In this paper I will explain President J. F. Kennedy’s Doctrine and why it was created. A favorite quote of Kennedy comes to my mind, when thinking about keeping peace between the nations. I quote: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." Kennedy was out for peace, which he demonstrated during his time in office. One of his major events was creating Peace Corps in 1961. Other events that happen during his Presidency where the Cold War, stop the spread of communism in the Third World, which I will go deeper into in this paper. Also, the paper entails the current diplomacy relations between the USA and China not forgetting Russia.
The Cold War and U.S Diplomacy
President J.F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, took power at such a time when the tensions were quite high. His predecessors, especially Eisenhower, were worried about the fact that the Soviet Union could advance its interests to other nations (Doctrine, 2012). As such, they argued that there was the need to support the non-Communist nations so that they could not fall under the Soviet Union. Kennedy was quite hard on this issue. He supported the objectives of his predecessors, but argued that rather than support these nations, what the U.S. should have done was to oppose the formation of any Latin American Communist (Massachusetts University, 2012). In his inaugural speech, Kennedy made this declaration very clear. For many, it appeared as if he was speaking of Cuba since it was one nation that the Soviet Union was concerned with.
The height of the cold war and the point at which Kennedy’s flexibility doctrine came out was when the Soviet Union planted missiles in Cuba which could very easily used against the U.S. (Bowen, 2001). At this time, the president realized that the cold war had come. However, he still stuck to his doctrine that the spread of communism should not be allowed. Therefore, the U.S. went back to its nuclear testing after the president ratified the move. Forces were also deployed to the Cuban nation to support it fight against the Russian invasion. The move seemed to spark a series of guerillas in the Latin American nations including the Vietnam, where the actual war was fought for quite a long time.
The Kennedy’s doctrine had a lasting impression on the diplomatic ties between the U.S. and other nations. First of all, it broke the diplomatic ties between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. However, this did not last for long since the latter collapsed after the failure of communism. The relationship with Cuba was, however, improved. Due to the collaboration between the U.S. forces and the Cuban military, U.S.S.R. was pushed out of Cuba. The collaboration led to the establishment of a U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay which is still in operation to date (Bowen, 2001). This indicates that the ties between the two were improved. On the negative side, the doctrine also broke the ties between the U.S. and other communist states. It also led to a loathing of the U.S. in areas where human and property losses were incurred as a result of the cold war such as Vietnam.
There were advantages and disadvantages that could be associated with the doctrine adopted during the cold war. In the positive light, it reduces the expenses for the U.S. government. Rather than spend dollars supporting the other non-communist nations to resist communism, the U.S. just facilitated the nations to use what they had to resist the spread of communism. As such, it did not violate the sovereignty of these nations and also did not spend so much on the war. Another good thing is that the nations that were assisted became long term associates of the U.S. in economic as well as military sense. A good example of this is Cuba.
There were also some negative impacts of the doctrine. For instance, in support of the guerillas, there were some outcomes that were not expected. Such an incident was the assassination of the South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem. In as much as the U.S. presidents and the Americans could wash their hands of his blood, it can be said that they had a hand in it since they supported the guerillas. There were also loss of many lives and destruction of property. For instance, during the Vietnamese war, a lot of American soldiers were killed. A lot of money was spent and much property was destroyed. These are some of the issues that could have been avoided only if a different method was adopted to deal with the issue.
In conclusion, this essay has looked at President John F. Kennedy and his doctrine of responding flexibly to the communist expansion. In doing so, the paper has looked at the cold war and how it came about. This meant that there was the need to look at how the war affected the American diplomatic efforts. Through literature review, the paper has looked at the manner in which Kennedy handled the issue and the outcomes of the same. Lastly, it has looked at the advantages and the disadvantages of the doctrine adopted by the president. In a nutshell, it can be said that the approach was quite radical as compared to his predecessors. However, he still managed to accomplish what he was set to do, which carved him a niche in history.
America’s diplomatic relations with other countries especially in the wake of the 21st century has a lot to look into and explore. Its presidents have played a very significant role in shaping these policies especially after WWI, WWII and the subsequent Cold War too. Much has changed though especially after the end of the cold war in regard to its relations and foreign policy. Some of the countries that will be looked into through this lens are Russia and China. This is so because it is interesting how they have coped through the years and how the USA gets to solve conflicts with them.
