When Dwight D. Eisenhower was sworn in as U.S. President in 1953, the Democrats lost their two-decades-long control of the U.S. presidency. Under Eisenhower, however, the United States' Cold War policy remained essentially unchanged. Whilst a thorough rethinking of foreign policy was launched (known as "Operation Solarium"), the majority of emerging ideas (such as a "rollback of Communism" and the "liberation" of Eastern Europe) were quickly regarded as unworkable. An underlying focus on the "containment" of Soviet communism remained to inform the broad approach of U.S. foreign policy.
An important strand in American politics of this period was McCarthyism. Named after Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, this was a period of intense anti-communism which lasted from 1948 to about 1956. The government of the United States prosecuted the leadership of the Communist Party USA as well as other individuals suspected of being communists. McCarthy's career faltered in 1954 as his hearings were televised for the first time, allowing the public and press to view his tactics.
While the transition from the Truman to the Eisenhower presidencies was a conservative-moderate in character, the change in the Soviet Union was immense. With the death of Joseph Stalin (who led the Soviet Union from 1928 and through the Great Patriotic War) in 1953, his former right-hand man Nikita Khrushchev was named First Secretary of the Communist Party.
During a subsequent period of collective leadership, Khrushchev gradually consolidated his hold on power. At a speech to the closed session of the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, February 25, 1956, Nikita Khrushchev shocked his listeners by denouncing Stalin's personality cult and many crimes that occurred under Stalin's leadership. Although the contents of the speech were secret, it was leaked to outsiders, thus shocking both Soviet allies and Western observers. Khrushchev was later named premier of the Soviet Union in 1958.
The impact on Soviet politics was immense. The speech stripped Khrushchev's remaining Stalinist rivals of their legitimacy in a single stroke, dramatically boosting the First Party Secretary's power domestically. Khrushchev was then able to ease restrictions, freeing some dissidents and initiating economic policies that emphasized commercial goods rather than just coal and steel production.
When Eisenhower entered office in 1953, he was committed to two possibly contradictory goals: maintaining — or even heightening — the national commitment to counter the spread of Soviet influence; and satisfying demands to balance the budget, lower taxes, and curb inflation. The most prominent of the doctrines to emerge out of this goal was "massive retaliation," which Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announced early in 1954. Eschewing the costly, conventional ground forces of the Truman administration, and wielding the vast superiority of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and covert intelligence, Dulles defined this approach as "brinksmanship" in a January 16, 1956, interview with Life: pushing the Soviet Union to the brink of war in order to exact concessions.
Eisenhower inherited from the Truman administration a military budget of roughly US$42 billion, as well as a paper (NSC-141) drafted by Acheson, Harriman, and Lovett calling for an additional $7-9 billion in military spending. With Treasury Secretary George Humphrey leading the way, and reinforced by pressure from Senator Robert Taft and the cost-cutting mood of the Republican Congress, the target for the new fiscal year (to take effect on July 1, 1954) was reduced to $36 billion. While the Korean armistice was on the verge of producing significant savings in troop deployment and money, the State and Defense Departments were still in an atmosphere of rising expectations for budgetary increases. Humphrey wanted a balanced budget and a tax cut in February 1955, and had a savings target of $12 billion (obtaining half of this from cuts in military expenditures).
Although unwilling to cut deeply into defense, the President also wanted a balanced budget and smaller allocations for defense. "Unless we can put things in the hands of people who are starving to death we can never lick communism", he told his cabinet. Moreover, Eisenhower feared that a bloated "military-industrial complex" (a term he popularized) "would either drive U.S. to war— or into some form of dictatorial government" and perhaps even force the U.S. to "initiate war at the most propitious moment." On one occasion, the former commander of the greatest amphibious invasion force in history privately exclaimed, "God help the nation when it has a President who doesn't know as much about the military as I do.
In the meantime, however, attention was being diverted elsewhere in Asia. The continuing pressure from the "China lobby" or "Asia firsters," who had insisted on active efforts to restore Chiang Kai-shek to power was still a strong domestic influence on foreign policy. In April 1953 Senator Robert Taft and other powerful Congressional Republicans suddenly called for the immediate replacement of the top chiefs of the Pentagon, particularly the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Omar Bradley. To the so-called "China lobby" and Taft, Bradley was seen as having leanings toward a Europe-first orientation, meaning that he would be a possible barrier to new departures in military policy that they favored. Another factor was the vitriolic accusations of McCarthyism, where large portions of the U.S. government allegedly contained covert communist agents or sympathizers. But after the mid-term elections in 1954 — and censure by the Senate — the influence of Joseph McCarthy ebbed after his unpopular accusations against the Army.
The administration attempted to reconcile the conflicting pressures from the "Asia firsters" and pressures to cut federal spending while continuing to fight the Cold War effectively. On May 8, 1953, the President and his top advisors tackled this problem in "Operation Solarium", named after the White House sunroom where the president conducted secret discussions. Although it was not traditional to ask military men to consider factors outside their professional discipline, the President instructed the group to strike a proper balance between his goals to cut government spending and an ideal military posture.
