Courage in Crisis: Kennedy S Foreign Policy

Courage in Crisis: Kennedy S Foreign Policy





10.02 Notes Outline

“Courage in Crisis: Kennedy’s Foreign Policy”

Complete10.02 Notes Outline as you review lesson 10.02.

Explore #2:

Copy the quote. In three sentences, analyze the quote.

What is JFK referring to?

What are we willing to do?


I. The Bay of Pigs

Shortly after his January 1961 inauguration, President Kennedy made the decision to proceed with a secret plan developed during the administration to overthrow Cuban leader .

The decision to launch the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, in April 1961, was a tough one and proved to be both fateful and consequential. The invasion itself was total a disaster and became an embarrassment to President Kennedy. Perhaps more importantly, it increased already tense Cold War tensions and led Cuba to seek an alliance with the Soviet Union.

The Bay of Pigs Invasion

The trained and supplied , who were opponents of Castro, to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro. The invasion took place on April 17, 1961 with a landing of 1,300 to 1,500 Cuban defectors at the in Cuba.

The invasion was a dismal failure despite the fact that it was meticulously planned by the CIA. It failed to achieve the element of surprise, U.S. support was not adequate, and there was no mass uprising by the Cuban people as expected in the plan.

As Castro's threat of communism grew, President Eisenhower had the CIA design a plan to invade Cuba. Although President Kennedy was apprehensive about the invasion and wanted little U.S. involvement, he went ahead with it soon after he entered office. It turned out to be a disaster.

Consequences of the Invasion

Even though the invasion was a total disaster, Kennedy's public opinion approval rating actually went up! Americans were willing to forgive JFK for the mistake perhaps because they respected the fact that he admitted his mistake and took full responsibility for it.

The weeks following the Bay of Pigs invasion revealed how consequential the failure had become. Not only did the United States fail to overthrow Castro, the fiasco actually helped him gain support among his people; however, Castro remained fearful of a future U.S. attack.He eventually sought support and protection from the . The new Cuban-Soviet alliance troubled the United States and set the stage for yet another conflict with the island nation.

II. The Berlin Crisis

Just four months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, Kennedy was once again confronted by another Cold War threat, this time in Berlin, Germany.

In August 1961, the Soviet government began construction of the that would separate communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin. The purpose of the Berlin Wall was to prevent East Berliners from fleeing in mass numbers to go to West Berlin because it was free from communist rule.

Kennedy’s Response

After the embarrassment of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy was determined to respond firmly to growing Communist threats. However, his first meeting with , the Soviet leader, went poorly as Kennedy seemed intimidated.

When JFK returned home, he decided to show the Soviets the U.S. could not be intimidated. He did nothing to stop construction of the wall; however, he asked Congress to send a clear signal that the U.S. would be prepared for the possibility of nuclear war.

  • Increased defense spending by $3 billion
  • Double the number of men drafted
  • Sought $200 million for the construction of

JFK Speaks to Berliners

President Kennedy visited Berlin in June 1963. He stood near the Berlin Wall and spoke the following words to a cheering crowd.

“We do not want to fight—but we have fought before…” He concluded his speech with, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” or I am a Berliner.

The translation in English for the word Berliner is jelly donut. Kennedy’s critics thought he made a blunder in his speech; however, it was simply the translation.

Results of the Crisis

Ultimately the concrete and barbed wire wall with armed guards stopped the exodus to West Berlin. The Wall served as a visible symbol and reminder of the Cold War divide between and until it came down in 1989. In February 1962, President Kennedy said the Berlin Wall "is an admission of failure by communism, it is an attempt for the first time in the history of mankind to erect a wall, not to keep marauders or bandits out, but to keep their people in."

In the eyes of many, the Wall itself came to represent the failures of communism and the success of democracy. It would, however, be many decades before the final battles of the Cold War were waged and the walls replaced by democratic ideals.

III. The Cuban Missile Crisis

During thirteen long days in October 1962, known as the , President Kennedy faced another direct challenge from the Soviets that brought our nation closer to the of a devastating nuclear war than any other time in our history.

On October 16, 1962, it was revealed to the President that a had discovered multiple Soviet missile bases under construction in Cuba. Some of the bases had medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles ready to launch and capable of destroying most of the continental U.S.

Kennedy’s Response

President Kennedy quickly gathered his top advisers, including his brother and Attorney General, , in a series of secret meetings. During the crisis, Kennedy's and Khrushchev's negotiators went back and forth.

Plans included everything from ignoring the situation, to a naval quarantine, to a possible invasion that would ultimately lead to nuclear war. On October 22, JFK informed anxious Americans of his plans to remove the missiles from Cuba.

Naval Quarantine of Cuba

Kennedy announced a of Cuba to prevent any Soviet ships from entering Cuba. Many extremely tense moments followed over the next several days.

On October 28, following a series of tense negotiations, Kennedy eventually accepted Khrushchev's offer to remove missiles from Cuba in exchange for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba. The U.S. also secretly agreed to remove obsolete missiles in . Nuclear war was averted.

Effects of the Cuban Missile Crisis

President Kennedy emerged from the crisis a hero because nuclear war was averted. However, since we were dangerously close to nuclear war a number of times during the Cuban Missile Crisis, several efforts were made to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

• The was established which banned the testing of nuclear weapons above ground.

• The U.S. and the U.S.S.R established a for better communication in a future crisis.

The Cuban Missile Crisis

When the U.S. discovered nuclear weapon storage facilities being constructed in Cuba, the tensest period of the cold war began. The crisis helped create a new American defense strategy: , or MAD.

The Alliance for Progress

Well before the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed, Kennedy had plans to make the world more peaceful. He wanted to stand against communism by promoting "peaceful revolution" in developing countries around the world.

In 1961, JFK established the to encourage countries in the to ally themselves with democratic countries and cooperate to satisfy the (homes, work, land, health, and schools) of the people. The administration pledged $20 billion to promote economic development and social reform.