The battle for supremacy between the USA and USSR ended about two decades ago. The American presidents and the USA presidents that came after the end of the cold war have been of major importance in dealing with the mystery of rekindling the friendship and diplomatic ties. They may have resolved part of the problems they had during the cold war but there are a few issues that have dogged the two countries for quite some time now (Hart 2011). One of them is the issue of dealing with their policies towards the threat of nuclear terrorism. The two nations have had significant misunderstandings on policy toward Iran and Syria over nuclear weapons.
All in all, the two nations could be enjoying cordial relationships but much of the time, each is suspicious of the other more especially in the wake of the war against nuclear terrorism. To some extent, the USA seems to be holding a very tough stance on this issue while the USSR seems sluggish. This then can be said to be a very serious problem between the two. In the recent past, Russia has tried to rebuild its ties with the countries that are considered a threat to this fight against terrorism, one of them being Syria which is not an ally of the USA (Hart 2011).
This has lead to these two to have serious ideological problems in regard to the fight against terrorism
The United States and the USSR were the major participants of the cold war. This is so because the battle for supremacy was basically about the ideologies of these two powerful nations during that time. The USA was preaching capitalism while the USSR was for communism form of social organization as well as economy. The end of the cold war brought about a series of reforms which led to the cooperation of the two nations and their relationship improved tremendously.
Part of the changes that were seen was the participation of the two nations at the United Nations whereby the gridlock that had been created during the cold war was resolved. Apart from this, the USA spearheaded a couple of political reforms in the USSR which the USSR agreed to though there are those they never agreed on but at least, the two countries rekindled their friendship ties. Today, they are very cooperative in the fight against nuclear weapons even though their ideologies seem to differ in dealing with Iran’s dealings in gaining nuclear weapons. That notwithstanding, the two nations partnered in the war in Iraq something that was considered a show of their cooperation indicating that they can work together.
Another country whose ties with the USA today are of interest is China. There have been lately thorny issues coming up which have soured the relationship between the two countries. The USA and China seem to have divergent ideologies about human rights and this is the main reason why the USA has always wanted China to change its stand on human rights and the political landscape. Aside from this the problems of sale of arms and Tibet have really been a hard nut to crack by both nations (Global Times 2010). This has always led to sharp exchanges and serious disagreements between not only the leaders of these nations but also the citizens.
At the beginning of the Bush Jr. administration, the diplomatic relations between the two nations was headed to the dogs. Even in the Obama administration, China is a country that is held at an arm’s length because of the economic position it has taken in the world therefore making it hard for the USA to recover quickly from the recession. All these and other major factors have made the relations of the two countries be held in suspicion, in their case, no one trusts the other.
When looking at the diplomatic ties between the two nations and the USA, that is USA versus Russia and USA versus China, the bottom line is that, in as much as there exists cordial relations, USA treats both of them with suspicion especially when it comes to the issue on the war against nuclear terrorism as well as the problem of the sale of arms. But one thing that is for a fact is that at least, they can sit on a round table and negotiate about the way forward in this issue (Pillar 2001). But the difference only comes in when the two are dealt with individually because china seems to be more of an economic threat and Russia is a threat when it comes to nuclear weapons.
Before the end of the cold war, the USA as the world super power had a way in which it was combating the issues or problems it had with other nations more so those it had conflicting ideologies with. This can be ruled as the norm at the time. This can be clearly be seen in a example of it relations with the USSR during the cold war (Roskin & Berry 2010). But at the end of the cold war in 1991, this changed because using its laws on foreign diplomacy; USA could now use its diplomatic missions abroad to solve any issues it considered worth solving. It has established diplomatic ties with other nations and can now sit on a round table with a cooperative country to hold talks about a problem. This can be seen through its talks with countries like USSR, China and even The Korea.
Bowen, G.L. (2001). U.S Foreign Policy Toward Cuba: The Cold War Comes to the Americas. Retrieved on July 25, 2012 from http://www.mbc.edu/faculty/gbowen/cuba.htm
Doctrine. (2012). United States Presidential Doctrines. Retrieved on July 26, 2012 from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CFoQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmyclass.peelschools.org%2Fsec%2F12%2F10885%2FResources%2FDetente%2FDoctrines.2.doc&ei=vLkSUOSVBNK2hAfRzoFY&usg=AFQjCNFfOf4l2NjT8WKMMvMz36X3TMY1pQ&sig2=hodIuTlrqG2XhFLCgnmilQ
Global Times. (2010). US Policy towards China Wavering. Retrieved on August 29th, 2012
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Pillar, P. (2001). Terrorism and US Foreign Policy. Harrisonburg: Donnelley & Sons
Roskin, M., & Berry, N. (2010). The new world of international relations. Upper Saddle River:
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