Kennedy Doctrine


Kennedy Doctrine

The Kennedy Doctrine refers to foreign policy initiatives of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, towards Latin America during his term in office between 1961 and 1963. Kennedy voiced support for the containment of Communism and the reversal of Communist progress in the Western Hemisphere.

Inaugural address: "Pay any price, bear any burden"

In his Inaugural Address on January 20 1961, President Kennedy presented the American public with a blueprint upon which the future foreign policy initiatives of his administration would later follow and come to represent. In this Address, Kennedy warned "“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”"1 He also called upon the public to assist in "“a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.”"1 It is in this address that one begins to see the Cold War, us-versus-them mentality that came to dominate the Kennedy administration.

Cold War containment

A dominant premise during the Kennedy years was the need to contain communism at any cost. In this Cold War environment, Kennedy’s “call for military strength and unision in the struggle against communism were balanced with... [hopes] for disarmament and global cooperation.”2 Another common theme in Kennedy’s foreign policy was the belief that because the United States had the ability and power to control events in the international system, they should. Kennedy expressed this idea in his address when he 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.” 1

Historical background

The Kennedy Doctrine was essentially an expansion of the foreign policy prerogatives of the previous administrations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman. The foreign policies of these presidents all revolved around the threat of communism and the means by which the United States would attempt to contain the spread of it. The Truman Doctrine focused on the containment of communism by providing assistance to countries resisting communism in Europe while the Eisenhower Doctrine was focused upon providing both military and economic assistance to nations resisting communism in the Middle East and by increasing the flow of trade from the United States into Latin America. The Kennedy Doctrine was based on these same objectives but was more concerned with the spread of communism and Soviet influence in Latin America following the Cuban revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power under Eisenhower during the 1950s.

Alliance for Progress

In his inaugural address, Kennedy talks of an alliance for progress with countries in Latin America. In his Alliance for Progress address for Latin American Diplomats and Members of Congress on March 13th 1961 he expanded on his promises from his inaugural speech. "“I have called on all the people of the hemisphere to join in a new Alliance for Progress – alianza para el Progreso – a vast cooperative effort, unparalleled in magnitude and nobility of purpose, to satisfy the basic needs of the American people for homes, work and land, health and schools – techo, trabajo y tierra, salud y escuela.”"3

In the address, Kennedy reaffirmed the United State’s pledge of coming to the defence of any nation whose independence was endangered, promised to increase the food-for-peace emergency program and to provide economic aid to nations in need. He requested that Latin American countries promote social change within their borders and called upon all American nations to move towards increased economic integration. "“To achieve this goal political freedom must accompany material progress. Our Alliance for Progress is an alliance of free governments – and it must work to eliminate tyranny from a hemisphere in which it has no rightful place. Therefore let us express our special friendship to the people of Cuba and the Dominican Republic – and the hope they will soon rejoin the society of free men, uniting with us in our common effort.”"3

Debate over international role of United States

Many have questioned whether Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, and the foreign policy stemming from the vision he expressed in it “describes an appropriate, rational, and prudent role for the United States in the world; whether it is an outline for an era of negotiation and accommodation and friendship; or whether it is a prescription for an untenable globalism, leading inevitably to increased areas of conflict, to a heightening of the arms race, and to American concern with and involvement, to one degree or another, in the affairs of almost every country in the world.”4 While this is an issue that still fuels debate today, it remains clear that Kennedy was deeply involved and committed to every aspect of the foreign policy under his administration. In an interview with the President, William Averell Harriman, a man who served in several posts under J.F.K., noted "President Kennedy was the first President, that I know of, who was really his own secretary of state. He dealt with every aspect of foreign policy, and he knew about everything that was going on."5

Derived events

Some of the most notable events that stemmed from tenets of JFK’s foreign policy initiatives in regard to Latin America and the spread of communism were:

* The Bay of Pigs Invasion, April 17, 1961.
* Increase of U.S. involvement in Vietnam War, 1962.
* Cuban Missile Crisis, October, 1962.
* Ratification of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, July, 1963.

Notes


# The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy. Available online at: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/kennedy.htm
# Viotti, Paul R , American Foreign Policy and National Security: A Documentary Record (Pearson Prentice Hall: 2005), 222.
# Modern History Sourcebook. President John F. Kennedy: On the Alliance for Progress, 1961. Available Online at: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1961kennedy-afp1.html
# Fitzsimons, Louise. The Kennedy Doctrine (New York: Random House, 1972), 10.
# The John F. Kennedy Presidential Oral History Collection. Available Online at: http://www.lexisnexis.com/academic/2upa/Aph/KennedyOral.asp
# Weidman, Lisa Menéndez. A Biography of John F. Kennedy: The 35th President of the United States. Available Online at The JFK Library: http://www.jfklibrary.org/jfk_biography.html

External links

* [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/kennedy.htm Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy]
* [http://www.jfklibrary.org/ John F. Kennedy Library and Museum]

Template group
list =


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kennedy — may refer to:People*Kennedy (name), people with the surname and given name Kennedy Place name* Division of Kennedy, an electoral district in the Australian House of Representatives, in Queensland * Kennedy, Alabama, a U.S. town * Kennedy,… …   Wikipedia

  • Kennedy family — For other uses, see Kennedy. The Kennedy family The Kennedy family at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts (September 4, 1931). Seated left to right: Robert, John, Eunice, Jean (on lap of) Joe, Sr., Rose …   Wikipedia

  • Doctrine Mac Namara — Doctrine MacNamara Apparue en 1962, la doctrine McNamara ou doctrine de la riposte graduée est la stratégie de défense choisie par les États Unis fixant sa doctrine nucléaire. Elle conditionne la nature des armes qui seront employées pour… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctrine Carter — Doctrine de politique étrangère américaine (1980) : toute tentative de gagner le contrôle de la région du Golfe provoquera des représailles des États Unis. Cette doctrine s inscrit dans la continuité de la doctrine Eisenhower. L application… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctrine Kennedy — La doctrine Kennedy désigne la politique étrangère des États Unis sous la présidence de John Fitzgerald Kennedy, principalement à l égard de l Amérique latine. Sommaire 1 Discours inaugural 2 Guerre froide 3 Contexte historique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctrine Reagan — Le président des États Unis Ronald Reagan La doctrine Reagan était une stratégie orchestrée et mise en place par les États Unis sous l administration Reagan pour contrer l influence globale de l Union soviétique au cours des dernières années de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kennedy and Latin America — The Cold War marked the post World War II conflict between capitalism and communism manifested through the United States and the USSR. This conflict came nearest to armed fruition in 1962, in a period known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. President… …   Wikipedia

  • Doctrine stratégique — Liste des doctrines géopolitiques Les doctrines géopolitiques ont été utilisées dans les relations internationales pour affirmer la politique extérieure des nations sur la scène mondiale. Sommaire 1 Liste par ordre chronologique 1.1 Doctrines… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kennedy, John F. — ▪ president of United States Introduction in full  John Fitzgerald Kennedy , byname  JFK  born May 29, 1917, Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S. died November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas  35th president of the United States (1961–63), who faced a number… …   Universalium

  • Doctrine Truman — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Truman. .. La doctrine Truman est née le 11 mars 1947, elle est la base de la politique des États Unis contre le Bloc communiste durant la guerre froide. « Je crois que les États Unis doivent soutenir les… …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.