’t get in between the US and the USSR. Nixon Doctrine - Keep all treaty commitments; - Provide a shield for nuclear threats; - Disengage from everything that isn’t going to cause a fundamental tension between USSR and US II. Defining Détente - Important foreign relations events can’t happen in the Third World - Interpreted everything in the US-USSR relations - Détente is not a friendship, merely a relaxation of tensions - Nixon called for an area of negotiation not confrontation - No one ever agreed on what détente met. Each group interpreted it according to their own needs US Perspective - Way to manage int’l system and mitigate decline - American power and credibility is necessary for global stability - Americans need to be confident in themselves and their role in the int’l system once again Soviet Conception - Brezhnev took power in 1964 - Considered a team player, not a unilateral leader - Fostered a cult of personality that became problematic - Brezhnev felt the USSR was becoming weak o Prague Spring in 1968 o Internal dissent o Wobbly economy o Fear of arms race with US o Fear of the Chinese - Soviet rationale boils down to a way of managing the int’l system and mitigating Soviet decline as well as prestige and confidence-building - USSR felt that they were finally being taken seriously as a superpower Ostpolitik - Euro détente, relaxation of East-West tension in Europe itself. Primarily between DDR and West Germany - Led by the W. German leader and State Secretary - Cold War started in many ways over the fate of Germany - De Gaulle is removing French forces from the NATO central command - Concern that European affairs were being dictated almost entirely by the US and wanted another measure of control - Basic Treaty (1973) o East and West Germany officially recognize their other half - African détente at this time as well, SouthAfrica tries to make friends in the rest of Africa from 1970-80. Linkage - Main way détente gets carried out - Convince the Soviets that it is in their best interest to help the US maintain global equilibrium - Americans believed that the Soviets were responsible for global revolutions. Please stop. - Does not matter what you do within your own country. Soviets will get technology, trading rights and grain and the US will get a tacit agreement that the USSR will stop fomenting revolution and negotiate Vietnam Basic Principles of Relations, May 1972 - Closest thing to an agreement on détente - Neither side should try to take unilateral action - USSR took it seriously as a binding document, the US did not value it o Main thing for Nixon was it gave him something to sign in Moscow - On the surface, Nixon & Kissinger taking everything seriously Arms Control and Non-Proliferation - Remember: Two different conceptions of nuclear arsenal. Soviet Union has to defend contiguous territories, US also has to do Europe and Japan which is not geographically close. - Therefore, Soviets have more land-based nuclear missiles, also submarine-based. - US has more submarine-based so they could travel around. US also working on MERVs - SALT signed in 1969 - Arms control agreements signed in 1972. Gave Nixon the opportunity to be the first president to go to Moscow. Makes him look awesome. - Nixon was such an unimpeachable conservative that he could go to Russia without looking like he was sucking up to them - Once again, we know that Nixon/Kissinger did not take SALT as seriously as the Soviets did. - On the surface, it was a show of good faith. Working in the best interest of humanity - Arsenals still big enough to destroy the world 13 times over. - ABM Treaty (Anti-Ballistic Missile) o TwoABM sites, one to protect Moscow/DC and one to protect the intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites o Agreed they were not going to test any newer, betterABMs o Also agree not to shoot them into space - SO far, so good for détente. Kissinger says peace at hand in Vietnam and Nixon re-elected with the greatest Republican landslide ever. III. 1973:AComplicated Year Chile - US has been intervening in Chile since the Kennedy administration, JFK cared about Latin America - Kennedy has used Alliance for Progress as a cover to thwartAllende’s first attempt in 1964 o Spent $3 m to discredit him - 1970:Allende returns - US fears him because he seems to be a quasi-Marxist, also had a good relationship with Cuba - Kissinger called Chile “a dagger pointed at the heart ofAntarctica” - Allende becomes the first democratically elected Marxist in the West - USAmbassador to Chile says that Chileans freely and knowingly elected a communist government - Kissinger considered this a mistake on the part of the Chileans, called it reckless. - US approved a covert destabilization mission: Make the economy scream (direct order) o Cut of Chilean aid. Both from the US and internationally
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