The group weighed three policy options for the next year's military budget: the Truman-Acheson approach of containment and reliance on conventional forces; threatening to respond to limited Soviet "aggression" in one location with nuclear weapons; and serious "liberation" based on an economic response to the Soviet political-military-ideological challenge to Western hegemony: propaganda campaigns and psychological warfare. The third option was strongly rejected. Eisenhower and the group (consisting of Allen Dulles, Walter Bedell Smith, C.D. Jackson, and Robert Cutler) instead opted for a combination of the first two, one that confirmed the validity of containment, but with reliance on the American air-nuclear deterrent. This was geared toward avoiding costly and unpopular ground wars, such as Korea.
The Eisenhower administration viewed the atomic bomb as an integral part of U.S. defense, hoping that they would bolster the relative capabilities of the U.S. vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. The administration also reserved the prospects of using them, in effect, as a weapon of first resort, hoping to gain the initiative while reducing costs. By wielding the nation's nuclear superiority, the new Eisenhower-Dulles approach was a cheaper form of containment geared toward offering Americans "more bang for the buck."
Thus, the administration increased the number of nuclear warheads from 1,000 in 1953 to 18,000 by early 1961. Despite overwhelming U.S. superiority, one additional nuclear weapon was produced each day. The administration also exploited new technology. In 1955 the eight-engined B-52 Stratofortress bomber, the first true jet bomber designed to carry nuclear weapons, was developed.
In 1962, the United States had more than eight times as many bombs and missile warheads than the USSR: 27,297 to 3,332.
In 1961, the U.S. deployed 15 Jupiter IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles) at İzmir, Turkey, aimed at the western USSR's cities, including Moscow. Given its range, Moscow was only 16 minutes away. The U.S. could also launch -range Polaris SLBMs from submerged submarines.
Khrushchev hoped that exclusive reliance on the nuclear firepower of the newly created Strategic Rocket Forces would remove the need for increased defense expenditures. He also sought to use nuclear deterrence to justify his massive troop cuts; his downgrading of the Ground Forces, traditionally the "fighting arm" of the Soviet armed forces; and his plans to replace bombers with missiles and the surface fleet with nuclear missile submarines.
However, during the Cuban Missile Crisis the USSR had only four R-7 Semyorkas and few R-16s intercontinental missiles deployed in vulnerable surface launchers.In 1962 the Soviet submarine fleet had only 8 submarines with short range missiles which could be launched only from submarines that surfaced and lost their hidden submerged status.
Khrushchev's attempt to introduce a nuclear doctrine limited to deterrence into Soviet military thought misfired. Discussion of nuclear war in the first authoritative Soviet monograph on strategy since the 1920s, Marshal Vasilii Sokolovskii's "Military Strategy" (published in 1962, 1963, and 1968) and in the 1968 edition of "Marxism-Leninism on War and the Army", focused upon the use of nuclear weapons for fighting rather than for deterring a war. Should such a war break out, both sides would pursue the most decisive aims with the most forceful means and methods. Intercontinental ballistic missiles and aircraft would deliver massed nuclear strikes on the enemy's military and civilian objectives. The war would assume an unprecedented geographical scope, but Soviet military writers argued that the use of nuclear weapons in the initial period of the war would decide the course and outcome of the war as a whole. Both in doctrine and in strategy, the nuclear weapon reigned supreme.
This fact often made leaders on both sides extremely reluctant to take risks, fearing that some small flare-up could ignite a war that could wipe out all of human civilization. Nonetheless, leaders of both nations pressed on with military and espiongage plans to do in the other side. At the same time, different avenues were attempted to try to advance their causes; these began to encompass athletics (with the Olympics becoming a battleground between ideologies as well as athletes) and culture (with respective countries supporting pianists, chess players, and movie directors).
One of the most important forms of non-violent competition was the space race. The Soviets jumped out to an early lead in 1957 with the launching of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, followed by the first manned flight. The success of the Soviet space program was a great shock to the United States, which had believed itself to be ahead technologically. The ability to launch objects into orbit was especially ominous because it meant Soviet missiles could target anywhere on the planet.
Soon after, the Americans had a space program of their own but remained behind the Soviets until the mid-1960s. American President John F. Kennedy launched an unprecedented effort, promising that by the end of the 1960s Americans would land on the moon, which they did, thus beating the Soviets to one of the most important objectives in the space race.
Another alternative to outright battle was the shadow war that was taking place in the world of espionage. There was a series of shocking spy scandals in the west, most notably that involving the Cambridge Five. The Soviets had several high profile defections to the west, such as the Petrov Affair. Funding for the KGB, CIA and lesser organizations such as MI6 and the Stasi increased greatly as their agents and influence spread around the world.
