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The Cold War and U.S Diplomacy - Research Paper Example

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The Cold War and U.S Diplomacy Name Abstract The paper analyses President Carter’s doctrine during the Cold War. The events that led to the change of approach the US adopted towards curtailment of communism. The formation of Carter’s doctrine is discussed in detail…
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The Cold War and U.S Diplomacy

Download file to see previous pages... The Soviet Union created the Eastern Bloc which comprised of the eastern European countries. The US aided the western European countries for post war recovery and later formed NATO to contain communism. The two powers never had direct military action, but the period contained sets of high tension crisis and race for supremacy. Different doctrines were followed over time to contain spread of communism. The 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led to worst patch of relationship between the two. Strait of Hormuz forms a bottleneck at the Persian Gulf, therefore, a strategic position to control the oil flow from the region (Rodrigue, 2004). The Afghanistan invasion brought Soviet Union in close proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, which could have been accessed through invasion of Iran. Soviet actions posed threat to the stability of the entire region. US along with other countries were dependant on the oil for functioning of their economies. The supply was also crucial for the military to maintain its operational capabilities. Saudi Arabia, therefore, was assured of security by US from communist adversaries. Iran was a key ally in the region to guard against spread of communism. Iran and Saudi Arabia were given aid to counter Soviet Union and ensure stability in the region. The Iranian revolution in 1979 complicated the situation; therefore, a new doctrine had to be formulated. The exclusion of Iran demanded a doctrine to present suitable threat to guard against spread of Soviets in the region and to find reliable replacement for supply of oil to US. President Carter’s doctrine was a paradigm shift from previous doctrines of President Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon. It was aimed to make clear the importance of the Persian Gulf as key vital interest. The doctrine made clear that any effort by hostile power to block the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf would be considered an attack on US vital interest and would be dealt with military force. It was a direct warning to the Soviet Union to stay out of the region (Stork, 1980). The doctrine also demanded close cooperation of surrounding countries in the region to support against this security threat. Implementation Rapid Deployment Force The US did not have significant military presence in the region at the time of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The US was dependant mainly on the NATO, which were conventional strategic forces and needed time to start its operation. President Carter formed Rapid Deployment Force, which was aimed to respond to international crisis immediately. The force consisted of five Army divisions and was stationed near the Persian Gulf. Elements of all four arms i.e. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine were incorporated in the organization of the force. The major aim was to create deterrence for the Soviet Union against possible intervention in the region and to ensure continuation of the oil flow from the Persian Gulf (Noel, 2006). The force was mobile and did not require forward military bases as compared to NATO deployment. Nuclear Policy Nuclear weapons were used as deterrence as well but its policy kept changing over time. The Carter Administration outlined the US policy for use of nuclear weapons. The new policy stressed that US must remain prepared to fight a protracted nuclear war (Siracusa & Coleman, 2001). Nuclear deterrence was used before Carter, but its new policy was aimed at backing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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