History 65

Eisenhower and the World

February 2, 2006



I. The Eisenhower Presidency


1. The New Look (postwar Republicans and foreign policy matters; basic principles—budgetary constraints, rollback promises, executive authority; NSC 162/2—differences from NSC 68?; international environment—Stalin death, Bandung, Sino-Soviet split, rise of DeGaulle, decline of Britain)


2. Reallocation of resources (nuclear weapons, importance of SAC and LeMay; covert operations—Iran, Guatemala; expansion of economic campaigns—foreign aid; propaganda—USIA; diplomacy—Open Skies, nuclear issues; role of intelligence—significance of Dulles, technological advancements, U-2 disaster)


3. Accomplishments and Failures (limitation DOD budget; avoidance war or full-fledged commitments; short-term difficulties—Hungary, Caracas; long-term difficulties—covert operations, blanket pledges, shaky nature of alliances, problems with Africa and Asia)


II. The Hidden-Hand Presidency


1. The 1952 Campaign (historiography and DDE image; opening of Eisenhower papers; Greenstein and Immerman thesis)


2. Political Obstacles (split nature Republican party; Taft and legislative power; Dewey, Lodge, and Eisenhower effort; nomination of Nixon and appeasing GOP right; Checkers speech; McCarthy issue; Korea promise)


3. Vietnam (background: French colonialism, Japanese expansionism, and WWII; postwar response—FDR and trusteeship, France and grandeur of empire; communism, nationalism, and postwar Southeast Asia—Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam; Truman administration, NSC 68, and commitment to Vietnam; French war strategy and Dienbienphu; internal divisions—Dulles, Radford and atomic bombs?; DDE conditions—Allied support, congressional backing; Geneva Conference and “settlement”; commitment with conditions)


4. The Limits of Hidden Hand Leadership (political: DDE and “modern Republicanism”—failure to imprint ideological mold on party, setup for 1964 and beyond?; policy: McCarthy—principle of delegation, OK with Allen Dulles, not so with John Foster, creation of McCarthyite myth among politicians; international—commitment to Vietnam without clear-cut policy; Lansdale, Diem, and 1956 elections)