Kennedy Doctrine

The Kennedy Doctrine refers to foreign policy initiatives of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, towards Latin America during his administration between 1961 and 1963. Kennedy voiced support for the containment of communism as well as the reversal of communist progress in the Western Hemisphere.

October 23, 1962- President Kennedy signs Proclamation 3504, authorizing the naval quarantine of Cuba
President John F. Kennedy signing Proclamation 3504, authorizing the naval quarantine of Communist Cuba

Inaugural address: "Pay any price, bear any burden"

In his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961, President Kennedy presented the American public with a blueprint upon which the future foreign policy initiatives of his administration would later follow and come to represent. In this Address, Kennedy warned "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."1 He also called upon the public to assist in "a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."1 It is in this address that one begins to see the Cold War, us-versus-them mentality that came to dominate the Kennedy administration.

Cold War containment

A dominant premise during the Kennedy years was the need to contain communism at any cost. In this Cold War environment, Kennedy's "call for military strength and unison in the struggle against communism were balanced with... [hopes] for disarmament and global cooperation."2 Another common theme in Kennedy's foreign policy was the belief that because the United States had the ability and power to control events in the international system, they should. Kennedy expressed this idea in his address when he stated, "In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom from its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it." 1

Historical background

The Kennedy Doctrine was essentially an expansion of the foreign policy prerogatives of the administrations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman. The foreign policies of these presidents all revolved around the threat of communism and the means by which the US would try containing the spread of it. The Truman Doctrine focused on the containment of communism by providing assistance to countries resisting communism in Europe.

The Eisenhower Doctrine was focused upon providing both military and economic assistance to nations resisting communism in the Middle East, and by increasing the flow of trade from the US into Latin America. The Kennedy Doctrine was based on these same objectives, but was more concerned with the spread of communism and Soviet influence in Latin America following the Cuban revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power under Eisenhower.

Alliance for Progress

In his inaugural address, Kennedy talks of an alliance for progress with countries in Latin America. In his Alliance for Progress address for Latin American Diplomats and Members of Congress on March 13th 1961 he expanded on his promises from his inaugural speech. "I have called on all the people of the hemisphere to join in a new Alliance for Progress – alianza para el Progreso – a vast cooperative effort, unparalleled in magnitude and nobility of purpose, to satisfy the basic needs of the American people for homes, work and land, health and schools – techo, trabajo y tierra, salud y escuela."3

In the address, Kennedy reaffirmed the United States' pledge of coming to the defense of any nation whose independence was endangered, promised to increase the food-for-peace emergency program and to provide economic aid to nations in need. He requested that Latin American countries promote social change within their borders and called upon all American nations to move towards increased economic integration. "To achieve this goal political freedom must accompany material progress. Our Alliance for Progress is an alliance of free governments – and it must work to eliminate tyranny from a hemisphere in which it has no rightful place. Therefore let us express our special friendship to the people of Cuba and the Dominican Republic – and the hope they will soon rejoin the society of free men, uniting with us in our common effort."3

Debate over international role of United States

Many have questioned whether Kennedy's Inaugural Address, and the foreign policy stemming from the vision he expressed in it "describes an appropriate, rational, and prudent role for the United States in the world; whether it is an outline for an era of negotiation and accommodation and friendship; or whether it is a prescription for an untenable globalism, leading inevitably to increased areas of conflict, to a heightening of the arms race, and to American concern with and involvement, to one degree or another, in the affairs of almost every country in the world."4

What remains clear is that Kennedy was deeply involved and committed to every aspect of the foreign policy under his administration. W. Averell Harriman served in and on behalf of Kennedy's Administration in several capacities, and noted, "President Kennedy was the first President, that I know of, who was really his own secretary of state. He dealt with every aspect of foreign policy, and he knew about everything that was going on."5

Derived events

Some of the most notable events that stemmed from tenets of JFK's foreign policy initiatives in regard to Latin America and the spread of communism were:6

See also

Notes

  1. The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy. Available online at: https://web.archive.org/web/20070514235348/http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/kennedy.htm
  2. Viotti, Paul R, American Foreign Policy and National Security: A Documentary Record (Pearson Prentice Hall: 2005), 222.
  3. Modern History Sourcebook. President John F. Kennedy: On the Alliance for Progress, 1961. Available Online at: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1961kennedy-afp1.html
  4. Fitzsimons, Louise. The Kennedy Doctrine (New York: Random House, 1972), 10.
  5. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Oral History Collection. Available Online at: http://www.lexisnexis.com/academic/2upa/Aph/KennedyOral.asp
  6. Weidman, Lisa Menéndez. A Biography of John F. Kennedy: The 35th President of the United States. Available Online at The JFK Library: http://www.jfklibrary.org/jfk_biography.html

External links

1958 United States Senate election in Massachusetts

The United States Senate election of 1958 in Massachusetts was held on November 4, 1958. Democratic incumbent John F. Kennedy was reelected to a second six-year term, defeating Republican candidate Vincent J. Celeste.

