This was a foreign policy that was adapted by President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy during his term as president between 1961 and 1963. It fundamental aim was to encourage for containment of Communism and Communism progress reversal in Western Hemisphere. During President Kennedy term as president, the dominant premise was solely to contain communism at any cost hence there a compelling need to come up with an effective doctrine. As a measure to counteract the increased pressure of Cold War, Kennedy called for a military strength and unity in struggle against communism and for disbarment and world cooperation (Futrell, 2013). The dominant theme of Kennedy doctrine was the belief that since America (at the time) had great ability and capability to control international systems events. Expressing this ideology, Kennedy stated, ‘In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom from its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it.’
Essentially, the Kennedy Doctrine was the promotion and expansion of prior foreign policy prerogatives of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman administrations. This is because all those policies were revolving around the threat that was posed by communism and means by which American government would try and contain its spread. President Truman’s doctrine, for instance, focused on communism containment through providing and encouraging continual assistance to the countries that were resistance to communism in Europe (Futrell, 2013).
On the hand, Eisenhower doctrine was solely based on providing military and economic assistance to countries that were resistance to communism agenda in Middle East countries, at the same time promoting an increase in flow of trade between United States and Latin America. The Kennedy doctrine was mostly concerned on promoting these same strategies. However, Kennedy doctrine was strategically based on the spread of communism and USSR (Russia) influence in Latin America ensuing Cuba revolution that bestowed Fidel Castro to power during 1950s (Reeves, 2009) .
During his inaugural address, President Kennedy talked extensively on establishing an alliance of progress with Latin America countries. On March 1961, during his Alliance for Progress address, Kennedy touched on his promises stating that it was of fundamental important for world at large to join hands in forming a ‘New Alliance of Progress.’ In this crucial address, President Kennedy confirmed that United States’ promise of defending any country whose sovereignty was, in any way, endangered. He categorically stated that United States was well prepared to increasing the food-for-peace emergency program and provision of economic aid to country in demand. For instance, Kennedy called for Latin America to promoting social changes in their own territories and requested all American countries to have a blueprint for enhanced economic integration (Sagan, 2010).
There have been much controversy arguments over Kennedy Doctrine’s over international role of United States. For instance, many of political critics have been questioning whether the President Kennedy’s inaugural Address and the foreign policies stemmed from his expressed vision. In his own words, the president stated that there was a affirmative need for describing an appropriate, reasonable and rational responsibility for United States in world. that, American role in world was to be implemented whether it was an outline for an event of negotiation and friendship and accommodation or whether it was to be prescribed as an untenable globalization. He was adamant that through encouraging peaceful co-existence in world would alleviate areas of conflict, strengthening of the arm race and promote American concern with involvement and encouragement of world affairs (Avant, 2012).
Despite the fact that this is controversial issue has continued to fuel debate today, it will remain a recognized and appreciated fact that President Kennedy was very committed to promotion of foreign policies during his term in office. W. Averell Harriman, who served in and on behalf of President Kennedy’s administration stated that President kennedy was only president who was dedicated his effort toward enhancing and promoting foreign policies since he was highly focused in ensuring that every aspect of foreign policy was crucially dealt with.
Advantages and disadvantages of Kennedy Doctrines
The Kennedy Doctrine has been generally described as a persistence commitment to controlling and containing communism; preventing its spread. In essence, this was a main thrust of United States’ foreign policy before and after his retirement from office. However, it was articulated perfectly well that the President Kennedy’s pledge to ‘pay any price’ and ‘bear any burden’ was of necessary to protection and advancement of freedom. The Kennedy Doctrine was a relative and absolutism doctrine that had advantages and disadvantages in Cuba Missile Crisis. It helped much to bring about the crisis since if Kennedy was not categorical in preventing the spread of communism, Soviet could have proved a serious threat to United States. in turn, this could have led to a lesser confrontational approach to the situation. President Kennedy doctrine allowed him to be strong in dealing with Khrushchev (Sagan, 2010).
Futrell, R. F. (2013).Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force,
1907-1960. Volume 1. AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL.
Reeves, R. (2009).President Kennedy: profile of power. Simon and Schuster.
Roskin, M., & Berry, N. (2010).IR: The new world of international relations:2010 edition (8th
ed.). San Francisco, CA: Longman/Pearson Education.
Sagan, S. D. (2010). SIOP-62: The Nuclear War Plan Briefing to President
Kennedy.International Security, 22-51.
Avant, D. D. (2012). The institutional sources of military doctrine: Hegemons in peripheral
wars.International Studies Quarterly, 409-430.
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