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Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Foreign Policy

 
Eisenhower after gaining the US presidency introduced changes to the existing policies regarding national security. They are often referred as the “New Look.” The primary components of this policy were: nuclear technology, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), US economy and its allies. Relative to nuclear technology, the policy targeted to enhance nuclear technology in order to counteract communist aggression. In regards to CIA, the policy empowered CIA on its spying mission of nations or leaders allied to or embracing communism (Paterson, pg 277). On US economy, the policy aimed to protect the economy from the adverse effect of Cold War. Further to allies, the policy targeted strengthening its relationship with its allies as well as winning the nonaligned governments to their side.
Eisenhower New Look strategy surpassed both Kennan’s and NSC 68 strategies. Kennan’s containment policy purposed to disintegrate the communist bloc and reform Soviet nature towards international relations.  On the other hand the NSC 68 strategies, emphasized on strengthening the defense perimeter to countries under threat of Soviet aggression. Both of these strategies incorporated a feature of flexibility in response. To Kennan, action/response was initiated if the state’s interest were at stake; and if the conditions and means were favorable and accessible respectively. For NSC 68, action was taken whenever there was communist aggression. With respect to Eisenhower’s strategy, US would act at any time and place based on its choice (massive retaliation). The stronghold of his policy over others was long term preparedness in terms of response. In addition, this policy ensured budget balance unlike the others policies. The Eisenhower’s New Look policy had numerous accomplishments. He influenced and contributed to ending of the Korea War. Next, he stabilized the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union. Furthermore, he strengthened the international relation with European allies.
However, Eisenhower’s New Look strategy was faced with much criticism by scholars. Majority of the critics are against the involvement of nuclear technology and CIA surveillance. Gaddis elaborates that Eisenhower’s policy had more harm than benefits. First of all, the excessive reliance on nuclear technology as the main element of deterrence was futile (Tannenwald, pg 142). This was attributed to the fact that major considerations were ignored. Its impact in manipulating the communist rifts was not considered. In fact, they undermined the Soviet Union balance in allowing development of missiles. On the contrary, this triggered the Soviets to intensify their nuclear building programs. Secondly, the policy failed to stop revolutions amongst the third world. Gaddis alludes that the policy mainly concentrated in opposing communism in the developing third world. In its attempts it failed to consider the Third World nationalism leading to rise of nationalist movements allied to communism like in Vietnam.
Eisenhower’s tenure in office aroused many reactions. He was broadly categorized as being inactive and uninspiring; thereby his reputation had immensely declined. During his farewell address, he issued warning relating to military industrial complex. He called the Americans to rise against influence on its democracy, thinking and internal interests regarding to military power and expenditure (militarization). In this respect, national liberty and economy would be at risk if these issues are ignored. According to Michael Sherry, Eisenhower efforts towards militarization were a total failure. This was attributed to his strategy of expanding nuclear technology to deter communist influence. The Soviet Union by that time was seeking world dominion in the Cold War like the US hence reacted to the threats posed by introduction of nuclear weapons.

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