Media in the Eastern Bloc was an organ of the state , completely reliant on and subservient to the communist party. Radio and television organizations were state-owned, while print media was usually owned by political organizations, mostly by the local communist party.
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American policymakers, including Kennan and John Foster Dulles , acknowledged that the Cold War was in its essence a war of ideas. Moreover, his party was weakened during the war against Japan. Meanwhile, the communists told different groups, such as the peasants, exactly what they wanted to hear, and they cloaked themselves under the cover of Chinese nationalism. Confronted with the communist revolution in China and the end of the American atomic monopoly in , the Truman administration quickly moved to escalate and expand its containment doctrine.
United States officials moved to expand this version of containment into Asia , Africa , and Latin America , in order to counter revolutionary nationalist movements, often led by communist parties financed by the USSR, fighting against the restoration of Europe's colonial empires in South-East Asia and elsewhere. One of the more significant examples of the implementation of containment was US intervention in the Korean War.
Stalin had been reluctant to support the invasion  but ultimately sent advisers. The U. This directed the action of the US to only push back North Korea across the 38th Parallel and restore South Korea's sovereignty, allowing North Korea's survival as a state. However, the success of the Inchon landing inspired the U. The Chinese, fearful of a possible US presence on their border or even an invasion by them, then sent in a large army and defeated the U. Truman publicly hinted that he might use his "ace in the hole" of the atomic bomb, but Mao was unmoved. The Communists were later pushed to roughly around the original border, with minimal changes.
After the Armistice was approved in July , Korean leader Kim Il Sung created a highly centralized, totalitarian dictatorship according his family unlimited power and generating a formidable cult of personality.
Why wars happen / Jeremy Black | National Library of Australia
In , changes in political leadership on both sides shifted the dynamic of the Cold War. Eisenhower was inaugurated president that January. After the death of Joseph Stalin , Nikita Khrushchev became the Soviet leader following the deposition and execution of Lavrentiy Beria and the pushing aside of rivals Georgy Malenkov and Vyacheslav Molotov.
On 25 February , Khrushchev shocked delegates to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party by cataloguing and denouncing Stalin's crimes. On 18 November , while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow, Khrushchev used his famous "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you " expression, shocking everyone present.
Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, initiated a " New Look " for the containment strategy, calling for a greater reliance on nuclear weapons against US enemies in wartime. Possessing nuclear superiority, for example, allowed Eisenhower to face down Soviet threats to intervene in the Middle East during the Suez Crisis. In spite of these threats, there were substantial hopes for detente when an upswing in diplomacy took place in , including a two-week visit by Khrushchev to the US, and plans for a two-power summit for May The latter was disturbed by the U-2 spy plane scandal , however, in which Eisenhower was caught lying to the world about the intrusion of American surveillance aircraft into Soviet territory.
While Stalin 's death in slightly relaxed tensions, the situation in Europe remained an uneasy armed truce. It stood opposed to NATO. The Soviet Army invaded. From through , Khrushchev openly and repeatedly threatened the West with nuclear annihilation. He claimed that Soviet missile capabilities were far superior to those of the United States, capable of wiping out any American or European city.
According to John Lewis Gaddis , Khrushchev rejected Stalin's "belief in the inevitability of war," however. The new leader declared his ultimate goal was " peaceful coexistence ". The events in Hungary produced ideological fractures within the communist parties of the world, particularly in Western Europe, with great decline in membership as many in both western and communist countries felt disillusioned by the brutal Soviet response.
During November , Khrushchev made an unsuccessful attempt to turn all of Berlin into an independent, demilitarized "free city". He gave the United States, Great Britain, and France a six-month ultimatum to withdraw their troops from the sectors they still occupied in West Berlin, or he would transfer control of Western access rights to the East Germans. Khrushchev earlier explained to Mao Zedong that "Berlin is the testicles of the West.
