Current Events and US Diplomacy
Strategic planning of domestic and foreign policies is one of the essential responsibilities of a person in the position of the US President. Every decision referring the changing of the country’s policy, international relations, and further strategy bases on a number of economic, political, environmental, and cultural principles. The history of the USA knows many changes in the foreign policy of the country. Every US President had the personal view of further development and country’s actions implementing specific doctrine. An analysis of flexible response doctrine that President Kennedy has applied during the Cold War reveals its negative consequences for the image of America and for building economic and political relations between the US and Cuba in particular.
The doctrine of flexible response is a change of the previous strategy of controlled escalation. The politics changed on realizing the dangers of the possible escalation of conflict in the case of inability of the structure elements to control the development of actions flow. Moreover, the system of military control in the USA was rather weak letting to make reasonable suggestions of inability to prevent the development of escalation leading the world to the global instability. The severest danger was the possibility to make incorrect decision or occurrence of out of control situations that would inevitably lead to the conflict between the countries and cause the nuclear attacks in the world.
Flexible response was a reasonable change that supposed three stages of its reaction. The first stage included direct protection that represented the usage of ordinary armory powers in the case of aggression from the side of the Soviet Union military powers. The second step regarded the forced escalation meaning tactical usage of the nuclear armory in the case of inability to subdue the Soviet Union military attack using standard armory. The third and the final step supposed application of massive nuclear attack against all the countries of Warsaw Alliance, leading the world to the inevitable global catastrophe (Coleman & Siracusa, 2006, p. 56). Despite the positive characteristics of the new doctrine, it still lacked the guarantee of timely reaction in the question of preventing the attack on the Soviet Union side, as well as put the position of the USA at a stake in the case of the late reaction.
The application of the new doctrine stimulated the situation in the economic, political, and military spheres between the Soviet Union, the USA, and Cuba. Policies of the USA towards Cuba in closing the supplies of oil and rejection of all sugar buying contracts provoked a crisis in the Cuban island. The Soviet Union decided to support Cuba providing it with oil, organizing purchases of sugar, and exchanging specialist and engineering techniques. Besides, the USA located its Jupiter rockets in Turkey threatening the northern cities of the Soviet Union and several major leading industrial centers of the country. The reply of the Soviet Union was not predictable due to warm diplomatic relations with Cuba. However, the standard armory powers, as well as the nuclear armory, appeared on the Cuban island creating the critical situation in the world. The USA and Cuba had tense relations because of the inadequate politics of the previous US President Eisenhower (Caverley, 2014, p. 179). During Fidel Castro’s visit to the USA, the President of the USA refused meeting with him due to lack of time. This refusal provoked the conflict between the two countries. Before applying the new doctrine, the government of President Kennedy developed a strategy of monitoring using their military aviation for observing the territory of Cuba risking to be attacked by the Cuban military powers (Coleman & Siracusa, 2006, p. 57). Such attitude was based on the US negative position on the communist ideas that were popular on the island and gained more power with Castro’s support. Moreover, the turning point of the doctrine change and application was the operation organized by the US secret department in the Bay of Pigs (Caverley, 2014, p. 181). The operation aimed to support the liberal leaders without announcing the US interference into the development of the Cuban politics. However, the operation failed due to lack of control, coordination between various military segments, and reluctant actions of the local opposition powers.
Kennedy doctrine change determined the deeper interference of the USA into the development of the countries. Earlier the countries of Latin America, and Cuba in particular, served as passive participants of the global political game. With the application of the doctrine of flexible response, the US government considered it was possible to use not only peaceful methods of influence but also interference of military groups and organization of democratic revolutions in the countries. In fact, the US government directed their actions into achieving the global aim of preventing socialism development and supporting capitalism ideas (Roberts, 2012, p. 128). The new doctrine made it possible for the USA to use all available sources for the protection of democratic interests and also gave the US government right of using nuclear weapons in a critical situation as the measure of last resort in the case of the Soviet Union nuclear attack threat. The actual results of new doctrine application were the additional waves of the arms race.
