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INR 4931 (Sec. U01) (84587)
Topics in International Relations



Fall 2014/Florida International University
Dexter Lehtinen, Instructor/Syllabus 8-5-14


  • Why are there so many current articles referring a "New Cold War"? Some such articles include:
    • “COLD WAR II: The West is Losing Putin's Dangerous Game," Time (cover story), August 4, 2014
    • "Managing the New Cold War: What Washington and Moscow Can Learn from the Last One," Foreign Affairs , July-August 2014
    • "The Return of Geopolitics: Te Revenge of the Revisionist Powers," Foreign Affairs, May-June 2014
    • "Russia's Back: Reawakening an Empire," The National Interest, July -August 2014
    • "Russia: A Tragic New Era," Hoover Digest, Summer 2014
    • "The Age of Nationalism: The Westphalian Era, Far from Dead, is Moving into a Powerful New Phase," The National Interest, Sept-October 2013
  • These current articles raise several questions (which this course will provide assistance in answering):
    • What was the “Cold War”?
    • What were the Cold War’s causes and why did the Cold War end?
    • Did the end of the Cold War in 1989-91 usher in a “New World Order”, or did the end merely return international relations to a normal condition of nation-state geopolitics (which had been muted by the abnormal bi-polarity of the Cold War)?
    • Are we now experiencing a New Cold Wa, A New World Order, or a return to an Old World Order (pre-Cold War)?


This course examines a number of challenges which emerged during the Cold War (arguably, the period from 1945-47 to 1989-91), with the goal of understanding how both World War I (the “Great War”1914-18) and World War II (1939-45)established the settingparameters for the Cold War struggle and understanding how the various ways of addressing those challenges in the 20th century are relevant to national security issues in the 21st century.


The schedule of topics and reading assignments for each class is provided on the final pages of this syllabus (pages 9-10). The books, each relatively short in length, are John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2005; 266 pages); and Charles Neu, America's Lost War: Vietnam, 1945-75 (2005; 230 pages). Supplemental materials will be provided.

Grading will be based on two in-class examinations (mid-term, 35% and final, 40%), with the final examination covering only material following the mid-term examination; and on a short (5-7 page) policy or issue paper (25%). Further information is provided in this syllabus under “VI. Administrative Matters”.


The world emerged from the World Wars (1914-18 through 1939-45) with two "superpowers" in a "bi-polar" world. These World Wars (often viewed as one war, with an extended period of suspended conflict in the middle) established the setting and parameters for the subsequent Cold War conflict. The United States had developed (and used) the "atomic" bomb in 1945, and within four years the Soviet Union had developed "the bomb" as well. Within ten more years, both superpowers had developed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) which could deliver nuclear weapons (including the even more powerful "hydrogen" bomb) without any effective defense.

In this context, the Cold War was the intense economic, political, and military rivalry between the United States and its allies (the capitalist or evolutionary socialist-oriented "western" bloc), on the one hand, and the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR) and its allies (the communist or revolutionary socialist "eastern" bloc), on the other hand. The "Third World" or "non-aligned" countries (including newly-independent states emerging from colonialism) played changing roles as independent actors, bystanders, or victims in the superpower struggle.


The challenges include understanding:

  • the influence of the Great War (World War I) and World War II on the development of the Cold War;
  • the effect of bi-polar "superpower" structure and competition on world affairs;
  • the relative roles of modern ideologies (e.g., communism, capitalism), traditional nation-state geopolitics (emphasized in "realism"), and non-state actors and international norms (emphasized in "idealism" or "liberalism");
  • the effect of domestic political considerations on the conduct of foreign policy;
  • the perception of (and responses to) perceived worldwide drives for hegemony by superpowers;
  • the nature of international power (military power, economic power, ideological power);
  • the effect of the revolution in military affairs represented by nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles; and
  • how nuclear war was avoided.