In 1957 the CIA started the programme of reconnaissance flights over the USSR territory using Lockheed U-2 spyplanes. When such a plane was shot down over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960 (1960 U-2 incident) at first, the United States government denied the plane's purpose and mission, but was forced to admit its role as a covert surveillance aircraft when the Soviet government revealed that it had captured the pilot, Gary Powers, alive and was in possession of its largely intact remains. Coming just over two weeks before a scheduled East-West Summit in Paris, the incident caused a collapse in the talks and a marked deterioration relations.
As the Cold War became an accepted element of the international system, the battlegrounds of the earlier period began to stabilize. A de facto buffer zone between the two camps was set up in Central Europe. In the south, Yugoslavia became heavily allied to the other European communist states. Meanwhile, Austria had become neutral.
To stabilize their European position, Khrushchev and the other European communist states created the Warsaw Pact in 1955 to counter West German rearmament. The Warsaw Pact was formed by the Communists to counter NATO. The Warsaw Pact was the main fear of NATO until the Cold War ended.
While Europe remained a central concern for both sides throughout the Cold War, by the end of the 1950s the situation was frozen. Alliance obligations and the concentration of forces in the region meant that any incident could potentially lead to an all-out war, and both sides thus worked to maintain the status quo. Both the Warsaw Pact and NATO maintained large militaries and modern weapons to possibly defeat the other military alliance.
In Poland demonstrations by workers demanding better conditions began on June 28, 1956, at Poznań's Cegielski Factories and were met with violent repression. A crowd of approximately 100,000 gathered in the city center near the UB secret police building. 400 tanks and 10,000 soldiers of Ludowe Wojsko Polskie and Korpus Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego under Polish-Soviet general Stanislav Poplavsky were ordered to suppress the demonstration and during the pacification fired at the protesting civilians. The death toll was placed between 57 and 78 people, including a 13-year-old boy, Romek Strzałkowski. Hundreds of people sustained injuries. Nonetheless the Poznań protests were an important milestone on the way to the installation of a less Soviet-controlled government in Poland in October.
Hungarian Revolution of 1956 began as a student demonstration which attracted thousands as it marched through central Budapest to the Parliament building. A student delegation entering the radio building in an attempt to broadcast its demands was detained. When the delegation's release was demanded by the demonstrators outside, they were fired upon by the State Security Police (ÁVH) from within the building. The news spread quickly and disorder and violence erupted throughout the capital.
The revolt spread quickly across Hungary, and the government fell. Thousands organized into militias, battling the State Security Police (ÁVH) and Soviet troops. Pro-Soviet communists and ÁVH members were often executed or imprisoned, as former prisoners were released and armed. Impromptu councils wrested municipal control from the Communist Party, and demanded political changes. The new government formally disbanded the ÁVH, declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to re-establish free elections. By the end of October, fighting had almost stopped and a sense of normality began to return.
After announcing a willingness to negotiate a withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Politburo changed its mind and moved to crush the revolution. On 4 November, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest and other regions of the country. Hungarian resistance continued until 10 November. An estimated 2,500 Hungarians died, and 200,000 more fled as refugees. Mass arrests and denunciations continued for months thereafter. By January 1957, the new Soviet-installed government had suppressed all public opposition. These Soviet actions alienated many Western Marxists, yet strengthened Soviet control over Central Europe, cultivating the perception that communism was both irreversible and monolithic.
The crucial sticking point was still Germany after the Allies merged their occupation zones to form the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. In response Soviets declared their section, the German Democratic Republic, an independent nation. Neither side acknowledged the division, however, and on the surface both maintained a commitment to a united Germany under their respective governments.
Germany was an important issue because it was regarded as the power center of the continent, and both sides believed that it could be crucial to the world balance of power. While both might have preferred a united neutral Germany, the risks of it falling into the enemy's camp for either side were too high, and thus the temporary post-war occupation zones became permanent borders.
In November 1958, Soviet Premier Khrushchev issued an ultimatum giving the Western powers six months to agree to withdraw from Berlin and make it a free, demilitarized city. At the end of that period, Khrushchev declared, the Soviet Union would turn over to East Germany complete control of all lines of communication with West Berlin; the western powers then would have access to West Berlin only by permission of the East German government. The United States, Great Britain, and France replied to this ultimatum by firmly asserting their determination to remain in West Berlin and to maintain their legal right of free access to that city.
In 1959 the Soviet Union withdrew its deadline and instead met with the Western powers in a Big Four foreign ministers' conference. Although the three-month-long sessions failed to reach any important agreements, they did open the door to further negotiations and led to Premier Khrushchev's visit to the United States in September of 1959. At the end of this visit, Khrushchev and President Eisenhower stated jointly that the most important issue in the world was general disarmament and that the problem of Berlin and "all outstanding international questions should be settled, not by the application of force, but by peaceful means through negotiations."
However, in June 1961 Premier Khrushchev created a new crisis over the status of West Berlin when he again threatened to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany, which he said, would end existing four-power agreements guaranteeing American, British, and French access rights to West Berlin. The three powers replied that no unilateral treaty could abrogate their responsibilities and rights in West Berlin, including the right of unobstructed access to the city.