Every time I want to make the West scream, I squeeze on Berlin. Kennedy's foreign policy was dominated by American confrontations with the Soviet Union, manifested by proxy contests. Like Truman and Eisenhower, Kennedy supported containment to stop the spread of Communism. President Eisenhower's New Look policy had emphasized the use of less expensive nuclear weapons to deter Soviet aggression by threatening massive nuclear attacks all of the Soviet Union.
Nuclear weapons were much cheaper than maintaining a large standing army, so Eisenhower cut conventional forces to save money. Kennedy implemented a new strategy known as flexible response. This strategy relied on conventional arms to achieve limited goals. As part of this policy, Kennedy expanded the United States special operations forces , elite military units that could fight unconventionally in various conflicts.
Kennedy hoped that the flexible response strategy would allow the U.
To support his new strategy Kennedy ordered a massive increase in defense spending. He sought, and Congress provided, a rapid build-up of the nuclear arsenal to restore the lost superiority over the Soviet Union—he claimed in that Eisenhower had lost it because of excessive concern with budget deficits. From to the number of nuclear weapons increased by 50 percent, as did the number of B bombers to deliver them.
The new ICBM force grew from 63 intercontinental ballistic missiles to He authorized 23 new Polaris submarines, each of which carried 16 nuclear missiles. He called on cities to prepare fallout shelters for nuclear war. In contrast to Eisenhower's warning about the perils of the military-industrial complex , Kennedy focused on rearmament. Nationalist movements in some countries and regions, notably Guatemala , Indonesia and Indochina , were often allied with communist groups or otherwise perceived to be unfriendly to Western interests.
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Winston Churchill told the United States that Mosaddegh was "increasingly turning towards Communist influence. The non-aligned Indonesian government of Sukarno was faced with a major threat to its legitimacy beginning in , when several regional commanders began to demand autonomy from Jakarta. After mediation failed, Sukarno took action to remove the dissident commanders. They were joined by many civilian politicians from the Masyumi Party , such as Sjafruddin Prawiranegara , who were opposed to the growing influence of the communist Partai Komunis Indonesia party.
Due to their anti-communist rhetoric, the rebels received arms, funding, and other covert aid from the CIA until Allen Lawrence Pope , an American pilot, was shot down after a bombing raid on government-held Ambon in April The central government responded by launching airborne and seaborne military invasions of rebel strongholds Padang and Manado. By the end of , the rebels were militarily defeated, and the last remaining rebel guerilla bands surrendered by August In British Guiana , the leftist People's Progressive Party PPP candidate Cheddi Jagan won the position of chief minister in a colonially administered election in , but was quickly forced to resign from power after Britain's suspension of the still-dependent nation's constitution.
Why Wars Happen by Jeremy Black
Worn down by the communist guerrilla war for Vietnamese independence and handed a watershed defeat by communist Viet Minh rebels at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu , the French accepted a negotiated abandonment of their colonial stake in Vietnam. In the Geneva Conference , peace accords were signed, leaving Vietnam divided between a pro-Soviet administration in North Vietnam and a pro-Western administration in South Vietnam at the 17th parallel north.
Between and , Eisenhower's United States sent economic aid and military advisers to strengthen South Vietnam's pro-Western regime against communist efforts to destabilize it. Many emerging nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America rejected the pressure to choose sides in the East-West competition. Independence movements in the Third World transformed the post-war order into a more pluralistic world of decolonized African and Middle Eastern nations and of rising nationalism in Asia and Latin America.
The period after was marked by serious setbacks for the Soviet Union, most notably the breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, beginning the Sino-Soviet split. Mao had defended Stalin when Khrushchev criticized him in , and treated the new Soviet leader as a superficial upstart, accusing him of having lost his revolutionary edge. After this, Khrushchev made many desperate attempts to reconstitute the Sino-Soviet alliance, but Mao considered it useless and denied any proposal. On the nuclear weapons front, the United States and the USSR pursued nuclear rearmament and developed long-range weapons with which they could strike the territory of the other.
