The Cold War and U. S Diplomacy politic 300 07/31/2011 The Cold War Diplomacy When most people think of President Kennedy’s Diplomacy efforts, they will often refer to situations that were resolved using the doctrine of flexible response. This is when the military and White House planners implemented a policy that offered them a range of options to choose from: in dealing with a host of threats.
These included: the increased use of conventional forces to small and large nuclear weapons. As, this was based on two main principals most notably: destroying the enemy’s ability to make retaliatory strikes against American interests and only attacking the cities along with other population centers as a last resort. (Cohen, 1986, pp. 55 ??? 56) This is significant, because this new approach was a dramatic shift that was embraced by many previous administrations.
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To fully understand how this doctrine was used to solve foreign policy issues requires examining: US diplomatic efforts during Kennedy’s time in office, the instances that this approach was utilized, the effects of these efforts on the US along with other countries and the advantages / disadvantages of this doctrine. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights as to how this approach was utilized by the Kennedy Administration to deal with a number of different challenges that they were facing. Summarize a Situation that Required US Diplomatic Efforts during the President’s Time in Office.
In 1961, the Soviet Union demanded that NATO withdraw its forces from Berlin. The reason why, is because there were mass defections from the Soviet side of East Berlin and the Warsaw Pact wanted to have entire control of the city. At the time, it appeared as if some kind of showdown would take place between the Allied forces located in West Berlin and those of Soviet Union. However, instead of engaging NATO troops in the area, the USSR decided to build a wall that would close off West Berlin from the rest of Germany and isolate it from any kind of supplies.
At the same time, the leadership of the Soviet Union made everyone believe that they were prepared to launch a military attack over control of West Berlin and all of Germany itself. However, they did not have the nuclear or conventional capabilities to outmaneuver the NATO forces in region and in allied countries. To prevent the crisis from escalating out of control, the flexible response doctrine kept the leadership of the USSR guessing. Where, they did not know what would be the final results if they pushed hard on Berlin.
This is because the West could attack them with: conventional forces, short and long range nuclear weapons. As a result, the coordination was considerably better for NATO through: various joint commands that were established, increasing the available options and the ability to keep the Soviet leaders guessing. Fearing the unknown outcome of what was taking place, the USSR decided to erect the Berlin Wall and leave the various partitions of the city the way they were.
This is significant, because it is showing how the doctrine of flexible response kept Warsaw Pact military commanders and leaders guessing, which resulted in Berlin remaining in Western hands. (Lewis, 2007, pp. 210 ??? 217) Explicate the Democratic Doctrine the President followed, with Reference to Specific Actions or Events that Occurred. A second example of the use of the doctrine of flexible response can be seen by looking no further than the Cuban Missile Crisis. What was happening is that the in the 1950’s, the Soviet Union was challenging the United States in many different regions of the world.
The reason why, is because they felt that the approach of mutually assured destruction was considered to be one side. As, the US focused mainly on: its nuclear capability while not placing as much emphasis on their conventional forces. This was problematic, because this meant that the Soviet Union could challenge the US in different areas of the world. The reason why, was the belief that the US was taking a one sided approach when it came to their polices; which gave the USSR a strategic advantage as far as conventional forces were concerned.
Once the doctrine of flexible response was introduced, this gave American military planners greater amounts of flexibility in dealing with a wide variety of threats. At which point, they could place conventional forces in select regions of the world. While at the same time, they had a wide variety of nuclear deterrents to choose from including: small and longer range strike capabilities. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, this helped to keep the Soviet leadership guessing about what would be the final outcome of any kind of nuclear showdown with the US.
As, they had the ability to strike at regional targets from: Turkey or Western Europe. At the same time, they had long range capabilities with the B -52 boomers that could leave the United States and hit targets deep within Russia. (Lockwood, 1999, pp. 83 ??? 99) Once the quarantine was imposed on Cuba, is when the Soviet Union would challenge Kennedy’s resolve. Yet, they did not want to breach the line that was established, as they were fearful that this could result in greater amounts of damage inflicted on the Soviet Union in comparison with America.