As the confrontation over Berlin escalated, on 25 July President Kennedy requested an increase in the Army's total authorized strength from 875,000 to approximately 1 million men, along with increasse of 29,000 and 63,000 men in the active duty strength of the Navy and the Air Force. Additionally, he ordered that draft calls be doubled, and asked the Congress for authority to order to active duty certain ready reserve units and individual reservists. He also requested new funds to identify and mark space in existing structures that could be used for fall-out shelters in case of attack, to stock those shelters with food, water, first-aid kits and other minimum essentials for survival, and to improve air-raid warning and fallout detection systems.
During the early months of 1961, the government actively sought a means of halting the emigration of its population to the West. By the early summer of 1961, East German President Walter Ulbricht apparently had persuaded the Soviets that an immediate solution was necessary and that the only way to stop the exodus was to use force. This presented a delicate problem for the Soviet Union because the four-power status of Berlin specified free travel between zones and specifically forbade the presence of German troops in Berlin.
During the spring and early summer, the East German regime procured and stockpiled building materials for the erection of the Berlin Wall. Although this extensive activity was widely known, few outside the small circle of Soviet and East German planners believed that East Germany would be sealed off.
On June 15 1961, two months before the construction of the Berlin Wall started, First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party and Staatsrat chairman Walter Ulbricht stated in an international press conference, "Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten!" (No one has the intention to erect a wall). It was the first time the colloquial term Mauer (wall) had been used in this context.
On Saturday August 12 1961, the leaders of East Germany attended a garden party at a government guesthouse in Döllnsee, in a wooded area to the north of East Berlin, and Walter Ulbricht signed the order to close the border and erect a Wall.
At midnight the army, police, and units of the East German army began to close the border and by morning on Sunday August 13 1961 the border to West Berlin had been shut. East German troops and workers had begun to tear up streets running alongside the barrier to make them impassable to most vehicles, and to install barbed wire entanglements and fences along the 156 km (97 miles) around the three western sectors and the 43 km (27 miles) which actually divided West and East Berlin. Approximately 32,000 combat and engineer troops were used in building the Wall. Once their efforts were completed, the Border Police assumed the functions of manning and improving the barrier. The Soviet Army was present to discourage interference by the West and presumably to assist in the event of large-scale riots.
On 30 August 1961, President John F. Kennedy had ordered 148,000 Guardsmen and Reservists to active duty in response to Soviet moves to cut off allied access to Berlin. The Air Guard's share of that mobilization was 21,067 individuals. ANG units mobilized in October included 18 tactical fighter squadrons, 4 tactical reconnaissance squadrons, 6 air transport squadrons, and a tactical control group. On 1 November; the Air Force mobilized three more ANG fighter interceptor squadrons. In late October and early November, eight of the tactical fighter units flew to Europe with their 216 aircraft in operation "Stair Step," the largest jet deployment in the Air Guard's history. Because of their short range, 60 Air Guard F-104 interceptors were airlifted to Europe in late November. The United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) lacked spare parts needed for the ANG's aging F-84s and F-86s. Some units had been trained to deliver tactical nuclear weapons, not conventional bombs and bullets. They had to be retrained for conventional missions once they arrived on the continent. The majority of mobilized Air Guardsmen remained in the U.S.
The four powers governing Berlin (France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) had agreed at the 1945 Potsdam Conference that Allied personnel would not be stopped by German police in any sector of Berlin. But on 22 October 1961, just two months after the construction of the Wall, the US Chief of Mission in West Berlin, E. Allan Lightner, was stopped in his car (which had occupation forces license plates) while going to a theatre in East Berlin. Army General Lucius D. Clay (Retired), U.S. President John F. Kennedy's Special Advisor in West Berlin, decided to demonstrate American resolve.
The attempts of a US diplomat to enter the East Berlin were backed by US troops. This led to the stand-off between US and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie on 27-28 October 1961. The stand-off was resolved only after direct talks between Khrushchev and Kennedy.
The Berlin Crisis saw US Army troops facing East German Army troops in a stand-off, until the East German government backed down. The crisis ended in the summer of 1962 and the personnel returned to the United States.
During the crisis KGB prepared an elaborate subversion and disinformation plan "to create a situation in various areas of the world which would favor dispersion of attention and forces by the USA and their satellites, and would tie them down during the settlement of the question of a German peace treaty and West Berlin". Оn 1 August 1961 this plan was approved by CPSU Central Committee.
The East garnered a huge victory when they formed an alliance with Cuba after Fidel Castro's successful revolution in 1959. This was a major coup for the Soviet Union, which had garnered an ally only miles from the American coast.
Before the fall of the pro-U.S. Batista regime, U.S. interests had owned four-fifths of the stakes in the island's utilities, nearly half of its sugar, and nearly all of its mining industries. The U.S. could manipulate the Cuban economy at a whim by merely tinkering with the island's financial services or by tinkering with government quotas and tariffs on sugar — the country's staple export commodity. The U.S. landed Marines three times in efforts to support its interests between the ratification of the Platt Amendment in 1902 and the Revolution in 1959, although it had not directly occupied the country since 1909.
