The post-Stalin thaw and the bid for peaceful coexistence: Eisenhower's "New Look"


Eisenhower's "New Look"

Eisenhower as a president

  • Eisenhower replaced Truman in January 1953.
  • He had been Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in western Europe from 1943 and later the first commander of NATO.
  • He came in to office promising to stand up to communism.

Eisenhower's foreign policy

  • He was determined to introduce a "New Look" foreign policy.
  • He quickly initiated Operation Solarium - a full review of US policy options.
  • He appointed an experience foreign policy team led by Secretary of State - John Dulles.
  • Operation Solarium established the following basic principles to guide US foreign policy:
    • National security was to include the defence of democratic and capitalist values as well as geographical territory.
    • Eisenhower felt it was vital to achieve the appropriate balance bewtween defence needs and other spending priorities - he decided to cut conventional forces and focus on the nuclear arsenal.

Eisenhower and nuclear weapons

  • He was very clear about the significance of nuclear weapons, had no illusions about the consequenses of nuclear conflict and believed that Soviet leaders would not…


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