This culminated in the Apollo Moon landings , which astronaut Frank Borman later described as "just a battle in the Cold War. In Cuba , the 26th of July Movement , led by young revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara , seized power in the Cuban Revolution on 1 January , toppling President Fulgencio Batista , whose unpopular regime had been denied arms by the Eisenhower administration.
Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States continued for some time after Batista's fall, but President Eisenhower deliberately left the capital to avoid meeting Castro during the latter's trip to Washington, DC in April, leaving Vice President Richard Nixon to conduct the meeting in his place. In January , just prior to leaving office, Eisenhower formally severed relations with the Cuban government. By the early s, the Soviet approach to restricting emigration movement was emulated by most of the rest of the Eastern Bloc.
The Kennedy administration continued seeking ways to oust Castro following the Bay of Pigs Invasion, experimenting with various ways of covertly facilitating the overthrow of the Cuban government. Significant hopes were pinned on a covert program named the Cuban Project , devised under the Kennedy administration in Khrushchev learned of the project in February ,  and preparations to install Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba were undertaken in response.
Alarmed, Kennedy considered various reactions. He ultimately responded to the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba with a naval blockade, and he presented an ultimatum to the Soviets. Khrushchev backed down from a confrontation, and the Soviet Union removed the missiles in return for an American pledge not to invade Cuba again. The Cuban Missile Crisis October—November brought the world closer to nuclear war than ever before. In , Khrushchev's Kremlin colleagues managed to oust him, but allowed him a peaceful retirement.
In the course of the s and s, Cold War participants struggled to adjust to a new, more complicated pattern of international relations in which the world was no longer divided into two clearly opposed blocs. The Vietnam War descended into a quagmire for the United States, leading to a decline in international prestige and economic stability, derailing arms agreements, and provoking domestic unrest.
America's withdrawal from the war led it to embrace a policy of detente with both China and the Soviet Union. This raised oil prices and hurt Western economies, but helped Russia by generating a huge flow of money from its oil sales.
As a result of the oil crisis, combined with the growing influence of Third World alignments such as OPEC and the Non-Aligned Movement , less powerful countries had more room to assert their independence and often showed themselves resistant to pressure from either superpower. Under President John F. Kennedy , US troop levels in Vietnam grew under the Military Assistance Advisory Group program from just under a thousand in to 16, in Johnson broad authorization to increase U.
The USSR discouraged further escalation of the war, however, providing just enough military assistance to tie up American forces. The Tet Offensive of proved to be the turning point of the war. Despite years of American tutelage and aid the South Vietnamese forces were unable to withstand the communist offensive and the task fell to US forces instead.
Tet showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war and giving rise to what was referred to as the Vietnam Syndrome , a public aversion to American overseas military involvements. Nonetheless operations continued to cross international boundaries: bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were used by North Vietnam as supply routes , and were heavily bombed by U. De Gaulle protested at the strong role of the United States in the organization and what he perceived as a special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
In a memorandum sent to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 17 September , he argued for the creation of a tripartite directorate that would put France on an equal footing with the United States and the United Kingdom, and also for the expansion of NATO's coverage to include geographical areas of interest to France, most notably French Algeria , where France was waging a counter-insurgency and sought NATO assistance.
In , a period of political liberalization took place in Czechoslovakia called the Prague Spring.
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An " Action Program " of reforms included increasing freedom of the press , freedom of speech and freedom of movement , along with an economic emphasis on consumer goods , the possibility of a multiparty government, limitations on the power of the secret police,   and potential withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact. In September , during a speech at the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers' Party one month after the invasion of Czechoslovakia , Brezhnev outlined the Brezhnev Doctrine , in which he claimed the right to violate the sovereignty of any country attempting to replace Marxism—Leninism with capitalism.
During the speech, Brezhnev stated: . When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism, it becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and concern of all socialist countries. The doctrine found its origins in the failures of Marxism—Leninism in states like Poland, Hungary and East Germany, which were facing a declining standard of living contrasting with the prosperity of West Germany and the rest of Western Europe.