Castro then signed a trade agreement in February 1960 with communist states, which would emerge as a market for the island's agricultural commodities (and a new source for machinery, heavy industrial equipment, and technicians) that could replace the country's traditional patron — the United States. Overthrowing the new regime became a focus for the CIA.
Hoping to copy the success of Guatemala and Iran in 1961, the CIA, noting the large wave of emigration to the U.S. after Castro took power, trained and armed a group of Cuban exiles who landed at the Bay of Pigs where they were to attempt to spark an uprising against the Castro regime. The assault failed miserably, however. Afterwards, Castro publicly declared himself a Marxist-Leninist and set up Cuba as the first Communist state in the Americas and continued to nationalize virtually all major industries in the country.
The Soviet government seized on the abortive invasion as a rationale for the placing of Soviet troops on Cuba. It was also decided to position on Cuba medium-range nuclear missiles which could strike many points in the U.S. at once.
In response, President John F. Kennedy quarantined the island, and after several intense days the Soviets decided to retreat in return for promises from the U.S. not to invade Cuba and to pull missiles out of Turkey. After this brush with nuclear war, the two leaders banned nuclear tests in the air and underwater after 1962. The Soviets also began a huge military buildup. The retreat undermined Khrushchev, who was ousted soon afterwards and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev.
The Cuban Revolution led to Kennedy's initiation of the "Alliance for Progress" program. The program was to provide billions of dollars of loans and aid over the course of the 1960s for economic development in order to stave off socialist revolution. The Alliance also contained counterinsurgency measures, such as the establishment of the Jungle Warfare School in the Panama Canal Zone and the training of police forces.
The Eisenhower administration adjusted U.S. policy to the impact of decolonization. This shifted the focus of 1947-1949 away from war-torn Europe. By the early 1950s, the NATO alliance had already integrated Western Europe into the system of mutual defense pacts, providing safeguards against subversion or neutrality in the bloc. The Marshall Plan had already rebuilt a functioning Western economic system, thwarting the electoral appeal of the radical left. When economic aid had ended the dollar shortage and stimulated private investment for postwar reconstruction, in turn sparing the U.S. from a crisis of over-production and maintaining demand for U.S. exports, the Eisenhower administration began to focus on other regions.
The combined effects of two great European wars had weakened the political and economic domination of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East by European powers. This led to a series of waves of African and Asian decolonization following the Second World War; a world that had been dominated for over a century by Western imperialist colonial powers was transformed into a world of emerging African, Middle Eastern, and Asian nations. The sheer number of nation states increased drastically.
The Cold War started placing immense pressure on developing nations to align with one of the superpower factions. Both promised substantial financial, military, and diplomatic aid in exchange for an alliance, in which issues like corruption and human rights abuses were overlooked or ignored. When an allied government was threatened, the superpowers were often prepared and willing to intervene.
In such an international setting, the Soviet Union propagated a role as the leader of the "anti-imperialist" camp, currying favor in the Third World as being a more staunch opponent of colonialism than many independent nations in Africa and Asia. Khrushchev broadened Moscow's policy by establishing new relations with India and other key non-aligned, non-communist states throughout the Third World. Many countries in the emerging Non-Aligned Movement developed a close relation with Moscow.
In an exercise of the new "rollback" polices, acting on the doctrines of Dulles, Eisenhower thwarted Soviet intervention, using the CIA to overthrow unfriendly governments. In the Arab world, the focus was pan-Arab nationalism. U.S. companies had already invested heavily in the region, which contained the world's largest oil reserves. The U.S. was concerned about the stability and friendliness of governments in the region, upon which the health of the U.S. economy increasingly grew to depend.
John Foster Dulles, a rigid anti-communist, focused aggressively on Third World politics. He intensified efforts to "integrate" the entire noncommunist Third World into a system of mutual defense pacts, travelling almost 500,000 miles in order to cement new alliances. Dulles initiated the Manila Conference in 1954, which resulted in the SEATO pact that united eight nations (either located in Southeast Asia or with interests there) in a neutral defense pact. This treaty was followed in 1955 by the Baghdad Pact, later renamed the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), uniting the "northern tier" countries of the Middle East—Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan—in a defense organization.
Many Third World nations, however, did not want to align themselves with either of the superpowers. The Non-Aligned Movement, lead by India, Egypt, and Austria, attempted to unite the third world against what was seen as imperialism by both the East and the West.
Dulles, along with most U.S. foreign policy-makers of the era, considered many Third World nationalists and "revolutionaries" as being essentially under the influence, if not control, of the Warsaw Pact. Ironically, in War, Peace, and Change (1939), he had called Mao Zedong an "agrarian reformer," and during World War II he had deemed Mao's followers "the so called 'Red Army faction'." But he no longer recognized indigenous roots in the Chinese Communist Party by 1950. In War or Peace, an influential work denouncing the containment policies of the Truman administration, and espousing an active program of "liberation," he writes:
Behind the scenes, Dulles could explain his policies in terms of geopolitics. But publicly, he used the moral and religious reasons that he believed Americans preferred to hear, even though he was often criticized by observers at home and overseas for his strong language.