To comprehend these challenges, the course will analyze several Cold War events and arenas of action (several "subjects") and consider alternative interpretations of these events/actions/subjects. These events/actions/subjects to be covered include:

(1) The Origins of the Cold War – The causes and conduct of World Wars I and II as substantial factors shaping the beginning of the Cold War; events in Europe, the Middle East, China and French Indochina (a/k/a Vietnam), 1945-1950; the origins of the US policy of "containment"; the development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO]; and the roles of ideology and traditional national security interests in US and Soviet behavior.

Various interpretations of the origins range from:

  • (a) the traditional view of communist (Soviet-led) worldwide aggression (revolutionary communism) as the cause;
  • (b) to revisionist views of American overreaction to long-standing and understandable Soviet security interests in Eastern Europe and misperceptions of communism as a unitary worldwide movement under the direction of the Soviets as the cause; and
  • (c) finally to more radical views of US-led capitalist imperialism as the cause.

(2) The French Indochina War (1946-54), the Korean War (1950-53),the US Vietnam War (1961-72), and the Third Vietnam War (1972-75) - The sources of US involvement in Korea and Vietnam as elements of the Cold War; the constraints derived from the Cold War on the conduct of the conflicts; US national security decision-making during the wars; the nature of the war in Korea (as a “limited” war), and in Vietnam as both insurgency (and counterinsurgency or "COIN") and conventional war; the effects on subsequent US national security policy and the US role in the world; and the lessons for the current challenges of terrorism and insurgency.

Various interpretations of the Korean War include:

  • (a) the causes of the war as monolithic communism in action, versus Korean motivated and Soviet backed opportunism (with elements of weak US signaling of US policy positions);
  • (b) the expansion of United Nations war aims as reasoned policy, versus poorly analyzed policy incrementalism;
  • (c) Chinese intervention as communist solidarity, versus protection of non-ideological Chinese national security;
  • (d) the conduct of the war based on US technology (especially airpower) but avoiding the use of nuclear, versus lost opportunities in the conduct of the war; and
  • (e) the end of the war as a product of negotiations motivated by increasing Chinese deaths and Stalin’s death, versus a product of the implicit threat by President Eisenhower (elected in 1952) to use nuclear weapons.

Various interpretations of the * Vietnam Wars* include:

  • (a) the causes of the war as internal indigenous struggle for independence and control, versus external communist aggression;
  • (b) the nature of the war as fundamentally an insurgency, versus fundamentally an insurgency, versus fundamentally a conventional war;
  • (c) the role of airpower and bombing of the north as a complete failure under any approach, versus failure due to adoption of crippling restrictions;
  • (d) the overall impact of the incremental or gradualism approach to the application of military power as the proper integration of military force with incentive-building and diplomacy, versus the improper use of military power, under which maximum force should be applied immediately;
  • (e) the targeting of enemy "willpower" as the key to victory, versus the targeting of enemy "capability" as the key to victory; and (f) the prospects for favorable outcome for the US as "unwinnable" under any strategies and all circumstances, versus "winnable" if proper strategies, such as population security and comprehensive political and economic development, had been adopted; and
  • (f) the utility of the war as unnecessary and counter-productive, versus necessary and partially successful as an inhibitor of communist expansion in Southeast Asia as a component of the Cold War

(3) The Arms Race, Arms Control, Military Strategy, and the "Security Dilemma" - The unique nature and questionable utility of nuclear weapons ("A-bombs" and "hydrogen bombs") delivered by intercontinental ballistic missiles ("ICBMs") as weapons of mass destruction ("WMD") and/or global destruction; nuclear deterrence and mutual assured destruction ("MAD"); the competition in intercontinental, intermediate-range, and cruise missile development ("ICBM""IRBM"cruise missiles); the effect of potential anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM s) and the Strategic Defense Initiative ("SDI" or "star wars"); efforts to address the "security dilemma" through the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks ("SALT I and II), Strategic Arms Reduction Talks ("START"), and INF ["Intermediate Nuclear Forces" talks]); and "flexible response" as a military strategy to de-emphasize the use of nuclear weapons.