This forced the leadership, to back off of their position on Cuba and begin negations with the Kennedy Administration about peacefully resolving the situation. In this aspect the doctrine of flexible response was successful, because it guaranteed that the Soviet Union would not prevail in the situation, which caused them to rethink their strategy. (Lockwood, 1999, pp. 83 ??? 99) Describe the Effects of these Diplomatic Efforts for the US and Other Countries The impact of diplomatic efforts of the doctrine of flexible response is that it helped to build stronger alliances with other nations around the world.
The reason why, is because this basic approach meant that the US would have greater strike capabilities on numerous fronts. For nations that they were allied with, this caused them to feel more secure by knowing that in event of some kind of uncertainties. There are enough tools to: counterbalance any kind of effects of the Soviet Union. The reason why, is because the USSR was constantly testing the resolve of the West in trying to prevent the spread of communism around the world.
In those areas that they felt America was weak; they would try to exploit these issues by demanding that the West give into their demands or face the possibility of seeing some kind of military action. Under the doctrine of flexible response, the Russian leadership was unable to bully allies around the world into giving into their demands. This is because the Soviet leadership was not assured that they would prevail in a particular situation. At which point, they would think twice about the possibility of engaging Western forces in these areas.
This forced the Soviets to be able to maintain the status quo, due to the fact that they were uncertain of the outcome they were facing. These elements are important, because they are illustrating how the doctrine of flexible response forced the Soviet Union to constantly negotiate with US about a number of long term objectives. This is based on the fact that they were not assured of being successful if they took more aggressive action. Out of their own self-interests, the only way that they were able to achieve these goals was to negotiate.
Once this occurred, it reduced the chances that a number of possible situations could turn into World War III. Fearing that they might lose this kind of a conflict, the Soviet leadership opted to increase diplomacy versus engaging in some kind of aggressive action. Assess, in Conclusion, the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Particular Doctrine that was followed. When you step back and analyze the doctrine of flexible response, it is clear that this gave the United State the ability to improve their ties with allies and it always kept the Soviet Union guessing.
This forced the leadership of the USSR to maintain the status quo. Otherwise, they could risk the possibility that they may be involved in conflict that they cannot win. In this aspect, the doctrine helped to maintain the status quo and forced the Soviets to rethink some of their long term objectives in becoming less aggressive towards the West. The drawbacks of this approach are that this made the Soviet leadership very afraid of the West and their capabilities.
At which point, they began to build up their conventional and nuclear forces to be able to give them some kind strategic advantage in dealing with the underlying challenges they were facing. This is problematic, because it meant that the Cold War began to escalate. As, both sides continued with: their military buildup, despite the fact that they were facing pressure to counter the effects of the other side. This led to even more challenges down the road, as there was an arms race that was taking place. In the future, this increased the chances that a major conflict would occur during this time.
As, they became increasingly fearful of: the other side and their capabilities, which caused the underlying amounts of tensions to rise dramatically. (Lockwood, 1983, pp. 16 ??? 17) These elements are important, because they are showing how this doctrine was able to provide some kind short to medium term counterbalance. As, a part of an effort to: deal with the threats that the Soviet Union was imposing in many of these different nations. Yet, over the long term this meant that there would be increased amounts of tensions that would lead to even larger hostilities down the road.
As a result, this increased the chances that a major conflict would take place in the future because of the military buildup on both sides. References Cohen, A. (1986). Nuclear Weapons and the Future of Humanity. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allanheld. Lewis, A. (2007). The American Culture of War. New York, NY: Routledge. Lockwood, J. (1999). Russian View of US Strategy. Staten Island, NY: Transaction Publishers Lockwood, J. (1983). The Soviet View of US Strategic Doctrine. New York, NY: National Strategy Information Center.