1960 Democratic Party presidential primaries

The 1960 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1960 U.S. presidential election. Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1960 Democratic National Convention held from July 11 to July 15, 1960, in Los Angeles, California.

ASEAN Declaration

The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.

A Nation of Immigrants

A Nation of Immigrants (ISBN 978-0-06-144754-9) is a 1958 book on American immigration by then U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

A rising tide lifts all boats

The aphorism "a rising tide lifts all boats" is associated with the idea that an improved economy will benefit all participants, and that economic policy, particularly government economic policy, should therefore focus on broad economic efforts.

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program designed to alleviate poverty. President John F. Kennedy originated the idea for VISTA, which was founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA is an initialism for Volunteers in Service to America.

On March 11, 2018, President Donald Trump sent his official Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) Budget request to Congress. As previously outlined in his previous fiscal year budgets, this budget proposes the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in FY 2020 and provides funding for an orderly shutdown, including all CNCS programs, such as Senior Corps and AmeriCorps (which includes VISTA and NCCC). In FY 2019, VISTA was funded at its FY 2017 and FY 2018 levels of $92,364,000 while AmeriCorps (not NCCC) and Senior Corps received increases in their funding levels.

Arthur Reginald Evans

Arthur Reginald Evans, DSC (14 May 1905 – 31 January 1989) was an Australian coastwatcher in the Pacific Ocean theatre in World War II. He is chiefly remembered for having played a significant part in the rescue of future US President John F. Kennedy and his surviving crew after their Motor Torpedo Boat, PT-109, was sunk by enemy action in August 1943.

Cultural depictions of John F. Kennedy

Cultural depictions of John F. Kennedy, the 35th American president, include films, songs, games, toys, stamps, coins, artwork, and other portrayals.

Executive Order 11063

Executive Order 11063 was signed by President John F. Kennedy on November 20, 1962. This Order "prohibits discrimination in the sale, leasing, rental, or other disposition of properties and facilities owned or operated by the federal government or provided with federal funds." This order thereby banned segregation in federally funded housing.

Flexible response

Flexible response was a defense strategy implemented by John F. Kennedy in 1961 to address the Kennedy administration's skepticism of Dwight Eisenhower's New Look and its policy of massive retaliation. Flexible response calls for mutual deterrence at strategic, tactical, and conventional levels, giving the United States the capability to respond to aggression across the spectrum of war, not limited only to nuclear arms.

Glasnost

In the Russian language the word Glasnost (; Russian: гла́сность, IPA: [ˈɡɫasnəsʲtʲ] (listen)) has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century.In the Russian Empire of the late-19th century, the term was particularly associated with reforms of the judicial system, ensuring that the press and the public could attend court hearings and that the sentence was read out in public. In the mid-1980s, it was popularised by Mikhail Gorbachev as a political slogan for increased government transparency in the Soviet Union.

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.

Jamaican political conflict

The Jamaican political conflict is a long standing feud between right-wing and left-wing elements in the country, often exploding into violence. The Jamaican Labor Party and the People's National Party have fought for control of the island for years and the rivalry has encouraged urban warfare in Kingston. Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to been backed by the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro.

Johnson Doctrine

The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.

Lincoln–Kennedy coincidences urban legend

Claimed coincidences connecting U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy are a piece of American folklore of unknown origin. The list of coincidences appeared in the mainstream American press in 1964, a year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, having appeared prior to that in the GOP Congressional Committee Newsletter. Martin Gardner examined the list in an article in Scientific American, later reprinted in his book, The Magic Numbers of Dr. Matrix. Gardner's version of the list contained 16 items; many subsequent versions have circulated much longer lists. The list is still in circulation today, having endured in the popular imagination for over 50 years. In 1992, the Skeptical Inquirer ran a "Spooky Presidential Coincidences Contest." One winner found a series of sixteen similar coincidences between Kennedy and former Mexican President Álvaro Obregón, while the other came up with similar lists for twenty-one pairs of US Presidents.

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

United States presidential doctrines

A United States Presidential doctrine comprises the key goals, attitudes, or stances for United States foreign affairs outlined by a President. Most presidential doctrines are related to the Cold War. Though many U.S. Presidents had themes related to their handling of foreign policy, the term doctrine generally applies to Presidents such as James Monroe, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, all of whom had doctrines which more completely characterized their foreign policy.

Western Bloc

The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".

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