Two of the leading figures of the interwar and early Cold War period who viewed international relations from a "realist" perspective, diplomat George Kennan and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, were troubled by Dulles' moralism and the method by which he analyzed Soviet behavior. Kennan agreed the argument that the Soviets even had a world design after Stalin's death, being far more concerned with maintaining control of their own bloc. But the underlying assumptions of a monolithic world communism, directed from the Kremlin, of the Truman-Acheson containment after the drafting of NSC-68 were essentially compatible with those of the Eisenhower-Dulles foreign policy. The conclusions of Paul Nitze's National Security Council policy paper were as follows:
The United States also reacted with alarm as it watched developments in Iran, which had been in a state of instability since 1951.
Through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), the British had a monopoly on the transporting, pumping, and refining of oil in most of Iran. The company paid production royalties to the government of the Shah— placed on the throne by the British in 1941. But the royalties and salaries to Iranian employees were smaller, considering that the company's earnings were ten times greater than its expenses. Iran suffered from poverty, and nationalists insisted that controlling the company could alleviate this.
Many Iranians demanded that a higher share of the company's earnings be paid. In response, the AIOC replied that it had a binding agreement with the Shah until 1993, and collaborated with some Iranian political forces to draft a report opposing nationalization. In February 1951, the Iranian prime minister, suspected of being involved with the report, was assassinated and replaced by nationalist Mohammed Mossadegh. Later that year the new prime minister nationalized his nation's British-owned oil wells. The United States reacted with alarm as it watched Mossadegh begin to confront Western-owned corporations in Iran.
As the Iranians moved toward seizing the reserves, the Truman administration attempted to mediate. Later, the Eisenhower administration, convinced that Iran was developing communist ties, used the CIA, joining forces with Iran's military leaders to overthrow Iran's government. Mossadegh drew on the Tudeh, Communist Party of Iran, for much of his support. However, by 1953 the party had began to criticize him as a U.S. puppet state. Since the Tudeh was the strongest Communist party in the Middle East, the Eisenhower administration claimed to fear a communist takeover in the Middle East. The truth is that, Mossadeq invoked the communist threat as a means of American concessions. The premier perceived that as Iran's economy suffered and fears of communist takeover gripped Washington, the U.S. would abandon Britain and rescue him from his predicament.
To replace Mossadegh, the U.S. favored the young Mohammed Reza Pahlevi. In return, Pahlevi promised to allow U.S. companies to share in the development of his nation's reserves. According to CIA documents made public in 2000, the U.S. provided guns, trucks, armored cars, and radio communications in the CIA-assisted 1953 coup, which elevated Pahlevi from his position as that of a constitutional monarch to that of an absolute ruler. With Mossadeq out of the way, oil profits were then divided between the Shah's regime and a new international consortium; in turn the British were awarded 40% of the country's oil revenues, five U.S. firms (Gulf, Socony Vacuum, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and Texaco) won another 40%, and the rest went to Royal Dutch Shell and Compagnie Française des Pétroles. The profits were divided evenly between the consortium and Iran.
Since the turn of the century the United States had been trying to get into the Iranian oil fields only to encounter still British competition. The breakthrough for the U.S. was made possible by the Cold War-era ties to the Shah and under the guidance of the State Department official Herbert Hoover, Jr., who had gained a great deal of experience in the complexities of the international oil problem as a private businessman.
The Eisenhower-Dulles approach did not create, but did heighten the use by the U.S. government of covert means, specifically CIA, to overthrow unfriendly governments in the Third World.
U.S. intervention in Latin American politics predated the Cold War. Since the Spanish American War in 1898, interventions against rebellions in Cuba and the Philippines were followed by the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904, which proclaimed that the U.S. assume the role of policeman to thwart changes to the status quo and upheavals in the Caribbean area. At the height of the Mexican Revolution roughly a decade later, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson gave the use of economic and military force against Mexico a humanitarian and liberal rationale. Meanwhile, the scope of U.S. private investment continued to grow in the region.
Throughout much of Latin America, reactionary oligarchies ruled through their alliances with the military elite and United States. Although the nature of the U.S. role in the region was established many years before the Cold War, the Cold War gave U.S. interventionism a new ideological tinge. But by the mid-20th century, much of the region passed through a higher state of economic development, which bolstered the power and ranks of the lower classes. This left calls for social change and political inclusion more pronounced, thus posing a challenge the strong U.S. influence over the region's economies. By the 1960s, Marxists gained increasing influence throughout the regions, prompting fears in the United States that Latin American instability posed a threat to U.S. national security.
