John F. Kennedy

Page by:
Tyler B.
Callie B.
Jairo O.
Jared P.
How did postwar events, both inside & outside our borders, lead to the development, escalation, and continuation of the Cold War?
Bay of Pigs:
Berlin Crisis:
1. What was the foreign policy of Kennedy?
2. Was Kennedy’s foreign policy more or less successful then Truman’s foreign policy?A. How did their foreign policy differ from Truman’s Containment
3. What role did economics play in the foreign policy of Kennedy?
4. What events threatened the administration of Kennedy in terms of foreign relations?
Video of JFK Speech on the Cuban Missile Crisis. __http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkcubanmissilecrisis.html__
Eidenmuller, Michael E. "American Rhetoric: John F. Kennedy - Cuban Missile Crisis Address to the Nation." American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkcubanmissilecrisis.html>.


Bay of Pigs: The President’s Councillors found out that the Soviets put missiles in Cuba. Everyone in the room agreed that they needed to be taken back to Russia immediately. ExComm (Executive Committee of the National Security Council) debated for a day and talked over the overall situation. By the end of this day it was decided that something needed to be done, although they didn’t really know what that was yet for sure. The advisers told Kennedy about the plan and basically said Eisenhower agreed to it. Kennedy agreed to the plan without reading it over carefully. Once the plan goes on its way, he realizes he has made a mistake. This is bad, the other countries (Germany) see the United States as week. The U.S isn’t weak but when the world views it as weak it could turn into a war (nuclear war). Excomm decided to take action. After a while of taking in all twelve ideas. Finally they decided to send in bombers. It would take one week for sixteen to thirty-two bombs to be ready. This was, according to the committee, the only way to get the soviets to get the missiles out. This plan became known as “the fast track.” Robert Kennedy, being the presidents brother, had a more powerful voice in the cabinet. He argued that a surprise attack wasn’t something the United States did. It wasn’t in the tradition. He made a good point when he stated that it would hurt their reputation in the way the world viewed the U.S.RFK was in favor of what was called the “slow track.” This would indicate that the Navy made a blockade. This was a good idea to RFK because then Russia wouldn’t be able to keep sending missiles. Also this would save peoples lives, by not bombing. One man in the cabinet, McNamara, said that if they tried the blockade first. If that didn’t work then they could bomb, but if they bombed first they couldn’t go back and try the blockade.On Sunday October 21, 1962 Kennedy made his decision. When he told the people he used the term “quarantine,” instead of using the word blockade. This was smart on his part, because a blockade is an act of war. Another thing that he was smart about, when he revealed this to the people, he told the press to hold back on their coverage. The next day he did a television announcement. When he did this he explained to the people about the Soviet Missiles.October 23, six flights went out over Cuba and brought back pictures that showed the missiles being tested for launch. The OAS (Organization of the American States), all agreed that the quarantine should take place. So the next day the quarantine line began 500 miles from Cuba. (Callie B.)"Cuban Missile Crisis." United States History. Web. 25 Mar. 2011. <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1736.html>.Weinstein, Allen, and Frank Otto Gatell. Freedom and Crisis: an American History. Vol. Two. New York: Random House, Inc, 1981. Print.


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Berlin Crisis: The United States was defeated by Fidel Castro’s troops on an anti-Castro raid of cuba that had started during the Eisenhower administration. After this, Kennedy saw the missile site photos from Cuba. He made a group called ExComm, which stands for Executive Committee. Lyndon Johnson, Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Roswell Gilpatric, Robert Kennedy and a few other people where appointed to the committee. The soviets had been transporting missiles to Cuba. It was the first time they had ever placed missiles outside of their own borders. They had not trusted the Polish or East Germany or other satellite allies. ExComm discussed the task at hand, how effective the missiles were, and tried to figure out why Krushchev took such a big risk. They decided they needed to take action. ExComm met on October 17th to decide policy options. One option was to demand the Russians to take the missiles out of Cuba. Another option was to go to the United Nations with their situation. They decided that diplomacy would not work. They assumed the Soviets would buy their time and construct more sites.

