Cold War: American presidents and their policies

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  • Created on: 25-03-12 12:41
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Period Leader Policies; foreign policy objectives; Events during their reign
April 1945- 52 - Potsdam conference - Berlin Blockade 1948
- Truman Doctrine - NATO established 1949
Harry Truman - Marshall Plan - NSC 68 1950
- Containment (contributed to early tension - Korean War 1953
between the two superpowers)
1953-60 - Eisenhower doctrine 1957: In relation to the - French defeated at Dien Bien
Middle East, the U.S. would be "prepared to use Phu May 1954
armed force...[to counter] aggression from any - Suez crisis 1956
country controlled by international communism." - Lebanon 1958 non-combat peace
- Massive retaliation and brinkmanship introduced keeping mission to stabilize the
Dwight Eisenhower by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles pro-Western government
- `Massive retaliation' means the USA will use
nuclear weapons if it (or its allies) are threatened
by the USSR (even if only through conventional
1961- Nov. 1963 - Early 1963 US move from `massive retaliation' - Bay of Pigs invasion 1961
to the idea of `flexible response' which means - Vienna Summit 1961; little
the US don't have to use all its nuclear weapons agreement, Kennedy leaves
in a dispute determined to build up US forces
- 1963 relaxation of tension following CMC - Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
(offers to come to terms with the Soviet about - Nuclear Partial Test Ban Treaty
John F. Kennedy limitations in nuclear testing 1963
- Committed to peaceful negotiation
- Vietnam: political, economic, and military
support for the unstable French-installed South
Vietnamese government. Strongly considered
withdrawing from the Vietnam War.

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Nov 1963- 68 - Escalated US involvement in Vietnam - Gulf of Tonkin incident 1964
Lyndon Johnson - Domineering personality - Tet Offensive in Vietnam 1968
- Late 1964- early 1965 US moves towards a (undermines public support in
policy of `mutually assured destruction' put the US)
forward by US secretary of defence Robert
McNamara (key to deterrence; ensure US always
has the upper hand)
1969- 1974 - Foreign policy marked by détente - Emergence of ostpolitik
- Opening of diplomatic relations with China (improving…read more

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Camp David Accords (1978)
- first month in office cut the defence budget by between Israel and Egypt
$6 billion. (Soviets resented this increase
- Promoted human rights US influence in their `sphere')
- unilateral removal of all nuclear weapons from - Signing of SALT II 1979.…read more

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Reagan instituted his policy of "peace through - 1983 labels soviets "evil empire"
strength" - 1983 SDI initiative to give the
- rejected détente and confronted Communism, US an advantage.…read more


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