Various interpretations of the arms race and arms control include:

  • (a) the utility of nuclear weapons as useable under certain circumstances,. versus the non-usability of nuclear weapons;
  • (b) the utility of nuclear weapons, even if not usable as explosives, as an instrument mutual deterrence, and therefore having a stabilizing influence, versus the inherent dangers and instability of mutual nuclear deterrence;
  • (c) the role of tactical nuclear weapons as a component of an otherwise conventional war, versus the impossibility of limited the use of nuclear weapons to tactical weapons and the inevitable escalation to Armageddon;
  • (d) US military superiority during the Cold War as a destabilizing influence, legitimately heightening Soviet fears, versus as a stabilizing influence restraining Soviet aggression and adventurism; and
  • (e) the US arms buildup in the early 1980s as shortening the Cold War, versus lengthening the Cold War

(4) National Security Decision-making and Crisis Management - In addition to the basic US decisions to intervene in the Vietnam War (1965) and the Korean War (1950), many other national security decisions will be reviewed, including: decisionmaking on all aspects of the Korean and Vietnam wars; the Berlin crises in 1948-9, 1958-9, and 1961; the Korean War intervention by the China; the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961; the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963; arms control issues (nuclear weapons and ICBMs); and policies in the Third World (e.g., Iran, Guatemala, and Nicaragua).

Depending, of course on the specific event being considered, various general interpretations include:

  • (a) the positive value and importance of military superiority in resolving the crisis favorably, versus the aggravating effects of military superiority;
  • (b) the wisdom and positive use of incremental or gradual application of threats and of force, versus the dangers and ineffectiveness of incrementalism and gradualism in allowing the opponent to anticipate and prepare and thus negate the effectiveness of the opposite strategy;
  • (c) the positive role of bargaining and negotiations producing a viable compromise settlement, versus the dangers of opponents misreading and misinterpreting offers to negotiate and to settle; and
  • (d) the role in negotiations of self-restraint (e.g., bombing halts and other restrictions) as signaling reasonableness, versus signaling weakness and lack of resolve.

(5) Decolonization and Superpower Involvement in Governance Struggles in the Third World as Part of the Cold War - In addition to the Vietnam War, the lasting impacts today of decolonization, of US actions in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, the Middle East, and elsewhere; and of Soviet actions in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Depending, of course, on the specific country or region involved, various interpretations of the Third World in the Cold War include:

  • (a) Third World struggles as fundamentally a product of local historical disputes conditions, versus caused or significantly aggravated by intervention of the superpowers, including Soviet communist outside subversion or US involvement;
  • (b) the Third World as a significant arena of the Cold War, versus as an arena of exaggerated importance in the eyes of both superpowers;
  • (c) the role of Third World resources (e.g., minerals, oil) as a driving force ion superpower involvement, versus ideology as the driving force;
  • (d) the role of Third World markets as the essential element of US capitalist "new imperialism" and opposition to communism in the Third World, versus non-economic factors as the main motivations behind US policy toward the Third World; and
  • (e) the effect of the Cold War superpower involvement in Third World struggles as having changed outcomes in significant cases, versus having had little effects on final outcomes.

(6) The End of the Cold War and the Dissolution of the Soviet Union - The role of economic, political, and military factors in the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, as well as the role of leadership; the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan; the reasons that long-term unrest finally had an effect within Easter European communist governments; the end of Soviet ability or willingness to intervene to preserve communism in Eastern Europe, with the subsequent collapse of communist governments; and the unsuccessful counter-reform movement in the Soviet Union.

Various interpretations of the end of the Cold War include:

  • (a) The "Reagan victory" school, maintaining that US President Reagan's arms build-up and aggressive challenges to Soviet legitimacy brought down the Soviet Union, versus the position that Reagan's policies inhibited Soviet change and lengthened the Cold War;
  • (b) the effect of evolving norms, such as enunciated in the Helsinki Accords in 1975, and the improved recognition by working people in communist countries of the freedoms and economic well-being of people in the non-communist West, as leading to the collapse of communist legitimacy, versus the insignificance of norms in ending the Cold War;
  • (c) the "Gorbachev leadership" school, maintaining that USSR General Secretary Gorbachev's policies of "perestroika" (economic restructuring) and "glasnost" (openness) led to changes in Soviet foreign policies and to the end of the Cold War, versus the position that Gorbachev conformed to changing conditions which he did not cause or lead but regarding which his approach helped avoid violent breakdown.; and
  • (d) the inevitable deterioration of the ineffective communist Soviet and Eastern European economies as the as the cause of the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War, without regard to the foreign policies of countries or leaders, versus the specific allure of western freedom which de-legitimized communism as main cause.

