The Cold War and U.S Diplomacy
The United States had never had a president who would be a better professional in the field of diplomacy than Eisenhower was during his rule. He had been in the international arena for more than ten years, being acquainted with a lot of world leaders personally. Being the Army Chief of Staff, Eisenhower managed to spread the USA’s war strategy all over the world. As Supreme Allied Commander he was engaged in forming the European-American alliance in the beginning of the Cold War. He faced complicated and serious matters and every bit of his imposing experience was necessary both for his native land and other countries. This paper will describe Eisenhower’s policy line and analyze its advantages and disadvantages in the context of the well-being of the USA and world itself.
When Dwight Eisenhower took his office, the U.S. was in the height of a disappointing war in Korea. America faced strong, willful, and unpredictable rival represented by the Soviet Union that overtly inclined to gain the world domination. In many countries, populations were under dictatorship or colonial enforcement. David Eisenhower founded the New Look , the United States national defense strategy, in 1953 year. The main goal of the New Look was the strong support of America’s economy whilst investing in the Cold War in reliance to the nuclear weapons. Also, to unleash the war, the Central Intelligence Agency was to conduct secret acts against states or leaders who were responsive to the Soviet control directly or indirectly. In addition, the plan included strengthening of the political relationship with the USA closest allies and the cultivation of the friendship with non-aligned countries. The president protecting policy was aimed at spending less financial resources on conventional forces, while increasing funding of the Air Force and nuclear program. However, the national security expenses remained large and constituted no less than 50 % of the federal budget during Eisenhower’s rule. (Foreign Affairs, 2014).
Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed his doctrine in 1957 and Congress passed it in a matter of a few months. According to this policy, a nation may require United States economic support and military assistance if they are needed to counter the aggression of another country. Eisenhower indentified the Soviet threat in the his presidency policy by empowering the engagement of the American forces “to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism” (The Eisenhower Doctrine, 1957, n.d.).
The complicated resolution of Eisenhower concerning the doctrine was partially encouraged by a rise of Arab unfriendliness towards the western world, as well as the increasing impact of the Soviet Union on Syria and Egypt after the Suez Crises in 1956 (The Eisenhower Doctrine, 1957, n.d.). The Suez Crises that turned into the military draft of Great Britain, Israel, and France, stirred up pan-Arab moods in the Middle East. The United States also resisted Egypt policy, while increasing popularity and impact of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the president of this country, caused unrest of the political opponents. The American president supposed that the tainted reputation of France and Great Britain caused a vacuum of strength that was formed in the Middle East as a result of the crisis. Eisenhower was in fear that this situation would allow the president of the Egypt to expand his pan-Arab policy and form uncontrolled alliances with such countries as Syria and Jordan, eventually opening the Middle East to the Soviet Union influence. Therefore, Eisenhower tried to anticipate the Soviet plans and become the only leader of the situation. Though there was a risk of the allegation of radical nationalism with international communism in this territory, the western interests and influences were at stake. Therefore, Eisenhower decided to send American army to the Middle East under specific circumstances.
During the Eisenhower diplomatic efforts, America strengthened the policy of containment. Some experts think that the Administration of President extended this line even too far. The government ratified a range of bilateral and multilateral agreements directed to surround the Soviet Union, its allies, and People’s Republic of China. Among these treaties there were the Central Treaty Organization and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. The bilateral security agreements were signed with China, South Korea, Japan, and Philippines. The United States took a strong position regarding Chinese nationalism while the People’s Republic of China had military conflict with the island of Taiwan in 1954. The President also assisted in the creation of the new state of South Vietnam that appeared after France’s loss of Indochina (Foreign Affairs, 2014). This aid helped Ngo Dinh Diem to build a non-communist nation.
The Eisenhower Doctrine is thought to be the key issue during the undeclared war between the USA and Soviet Union. Some experts argue that the President attempted to confront Soviet Union influence without including the United States in regional entanglements, because America had had such a practice before. The president invoked the doctrine against the Soviet Union to give economic support the Jordanian kingdom in order to stimulate the neighbors of Syria to overthrow the Damascus authorities. Currently, the Soviet Union has collapsed, but American administration still provides economic aid to Jordan. At the same time, the United States encourages the neighbors of the Syria to resist Damascus. Also America supports outside military organizations for preventing one element inside Lebanon – Hezbollah, from taking control of the whole country. Besides, Eisenhower considered the emerged new country of South Vietnam a sufficient Cold War success. However, his solution to commit the force in South Vietnam resulted in long-term risks for the future of the country.
In conclusion, there are different approaches for the evaluation of the policies taken by Eisenhower. While some experts consider Eisenhower a “do-nothing” President, the historians of a current time praise him for not taking action. It is evident that he did not involve the nation into the war, though there was a high possibility to do it during the conflict in Indochina. He led negotiations about the armistice in Korea only half a year after his running for presidency. For the rest of his office, the peace prevailed, although during the Cold War the tension was high. The president did not approve the policies that threatened the high economic growth in 1950s (Impact and Legacy, 2014). Eisenhower made decisions that raised the economics, supported the contraction of the Integrate Highway System. Despite the fact that national security expenses were large in times of Eisenhower, the President was rational indeed. Eisenhower made people believe that the USA spends sufficient money to maintain national security and instilled confidence about the future, though the Soviet space success did not add confidence about the future for the average American citizen. At the same time, he was the person who authorized covert intervention into the internal affairs of all the countries and supplied support to dictators for the interests of free world which should be protected. Constant armaments drive formed the political model of the United States to a large extent. The Soviet Union attempts to involve as many as possible countries to the Eastern block could not escape US observation. The economically free governments all over the world did a little effort to stop this expansion, except the United States. Due to the multiple efforts of Eisenhower to have the map of the world, as well as human freedom, unaffected by socialist party line, the current world is relatively free and is developing under the American version. Thus, Eisenhower doctrine affected the global political situation greatly and signified the US line of policy for a number of years.