Some more detrimental options was to send B52 bomber planes to bomb the bases. This was known as the fast track option. Robert Kennedy spoke out agains the fast track option. He pointed out that a surprise attack was not in the tradition of the United States.The slow track was to have a naval blockade of Cuba. Russia would not be able to bring in any more missiles and they would be forced to take out the ones they already had in place. But international law says that a blockade is an act of war.
There was a lot of people in ExComm that changed their minds throughout 3 days of discussing. McGeorge Bundy started out for the diplomatic way, changed his mind to being in support of the surgical strike attack. Llewellen Thompson pointed out that in bombing the bases, Soviet lives would be lost, and there was no telling how Krushchev would respond.Slowly it came that the majority was for the blockade. This way, if the blockade didn’t work, then they could go to bombing. But, if they bombed first, they could not go back to the blockade. Dean Acheson resigned from the group because he could not get himself to support the blockade.
President John F. Kennedy sided with the blockade. He had to talk with the tactical bombing specialists again, but he didn’t think that the bombing would not destroy all of the missiles. He ordered that all the United States forces get ready for the blockade. He planned to announce over television 2 days later that the blockade would be put in place.Before he announced this, thousands of marines were flown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from Camp Pendleton, California. The First Armored Division moved from Texas to Fort Stewart, Georgia and they got all their artillery ready. In the Atlantic, we sent one hundred eighty naval ships to the blockade station. Strategic Air Commands thought that they would save themselves from having a sneak attack and went from their bases to civilian airports. At all times, there was B52 bombers with atomic bombs on board in the air. American military comanders were warned about a possible crisis coming. General Walter C. Sweeney could only guarantee 90 percent destruction of the missiles with an air attack. Based on this, John F. Kennedy decided to go forward with the blockade. He planned to announce over television 2 days later that the blockade would be put in place.
Before he announced this, thousands of marines were flown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from Camp Pendleton, California. The First Armored Division moved from Texas to Fort Stewart, Georgia and they got all their artillery ready. In the Atlantic, we sent one hundred eighty naval ships to the blockade station. Strategic Air Commands thought that they would save themselves from having a sneak attack and went from their bases to civilian airports. At all times, there was B52 bombers with atomic bombs on board in the air. American military comanders were warned about a possible crisis coming. General Walter C. Sweeney could only guarantee 90 percent destruction of the missiles with an air attack. Based on this, John F. Kennedy decided to go forward with the blockade. (Jared P.)Weinstein, Allen, and Frank Gatell. Freedom and Crisis; An American History. New York, NY: Random House, Inc, 1981.
external image t1cpZn6bB40QNj45AGpGzrQAgFfrl8m-55a6iB1NOsYJIHQ_qgd35R7eEalA6KApszIRXD-4gqFv95cOVS6a-XAhCB0PLg4XHAYQt4hb9vfQMNHW_EY Kennedy’s foreign policy was based on the American- Soviet confrontations. In a speech in July 1961, Kennedy announced his decision to add $3.25 billion to the defense budget, along with over 200 thousand additional troops for the military, saying an attack on West Berlin would be taken as an attack on the U.S. Shortly after the president returned home, the U.S.S.R. announced an intent to treat with East Berlin, regardless of any third party occupation rights in either sector of the city. On his return he told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that the United States should maintain its policy of helping to defend Western Europe. A depressed and angry president then assumed his obligation was to prepare the country for nuclear war as the only option, and which he then personally thought had a one in five chance of occurring. The President visited Vienna, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia and West Germany. (Jared P.)Bailies, Gerald L. "American President: John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Foreign Affairs." Miller Center of Public Affairs. David Coleman. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. <http://millercenter.org/president/kennedy/essays/biography/5>. Unlike most presidents Kennedy came to office with a preference for foreign issues. Issues of war and peace had interested him since he was young. The fact the we were in a nuclear age only made that interest stronger for him. This is what Kennedy once said, "Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us." He always thought that masculinity was the cause of wars. In Kennedy's view it was huge to prevent miscalculation in the future, for he thought there could be no winners in a nuclear war. His military strategy was called flexible response and was managed by his highly reputed secretary of defense, Robert S. McNamara. It was supposed to reduce the chances of war by miscalculation. By building up conventional forces and tightening up command and control procedures, Kennedy and McNamara hoped to provide time for diplomacy rather than masculinity.Kennedy attempted to be his very own secretary of state. What he wanted to avoid was relying on one person when it came to foreign affairs. Eventually Dean Rusk became secretary of state through process of elimination. He was a hard worker and was very loyal to John F. Kennedy but did not have a big influence on Kennedy. He became more dependent on national security assistant Mc-George Bundy and his staff than he did on Dean Rusk.When JFK was in power communism was gaining popularity. The soviet union was gaining ground in space exploration. They had also developed missiles that put the U.S. in threat of getting attacked. Right before Kennedy was inaugurated the soviets leader Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech that declared that he was in favor of wars for national liberation. These wars were already taking place in Southeast Asia. Kennedy always did his best to try to improve American-Soviet relations.Throughout his presidency Kennedy built a anti communist logic. It was linked to the Bay of Pigs invasion. The Bay of pigs was the CIA encouraging a invasion of Cuba by thirteen hundred Cubans that ware not affected by the revolution by Fidel Castro. He was worried about how this event would affect the countries image. (Jairo O.)"Foreign Affairs - John F. Kennedy - Policy, War, Election, Domestic." Presidents: A Reference History. 2011. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. <http://www.presidentprofiles.com/Kennedy-Bush/John-F-Kennedy-Foreign-affairs.html>.