Throughout the Cold War years, the U.S. acted as a barrier to socialist revolutions and targeted populist and nationalist governments that were aided by the communists. The CIA overthrew other governments suspected of turning procommunist, such as Guatemala in 1954 under Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. The CIA Operation PBSUCCESS eventually led to the 1954 coup that removed Arbenz from power. The operation drew on an initial plan first considered in 1951 to oust Arbenz named Operation PBFORTUNE. Arbenz, who was supported by some local communists, was ousted shortly after he had redistributed 178,000 acres (720 km²) of United Fruit Company land in Guatemala. United Fruit had long monopolized the transportation and communications region there, along with the main export commodities, and played a major role in Guatemalan politics. Arbenz was out shortly afterwards, and Guatemala came under control of a repressive military regime.
Future Latin American revolutionaries shifted to guerrilla tactics, particularly following the Cuban Revolution. Arbenz fell when his military had deserted him. Since then, some future Latin American social revolutionaries and Marxists, most notably Fidel Castro and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua made the army and governments parts of a single unit and eventually set up single party states. Overthrowing such regimes would require a war, rather than a simple CIA operation, the landing of Marines, or a crude invasion scheme like the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
As a result of blunders in the French decision making process, the French undertook to create an air-supplied base at Dien Bien Phu, deep in the hills of Vietnam. Its purpose was to cut off Viet Minh supply lines into the neighboring French protectorate of Laos, at the same time drawing the Viet Minh into a battle that would cripple them. Instead, the Viet Minh, under General Vo Nguyen Giap, surrounded and besieged the French, who were unaware of the Viet Minh's possession of heavy artillery (including anti-aircraft guns) and their ability to move such weapons to the mountain crests overlooking the French encampment. The Viet Minh occupied the highlands around Dien Bien Phu, and were able to fire down accurately onto French positions. Tenacious fighting on the ground ensued, reminiscent of the trench warfare of World War I. The French repeatedly repulsed Viet Minh assaults on their positions. Supplies and reinforcements were delivered by air, although as the French positions were overrun and the anti-aircraft fire took its toll, fewer and fewer of those supplies reached them. After a two month siege, the garrison was overrun and most French surrendered. Despite the loss of most of their best soldiers, the Viet Minh marshalled their remaining forces and pursued those French who did flee into the wilderness, routing them and ending the battle.
Shortly after the battle, the war ended with the 1954 Geneva accords, under which France agreed to withdraw from its former Indochinese colonies. The accords partitioned the country in two; fighting later resumed, in 1959, among rival Vietnamese forces as the Vietnam War (Second Indochina War).
The original American plan for the Middle East was to form a defensive perimeter along the north of the region. Thus Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan signed the Baghdad Pact and joined CENTO. The Eastern response was to seek influence in states such as Syria and Egypt. Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria made arms deals to Egypt and Syria, giving Warsaw Pact members a strong presence in the region. Egypt, a former British protectorate, was one of the region's most important prizes with a large population and political power throughout the region. British forces were thrown out by General Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956, when he nationalized the Suez Canal. Syria was a former French protectorate.
Eisenhower persuaded the United Kingdom and France to retreat from a badly planned invasion with Israel that was launched to regain control of the canal from Egypt. While the Americans were forced to operate covertly, so as not to embarrass their allies, the Eastern Bloc nations made loud threats against the "imperialists" and worked to portray themselves as the defenders of the Third World. Nasser was later lauded around the globe, but especially in the Arab world. While both superpowers courted Nasser, the Americans balked at funding the massive Aswan High Dam project. The Warsaw Pact countries happily agreed, however, and signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Egyptians and the Syrians.
Thus, the Suez stalemate was a turning point heralding an ever-growing rift between the Atlantic Cold War allies, which were becoming far less of a united monolith than they were in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Italy, France, Spain, West Germany, Norway, Canada, and Britain also developed their own nuclear forces as well as a Common Market to be less dependent on the United States. Such rifts mirror changes in global economics. American economic competitiveness faltered in the face of the challenges of Japan and West Germany, which recovered rapidly from the wartime decimation of their respective industrial bases. The twentieth-century successor to the UK as the "workshop of the world," the United States found its competitive edge dulled in the international markets while at the same time it faced intensified foreign competition at home. Meanwhile, the Warsaw Pact countries were closely allied both militarily and economically. All Warsaw Pact nations had nuclear weapons and supplied other countries with weapons, supplies, and economic aid.
There were some strategic reasons to be involved in South Asia. The Americans hoped that the Pakistani armed forces could be used to block any Soviet thrust into the crucial Middle East. It was also felt that as a large and high profile nation, India would be a notable prize if it fell into either camp. India, a fledgeling democracy, was never particularly in any grave danger of falling to insurgents or external pressure from a great power. It also did not wish to ally with the United States.
A key event in the South Asian arena of Cold War competition was the signing of the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement between Pakistan and the United States in 1954. This pact would limit the later options of all the major powers in the region. The U.S. committed to remaining closely tied to Pakistan. For Pakistan, the U.S. alliance became a central tenet of its foreign policy, and despite numerous disappointments with it, it was always seen as far too valuable a connection to abandon. After the Sino-Soviet Split, Pakistan also pursued close relations with China.
