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Week 7 Notes

by: Victoria De Almeida Tellechea-Rotta

Week 7 Notes PSC2446

Victoria De Almeida Tellechea-Rotta
GPA 3.54
U.S. Foreign Policy
Elizabeth Saunders

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About this Document

This is the lecture post-Spring break, after both the movie and the lecture on paper-writing. (3/18)
U.S. Foreign Policy
Elizabeth Saunders
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria De Almeida Tellechea-Rotta on Thursday March 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSC2446 at a university taught by Elizabeth Saunders in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 97 views.


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Date Created: 03/19/15
Week 7 32 Case Study Cold War Cuban Missile Crisis 0 Why was the US so hostile towards Castro Hostility was not there initially Washington pretty happy to see him go in the beginning Kennedy Batista was awful maybe Castro won t be so bad Initially doesn t seem to be a source of con ict 0 Hostility starts when Castro begins to nationalize American owned facilities and got friendly with the Soviet Union 0 First and primary purpose Cuban nationalist 0 By the time Kennedy is elected in 1961 there is a plan well underway to overthrow Castro 0 Nip this in the bud before it becomes a problem 0 Bay of Pigs Latin America had been a sphere of in uence for the US far back as Monroe doctrine Cuba particularly part of sphere American economic and political domination less than real independence in the years since Spanish American war Eisenhower Admin aversion to do things with large scale military but fond of covert operations CIA failed to estimate the amount of popular support Castro had Kennedy authorized it without taking much of a look makes him really skeptical in the future Particularly skeptical of JCOF and CIA Joint Chiefs of Staff 0 Cuban Missile Crisis 0 Nikita Khruschev takes over Stalin Interprets Bay of Pigs as a sign of US strength oddly enough Cuba at risk of being invaded again Under some pressure at home USSR had fallen behind in nuclear strategic balance US had more ICBMs 0 First strike capability idea that if we both have nukes and we both know details the worry is that I might re one off and then you attack me and we both die If I know that my nukes are protectedyou don t have enough to take out my missiles SURVIVABLE Attack you without fear First strike capability Destabilizes deterrent value Harden your target hide them and put them in bunkers 0 Why does US risk nuclear war in order to get missiles out of Cuba It is a political threat on some level Monroe Doctrine Domestic pressure Republicans International stakes connected and tied together with Cuba particularly the Berlin problem All happing amidst Congressional elections 0 Themes that are recurrent today Danger of nuclear weapons Fear that if you invade what are the troops going to do Tricky problems with human beings involved US massively underestimated number of Soviet troops in the islands Do not shoot spy planes down Soviets But they did Can t always be sure orders you give will be followed Tapes amp bureaucratic policies how things play out Interconnectedness of American foreign policy Role of intelligence Dealing with dictators can be very challening O 3 interpretations of the crisis Three Models I Model I Khruschev puts missiles in debate about what to do put in blockade Soviets blink missiles out US chooses blockade as most likely way Khrushchev decides he fears nuclear war I Model 11 September intelligence says offensive missiles into Cuba will not be introduced no need for U2 ights Not one until Oct 14th But US knew that there was intelligence on Soviet lumberships Cuban refugees talking about missiles Report of Castros s private pilot we will ght to the death we have everything including atomic weapons Intelligence routines SOPs are not just a US problem why didn t the Soviets camou age the missiles until after the US knew about them I Model III US perspective why did the US choose blockade instead of taking missiles out 14 people involved very signi cant The Vietnam War Confusion about Vietnam war and distrust about public gures in Washington Era of protests students Look at its origins and how it happened At the beginning it was a pretty popular war supported by a majority of Americans 58000 dead Think of Vietnam War in context a lot in Vietnam in Kennedy administration Feeling that there would be triumph and many of the decisions makers of Cuban Missile Crisis were also involved in Johnson admin for Vietnam WHY 0 Why did the US get involved so signi cantly and risk its own troops when most people look back and agree there are no vital interests at stake Why could they not accept the loss of Vietnam 1 Why should we still care Major event longest American invasion of the Cold War ecological devastation of the war last 6 months of 1973 Cambodia gets more bombs than all of Japan in WWII The shadow of Vietnam has been cast over how the United States uses war Vietnam Syndrome shy about using weaponry until Gulf War in 1991 There have also been a lot of parallels w Iraq and Afghanistan nation building quagmire insurgents Vietnam does have way more deaths American side and other side Interest in Vietnam goes back to Truman French established colony in Indochina but lost control to Japanese in WWI 1945 Japanese are defeated Ho Chi Min asks for support for independence because France would just come back US had never been invested in the idea of an empire doesn t respond due to alienation of the French keep Europe together focus was really there Let s not rock the boat Only after the communist went into China in 1949 that the Chinese begin to give Min some support Truman Korean War the loss of any single country in Southeast Asia would lead to all countries commie Early articulation of domino theory Ideaconcern that if Indochina fell everyone would go communist Gave a lot of aid to the non communist portion Accepts the loss of North Vietnam and Ho Chi Min establishes communist government US helps establish guy on the South By the 1950s the man in South provokes a lot of opposition which communist begins to eXploit Want to get rid of division and unify Vietnam Kennedy elected in 1960 Eisenhower has committed 1500 military advisors and a big aid program Kennedy accepts this basic idea that we cannot allow South to fall to communism raises advisors ten fold Essentially help VietCong in counterinsurgency in South State of affairs of Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 Big decisions to increase US involvement in 1961 and 1962 until he dies South leader is increasingly seen as a dictator US did consider supporting a coup against the leader Johnson inherits the Kennedy commitment and the South vietnamese government becomes incredibly unstable Johnson decides to make major military effort Drafts call up Johnson decisions that were taken in 1965 A series of events like Tompkin Gulf resolution led up to this Could he have stepped back Conceals resolution and intention to escalate until 1965 February launches rolling thunder against Vietnam Four main explanations that help illustrate whv QuagmireSlippery Slope Thesis Thompson reading First draft in the early years after war Seen as not knowing what they were getting themselves into adding small steps and then they see they committed a 50000 troops Slow boil it never tripped any alarms Trouble early 70s Pentagon always writes postmortems and they produced this incredible document Never intended to be made public and was actually made public When they came out the Quagmire thesis was proven to be not true The System Worked Gelb All presidents knew exactly what they were doing particularly LBJ knew that the military options probably wouldn t work The system did what it was programmed to do Presidents all assessed that Vietnam was important due to reputational cost of not intervening no one will believe us in the future if we won t defend Vietnam has very little to do with it itself None of them stop to re assess this idea They didn t do enough to guarantee victory because their goal wasn t to win but to not lose Continuity arc doesn t matter who was president Inevitability Johnson s Fault individuals Logevall This wasn t inevitable by 1965 many of the Allies that were supposed to be reassured by the Americans the Europeans were telling them not to ght Vietnam Congress also warned of dire political consequences and public opinion there was shallow support LBJ was a master politician should have known Johnson s obsession with credibility is what drives him to chose war and could have walked back commitment in 65 Defense Spending Gaddis Big defense expenditures of the exible response strategy which has to do which spending on peripheral and strongpoint defense once you build these capabilities you want to start to use them A war like Vietnam is more likely when you are in conditions of higher defense expenditures 0 Four Prescriptions to have saved Vietnam Quagmire Improve information ow x the bureaucracy etc Better information The System Worked Curator Mentality Challenges assumptions J ohnsons Elect better leaders Defense Spending Starve the beastquot


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