Wednesday, June 18, 2008



I. Kennedy’s International Vision

1. An Ideological Cold War (Peace Corps and new conception of American world mission; US and neutrals; Peace Corps and new conception of American world mission; Africa and search for allies—Ghana, Guinea, South Africa, Portuguese colonies; Rostow and theories of development)

2. Alliance Politics (Gaddis and flexible response; legacy of Suez; Britain and Skybolt crisis; France, De Gaulle, and independent nuclear force; Taylor and conventional arms; Europe and nuclear weapons: Vienna, Berlin, De Gaulle, non-proliferation issue)

II. Crisis Diplomacy

1. Latin America (Cuban revolt and 1960 politics; JFK and Bay of Pigs; JFK and Alliance for Politics; tension between military aid and democracy—Argentina, Peru, Brazl)

2. Cuban Missile Crisis (background; USSR/PRC rivalry; Turkey: Jupiters and the Eisenhower legacy; Kennedy and reconsideration; Turkish resistance; JFK and Khrushchev; 62 elections and Keating; discovery of missiles; structure of response—ExComm; membership and prejudices; options: lessons of part, problems of air strikes, limits of deterrence, Italian and Turkish missiles; resolution)

3. Effects (transformation Kennedy; reassessment arms race—American University speech; SANE and grassroots groups; significance of Limited Test-Ban Treaty; fate of Khrushchev; intensification USSR/PRC rivalry; decline of Castro)

III. Kennedy and Asia

1. The Turn toward Israel (difficulties with Iran; DDE legacy: security guarantee, arms procurement, Johnston Plan and water diplomacy, improving relations late 1950s?; JFK: Israel as model?—Kennedy and developmentalism; politics—Democratic coalition; Nasser and Cold War concerns—significance of Yemen intervention and Jordan crisis; decision to sell Hawk missiles; limitations: question of refugees; nonproliferation and tensions over Dimona; Ben Gurion, Eshkol, and inspection)

2. Counterinsurgency (Bay of Pigs and vestiges from DDE years; Southeast Asia as testing ground; intellectual foundations—Taylor, Uncertain Trumpet; Laos and flexibility; Vietnam and wars for hearts and minds; role of Lansdale; why focus on SVN?; McNamara as defense secretary; appointment of Lodge; Diem coup and after-effects)

Abraham Ben-Zvi, John Kennedy and the Politics of Arms Sales to Israel

John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment

David Kaiser, American Tragedy

Fredrik Logevall, Choosing War

Ernest May and Philip Zelikow, eds., The Kennedy Tapes

John Newman, JFK and Vietnam

Stephen Rabe, “The Most Dangerous Area in the World

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I. The New Look

1. The 1952 Campaign (split nature Republican party; Taft and legislative power; Dewey, Lodge, and Eisenhower effort; nomination of Nixon and appeasing GOP right; Checkers speech; McCarthy issue; Korea promise)

2. Reorienting Priorities (postwar Republicans and foreign policy matters; basic principles—budgetary constraints, rollback promises, executive authority; NSC 162/2—differences from NSC 68?; international environment—Sino-Soviet split, rise of DeGaulle, decline of Britain)

3. Reallocating Resources (nuclear weapons, importance of SAC and LeMay; covert operations—Iran, Guatemala; expansion of economic campaigns—foreign aid; propaganda—USIA; diplomacy—Open Skies, nuclear issues)

II. Crises

1. McCarthyism (DDE and Congress—split Republican leadership; moderate Southerners, emergence of LBJ; dangers of confrontation; use of Nixon and undermining McCarthy congressional base—Taft, Mundt; executive privilege and national security issue; Allen Dulles and CIA; censure motion)

2. Vietnam (background: French colonialism, Japanese expansionism, and WWII; postwar response—FDR and trusteeship, France and grandeur of empire; communism, nationalism, and postwar Southeast Asia—Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam; Truman administration, NSC 68, and commitment to Vietnam; French war strategy and Dienbienphu; internal divisions—Dulles, Radford and atomic bombs?; DDE conditions—Allied support, congressional backing; commitment with conditions)

