Kennedy's 'Flexible Response'

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  • Flexible Response
    • A move away from Brinkmanship- wanted more options
    • Built up conventional forces
      • Cuts in expenditure introduced by Eisenhower were reversed by Kennedy
      • Army grew from 2.5m to 2.7m from 1960-1964
    • Development of the nuclear arsenal
    • Talks and negotiations
    • Use of covert operations
      • attempts to remove Fidel Castro, the new communist leader of Cuba
    • Kennedy- Democrat, therefore needed to prove he was tough on communism
    • Also sent economic aid to third world countries to prevent Soviet influence
      • $20bn given to Latin America to promote land reforms
    • Aim was to avoid humiliation in all out nuclear war; wanted to find other strategies to fight the Cold War- limited warfare
    • Kennedy- “We intend to have a wider choice then humiliation or all out nuclear war”


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