The Cold War


            28 November-1 December    Tehran
            Meeting to coordinate strategy against Nazi Germany at which it was determined that Stalin would retain the Baltic states as well as gain Polish and Romanian territory. Roosevelt acceded to many of Stalin's demands, to the somewhat detriment of Churchill, in an attempt to gain Soviet favour for the war in the Pacific.

           4-11 February        Yalta
          Summit meeting of the Big Three, which is often said to mark the highest point in international cooperation between the three nations. Postwar issues were discussed, primarily the division of Germany, though specifications of war reparations were left to be decided at the next meeting. Free, democratic elections for countries liberated from the Nazis were agreed upon as were the borders of Poland. The decision at Yalta also sanctioned the creation of the UN and it was set that Russia would join the war in the Pacific following the defeat of Germany.

            17 July-2 August    Potsdam
            First summit meeting after Roosevelt's death in which decisions were made regarding the actual implementation of agreements at Yalta. Further decision on occupation of Germany and war reparations had been stalled by Roosevelt in hopes of reaching compromise after the heat of the issues had cooled off, but Truman's hard line against the Soviets was in direct opposition to Roosevelt's more conciliatory policies. Thus this conference marks one of the early ideological conflicts of the Cold War. A Council of Foreign ministers was established to deal with peace treaties.

            "Iron Curtain" speech      

            Truman Doctrine
            The standard for American Cold War policy was set by the Truman Doctrine in 1947. It stressed the dangerous expansionism of the USSR and pledged support for "free peoples" around the world and those who were struggling against communism. It was prompted by the British withdrawal of forces in Greece and Turkey and was aimed at the containment of Communism even through, to some extent, military means.

        Marshall Plan
        The Marshall Plan was a way to restore capitalism in Europe by providing dollar loans to non-communist states. This helped prevent a post-war depression as well as ensuring American dominance in the European economic sector. Restoring economic stability was seen as a key way of containing Communism; part of the thinking was that states prosperous under a free market system were unlikely to view Communism as an attractive alternative.

Major Events


            Berlin Blockade/Airlift
            Czechoslovakia separates from USSR
            Tito starts idea of non-alignment by having a Communist government that is separate from the Soviets.
            NATO formed
military and political alliance formed to protect and defend Western Europe from Soviet attack

            End of Berlin Blockade
12 May 1949, after the West had agreed to a reconvening of the Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the "German question" post-establishment of the FRG Basic Law (8 May 1949).
            FRG formed
            Soviets Test A-bomb

            GDR granted nominal independence
            1 October     PRC proclaimed
           US launches H-bomb development

            Rosenbergs arrested
            US tests first H-bomb
            Soviets test first H-bomb

            The CIA helps bring into power a right-wing military junta
            Relations normalized in Western Europe
            Postwar occupation by Britain, France and the US ends
            7 May                        Dien Bien Phu
            French defeat; France agree to pull out on 20 July
            14 May            Warsaw Pact formed
            Nasser buys eastern bloc arms
            USA and Britain withdraw financial aid for Aswan Dam
            -Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal
            (Distracts West from Hungary)
            -Suez Crisis (29 October)
                        France, Britain, and Israel attack Egypt.
            -Cease-fire in Suez conflict after UN pressure
            Hungarian Revolution
            (Distracts USSR from Egypt)
            -Reformist Communist Imre Nagy is brought back as Prime Minister in a popular uprising.
            -Warsaw Pact troops invade Hungary
            -The USSR appoints Kádár as head of government
            4 October            Sputnik launched
            FNLA established
            US supports this guerilla group to fight for a non-communist, independent Angola
            Kádár's hardline Soviet government hangs Nagy
            Castro rules Cuba
            Kitchen Debates

            1 May        U-2 Incident
            Just before a summit meeting to take place in Paris, the Soviets shot down one of the American U-2 spy planes. Khruschev denounced American aggression and threatened to retaliate in Norway, Pakistan, and Turkey where other U-2's were based. Following the hostile summit, US-USSR relations were frozen for the remainder of Eisenhower's term.
            Vietcong (NLF) formed
            Guerrilla force to liberate South Vietnam from US-backed government

