The Cold War and U.S. Diplomacy Essay

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The Cold War and U.S. Diplomacy

Summarize a situation that required U.S. diplomatic efforts during President Reagan’s time in office. The situation that required U.S. diplomatic involvement was the Reagan Doctrine. In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan advocated the elimination of all assistance to the Nicaraguan government. As a candidate, he ran on a platform that condemned the “Marxist Sandinista takeover of Nicaragua” and pledged support for the “efforts of the Nicaraguan people to establish a free and independent government. Once Reagan took over the Presidency, high-ranking policy makers suspended and then canceled economic aid to Nicaragua. The administration began to formulate more coercive measures. President Ronald Reagan took office determined to do something about what he considered a growing tide of Soviet expansionism. To do so, his administration developed a strategy to aid anti-Soviet insurgencies in the Third World in their attempts to overthrow Marxist regimes (Alan Riding, 1980).

In February 1981, when Robert McFarlane (then assistant to Secretary of State Alexander Haig) submitted a proposal for a coordinated political, economic, military, and covert approach to the Central American crisis (El Salvador and Nicaragua), the issue reached the White House. Eventually labeled the Reagan Doctrine, the strategy had matured enough by 1985 for the president to assert that the United States “must not break faith with those who are risking their lives–on every continent, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua to defy Soviet supported aggression. In 1986 President Reagan declared, “America will support with moral and material assistance, your right not to fight and die for freedom, but to fight and win freedom in Afghanistan, in Angola, in Cambodia, and in Nicaragua.

However, a conflict developed over the application of the Reagan Doctrine to Nicaragua, where rebels known as the contras opposed the Sandinista government, which came to power in a successful revolution in 1979. This conflict reflected the high priority assigned the issue by the president and the intense scrutiny given the policy by Congress. Since the policy making process extended over several years and included many players, the Nicaragua case makes for a splendid study in the American foreign policy making process (Scott, James M., 1997). Explicate the diplomatic doctrine the president followed, with reference to specific actions or events that occurred.

During the Reagan’s first term, the Soviet leadership changed from Leonid Brezhnev to Yuri Andropov to Konstantin Cherenkov. Over that four year period, Reagan maintained his hardline rhetoric about the Soviet Union even referring to it in a Florida speech as an “evil empire.” He also launched a massive military expansion program, as President John Kennedy had done twenty years earlier, to impress Soviet leaders that he intended to deal with them from a position of strength in Europe, Asia, and Africa, where they had made significant gains in Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia. He believed he had a clear mandate from the American people to reverse the trend of the previous decade and make America militarily strong and politically decisive in foreign policy. During President Reagans time in office the Reagan doctrine was in affect, which involved military and material support for indigenous resistance movements struggling to overthrow Soviet-sponsored tyrannies.

The Reagan administration supported such guerrillas in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Angola and Nicaragua in efforts to “rollback” the Soviet empire. In addition, President Reagan worked with the Vatican and the international wing of the AFL-CIO to keep alive the Polish trade union solidarity, despite a ruthless crackdown by General Wojciech Jaruzelski’s regime. During this time in 1983 President Reagan ordered American troops to invade Grenada and liberate the island from its ruling Marxist dictator. In 1983 President Reagan also announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a new program to research, and eventually deploy missile defenses that offered the promise, in Reagan’s words, of ‘making nuclear weapons obsolete.’ (Luard, Evan. 1987) Describe the effects of these diplomatic efforts for the U.S. and other countries.

A primary achievement was reestablishment of a strong relationship with NATO. When President Reagan came to office, European governments mistrusted the United States because of what they perceived as President Carter’s indecisiveness in foreign policy and excessive moralizing about human rights. President Reagan reversed those perceptions, even though he shocked many Europeans with his strong anti-Soviet rhetoric. NATO leaders applauded his defense buildup and the forceful way in which he handled the decision to proceed with INF deployments despite intense Soviet pressure against the move and massive demonstrations in Europe by antinuclear groups (J T Rourke, C T Guilford, 1991).

President Reagan established a particularly strong relationship with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by supporting her effort to regain control of the Falkland Islands in 1982. He did so in the face of strong opposition by Washington’s Latin American allies, which supported Argentina’s seizure of the islands by force, and some opposition within his administration. However the major drawback of President Reagan’s “doctrine” was that it antagonized some of the other countries.

Assess, in conclusion, the advantages and disadvantages of the particular doctrine that was followed. In conclusion the advantages of the Reagan doctrine are the relative low cost of supporting guerilla forces compared to the Soviet Union’s expenses in the build up of client states. Another was the lack of direct involvement of American troops, which allowed the U.S. to confront Soviet allies without any casualties. Another was the fact that President Reagan was able to build up our military forces for other countries to take note that we are a force to be reckoned with.

However the disadvantages is that policies such as our support of the fighters in Afghanistan created possibilities for “blowback” as people armed by the United States did not necessarily share the interests of the United States beyond resisting Soviet influence. One might also argue that it perpetuated, even added to, a military-industrial complex that soaks up billions in budget spending. Then, of course, there was the fact that American money and weapons went toward killing people around the world, which scarcely enhanced the image of the country. The major drawback of Reagan’s “doctrine” was that it antagonized some of the other countries. Summarize events between the U.S. and at least one (1) of the countries you wrote about in the first paper since the end of the Cold War.