(7) The Contemporary Structure and Dynamics of International Politics: Has a new Cold War Started? - In determining what lessons can be drawn for the Cold War, a determination must be made regarding the nature of the contemporary international system.

Alternatives include the following:

  • (a) a "New World Order" (as many claimed immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union), based on democratization, an international rule of law founded on international institutions, a post-nationalist identification and commitment to multi-national and international ideals, and the mutual benefits of globalization and free trade.
  • (b) a "New Cold War" (Cold War II), based on a continuation of the fundamental attributes of the Cold War, with similar goals and behaviors; and
  • (c) the "Old World Orderr" involving a return international relations to a normal condition of nation-state geopolitics (often referred to as the "Westphalian" system (referring to the system of nation-state sovereignty recognized by the Treaty of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years War in 1648), which had been muted by the abnormal bi-polarity of the Cold War.


Classes—This course is three credits. Class meetings are on Wednesdays, from 6:25 pm to 9:05 pm, in Charles Perry (PC) 332. . The class is conceived and structured as two classes of one hour and fifteen minutes each, on the same night, with a ten minute break. In practice, flexibility will prevail. However, students should mentally treat Monday night classes as two classes for purposes of preparing over the preceding week. That is, reading (preparation) should be spread out over the week as though classes were held twice each week on two different days. Attempting to prepare as though Monday nights are just one class instead of two classes will likely lead to a shortage at “the last minute”.

Grades—Grades will be based on a mid-term examination (35% or 35 points), a final examination (40% or 40 points), and a short policy/issue paper (5-7 pages; 25% or 25 points). Upward or downward adjustments to the final numerical grade may be made by the instructor for attendance and class participation (discussion), as indicated below.

Examinations – An in-class mid-term (35% of final grade) and an in-class final examination (40% of final grade) will be composed of multiple-choice, fill-in answers, short answers, and/or one or more longer answer (defined as less than ½ page of space) questions. The final examination will cover only the material following the mid-term examination (i.e., the final examination is not “comprehensive”).

Policy/Issue Paper – Students will write a short policy or issue paper regarding a policy or issue from the Cold War Era (25% of final grade). The paper length should be 5-7 pages, with an additional citation page. The paper will include (and should have these numbered sub-headings):

  1. Policy/Issue—identify the policy or issue confronted and the circumstances which frames the policy or issue;
  2. (2) Alternatives—explain what alternatives or possible choices existed for the policy-makers/decision-makers;
  3. (3) Policy/Choice Adopted—explain the choice made by the policy-makers/decision-makers;
  4. (4) Preferable Policy/Choice—explain what choice or alternative would have been preferable or would have produced a better outcome, or why the chosen alternative was preferable; and
  5. (5) Consequences/Conclusion—describe the consequences of choosing the policy or alternative which was chosen compared to the policy or alternatives which were not chosen.

The paper may rely partially on the assigned readings, with some additional outside research ( a minimum of three additional outside citations). In any event, sources (such as the relevant cites from assigned readings, and any additional sources) should be cited as footnotes listed at the end of the paper (the citation page counts toward required page total number).

The main point of the paper is not the length of the paper, but the mental exercise of identifying an issue from the Cold War and thereafter concisely identifying the alternatives regarding the issue and the real and possible consequences of the alternatives. In practical terms, if you want someone to “take away” certain lessons from a Cold War issue (e.g., briefing a current policy-maker or political candidate), then a limit of no more than 6 - 8 pages in which to accomplish the task would not be unusual.

Students may choose any policy or issue as desired, but the topic must be approved by the instructor. Some possible topics are listed in this syllabus. The instructor will suggest topics for any students who do not have a self-selected preference. Paper topics must be chosen and reported to instructor in writing (title is sufficient) no later than class on October 15. Completed papers are due no later than class on November 19.

