The Cold War

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  The Cold War  : US and Soviet global competition from 1945-1991 What was the Cold War? ã The Cold War was the bitter state of indirect  conflict that existed between the U.S. and the Soviet Union for more than four decades after the end of WWII. Why did the Cold War start? ã Ever since Russia adopted a communist government after the Russian Revolution, the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union was fragile:  –  After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the U.S. refused to extend formal diplomatic relations to the new communist nation until 1933.  –  The U.S. was angered when the Soviets signed a non-aggression pact with Germany in 1939. However, they found themselves on the same side when Hitler broke the pact.  –  Additionally, Stalin was angered when the U.S. first entered the war and went to North Africa to help the British, instead of helping out the Soviets on the western front. ã At the war’s end, there were disputes about  the futures of Germany and Poland.  –  Germany was partitioned into four zones (one American, one French, one British, and one Soviet).  –   Poland’s new government would loosely be  controlled by the Soviets until free elections. ã Composition of the United Nations  rendered the Soviets outnumbered. ã Lastly, Stalin was angry that Truman did not tell him about the A-Bomb (worked with Britain, but did not tell Soviets until bomb completed.) Plus, the two sides had totally different visions for the postwar world. The American Vision: ã The U.S. fought in WWII to protect its ver sion of the American Dream. ã The U.S. hoped to share with the world the essential elements of a democratic life: liberty, equality, and representative government. ã The U.S. also sought to protect its economic interests by ensuring a worldwide market for its products (free trade). The Soviet Vision: ã Remember that communism predicted that through a process of class struggle, the workers of the world would eventually triumph. ã When this happened, everyone would join hands and sing, as well as then split the resources of the land equally. ã Because the Soviets had suffered such significant losses in the war (20 million), they were determined to rebuild on their own terms. After the war was over, the U.S. and the Soviet Union clashed over the issue of Poland. ã Truman insisted that the new Polish gov’t have representatives sympathetic to Western interests. ã Stalin insisted that because Poland was so close to the Soviet Union, the Soviets must be allowed to have a strong influence there. ã In essence, Stal in wanted to protect the security of his own nation. He could do so by ensuring that Poland remain under Soviet influence. Meanwhile, the American people renewed their hatred of communists. ã Americans began to transfer their wartime hatred of Nazi Germany to communist Soviet Union. ã Truman himself declared in 1950 that “there isn’t any difference between totalitarian Russian government and the Hitler government.”  Perceived Similarities between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia ã Total control over communications ã Ability to eliminate political opposition   ã Usage of terror to silence dissidents   ã Stalin’s labor camps in Siberia were likened to Hitler’s concentration camps ã “Big Brother” = a mating of Stalin and Hitler  The Cold War was never actual ly “officially” declared.   ã However, two speeches mark the onset of the struggle:  –   In 1946, Stalin made a speech (“Two Worlds”) in which he declared that the Soviet system would triumph ultimately.  –  In that same year, Winston Churchill, made his famous “iron curtain” speech.  Containment ã To address the concerns that the Americans had about the Soviets, they adopted a policy called ‘containment.’    –  Crafted after George Kennan (a top-ranking diplomat stationed in Moscow) wrote an article in “Foreign Affai rs” journal (1947)   ã Wrote under the alias “Mr. X” (didn’t want it to be an official govt. statement) ã Said it was necessary to contain the Soviet threat against any part of the world ã Image of Soviets (policy) as a “persistent toy automobile wound up and headed in a given direction, stopping only when it meets with some unanswerable force.”    –  Based on this article, the use adopted a policy of CONTAINMENT (used this article and argument as  justification of the U.S. policy in the Cold War) ã Containment is  defined as the need for the United States to remove any opportunities for its enemy to establish communist governments in other countries. This was accomplished through both persuasion and force. How did the U.S. implement their policy of containment? ã  The Truman Doctrine (1947)  –  Pledged support of U.S. to countries that were in danger of takeover by communist countries.   –  Gave $400 million in economic and military aid to Greece and Turkey. ã The Marshall Plan (1948)    –  Called for nations of Europe (including communist countries) to draw up a program for economic recovery from the war. The U.S. would then support the plan with financial aid. (This action would both improve the European economy as well as reward the U.S. with strong trading partners.)  –  Ultimately gave $17 billion over 4 years to 16 western European nations. Division of Germany ã Problems arose almost immediately after the  Potsdam Conference. Truman refused to allow the Soviets to use Germany’s industrial plants in  Western Germany (mo st of the nation’s industry was located in the west, the non-Soviet sector.) ã Concerned with the deteriorating economic situation in the western zones, the U.S. pumped aid through the Marshall Plan in to Western Germany which got economic recovery underway. ã The Russians were ticked off by this whole Marshall Plan situation, because they felt it was just a way for the U.S. to buy friends in Western Europe. The Berlin Airlift ã Tension then rose when in June 1948, in an attempt to rebuild Germany’s econom y and stop rampant inflation, the 3 western sectors of Germany changed their currency to the Deutsch Mark. The Soviets had not agreed to the currency reform and in response, they blockaded all ground and water routes to West Berlin in June of 1948. ã Trum an did not want to risk starting a war with the Soviet Union by forcing open the trade routes, nor did he want to give up West Berlin to the Soviets. ã So he started what was known as the Berlin Airlift, in which he moved supplies into West Berlin by plane. This went on for over a year. ã The airlift was a success for the U.S. in that it publicly humiliated the Soviets and served to win the hearts of the residents of W. Berlin. ã By the time the Soviet blockade was ended in May 1949, the Marshall Plan had succeeded in strengthening capitalist nations in Western Europe. The Soviets resisted the reunification efforts of the West out of a fear of a reunited Germany which could potentially invade the Soviet Union again. ã In Oct. 1949, the Soviets formed a sepa rate government in E. Germany called German Democratic Republic while the W. was united as the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1949. ã Constant stream of E. Germans fleeing to W. Germany strained E-W relations in the 1950s. The Soviets sealed the borders btw E. and W. Germany in 1952 but people cont. to flee from E. to W. Berlin. ã August 1961 the construction of the Berlin Wall began. The wall ultimately surrounded all of W. Berlin cutting it off from the rest of E. Germany. The wall remained in tact until Nov. 9, 1989. Formation of NATO ã The tension that resulted from the Berlin airlift convinced Western powers that they needed to form a peacetime alliance against the Soviet threat. ã Thus, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was established. Participating nations pledged that an attack on one was an attack on all. ã Participating Nations:    –  Belgium  –  Britain  –  Canada  –  Denmark  –  France  –  Iceland  –  Italy  –  Luxembourg  –  Netherlands  –  Norway  –  Portugal  –  United States Disturbing Events 1. In 1949, a Chinese Civil War between the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party resulted in a victory for the Communists under Mao Zedong. The “loss of China” was very disappointing, and would lead to future efforts to prevent more Asian nations from falling to communism. 2. On September 23rd, 1949, the U.S. learned that the U.S.S.R. had developed a nuclear bomb. From then on, “fear of the bomb” would dictate life in America as well as diplomatic relations. Adoption of NSC-68 ã In response to these events, the National Security Council spelled out American policy in a document entitled NSC-68. ã This document stated that as the Soviets were not able to back up infiltration with intimidation, the U.S. should:  –  Increase the size of the army  –  Form more peacetime alliances  –  Develop the hydrogen bomb (1000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb!)  –  Finance military build-up by tripling to quadrupling its defense budget (from $13 billion to $50 billion annually) in order to meet the security needs of the time. (Increased defense spending was to come from increased taxes.) Key People & Terms People  ALLEN DULLES > The director of the CIA under Eisenhower, who advocated extensive use of covert operations . Most notable among Dulles’s initiatives were U.S.-sponsored coups in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954, which installed pro-American governments in order to curb potential expansion of Communism. Although Eisenhower favored such covert operations because they were relatively low-cost and attracted little attention, the coups in Iran and Guatemala proved rather transparent and caused international anger toward the United States.   JOHN FOSTER DULLES > Secretary of state under Eisenhower (and brother of Allen Dulles) who helped devise Eisenhower’s   New Look foreign policy. Dulles’s policy emphasized   massive retaliation with nuclear weapons. In particular, Dulles advocated the use of nuclear weapons against Ho Chi Minh’s Communist forces in   Vietnam . DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER > A World War II hero and former supreme commander of NATO who became U.S. president in 1953 after easily defeating Democratic opponent Adlai E. Stevenson . Eisenhower expanded New Deal  – era social welfare programs such as Social Security and passed the landmark Federal Highway Act to improve national transportation. However, he cut back funding to other domestic programs to halt what he called “creeping  socialism . ”  His New Look at foreign policy, meanwhile, emphasized nuclear weapons and the threat of massive retaliation against the Soviet Union in order to cut costs and deter the USSR from spreading Communism abroad. Eisenhower committed federal dollars to fighting Communists in Vietnam , resolved the Suez crisis , and authorized CIA -sponsored coups in Iran and Guatemala. HO CHI MINH > The nationalist, Communist leader of the Viet Minh movement, which sought to liberate Vietnam from French colonial rule throughout the 1950s. After being rebuffed by the United States, Ho received aid from the USSR and won a major victory over French forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. This French defeat forced the Geneva Conference of 1954, which split Vietnam into Communist-dominated North Vietnam and French-backed South Vietnam.  