In summary the events that took place between the U.S. and Nicaragua had taken place from 1981-1986. The first event was that the U.S. ended aid to Nicaragua after finding evidence the Nicaragua, Cuba, and the Soviet Union where supplying arms to Salvadorian rebels, The second event was the U.S. House of representatives passed the Boland Amendment which prohibits the U.S. from supplying the Nicaraguan contras with arms for overthrowing the Sandinista government. The third event is when the CIA mines Nicaragua’s harbors in a covert operation. Both U.S. enemies and allies condemn the action. Nicaragua sues the U.S. in the world court, and in June 1986 the court finds the U.S. guilty of violating International law.

The fourth event is Daniel Ortega, leader of the FSLN, is “elected” president of Nicaragua. The fifth event is that the U.S. suspends talks with Nicaragua. U.S. president Ronald Reagan describes the Nicaragua contras as “Freedom Fighters” and compares them to America’s founding fathers. President Reagan initiates economic sanctions against Nicaragua. The sixth event was the U.S. congress approves humanitarian aid package for the Nicaraguan contras. The seventh event that took place was a plane carrying a U.S. military supply to the contras was shot down and the only American survivor is captured. And finally the U.S. government announces that contrary to the Boland Amendment the U.S. has been providing military aid to the contras. The supplies were purchased with funds diverted from the sales of U.S. arms to Iran. This would come to be known as the Iran-contra affair. Identify and describe the current relationship between the U.S. and one (1) of the countries you wrote about in the first paper.

The U.S. Government has clearly stated that the November 2011 elections marked a setback to democracy in Nicaragua and undermined the ability of Nicaraguans to hold their government accountable. The United States has promoted national reconciliation, encouraging Nicaraguans to resolve their problems through dialogue and compromise. It recognizes as legitimate all political forces that abide by the democratic process and eschew violence.

U.S. assistance is focused on strengthening democratic institutions; stimulating sustainable economic growth; supporting the health and basic education sectors; and increasing the effectiveness of Nicaragua’s efforts to combat transnational crimes, including narcotics trafficking, money laundering, illegal alien smuggling, international terrorist and criminal organizations, and trafficking in persons. Key U.S. policy goals for Nicaragua also include improving respect for human rights and resolving outstanding high-profile human rights cases; and developing a free market economy with respect for property and intellectual property rights (U.S. Department of State, Diplomacy in Action, 2011). Select a country you did not write about in the first paper, and describe the current U.S. diplomatic approach to the country.

First, the United States simply did not have a diplomatic mission to Iraq that could have taken on public diplomacy responsibilities in 2003 because the United States severed its diplomatic relations with Iraq following that country’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990. In the absence of civilian human infrastructure that could have taken on public diplomacy and other civilian tasks, the Bush Administration turned to the US military which possessed a readily available and deployable capability to meet this crucial need. Since the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, a country that poses the most challenging and important test of American engagement in the region, the American military has led public diplomacy efforts throughout the country.

Following the invasion, the US military began conducting many forms of public affairs and public diplomacy (PD) functions throughout Iraq. Military Public Affairs Officers held press conferences, engaged American and foreign journalists, organized cultural events, and highlighted the positive aspects of the United States’ continued presence in Iraq, among other significant public diplomacy activities. Needless to say, these are not functions normally conducted by the US military (S. E. Duggan, 2012). Contrast and compare the two (2) relationships

The relationship between the United States of America and The Republic of Iraq are currently guided by two historic agreements: a Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) that covers our overall political, economic, and security relationship with Iraq, and a Security Agreement – otherwise known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) – that implements our security relationship. Both agreements protect U.S. interests in the Middle East, help the Iraqi people stand on their own, and reinforce Iraqi sovereignty.

However the relationship between the United States of America and Nicaragua relations, the bilateral relationship, though tense at times, appears to be generally intact. One cause of tension has been President Ortega’s tendency to vacillate between anti-U.S. rhetoric and reassurances that he will respect private property and pursue free-trade policies. The United States provides significant foreign assistance to Nicaragua, and the two countries cooperate on counter narcotics, trade, and security matters.

The relationships between the two countries and the U.S. as you can see are different, however the U.S. tends to help anyone and everyone that asks for it. The United States of America has spent billions of dollars helping these two countries get back on their feet. Using the (2) countries as examples summarize how the U.S. has changed the way it relates to other countries in the past 20 years.

American political culture has changed considerably in the past twenty years, particularly with regard to American foreign policy and its relationship with the rest of the world. Your text discusses the debates surrounding the issue of “exporting democracy” to other parts of the world; this debate encompasses the humanitarian, economic, and political ramifications of the spread of democratic regimes. The changes in American political culture over the last twenty years have impacted this debate, and have affected the role that America plays in the world at large.

Alan Riding, “Central Americans Split on U.S. Voting,” New York Times, 4 August 1980 Scott, James M., Political Science Quarterly, Interbranch rivalry and the Reagan Doctrine in Nicaragua. 00323195, Summer97, Vol. 112, Issue 2 Luard, Evan. International Affairs. Autumn87, Vol. 63 Issue 4, p563. 12p. J T Rourke, International Politics on the World Stage, Guilford,
CT: Dushkin Publishing Group, 1991, pp 295-296, 307-308. U.S. Department of State, Diplomacy in Action, 2011, Duggan, Sean E. Middle East Journal. Winter2012, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p53-78. 26p. Nuechterlein, Donald E., Perspectives on Political Science, The Reagan doctrine in perspective.10457097, Winter90, Vol. 19, Issue 1 McDermott, Rose. Journal of Cold War Studies. Fall2002, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p29-59. 31p. DOI: 10.1162/15203970260209509. Roskin M.G., Berry N.O. The New World Of International Relations. 2010, Pearson Education Company, Ch4, p58-59.

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