Attendance/Preparation/Participation—Attendance, prior preparation, and class participation (discussion) are expected. Attendance and class participation (discussion) may be used to determine a higher or lower grade when examination and paper results are at or near the dividing line between final grades. Positive attendance and participation (discussion), with no more than five unexcused class absences (approximately 20% of classes; note that two classes are held each Monday), may allow the final grade to be improved by one designation (e.g., from a “b” to a “B+”, or from and “B+” to an “A-“), in the judgment of (and at the discretion of) the instructor. Poor attendance and participation (with six or more unexcused absences) may cause the reduction of the final grade in a similar fashion (e.g., from a “b” to a “B-“), in the judgment of (and at the discretion of) the instructor.

Absences need not be excused by the instructor, but in the event of unavoidable reasons for an absence, the absence may be excused by the instructor and will not be considered an absence for grading purposes.

Disabilities—Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the university disability office so that appropriate arrangements can be made to accommodate the disability.

Contact and Office Hours—The instructor may be contacted at 305-760-8543 (office) or 305-934-3764 (cell), or at to Dexter Lehtinen (instructor). Office hours are one-half hour before and after class at the class site.


INR 4931 (Sec. U01)—Cold War Challenges Instructor Dexter Lehtinen/Florida International University/Fall 2014

Readings include the following books and supplemental materials. In-class handouts may also be provided (not listed herein).

  • "CW" - John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2005)
  • "ALW" - Charles Neu, America's Lost War: Vietnam, 1945-75 (2005)
  • "S" - Supplementary Material Provided in Class by Instructor
  • Additional materials will be handed out in class.
Date # Subject Assignment CW ALW Supp
8-27 1 Course Overview/Maps/Time Zones
8-27 2 Nation-State System/The Great War (WWI) CW 1-4 S1
9-3 3 World War I; Interwar; World War II
9-3 4 World War II S2
9-10 5 Post-War Origins of Cold War/Containment CW 5-27
9-10 6 Berlin/NATO/China CW 27-47
9-17 7 Ideological Frameworks CW 83-118
9-17 8 Korean War S3
9-24 9 Third World/French Indochina War CW 119-134 ALW 1-28
9-24 10 Nuclear Weapons/ICBMs/Deterrence CW 48-75, 79-82
10-1 11 Third World/Bay of Pigs CW75-78 S4
10-1 12 Cuban Missile Crisis S4
10-8 13 Diem/Vietnam/to omid-'64 ALW 48-78
10-8 14 Tonkin Gulf/Troops/thru '65 CW 165-171 ALW 78-97
10-15 15 Mid-Term Exam
10-15 16 Ground/Air War/thru '67 * Paper topic selection due by this date ALW 99-128
10-22 17 Counterinsurgency (COIN) (CAPs/COORDS/Phoenix) S5
10-22 18 The Tet Offensive/'68 ALW 129-154 S6
10-29 19 Prague Spring/Brezhnev Doctrine CW 134-143, 152-165
10-29 20 Vietnamization '69/Cambodia ‘70/ Laos ’71 CW 143-152, 171-176 ALW 155-186
11-5 21 Vietnam Peace Talks/Linkage/Detente ALW 186-206
11-5 22 Detente/Arms Control/SALT/National - Security Decision-making CW 179-194
11-12 23 The Third Vietnam War/'73-'75 CW 176-179 ALW 207-230 S7
11-12 24 Third World/Oil/Arabs-Israelis/Soviet - Afghan War/Intensification * Papers Due No Later Than This Class CW 195-211
11-19 25 "Evil Empire"War ScaresSDI/DSTART CW 211-229
11-19 26 Transformations to the End/'82-'89 - Interpretations of the End CW 229-248 / CW 248-258
11-26 27 Strategies/Iraq/Afghan/The Future CW 259-266 S8
11-26 28 Open/Review
12-3 29 A New Cold, A New World Order, or an Old World Order? S9
12-3 30 Review
12-10 Final Examination as Scheduled by the University


  • CAPs = Combined Action Platoons
  • COIN = Counterinsurgency
  • COORDS = Civil Operations Revolutionary Development Support
  • ICBM = Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
  • NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • SALT = Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
  • SDI = Strategic Defense Initiative
  • START = Strategic Arms Reduction Talks

SUPPLEMTNTAL READINGS ("S") INR 4931 (Sec. U01): Topics in R:: Cold War Challenges/Lehtinen/FIU/Fall 2014

These supplemental readings(identified as "S") will be passed out in class.