JOHN F. KENNEDY >The thirty-fifth U.S. president, who set out to expand social welfare spending with his New Frontier program. Kennedy was elected in 1960, defeating Republican Richard M. Nixon . Feeling that their hands were tied by Eisenhower’s policy of “massive retaliation,” Kennedy and members of his foreign policy staff devised the tactic of “flexible response”  to contain Communism. Kennedy sent “military advisors” to support Ngo Dinh Diem’s corrupt regime in   South Vietnam  and formed the Alliance for Progress to fight poverty and Communism in Latin America. He also backed the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion , which ultimately led to the Cuban missile crisis . In 1963, after Kennedy had spent roughly 1,000 days in office, he was assassinated, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took office. NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV > The head of the Soviet Communist Party and leader of the USSR from 1958 until the early 1960s. Initially, many Americans hoped Khrushchev’s rise to power would lead to a reduction in Cold War tensions. Khrushchev toured the United States in 1959 and visited personally with President Eisenhower at Camp David , Maryland. The U-2 incident and 1962 Cuban missile crisis , however, ended what little amity existed between the two nations and repolarized the Cold War. Party leaders, upset with Khrushchev for having backed down from the Cuban missile crisis , removed him from power in 1964. DOUGLAS MACARTHUR >Five-star American general who commanded Allied forces in the Pacific during World War II . After the war, MacArthur led the American occupation in Japan , helped establish a democratic government there, and in large part rewrote the country’s new constitution outlawing militarism. He later commanded United Nations forces in Korea , driving North Korean forces back north of the 38th parallel after making the brilliant Inchon landing . He ignored Chinese warnings not to approach the North Korean  – Chinese border at the Yalu River, however, and was subsequently driven back down to the 38th parallel by more than a million Chinese troops. President Harry S Truman later rejected MacArthur’s reque st to bomb North Korea and China with nuclear weapons. MacArthur’s public criticism of the president’s decision prompted Truman to remove him from command in 1951.  JOSEPH MCCARTHY >Republican senator from Wisconsin who capitalized on Cold War fears of Communism in the early 1950s by accusing hundreds of government employees of being Communists and Soviet agents. Although McCarthy failed to offer any concrete evidence to prove these claims, many Americans fully supported him. He ruined his own reputation in 1954 after humiliating himself during the televised Army-McCarthy hearings . Disgraced, he received an official censure from the Senate and died an alcoholic in 1957. GAMAL ABDEL NASSER >The nationalist, Communist-leaning president of Egypt who seized the British-controlled Suez Canal in 1956, after economic aid negotiations among Egypt, Great Britain, and the United States fell apart. Nasser’s action precipitated the   Suez crisis , in which Eisenhower uncharacteristically backed the Communist-leaning Nasser and cut off all oil exports to Great Britain and France. RICHARD M. NIXON >Republican congressman from California who rose to national fame as a prominent member of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the late 1940s when he successfully prosecuted Alger Hiss  for being a Communist. Nixon later served as vice president under Dwight D. Eisenhower  from 1953 to 1961. He lost his own bid for the presidency against John F. Kennedy  in 1960 but defeated his Democratic opponent eight years later and became president in 1969. HARRY S TRUMAN > The Vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt  who became president upon Roosevelt’s death in April 1945 and successfully carried out the remainder of World War II . Truman was instrumental in creating a new international political and economic order after the war, helping to form the United Nations , NATO , the World Bank , and the International Monetary Fund . His Marshall Plan also helped Western Europe rebuild after the war and surpass its prewar levels of industrial production. Determined not to let the Soviet Union spread Communism, Truman adopted the idea of containment , announcing his own Truman Doctrine in 1947. His characterization of the Soviet  Union as a force of “ungodly” evil helped shape the Cold War of the next four decades. He also led the nation into the Korean War but eventually fired General Douglas MacArthur for insubordination. Terms ARMY-MCCARTHY HEARINGS >Congressional hearings that took place in 1954 as a result of Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy accusing ranking U.S. Army officers of being Communists and Soviet spies. Tens of millions of Americans watched the televised