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Emerging Role Of The United States In Mid 20th Century

948 words - 4 pages

Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy were both military men who rose to the presidency from vastly different backgrounds which influenced their approach to government and foreign policy. Those differences were reflected in their approach to U.S.-Soviet relations, the dominant foreign policy issue of the time. Both presidents vowed to stop the spread of communism, which was viewed as a direct assault to democracy, human rights, and capitalism. “President Eisenhower made the decision to intervene in southern Vietnam to replace the French and support the efforts of Ngo Dinh Diem to establish a non-Communist state in order to prevent the further spread of Communism in Indochina. President Kennedy ...view middle of the document...

S. aid package “The Military Assistance and Advisory Group” (MAAG), under the command of General Francis Brink which was to instruct the French, and the non-communist Vietnamese, in the use of the American weapons and tactics, which were being supplies in ever increasing quantities.
The leadership styles of President Eisenhower and President Kennedy differed in the way they handled military spending, balancing the budget and their proposed style of defense against the threat of communism.
President Eisenhower adopted the same kind of approach that he had exhibited throughout his military career and, believed that a conventional military solution would result in victory over the Vietminh; Eisenhower felt that the threat of nuclear weapons being used again against communist aggressors would be sufficient defense against intervention by Communist superpowers. This was achieved through Eisenhower's defense policies, which aimed at providing "more bang for the buck," cut spending on conventional land forces while increasing the budget for the Air Force and for nuclear weapons. He used his military experience when judging the defense needs for the United States and provided economic and military aid to his allies in Vietnam in order to fight the spread of communism. Eisenhower “believed that the CIA, created in 1947, was an effective instrument to counter Communist expansion” ("American president a,") and began sending the CIA and military advisers to train the South Vietnamese army and to assist friendly governments, while still being able to avoid having to take public responsibility for controversial and overt actions.
When John F. Kennedy took office in January 20, 1961, he declared “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 to assure the survival and success of liberty” (Moss...

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