S1 – World War !: Robert Cowley, “The Unreal City: The Trenches of World War I,” in James M. Morris (ed.), Readings in American Military History (2004); and “American Expeditionary Force (AEF) Combat Instructions Stress Open-Field Tactics, Not Trench Warfare, 1918”; in John W. Chambers and G. Kurt Piehler, Major Problems in American Military History (1999)

S2 – Interwar Years and World War II: “General William (“Billy”) Mitchell Calls for a Unified Air Force and Declares Strategic Airpower the Key to Victory, 1920;” “Colonel George Patton Speculates on the Future of Armored Vehicles, 1936;” “Private E.B. Sledge , USMXC, Remembers Heavy Fighting at Peleliu;” “US Strategic Bombing Survey Appraises the Bombing Offensive Against Germany, 1945;” “US Strategic Bombing Survey Assesses the Incendiary Bombing of Tokyo and Seven Other Japanese Cities, 1947;” all in John W. Chambers and G. Kurt Piehler, Major Problems in American Military History (1999); and Conrad C. Crane, “Evolution of Strategic Bombing of Urban Areas,” in James M. Morris (ed.), Readings in American Military History (2004)

S3 – Korean War: Harry G. Summers, Jr., “The Korean War: A Fresh Perspective,” in James M. Morris (ed.), Readings in American Military History (2004)

S4 – Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis: Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May, “{robbing Assumptions: The Bay of Pigs of 1961,” in Neustadt and May, Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers (1986); and Graham T. Allison, “Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” American political Science Review (September, 1969) (excerpts)t

S5 – Counterinsurgency: Dale Andrade and James Wilbanks, “COORDS and Phoenix: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Vietnam for the Future,” Military Review, March-April 2006

S6 – Vietnam War: Lewis Sorley, “The Conduct of the War: Strategy, Doctrine, Tactics, and Policy,” in Andrew Weiss (ed.), Rolling Thunder in sa Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited (2006)

S7 – Vietnam War: LTG Philip B. Davidson, “How We Lost the War,” in Philip BV,. Davidson, Secrets of the Vietnam War (1990) ,” reprinted in James M. Morris (ed.), Readings in American Military History (2004)

S8 – Iraq War – Richard K. Betts, “Blowtorch Bob in Baghdad,” The American Interest (Summer 2006); and Jeffrey Record and W. Andrew Terri, “Iraq and Vietnam: Differences, Similarities, and Insights,” Army War College (May 2004) (http:/

S9 - xxx, "Managing the New Cold War: What Washington and Moscow Can Learn from the Last One," Foreign Affairs, July-August 2014


INR 4931 (Sec. U01)
Topics in International Relations: Cold War Challenges
Lehtinen/FIU/Fall 2014

Students may select any topic they wish for their “policy choice” paper. The following list of Cold War events/issues, which presented policy choices to decision-makers, is only suggestive. Students must identify the policy alternatives available and the choice(s) made, associated with these events/issues. Refer to the syllabus for the specific paper requirements, including content and format.

