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USC IR 369 - Lecture 9

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Henry KissingerKissinger born in between wars in Germany (he was Jewish); became illegal for Jewish children to play with non-jewish kids and all his friends were joining Hitler’s youth, so his family immigrated to New York leaving behind their elderly parents who were later killed in the Holocaust. This shaped his childhood and he realized how politics could so intensely effect lives. Decided to devote himself fully to his new homeland; served in the army, went to Harvard, undergraduate thesis still legendary, he became faculty at Stanford and then was summoned to the white house. Worked closely with Nixon as secretary of state; had complicated personal relationship because competitive.Kissinger lent hand out to Communist China hoping china would put pressure on Vietnamese to end warREALIST (what really matters is balance of powers)“the US does not base its policy solely on Moscow’s good intentions. We seek, regardless of…we must oppose aggressive actions, but we must not seek confrontations lightly. We must maintain a strong national defense while recognizing that in the nuclear age the relationship between military strength and politically usable power is the most complex in all history”Kissinger shaped foreign policy through Nixon’s presidencyFord kept him on after Watergate scandalDecline of DétenteAt the initiative of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson of Washington, in 1973-75 Congress attacked what it viewed as Kissinger’s lack of interest in American idealsHe co authored Jackson-Vanik amendment (stipulating that improved trade ties should be linked to improved performance on human rights issues)Stalin opposed this amendmentHelsinki Final Act (CSCE) 197530 July and 1 august 1975Signing of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Helsinki, FinlandSomething signed by countries on both sides of the iron curtain (first thing)There was never a peace conference after WWII (Soviet had gained control of most of eastern Europe)Because of Cold war, apparent there wasn’t going to be a peace treaty; that’s why they didn’t called Helsinki final act a peace treatyBuried in document was a whole bunch of language about human rights (freedom of speech, etc) and the Russians signed itCSCE started to embolden average people in eastern Europe, slowlyThis agreement declared the borders of Europe to be inviolableThe Soviets agreed on paper to respect fundamental human rightsExample of force of idealism in IRJimmy CarterOutsider=not senator like Scoop JacksonWon upset victoryAfter Watergate scandal; national mood was to have someone in office from the outsideGaddis Smith on Carter“the 4 yrs of carter admin was one of most significant in foreign policy in 20th century, decisions were made on lasting world order rather than short term calculation of American advantage over soviet union”one term president and ended with worst approval rating everCarter and Environmental issuesOPEC formed, restricted supply and raised prices; caused oil crisisShowed that foreign policy didn’t simply consist of how US dealt with representatives of the Soviet world and a few of their more important alliesPolish Kissinger (NAME??)Concerned about MIRV (multiple independent reentry vehicles)In other words, putting multiple bombs on a single missileReaganReagan new little about the world in which the US had long been the dominant power. He ignored briefing books and slept. He left the details to others. Although he was not a dumb man; he had other strengthsHe was an actor: he was a great communicator (had uncanny ability to use images to make his point)Once he decided an issue was important (not often); he would put great focus into it; although still giving details to his staffKey Reagan OfficialsAlex HaigReagans defense spendingDefense spending increased by 50%From 1981-86 Pentagons budget rose from $171b to 376bThe national debt doubled in the same spanIn particular, Pakistan received billions of dollars to fund Muslim rebellion against soviet invasion of AfghanistanSources suggest that one recipient of weapons was a young Osama bin LadenLeaders of Soviet in 1980s drop like fliesBrezhnev 1982Elderly Head of KGB replaced him and dies two years laterThen replaced by another elderly who died within a yearSo they picked a young man next (took a risk); GorbachevUS Soviet policy was largely reactiveStrategic Defense initiative (SDI) mentioned by Reagan in speechSurprised most of the world (and his staff)Aimed at protecting the US by deploying defensive systems that would render nuclear weapons impotent and obsoleteNo prior studies had been done. No official tech assessment supported this approach. No interagency process had taken place. The military had not been consulted. Congress was not briefedAlso referred to as “Star wars initiative”Technology was not there to actually support itSDI in 1980s, NMD in the 2010s30 years later, still not operationalrequires cooperation of other sovereign nationscauses problems in US-Russian relationsDuring the Cold War, Soviet Union did not believe that it would be purely defensiveLecture 9← Henry Kissinger- Kissinger born in between wars in Germany (he was Jewish); became illegal for Jewish children to play with non-jewish kids and all his friends were joining Hitler’s youth, so his family immigrated to New York leaving behind their elderly parents who were later killed in the Holocaust. This shaped his childhood and he realized how politics could so intensely effect lives. Decided to devote himself fully to his new homeland; served in the army, went to Harvard, undergraduate thesis still legendary, he became faculty at Stanford and then was summoned to the white house. Worked closely with Nixon as secretary of state; had complicated personal relationship because competitive.- Kissinger lent hand out to Communist China hoping china would put pressure on Vietnamese to end war- REALIST (what really matters is balance of powers)- “the US does not base its policy solely on Moscow’s good intentions.We seek, regardless of…we must oppose aggressive actions, but wemust not seek confrontations lightly. We must maintain a strong national defense while recognizing that in the nuclear age the relationship between military strength and politically usable power is the most complex in all history”- Kissinger shaped foreign policy through Nixon’s presidency- Ford kept him on after Watergate scandal-


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