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The methods President Kennedy used included all kinds of available sources, such as his speeches that announced the gap between the nuclear power balance between the USA and the Soviet Union. Moreover, the population faced the news of building the shelters all over the country for the case of nuclear attack threat. The global aim of the new doctrine was to exhaust the financial support of military sphere by the Soviet Union by enhanced strategy of the arms race letting the USA become the single leader in the world political arena (Roberts, 2012, p. 124). However, this strategy did not lead the USA to success as the Soviet Union managed to enhance significantly their arms keeping the country financially and politically stable at the same time. In fact, the USA faced the several crises in the countries under its control, including Cuba. The further US actions included the strategy of subduing Cuban revolution to prevent its actual independence and keep the country under the influence of the USA.
The US strategy of building democracy in all available countries faced significant problems in the Cuban territory. Integration of economic restrictions and military invasion resulted in establishing an embargo on Cuban products to the USA for more than fifty years. The USA based the military base in Guantanamo controlling the development of social tendencies in Cuba. The main aim of the USA was the prevention of the advancement of the liberal and revolutionary flows that resulted in the continuous isolation of Cuba from the global development of the country in all the spheres. Nowadays, the relationship between the USA and Cuba aim to become better that is supported by the visit of the current US President to Cuba in 2015 (Capek, 2016, p. 17). It was the first visit of the US representative to the territory of Cuba. The Cuban government asked the USA for leaving the Guantanamo base to the Cuban government, and the USA required the liberation of political prisoners. The general decision that determined the US President’s visit to Cuba was the closing of the economic embargo on all the spheres of products from Cuba (Capek, 2016, p. 16). Moreover, the countries try to build new economic ties that will make the new relations between them warmer and more productive. However, it is important to mention that the US government is reluctant to give back the military base in Guantanamo to the Cuban government, and the main aim of the USA is still to keep the democratic regime in most of the countries in the world that come under the influence of the USA. Thus, the doctrine Kennedy applied in 1961 had a significant impact on the relations between the two states (Coleman & Siracusa, 2006, p. 63). The negative results of it still take place in Cuba since more than fifty years after Kennedy’s decision. The USA has aimed to establish and support democracy in Cuba by using all available sources, including military ones.
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The actions of the US government intended to change the political structure of Cuba had the opposing effect. The leaders of the Cuban opposition created a number of dictator centers that established their politics in the country. Despite the use of military attack by the US forces, the presidential doctrine did not produce the desired effect in the development of democracy in Cuba. The USA aimed to prevent the creation of the first socialist country in the Western hemisphere and used all available sources, including establishing of the economic plan Union for Progress that the US government used to hide the creation of the counter-revolutionary group in the territory of Cuba (Roberts, 2012). In fact, the doctrine Kennedy had the opposite to the expected effect on the country’s development. The political system of Cuba became stronger as the revolutionary masses recognized the US representatives in military forces attacking them. Besides, they saw the reaction of the US government that refused to help their people in Cuba trying to hide their implication to the counter-revolutionary actions. Such actions of the US government provoked faster establishment of warmer ties between the Cuban and the Soviet Union governments. Moreover, the revolutionary forces in Cuba received significant military and financial support from the Soviet Union. Thus, the doctrine Kennedy had opposite impact to the initially intended. The USA still had to interfere using their military forces to establish democracy in this country, but they failed.
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By way of summing it up, the doctrine and the politics of the US government during the period of Cold War significantly aggravated the situation globally and in particular countries. The doctrine of flexible response worsened the position of the USA in the world and enhanced the development of the arms race between the countries. Moreover, the doctrine ruined the diplomatic, economic, and political ties between the USA and Cuba producing the negative effect for many years ahead. The nowadays situation between the two countries remains tense although the leaders of the two states aim to change the situation for the better.