Upon entering office Kennedy cited book The Uncertain Trumpet to for its conclusion that left the U. Criticism of Massive Retaliation What Dulles implied was that the United States was prepared to respond to a Soviet-backed conventional threat anywhere with a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union itself. The new approach was embodied in , finalized in December 1954, which stated: The ability to apply force selectively and flexibly will become increasingly important in maintaining the morale and will of the free world to resist aggression. For most observers, the reshuffle was an anti-climax. The only new Cabinet minister was Ravindra Samaraweera who has been elevated to Cabinet rank as Minister for Sustainable Development and Wildlife.
Interestingly, Grant's reputation as president has also enjoyed a historical boomlet over the past decade. Dulles continued: The way to deter aggression is for the free community to be willing and able to respond vigorously at places and with means of its own choosing. However, the United States did heavily aid the Fench in this battle by paying for 80% of the war cost. Eisenhower hoped to salvage a partial victory by preventing Ho Chi Minh from establishing a Communist government over all of Vietnam. Under the stress of crisis and war, political leaders and military commanders tend to behave irrationally, not rationally; they will destroy a village in order to save it. The three nations did not consult—or even inform—Eisenhower before the Israelis launched the first attacks into the Sinai Peninsula on October 29, 1956.
Yet the French were unable to defeat the Vietminh, a nationalist force under the leadership of the Communist Ho Chi Minh. Thomas is not uncritical of Eisenhower—for example, he complains that the president kept reassuring intelligence about Soviet nuclear capabilities to himself, for reasons of secrecy, despite the tremendous psychological burdens this placed on the American people and apparently on a very young Evan Thomas, according to a biographical aside by the author. First, we lose a potential ally. An examination of both books, each with its own richly argued narrative steeped in thoughtful, credible analysis of the American past, reinforces the view I presented in my 2002 book Special Providence, that the American foreign policy tradition consists of several independent and competing world views. Immerman, Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Hendrickson, who teaches at Colorado College, has one big idea, and like all the really good ones, it is brilliantly simple. It was against such a backdrop of political events that the Cabinet reshuffle took place. During the Eisenhower years, the United States consolidated the policy of containment, although some critics have argued that the administration extended it too far. War, Clausewitz tells us, is an act of violence designed to compel one's enemy to do one's will. The policy, which relied heavily on the capacity for , depended on the asymmetrical threat to respond to provocations by the with massive retaliation. American fears reached new heights when Arbenz bought weapons from Communist Czechoslovakia after the administration cut off Guatemala's access to U.
Eisenhower's apologists have attempted to explain away such activities as a romantic attachment to covert action stemming from his years as Supreme Allied Commander. Huntington, The Common Defense, New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. In the event of Soviet nuclear aggression, the Soviets would know that enough U. S and the Soviet Union. The narrative as a whole, however, arguably reflects more of Thomas's views of the world than those of Eisenhower.
Then in July 1958, what appeared to be pro-Nasser forces seized power in Iraq. In addition to intimidating the Soviet Union, this emphasis on new and cheaper weapons would also drastically reduce military spending, which had escalated rapidly during the Truman years. Initially, there was speculation that Thalatha Atukorale would be appointed Minister of Law and Order. Assured Destruction relied on deterrence by punishment, precision, and credibility. The offensive strategy was one of , seeking to destroy Soviet military installations and hardware and thus disable this hardware before it could be used. Realists sometimes compare states to billiard balls responding to external events.
Hendrickson, Kagan, and I nonetheless all agree that one cannot understand American foreign policy today without an understanding of its deep roots in the full sweep of American history. The troops stayed only three months and suffered only one fatality. McGeorge Bundy, a national security adviser to Presidents John F. Thomas's title gives one a strong sense of what he thinks the answer was. The summit collapsed, however, in acrimony and bitterness in a dispute over the U-2 incident. S was prepared to use atomic weapons if they were to be attacked United States History- Eisenhower and the Cold War.
We can never know for certain because Eisenhower made a point of never showing his hand, even to his closest friends and associates. The first was the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wasantha Senanayake. Intervention in Indochina In Southeast Asia, Eisenhower sent U. As an aside, Eisenhower's vice president, Richard Nixon, also developed the reputation of being a highly skilled poker player while serving in the military, although at a much less exalted station than that of Eisenhower. Let us look at this strategy in light of Eisenhower's stated objective of preventing war in the nuclear era. You can find nearly anything you want in this sea of evidence; how do you decide what is important? He thought the attacks would only strengthen Nasser, allowing the Egyptian leader to become the champion of the Arab world as he opposed the aggressors. The Limits of Massive Retaliation The doctrine of massive retaliation proved to be dangerously flawed, however, because it effectively left Eisenhower without any options other than nuclear war to combat Soviet aggression.