Soviet policy towards South Asia had closely paralleled that of the United States. At first the Soviets, like the Americans, had been largely disinterested in the region and maintained a neutral position in the Indo-Pakistani disputes. With the signing of the accords between Pakistan and the United States in 1954, along with the countries enlisting in CENTO and SEATO, the situation changed. In 1955, Bulganin and Khrushchev toured India and promised large quantities of financial aid and assistance in building industrial infrastructure. In Sringar, the capital of Kashmir, the Soviet leaders announced that the Soviet Union would abandon its neutralist position and back India in the ongoing Kashmir dispute.
Jawaharlal Nehru was skeptical, however, and for many of the same reasons that he had wished to avoid entanglements with the United States he also wished to keep India from being too closely attached to the Soviet Union. Although the USSR sent India some aid, and although Nehru became the first non-communist leader to address the people of the Soviet Union, the two nations remained relatively distant. After Khrushchev's ousting, the Soviets reverted to a neutralist position and moderated the aftermath of the 1965 war. Peace negotiations were held in the Central Asian town of Tashkent.
By the late 1960s, Indian development efforts had again stalled. A large current accounts deficit had developed and a severe drought hit the agricultural sector hard. As with the downturn of a decade earlier, India again looked to outside assistance. However, relations were at a low ebb with the United States, which was largely precoccupied with Vietnam. On top of that, several smaller issues had turned American indifference into antipathy. Western international organizations such as the World Bank were also unwilling to commit money to India's development projects without Indian trade concessions.
Along with other Warsaw Pact nations, the Soviets began to provide extensive support for India's efforts to create an industrial base. In 1969, the two powers negotiated a treaty of friendship that would make non-alignment little more than a pretext. Two years later, when faced with a growing crisis in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), India signed the agreement.
Before the Sino-Soviet Split, tensions between China and India complicated Soviet Union's efforts to maintain close relations with both of Asia's leading emerging nations. In March 1959, China suppressed a revolt in Tibet, leading to open conflict between China and India. On March 31, the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual and temporal ruler, fled to India, where he was granted asylum over China's protest. India later backed a move in the United Nations general assembly to enter into a full debate on charges of Chinese suppression of human rights in Tibet over the objections of the Soviet Union, Poland, Finlan, Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, North Korea, and Mongolia. However, despite the Warsaw Pact's, Mongolia's, and North Korea's objections to the Indian-backed debate in the UN, Mao grew increasingly frustrated with the Soviet Union's rather muted and reluctant backing of Chinese actions in Tibet.
The Chinese invasion of Tibet preceded a much more dangerous confrontation between India and China. On August 29, 1959, Prime Minister Nehru informed the Indian parliament that Chinese troops had invaded India on both flanks of Tibet and captured frontier posts. Citing tensions with India over the past several years, China revealed that it no longer accepted the McMahon Line between India and China as a legal border, and laid claims to Aksai Chin, Sikkim and parts of Assam(now Arunachal Pradesh). Charges and countercharges of border violation and aggression were exchanged. On September 9, a few days before his departure for the U.S., Janos Kadar of Hungary attempted to mediate the disputes between China and India, hoping to appeal to his friendly relations in both parties. Khruschev and Alexander Dubček of Czechoslovakia also appealed to China and India. However, China’s reaction to the Soviet, Hungarian, and Czechoslovakian appeal for "peaceful coexistence" with the West and India was not seen as encouraging; and the fallout of the tensions along the Himalayas caused worldwide speculation over the Warsaw Pact-Chinese alliance, which was based on common ideological, political, and military interests.
By the time the Sino-Indian border dispute developed into full fledged fighting in the 1962 Sino-Indian War, the alliance between the world's two leading communist powers was irreparably shattered. Although the Warsaw Pact nations backed China's October 1962 peace offer, urging Nehru to accept it, Albania's and Finland's offer to deliver MiG fighter planes to India sent and Sino-Albanian and Sino-Finnish relations into crisis. This also turned China against other Eastern European communist states. By the end of 1963, the Eastern Bloc and China were engaging in open polemics against each other, opening up a period of unhidden hostility between the former allies that lasted for the remainder of the Cold War era.
During this period, Cold War themes first entered mainstream culture as a public preoccupation. The 1959 film On the Beach, for example, depicted a gradually dying, post-apocalyptic world that remained after a nuclear Third World War.
James Bond first appeared in a 1954; the films were loosely connected to the Cold War, but fans loved the beautiful women, exotic locations, tricky gadgets, and death-defying stunts, and probably paid less attention to the politics. Bond movies followed the political climate in depicting Soviets and "Red" Chinese.
Frederick Forsyth's formula spy novels sold in the hundreds of thousands. The Fourth Protocol, whose title refers to a series of conventions that, if broken, will lead to nuclear war and that are now all broken except for the fourth and last thread, was made into a major film starring Michael Caine. The point of such novels—like that of American movies of the 1950s, such as My Son John, Kiss Me Deadly, and The Manchurian Candidate—is to vilify the "enemy within," the treacherous peace movement activists, and simple Labour Party voters who, by 1988, were marching against the Cold War.