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Notes: US Presidents and the Cold War, History 4990

Truman, Harry: 45-53 -- from noninvolvement to an American presence on every contenent, and an expanding arms industry. His policy of containment (not destruction) would be followed by all presidents after him.

Eisenhower, Dwight: 53-61 -- Atoms for Peace, Open Skies ... got US out of Korea, and kept us out of Vietnam, kept arms race at low leve, eased Trumna's policy of permanent crisis. Fundamental insight: the nations's secritty could never be enhaced by an arms race in the nuclar age, negotiations with Russia will be a more effective way to enhance security. He knew that the cost of a Cold War was too great, that peaceful coexistence offered the best hope. Secrecy and a new covert roll for the CIA ... national events (desegration and rasism, U-2, Sputncik), politics (bomber gap, missle gap, space gap, liberation and getting tough with Communists), and world events (Suez and Hungry crisis, Cuba) combined to deny his personal desire for world peace.

Kennedy, John: 61-63 -- building up, backing down ... new generation in American leadership ... bear any burden, pay any price ... learned from mistakes ... ability to grow his most impressive asset ... starts military and arms buildup that continues through to the end of cold war ... responisble for military buildup in Vietnam

Johnson, Lyndon: 63-69 -- Vietnam is a Johnson legacy ... but he never wanted it ... found himself traped by the containmnet policies of the presidents before him. Wanted a "Great Society", but Vietnam prevented it from every being properly funded. Like Eisenhower (military, anti-war) and like Nixon (deplomant, anti-communists), Johnson (Southerner, anti-rasist) ... only he could have made a difference, Vietnam got in his way. Vietnam was not saving America, it was destroying it

Vietnam: earily on, see as just one of many occasions where the US would have to stand up against Communism ... policy of containment meant the US would have to oppose all advances of Communism, the domino theory, if one falls, all will ... (nationalism or communism)
Johnson, like most others, had a monolithic view of Communism ... went to Vietnam to fight worldwide Communism, not to fight in VIetnam.
America at her greatest ... industrial, leadership, we can do anything ... overcofidance together with overstatement of the problem.
Why we lost ... military was built to fight a tank war in Europe, not a gorilla war in Vietnam .. military goal was to kill th enemy, not to capture him, not to invaid the North ... only winning stratagy rejected because we wanted to keep China and Russia from entering war ... a winning stratagy was rejected ... a millitary without a best chance to win, supported by a bombing compaign had no target, since all supplies were being shipped in. Search and Destroy would never kill enouth enemy. The long drawn out fighting resulted in the inevidable loss of public support. Forced many bad decisions, including draft policy that ment mostly working class poor went to Vietnam to fight. Strong need to show progress in war led to body count as measure ... leading to many abuses ... overselling of war ... esculating ... 560,000 ... false assurences -- now we will win, set himself up for the effects cause by Tet.
Nixon, Richard: 69-74 - ends Vietnam war, goes to China, detente wiht Russia, Salt I ...Nixon Foreigh policy, little was lasting, nothing like th eTruman Doctrine.
Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor, then Secretary of State
William Rogers, Secretary of State
William Laird, Secretary of Defense.
General Alexander Haig
Nguyen Van Thieu, President of VIetnam
Le Duc Tho, Kissinger counterpart in peace talks with North Vietnam
Chou En-lai, China's second in command
Detente with Khruschev and Salt I
George McGovern ... opponent in race for second term ..
1973 War Powers Act ... beginning of political legacy of Vietnam ... increasing power of congress, lessening power of president, Congress involved in foreign policy like never before.

Ford, Gerald: 74-77
Forget the past, in 1975 lessons of Vietnam were learned, pardons Nixon ...

The Middle East
'72, Anwar el-Sadat presents US with a great Cold War victory when he kicks out the Russians without any promisses from Washington. A foreign policy setback for the Russian of the first magnatude ... US does little
Carter, Jimmy: 77-81 - the worst foreigh policy president
Shaw of Iran
Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Affairs
Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet Union
Menachem Begin, Israel - Golan Heights
Sadat of Egypt, Middle East Peace
Ayatollah Khomenini, Iran ...
Edmund Muski, Secretary of State

Reagan: Ronald: 81-89 -- ups and downs, downs more numerous, greatly increased the arms race
Alexander Haig, Secretary of State ... - tough talk ...
Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defence
Margaret Thathcher, Prime Minister of England
Jeane Kirkpatrick, UN Ambassador
El Salvador and Nicaragua is where Reagan saw threts.
Oliver North, NSC staff \__ Iran - Contra
Robert McFarlane ... National Security Adviser /
William Casey, Director of CIA
Gorbachev ... glasnost
Strategic Defense Initiative SDI
Reykjavik summit ... Secretary of State George Shultz
Edwin Meese, Attorney General
John Poindexter, National Security Adviser

after Reagan

Bush, George: 89-93
Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor

Nov, 1990 --- Bush anounces the Cold War is over ... patients and Truman policy paid off ... costs less than WWII not to mention WWIII

All presidents get credit for holding to Truman Doctrun, containing communism and bring on its failier ...