            Bay of Pigs
            US attempt to remove Castro fails because it does not gain the support of locals as had been anticipated
            13 August        Berlin Wall
            Built by the GDR to stop the mass exodus of its citizens
            Cuban Missile Crisis
October 16-28: Khruschev placed nuclear missiles in Cuba in an attempt to counter US numerical superiority. Of course, he claimed that it was to prevent an American invasion and was thus defensive action. President Kennedy decided on 22 October that the best course of action would be to place a blockade around the island, relying on the belief that the missiles were not yet operational and equipment was still in the process of being sent to Cuba. Six days later the Soviets agreed to remove the weapons and it is now known that Kennedy had entered into a secret agreement to not invade Cuba. Often called the beginning of the end of the Cold War.
            "Ich bin ein Berliner"
            Pol Pot builds up the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian Communist Party
            Limited Test Ban Treaty
            Banned atmospheric testing
            Gulf of Tonkin Incident
            Alleged attack by the North Vietnamese on the destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy on 2 and 4 August of 1964. Leads to increased American involvement in the Vietnam War.
            Prague Spring
            Dubcek started a programme of political reform in the Spring of 1968 and installed more personal freedoms in Czechoslovakia, but this only lasted for a very brief period of time as he was arrested in August and 650,000 Soviet troops occupied the country to bring it back to Soviet Communism.
            26 September            Brezhnev Doctrine
            Soviet foreign policy justifying the invasion of Czechoslovakia under the Warsaw Pact. It stated that the Communist parties were to have dominance in their respective states –under leaders approved in Moscow. If these conditions were put in jeopardy, neighboring socialist states were obligated to intervene. The PRC labeled this as imperialism. The Brezhnev Doctrine was loosened under Gorbachev to allow for his reforms. It was eventually dropped all together on 25 October 1989.

            The direction of foreign policy adopted by the Federal Republic of East Germany in 1969 aimed at improving relations with Eastern Europe. It reversed the Hallstein Doctrine under which the FRG refused to have diplomatic relations with any state that recognized the GDR. "Ostpolitik" became official FRG policy in 1969 and in addition to increasing trade opportunities it was to reduce the reliance on US military aid.

            25 July
            Vietnamization begins
            30 November
            Nixon agrees to pull out of Vietnam

            PRC admitted into UN
            SALT I
            Signed by Nixon and Brezhnev, set limits for each country's ballistic missile defense and froze deployment of ICBM launchers.
            ABM Treaty
            The ABM Treaty constrains strategic defenses to a total of 200 launchers and interceptors, 100 at each of two widely separated deployment areas. These restrictions are intended to prevent the establishment of a nationwide defense or the creation of a base for deploying such a defense. The treaty also codifies the principle of "non-interference" by one party with the national technical means of verification of the other, thereby protecting the right of overflight by reconnaissance satellites.
            This becomes obsolete quickly as technological advancements made Anti-Balistic Missiles themselves obsolete. MIRVs increased the chances of being able to destroy the other side's strategic force and thus that side's ability to retaliate following an attack.
            Helsinki Accords
            1.) free determination
            -human rights
            -inviolable frontiers
            -advance notification of large-scale military manœuvres.
             2.)East-West cooperation in economics, science, technology,  the environment, and trade
             3.)Humanitarian cooperation -free flow of people, information, and ideas

            16 July
            Iranian Revolution outs the Shah, a US ally.
            SALT II
            Signed by Carter and Brezhnev. Limited the number of strategic missile launchers and other such systems that each country could deploy. Even though SALT II was never actually ratified by the US Senate, it was generally adhered to by both countries.
            17 July             Nicaragua
            Sandinistas overthrow the pro-US Somoza government                

December            Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
            Marks the end of the Brezhnev Thaw
            January                 Rapid Deployment Force
            Created in response to events in Afghanistan, Carter moves toward a policy of "mobile response."
            "any attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the USA and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary."
            July            Presidential Directive 59
            Carter increases military spending
            Anti-communist trade union started in Poland.
            INF Talks
            Deadlocked talks for cutting intermediate-range missiles in Euroe. Terminated by Soviet Union in '83
            Strategic Arms Reduction Talks calling for deep cuts in total nuclear weapons. Rejected in '83 as it would have cut deep into Soviet land-based missiles (the heart of their weapons), while allowing the US to keep modernizing their strategic triad (ICBMs, SLBMS, and manned strategic bombers)
1983              SDI aka Star Wars
            Development of IBM Defense systems that will be deployed from Outer Space to destroy Soviet missiles in flight.
            -potential to give US the confidence to launch a pre-emptive first strike
            -Reagan says it was to boost up the arms race into making Soviets ruin their economy by stockpiling. (Only thing is, it was cheaper for the Soviets to do that than the cost of SDI)
            "Zero Option"
            US offers to cancel planned deployment of Pershing II IRBMs and Tomahawk cruise missiles if the Soviets dismantle all intermediate range missiles in Europe and elsewhere.
            Soviets reject this because they *just* deployed SS-20s and it would also still leave US forward-based systems and the nuclear forces of France and Great Britain.
            Reagan declares support for Contras
            25 October          Grenada        
            US invades Grenada after the New JEWEL Movement's (somewhat Marxist-Leninist) leader is assassinated. JEWEL had planned on building an airport to help with tourism, but US viewed this as a threat because it would be used by Cuba and the USSR as well, in exchange for financial aid. The US holds elections, but the action was condemned by the UN.
            Glastnost and Perestroika
            Gorbachev comes to power (March) and launches Glasnost (open debate on government policies) and Perestroika (economic restructuring). Realizes that military spending is crippling the Soviet economy, so he works hard at getting arms control so that he can go on with plans to restore the economy.