courtroom proceedings as McCarthy publicly humiliated himself without offering a shred of evidence. The hearings earned McCarthy an official censure from his fellow senators, finished his political career, and effectively ended the Red hunts . BAY OF PIGS INVASION >President John F. Kennedy ’s failed plan to invade Cuba and topple revolutionary leader Fidel Castro with an army of CIA-trained Cuban exiles in 1961. Although Kennedy had srcinally intended to use the U.S. Air Force to help the exiled Cubans retake the island, he unexpectedly withdrew support shortly before the operation started. As a result, the invasion failed utterly, actually consolidated Castro’s power, and pushed Cuba into signing a treaty with the Soviet Union. BERLIN AIRLIFT >The dropping of thousands of tons of food and medical supplies to starving West Berliners after Joseph Stalin closed off all highway and railway access to the city in mid-1948. Stalin hoped to cut off British, French, and American access to the conquered German city, but President Harry S Truman , determined not to lose face or the city, ordered American military planes to drop provisions from the air. The blockade was foiled, and Stalin finally lifted it in 1949. CONTAINMENT >A U.S. foreign policy doctrine that argued that the Soviet Union needed to be “contained” to prevent the spread of Communism throughout the world. First formulated by State Department analyst George Kennan during the Truman administration, it suggested that the United States needed to fight Communism abroad and promote democracy (or at least anti-Communist regimes) worldwide. Policy makers tied it closely with the domino theory . Kennan’s idea eventually developed into the single most important tenet of American foreign policy through the Cold War until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS >The crisis that occurred when Cuban leader Fidel Castro sought economic and military assistance from the Soviet Union after the United States’ failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion . The Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev , capitalized on the failed invasion, allied with Castro, and secured from Castro the right to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. Upon learning of the missiles, President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of the island in 1962 and demanded that Khrushchev remove them. Nuclear war seemed imminent until Khrushchev finally backed down, promising to remove the missiles if Kennedy ended the blockade. The United States complied and also agreed to remove from Turkey nuclear missiles aimed at the USSR. The Communist Party leadership in the USSR removed Khrushchev from power in 1964 for having backed down in the standoff. DIEN BIEN PHU >A site in Vietnam where an important French outpost fell to Ho Chi Minh ’s pro -Communist forces in 1954. After this defeat, an international conference in Geneva split Vietnam into two nations — North Vietnam and South Vietnam — with the dividing line at the 17th parallel . Ho Chi Minh established a government in the city of Hanoi in North Vietnam, while U.S.-backed Ngo Dinh Diem took control of the South Vietnamese government in Saigon . DOMINO THEORY The belief that if the United States allowed one country to fall to Communism, then many more would follow suit, like a row of dominoes. Many foreign policy thinkers subscribed to this theory at the height of the Cold War, and this led the United States to support anti-Communist regimes throughout the world, whether or not they upheld democratic ideals. The domino theory also provided the primary rationale behind Lyndon Johnson’s massive escalation of the conflict in Vietnam to full-scale war. FLEXIBLE RESPONSE >A doctrine of containment that provided for a variety of military and political strategies that the president could use to stem the spread of Communism. The flexible response plan was developed by Defense and State Department officials in the Kennedy administration who felt that Eisenhower’s   “massive retaliation”   doctrine restricted the president’s options too much. HOUSE UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE (HUAC) >A committee established in 1938 by the House of Representatives to investigate individual Americans or organizations who might be linked to the Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan. After World War II, as fear of the Soviet Union spread, HUAC was used to investigate those suspected of having ties to Communism or of being Soviet agents. Congressman Richard M. Nixon played a key role on the committee and used his power to prosecute many, including federal employee Alger Hiss in 1950. MARSHALL PLAN >A plan devised by President Harry S Truman  and Secretary of State George C. Marshall that committed over $10 billion to rebuilding Western Europe after World War II. Although the Soviet Union fiercely opposed the plan, Truman knew that rebuilding the region would provide stability and prevent another world war. The Marshall Plan was highly successful and enabled British, French, Italian, and German factories to exceed prewar production levels within just a few years. MASSIVE RETALIATION >A primary component of Dwight D. Eisenhower ’s   New Look foreign policy   that threatened massive nuclear retaliation against the Soviet Union for any Communist aggression abroad. Designed to save the U.S.
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