Truman, Harry: 45-53
Greece, the Truman Doctrine
Marshall Plan
Blockaid of Berlin
into Korea

Eisenhower, Dwight: 53-61
only Presidential campaign where Foreign policy was most important issue
peace in Korea
Atoms for Peace
CIA convert operations
Iran is an immediate success, then Guatelmala
accepts policy of Containment
New Look military ... more bombs, less troops, rejects talks of first strike
avoids involvment in Vietnam
the politics of Cold war lets Demo's claim that Russia is ahead -- bomber gap, missle gap, space gap,
1st summit of Cold War ... nothing settled ... Khrushchev rejects Open Skies
1956 - worst year of Cold War, Hungry - Israel
1959, rasism ... 1st satellite, Cuba
1960 summit, U2, Gary Powers

Kennedy, John: 61-63
a new generation in command
Bay of Pigs
Vienna Summit
Berlin Wall
Cuban Missle Crisis
Vietnam, 16,000 troops by 1963

Johnson, Lyndon: 63-69
a continuation of Kennedy policies
good efforts in civil rights
Rolling Thunder ...
I'm not going to be the first president to loose a war
concluded we must get out of Vietnam

Nixon, Richard: 69-74
running for president since '56
winns closest of all American elecitons ...
the Vietnam problem
could not demand surrender
could not isolate the North from South
American politics would not allow escalation
the #1 attacker of communist, could not ust walk away
Vietnamization ... same as Johnson's plan ... without concessions, slowly over 4 years, considered it biggest mistake of Presidency, allowed the opposition to war to continue to build
Secret bombing of supply lines
Duck Hook, massive offensive never implimented, impratical anyway
Had reversed policy of offensive military intervention ... maybe no one else but Nixon could had pulled it off
fighting dragged on, opposition grows, Army had lost will to fight
In the World
Peace in Vietnam
opening with China '72
Detant with Soviets
Saved Israel in '73
SALT 1, sets limits to buile up to, still a major stem
with Kesinger, world policy of Linkage ... America, China, Russia
Feb 72 in China
May '72 in Mosaco ... 1st President to go there ... mutuially assured distruction
Greatest flaw, his pention for secrecy, setting up policies that couldn't last beyond his term.
Oct'73 Israel, Arab war ... Egypt invaides, about to overrun Israel, Nixon steps in, resupplies Israel
OPEC ... oil imbargo ...
Nixon Foreigh policy, little was lasting, nothing like th eTruman Doctrine.

Ford, Gerald: 74-77

Carter, Jimmy: 77-81 - the worst foreigh policy president
no more Wartergate, no more Vietnam
human rights ... a failed policy ... Noble goals, not usable as foreign policy, hoplessly idealeastic.
America worse off in each area of Carter policies by end of his term
Soviets get tougher in respones to Carter's softer line
in response, Carter delays Salt II negotiations, arms race out of control
Russia in Afganistan, Carter boycots olimpics.
Carter Doctrun, Persion Gulf is US vital interest ... becomes the oppsit of his policies, more missles, excellerated arms race.
Panama Canal Treaty, a success
Middle East pease, personal victory, Israel & Egypt, Sudat and Bagan
Iran - Shaw flees, waffels ... who is an ally ... CIA missed sighes, 1979, US embacy invaded and hostages taken, Carter overreacts, allows it to occupy all of his time.

Reagan: Ronald: 81-89 -- ups and downs, downs more numerous, prograss toward detente, peace had broker out all over.
Lebonon, '83, US supports Israel invasion - BIG mistake ... with draws troops at first sigh of a threat ... no more VIetnams
South America ... fear of Communists in Mexiaco leads to many bad decesions in Nicheriga ... Contra's Bolean Ammendment forbids spending to support Contras ... leads to Iran contra affair ... the teflon president
Iran Iraq war ... no consistant policy
Russian policy more onsistant ... goals were peace, limit arms, reduce arms, trade, detant ... make world safe. '82 Evil Empire, 40% increase in defense speending ... more missles in Euope
Cold War heats up ... 83 grain deal, 85 Star Wars ...
Gorbachev ... summits ... '86 in Iceland ... Reagan refuses deal to eliminate all nuclar weapons, world is furious.
'87 INF treaty, great breakthru ... most successful summit ... 1st to eleminate major offensive systems, allow for on site inspections ... reduction and control ... new worrld structure.
Reagan's policy of borrowing money from the Japanese to pay for America's military expansion isn order to protect oil for Japan coming out of the Persian Gulf
Intermediate Nuclear Forces INF treaty, 1987

after Reagan
world was becomming a safer place ... fewer wars ... less building of mass dist
distruction in 1989 since 1938 ...
foreign policy is best shap ever, but Reagan refused to pay for his arms buildup
leaves office with great popularity ... only Rosevelt, Esinhouer were as popular
Reagan, did something right, or just lucky ...

Bush, George: 89-93
War in Gulf ... Bush foreign policy
Nationalism ... after end of Cold war, communism and facshism were gone, nationalism returns as the prime motovating force ... the lack of response in Yougoslovia is more president setting than the active response in the Middle East
no strategic importance , no echonomic sugnificance, not a crossroads of world trade ... a Europian problem, not a US or UN problem ... agression went un-punished ...
Bush principals
All presidents get credit for holding to Truman Doctrun, containing communism and bring on its failier ...