3. Middle East (Nasser: from Aswan to Bandung to Suez; the US and Syria; significance of Iraq and Pakistan; path to Baghdad Pact; where does Israel fit in?—arms procurement, security guarantee; debate over Eisenhower Doctrine—constitutional questions; Lebanon, Algeria, and Turkey)

4. Accomplishments and Failures (limitation DOD budget; avoidance war or full-fledged commitments; short-term difficulties—Hungary, Caracas; long-term difficulties—covert operations, blanket pledges)

David Anderson, Trapped by Success

Fred Greenstein, The Hidden-Hand Presidency

Peter Hahn, Caught in the Middle East

Richard Immerman, The CIA and Guatemala

James Patterson, Mr. Republican

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Militarizing the Cold War

I. Boosting of Tensions

1. Unresolved Issues (future of Germany: Kennan and possibility of unity under neutralism; tightness of “Iron Curtain”: Czech coup, Stalin-Tito split, Finland and Austria; importance of East Asia: MacArthur in Japan, U.S. role in Chinese civil war; U.S. government: federal role—retrenchment or permanent commitment?; the internal challenge: HUAC and different type of Cold War—Nixon, Hiss, and the Pumpkin Papers)

2. NSC 68 (Truman election and renewed domestic focus; Johnson as defense secretary and budget cuts; Nitze, “official class,” and changing definition of containment; international events and increased pressure for militarization—Soviet A-Bomb, creation of NATO, spy scares, Mao triumph in China; budget implications)

3. Korea (Korea and the postwar world; model for Germany; importance of Japan; decision to intervene; civil war or international conflict?; decision for limited war; Truman-MacArthur controversy; stalemate and national ambivalence; other East Asian initiatives—Seventh Fleet to Taiwan; reverse course Japan; military aid to France in Indochina; Great Crescent theory; domestic fallout—attacks against Acheson, growing power of military)

II. A Hardened Conflict

1. H-Bomb (legacy of arms control efforts—Acheson-Lilienthal Plan to Baruch Plan; AEC and principle of civilian control; role of McMahon and congressional pressure; opposition claims: length to construct, military use?, morality, psychological/diplomatic effect; Teller presumptions: USSR working intensively on weapon and will develop it; decision can’t be kept secret; Korea and HST decision)

2. Constitutional Uncertainty (President/Congress: NATO and Great Debate; decision to intervene Korea; President/Supreme Court: steel mill cases, communist cases—FELP)

3. Consolidations (U.S.: Pat McCarran and American politics; internal security, immigration, and battle for American culture; origins of McCarthyism—McCarthy background, partisan environment, changing nature of Senate, path to Wheeling address, Tydings Committee and Senate response; 1950 elections—Tydings defeat, Nixon triumph, origins of McCarthy myth; spy rings—Fuchs, Cambridge Five, Rosenbergs; Eastern Europe—imposition of Stalinist regimes; from Rajk to Slánský)




Defense budget

$13.3 B


$44 B



1.55 million

1.595 million



1.01 million

1.05 million

Air Force


1.06 million


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Presentations/Supplementary Reading

June 12:

Noam: Steven Marsh. “Continuity and Change: Reinterpreting the Policies of the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations toward Iran, 1950–1954.” Journal of Cold War Studies. Vol. 7, pp. 79-123.

Michal: Michael Graham Fry. “The Uses of Intelligence: The United Nations Confronts the United States in the Lebanon Crisis, 1958.” Intelligence and National Security. Vol. 10, pp. 59-91.

Uri: Anthony Gorst, and W. Scott Lucas. “The Other Collusion: Operation Straggle and Anglo-American Intervention in Syria, 1955-1956.” Intelligence and National Security. Vol. 4, pp. 576-595.

June 19:

Noam: Haefele, Mark. "John F. Kennedy, USIA, and World Public Opinion." Diplomatic History 25, no.1 (Winter 2001): 63-84.

Uri: Kochavi, Noam. "Limited Accommodation, Perpetuated Conflict: Kennedy, China, and the Laos Crisis, 1961-1963." Diplomatic History 26, no.1 (Winter 2002): 95-135.

June 20:

Liron: Galia Golan: “The Soviet Union and the Outbreak of the June 1967 Six-Day War.” Journal of Cold War Studies. Vol. 8, pp. 3-19.