            Iran-Contra Scandal
            May 1 1984: Congress decides to cut aid to the Contras in Nicaragua (Contra- CIA sponsored forces in Nicaragua fighting the Communist Sandinistas)
            Reagan administration uses profits from illegal sale of arms in Iran to secretly fund Contras. Exposed in 1986. Reagan not incriminated but many of his top aides resign and are later convicted.

            Gorbachev accepts the 1981 "zero option" (intermediate range)  and proposes "double zero" (short range).
            December            INF Treaty
            First arms reduction agreement.

            Soviets pull out of Afghanistan
            20 May            Tiananmen Square protest crushed by government

            Poland =non-communist
            Elections bring the Solidarity movement to the head of the coalition government
            November            Berlin Wall Falls
            Czechoslovakia =non-communist
            Romania =non-communist
            Only country in Eastern Europe to have bloodshed in the fall of their Communist government as dictator Ceausescu and wife are executed in an uprising
            3 October            Germany Reuinited
            2 December –Free all-German elections held (first time since 1932)
            1 July                        Warsaw Pact dissolved
            Soviets cut arms shipments to Afghanistan (former Soviet Afghan government falls in April 1992)

The Home Front

Eisenhower's Foreign Policy

-pushing a given situation to the edge of war will allow for the greatest possible negotiation advantage

Massive retaliation
            NATO doctrine of "strategic nuclear deterrence." The goal was to intimidate the Soviets into not using their conventional forces in Europe, which greatly outnumbered those of the West and thus the United States would no longer need to maintain, at great monetary cost, their conventional forces to such an extent. This was essentially identical to Eisenhower's "New Look" defense strategy.
Kennedy's Domestic Policy
The New Frontier
Wanted strong energy from the White House and his cabinet and demanded a “strong” presidency
However, JFK was dealing with a bipartisan congress - few reforms of the New Frontier came to pass
Educational reform, housing reform aid to cities, immigration reform are all defeated.   Keynesian economic strategy of tax cuts with deficit spending - never cleared congress.

Kennedy's Foreign Policy

Secretary of State: Dean Rusk
Attorney General: Bobby Kennedy (pushed for Civil Rights)
National Security Advisor: McGeorge Bundy
Secretary of Defense: Robert S. McNamara
Flexible Response (nuclear technology and conventional weapon response)
-capability to fight across all spectrums of warfare
-respond to conflict anywhere in the world within 24 hours
1. Second Strike Capability essential (had to be able to endure a first strike and still be able to save all capabilities of striking back)
2. No cities doctrine (McNamara): Make it clear to Krushchev that there is no Russian city that is a target (target military not civilians –hopes this will influence Khrushchev's policy as well)
 3. Mutual Assured Destruction
"Assured Destruction" developed as numbers of Soviet nuclear weapons increased greatly. The idea was that numerical superiority was not as important as convincing the Soviets of American intent to use nuclear weapons as direct retaliation. It was given the name "Mutual Assured Destruction" (MAD) by skeptics who found it unlikely that this would scare the Soviets so much that they would not proclaim the same. MAD, did, nevertheless, become the basis for limiting strategic weapons. After all, only a few nuclear weapons are necessary to cause unthinkable damage.
US must hold on to all of its 300 global bases
Increase in the Defense Budget by 13% or $6 billion!
Alliance for Progress
            March 1961: Kennedy planned this ten-year program to promote social reform, economic progress and democracy through unity among the Americas. More than $22 billion was given in aid to Latin America. Per capita economic growth was about 2.1% a year and increased to 3.7% through the 1960's. The social and (especially) political reforms were not successful and the 1960's saw many military coups, which the US supported as long as they were anti-communist, even if they were not at all democratic.
The Peace Corps
        1 March, 1961: Established through Executive Order 10924 and authorized by Congress on 22 September. The goal as stated in the Peace Corps Act was to "promote world peace and friendship" and in so doing "help the peoples of [foreign] countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower."
        1958 Krushchev issues first Ultimatum that says US, France, and Britain have 6 months to leave Berlin and give it to Soviets (ignored by the other countries)
June 1961: Krushchev issues 2nd Ultimatum
Kennedy meets with Krushchev for first time, but refuses to follow ultimatum
Kennedy asks for an increase of $3.25 billion dollars to aid West Berlin

Kennedy said, “We cannot and we will not permit the Communists to drive us out of Berlin...”
June 1963: Kennedy reassures West Berlin, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”