  • The Yalta Conference - 1945
  • US Use of the Atomic Bomb - 1945
  • Post-War Future of French Indochina (French Return to Indochina) - 1945/6
  • Turkish Straits Crisis (USSR Demands for Access/Control of Straits) - 1946
  • USSR Presence in Iran - 1946
  • Greek Civil War (Communist Threat to Greece) – 1947
  • European Post-war Recovery (Economic/Political Weakness) (Marshall Plan) - 1947
  • Berlin Blockade by USSR – 1948
  • USSR Development of Atomic Bomb - 1949
  • US Decision to Develop Hydrogen Bomb – 1950
  • US Commitment to European Defense (North Atlantic Treaty/NATO) – 1949
  • No. Korean Invasion of So. Korea - 1950
  • Changing Korean War Aims (US Crosses 38th Parallel/Unify Korea) – 1950
  • Response to Chinese Entry into Korean War (Firing MacArthur) - 1950/51
  • Defense Policy re: USSR Conventional Superiority (Massive Retaliation/Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) - 1953
  • Security Threats/Communists Threats in Southeast Asia (SEATO) - 1954
  • US Role in French Indochina War - 1950-54
  • US Response to French Vulnerability at Dien Bien Phu (French Request) – 1954
  • Geneva Accords on Indochina (Geneva Conference) – 1954
  • South Vietnam under Diem, 1955-6 (opposing elections in 1956)
  • Iranian Nationalization of Private Property (Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.) (overthrow of Mossadeq) - 1952/3
  • Guatemalan Nationalization of Private Property (United Fruit Co.) (overthrow of Arbenz) - 1954
  • Egyptian Nationalization of Suez Canal and Israeli/British/French Military Intervention (Suez Crisis) - 1956
  • Hungarian Revolution - 1956
  • Vulnerability of Lebanese Government (US Marines to Lebanon) - 1958
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion (US Goal to Destabilize Communist Cuba Cub) - 1961
  • Construction of Berlin Wall by USSR/E. Germany – 1961
  • Defense Policy re: Limited Utility of Nuclear Weapons (Flexible Response) - 1961
  • War in Laos (neutralization of Laos) - 1962
  • Cuban Missile Crises (Soviet Offensive Missiles in Cuba) - 1962
  • Weakness of Diem in So. Vietnam (Buddhist Crisis, So. Vietnamese Officers' Coup Plot) - 1963
  • Tonkin Gulf Incident (No. Vietnamese Torpedo Boat Attacks on US Warships) - 1964
  • No. Vietnamese Military Success in So. Vietnam (US Ground Combat Troops Deployed to So. Vietnam) – 1965
  • No. Vietnamese Troops Deploying to So. Vietnam (Sustained Bombing of No. Vietnam) (Operation Rolling Thunder) – 1965
  • Instability in Dominican Republic (US Troops to D.R.) - 1965
  • Post-Tet Policy in Vietnam War (SecDef Clifford and the “Wise Men”) – 1968
  • Prague Spring (Soviet Intervention in Czechoslovakia to Crush Revolt) – 1968
  • No. Vietnamese Conventional Military Forces Invasion Across So. Vietnamese Borders (Easter Offensive) – 1972
  • US-China Relations (Nixon Visits China; Carter Establishes Formal Diplomatic Relations with China, Withdraws Recognition of Taiwan; Taiwan Relations Act) – 1972 and 1979
  • Ending the Vietnam War (Paris Peace Talks and Peace Accords) – 1972/73
  • Post-Peace Accords Policy Regarding So. Vietnam (No. Vietnamese Military Offensives in So. Vietnam) – 1973/75
  • Arms Control (SALT I and/or ABM Treaties) – 1972
  • Marxist Government in Chile (Allende Overthrown) – 1970/73
  • Yom Kippur War – 1973
  • Helsinki Accords – 1975
  • Soviet Military Intervention in Afghanistan – 1079
  • Arms Control: SALT II – 1979
  • Cambodian Killing Fields – 1975/78
  • Iran Seizes US Embassy and Hostages – 1979/81
  • Soviet SS-20 Missiles in Europe (US Pershing II and Cruise Missile Deployment as Response) – 1979
  • Guerrilla War in El Salvador – 1980/87
  • Soviet Military Posture (US Arms Buildup) – 1981
  • Marxist Sandinista Government in Nicaragua (Aid to Contras) – 1981/86
  • Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI/“Star Wars”) (Space-based ABM) – 1983
  • Arms Control: Reykjavik Summit – 1986
  • Arms Control: INF Treaty - 1987
  • Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait (Gulf War) – 1990/91
  • Arms Control: START – 1991