Nadia: Kenton Clymer. "The Perils of Neutrality: The Break in U.S.-Cambodian Relations, 1965." Diplomatic History 23, no.4 (Fall 1999): 609-631.

July 3:

Einat: Nigel Ashton. “Pulling the Strings: King Hussein’s Role During the Crisis of 1970 in Jordan.” International History Review. Vol. 28, pp. 94-118.

Eyal: Evelyn Goh. "Nixon, Kissinger, and the 'Soviet Card' in the U.S. Opening to China, 1971-1974." Diplomatic History 29, no.3 (June 2005): 475-502.

Udi: Joan Hoff-Wilson. "'Nixingerism,' NATO, and Detente." Diplomatic History 13, no.4 (Fall 1989): 501-525.

July 10:

Udi: William Daugherty. “Behind the Intelligence Failure in Iran.” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Vol. 14, pp. 449-484.

Shmulik: Andrew Deroche. "Standing Firm for Principles: Jimmy Carter and Zimbabwe." Diplomatic History 23, no.4 (Fall 1999): 657-685.

July 11:

Einat: Robert Parry and Peter Kornbluh. “Iran-Contra’s Untold Story.” Foreign Policy, Vol. 72, 3-29.

Liron: Walter Hixson. "'Red Storm Rising': Tom Clancy Novels and the Cult of National Security," Diplomatic History, Fall 1993, pp. 599-613.

July 18:

Shmulik: Melvyn Leffler. “9/11 and American Foreign Policy.” Diplomatic History. Vol. 29, pp. 395-414.

Eyal: HW Brands. "George Bush and the Gulf War of 1991." Presidential Studies Quarterly 34, no.1 (March 2004): 113-131.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 29 Handout

I. Legacy of War

1. FDR’s Choices (East Asia or Europe; Marshall, Eisenhower, MacArthur, and role of military; international issues: conception of victory—unconditional surrender; tenuous nature of alliances—US and potential conflicts with UK, USSR, and Nationalist China: colonialism, “friendly states,” role of communists in postwar states, Katyn, North African campaign, Japan, atomic bomb)

2. Defining the Postwar World (Four Freedoms or Four Policemen?; domestic surge of internationalism—B2H2 resolution, Willkie’s One World; deference to military authorities—internment, postwar structure—Teheran, Cairo, Casablanca Conferences; progress of war; FDR leadership style; creation of UN and compromises with Wilsonianism—Security Council, Article 51; other alternatives: internationalism, regionalism, cooperation)

II. European and Asian Power Vacuums

1. The World the War Created (Europe: devastation Germany and Italy; Red Army Liberation EE; boundary adjustments and “ethnic cleansing”—from minorities treaties to homogeneous states; French and British economic devastation; Potsdam and continuing difficulties over Germany East Asia: pressure for decolonization—SE Asia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India; Chinese Civil War; Latin America: redeem wartime promises?; nuclear weapons—Acheson-Lilienthal proposal, Soviet disinterest, espionage and its effects)

2. 1946: Crisis & Consequences (Iranian crisis, Churchill speech, Soviet consolidation in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Wallace attack on HST, emergence of Republican hard right: marrying of domestic and international agenda—role of “Asia First” lobby; midterm elections and their effects)

3. International Affairs and the Rationale for the Cold War (Greece, Turkey, and path toward Truman Doctrine—role of Bevin and Attlee; economic difficulties and road to Marshall Plan—role of Monnet; role of U.S. official class—Lovett, McCloy, Harriman, etc.; push and pull metaphor)

4. Domestic Politics and the Rationale for the Cold War (role of Congress: Democratic divisions and importance of Republicans; Vandenberg, Smith, HC Lodge—provide ideological justification; military and structural Change: National Security Act—creation of Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, CIA, NSC; establishment of national security state; contrasting visions of American role in world affairs)

5. 1948 (international events: Czech coup, Berlin airlift, recognition of Israel, collapse of KMT; domestic: Wallace implosion, election of Truman and Democratic Congress)

Russell Buhite, The Origins of the Cold War in East Asia

John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment

Michael Hogan, Cross of Iron

Michael Schaller, The American Occupation of Japan

Thomas Schwartz, America’s Germany