John F Kennedy helped our nation in an enormous way in the short term that he served as our president. He became our president at a time when Communism seemed to be gaining a lot of ground in the world. Not only did he maintain a well known like image but he launched a really important economic development for countries such as Latin America, India and Egypt. Kennedy came into office with a goal to improve foreign affairs, he had always been interested in issue. He believed that miscalculation was a link to war many times in the twentieth century. Kennedy’s viewpoint was that is was really important to avoid miscalculation at this time, for the world could not afford to go through a nuclear war, the effects would be so devastating that there would be no winner. He established Peace Corps volunteers who took part in his program around the world. His main goal was to stop the potential spread of nuclear weapons to China and Israel. Kennedy took a big step in trying to change the world for the better in a time where we needed that comfort. One of the best things that can be said about Kennedy was that he was a really good at picking up the pieces. He openly accepted full responsibility for all of his mistakes, with this he helped minimize political fallout. (Tyler B)
"Foreign Affairs - John F. Kennedy - Policy, War, Election, Domestic." Presidents: A Reference History. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://www.presidentprofiles.com/Kennedy-Bush/John-F-Kennedy-Foreign-affairs.html>

President John F. Kennedy had been in office only 2 months when the plan to take down Fidel Castro came to par. Castro’s forces quickly defeated the American forces. Cuba was one of the main threats to Kennedy with the foreign relations. He argued that if South Vietnam became a communist state, the whole of the non-communist world would be at risk. He went on to claim that: "No other challenge is more deserving of our effort and energy. Our security may be lost piece by piece, country by country." The President of France, Charles De Gaulle, warned Kennedy that if he did not take precautions he would be trapped in a military pit by Vietnam. Although Kennedy had a good relationship with the South Vietnamese government, Ngo Dinh Diem. Kennedy figured out that Diem wouldn’t be able to unite get South Vietnam against communism. He ordered the CIA and US military forces to protect Diem against all attempts to overthrow him. Kennedy also ordered the troops not to get involved in combat. He didn’t want to admit it to the public but they were slowly increasing involvement in Vietnam. (Callie B.)Bailies, Gerald L. "American President: John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Foreign Affairs." Miller Center of Public Affairs. David Coleman. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. <http://millercenter.org/president/kennedy/essays/biography/5>.Douglass, James W. "John F. Kennedy : Biography." Spartacus Educational - Home Page. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAkennedyJ.htm>.


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Facts about John F. Kennedy: He was the 31st President of the United States of America. He was married to Jacqueline L. Bouvier- Kennedy. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1979, died on November 22, 1963. He was in office 1 term. One of his most famous quotes is "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." While in office he created the Peace Corps, dealt with the Bay of Pigs incident and the Berlin Wall being built. He was a major supporter in having the first man in space. While he was in office this happened. He was in office when the 23rd amendment became official, this stated that citizens of D.C could vote. One of the last major things he dealt with as President was the Cuban Missile Crisis. On November 22, 1963 he was assassinated. This is the most controversial case in the history of the U.S. Was it a conspiracy? Did Lee Harvey Oswald kill him? Was he the only one or were there more? Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the assassination but was later killed. Jack Ruby killed Oswald. We do not know much about the Kennedy assassination, so many people think that it was an act of conspiracy. (Callie B.) Kelly, Martin. "John F Kennedy - Fast Facts - Thirty-Fifth President John F Kennedy."American History From About. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://americanhistory.about.com/od/johnfkennedy/a/ff_john_kennedy.htm>.