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New Look Policy Essay

1034 words - 5 pages

During the rise of The Cold War President Dwight D. Eisenhower spent the majority of his second term dealing with foreign policy. He partially supported the policy of containment and the need to stop advances of communism. Along with president Eisenhower was Secretary of State John Foster Dulles who significantly influenced U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War. He was an advocate for a “new look” to threaten the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. Although he was a strong anti-communist Dulles thought Truman’s policy of containment was too passive. His new look policy declared that if the communist powers pushed the United States close to war, the communist powers would have ...view middle of the document...

The military after the Korean War was already too small, and spending on the military was costly. “In 1952 the defense budget reached a high of $566.8 billion (“Did Eisenhower’s New Look Defense…). President Eisenhower saw that as a surefire way to drain the economy. A new policy was needed to solve the problems America was facing. The policy was a “new look “to save money, to have a bigger threat therefore providing “more bang for the buck” (Newman). The main characteristics and purpose of the New Look policy was to keep the strength of the U.S. economy and of the ability to prevent the Cold War, rely on nuclear weapons to intimidate Communist forces, and use the Central Intelligence Agency to carry on secret covert missions. The policy’s purpose was also to maintain the friendships between allies and gain new friendships with other governments to reinforce allies (Miller Center).
In essence Eisenhower’s goal was to minimize government expenditure on military and maintain an intimidating threat with atomic weapons. Money would be focused on Strategic Air Command forces instead of spending on naval and land forces (“Did Eisenhower’s New Look Defense…”). “Massive Retaliation”, coined by Dulles, was the idea of using nuclear weapons to embody the “New Look”. The threat of nuclear weapons became useful for future wars and was a principle strategy as well. Therefore the doctrine massive retaliation became a milestone of Eisenhower’s presidency. In 1953 the hydrogen bomb was developed in the United States. This bomb could destroy whole cities however within a year the Soviets were able to catch up with their own hydrogen bomb (Newman).
With massive retaliation came massive repercussions. The policy seemed to be effective for the region due to the fact that President Eisenhower was sure of America’s superiority over nuclear weapons. The policy forced the practice of “brinkmanship” where Eisenhower was forced to convince their willingness to order a nuclear attack on the enemy. Throughout the 1950s the government taught Americans ways to...

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