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The Cold War Essay

1731 words - 7 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

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)

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