JFK’s involvement in Cold War

JFK’s involvement in Cold War

John F. Kennedy was born in 1917 and was elected as the 35th president of the United States at 43. JFK is mainly remembered of his fight for freedom in the United States and other nations. At the beginning of his career in the Congressional campaign, he rejected the anti-Cold War faction which was led by other leaders. He joined the Democratic Party, which was led by Henry Wallace. To pursue his purpose, he aligned himself with the people who argued that Truman Administration did not do much the ability that was required. JFK participated in the Cold War through his focus on the elimination of communism, fight against nuclear weapons, and participation in wars in Vietnam and Cuba.

Communism was a major problem during JFKs presidency. His major efforts began in 1952 while he was contesting for the Senate. In his campaign, he said that he would fight communism. He said his work in the labor committee would be to arrest a communist union official. As a member of the Congress, he supported the activities by the American government to support the Cold War (Duncan 65).

As an anti-communist, JFK was interested with the activities which happened in Western and Eastern Europe. Communism was common in most of the regions, causing North Korea and South Korea to engage in war. Also, the Italy’s governance which was in Vietnam was brought down. He was very touched by the situation. He had to fight the situation which had led to the existence of communism as it could have affected the global security (Duncan 73).

At the time, Space Race had started. It included the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It had started at the end of the 1950s with the Soviets launching their satellite, which was referred to as Sputnik. In 1959, the Soviet Union sent Vostok 1 as well as Luna 2 into space. As a result of the activities, the United States began the Mercury program (Santa Cruz 13). According to JFK, the poor relationship between United States and Soviet Union was worrying, and the massive programs which involved the weapons could have led to a lot of harm to the world. People had to be informed on how they should deal with the issues of insecurity which were coming from the involvement of various nations within the Soviet Union (Khan 01). As he ran for the presidency in 1960, his main campaign was to be tough on the Soviets. He claimed that Eisenhower did not offer the right leadership and Kennedy could not watch the Americans supporting the Soviets. JFK promised that his government would spend more money to ensure the United States removes the missile gap with the Soviet nations. He argued that Eisenhower policy had caused the loss of Cuba (“The Cold War – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum” 01).

Upon getting the presidential position, JFK’s opening speech was clear that he wanted to achieve global peace by challenging all the enemies of liberty. As the president, JFK ordered for an increase in spending on nuclear missiles, which led to a race that led America to become less superior in the possession of weapons. JFK had the idea of the disarmament linked to environmental reasons following the long-term effects of the nuclear weapons (Douglass 98).

He increased the number of troops to approximately 1400 to ensure he was superior in war. He sent the troops to Cuba in the Bay of Pigs Invasion with extensive focus on the war. He intended to bring down the situation in Cuba as it seemed a challenge to the security of the United States.JFK had to focus on resolving the problems, which had surrounded him through insisting that he had to engage in war. However, he could not defeat the Cuban troops, as they were more skilled and had better weapons. Therefore, it was exceedingly easy to win the war (Muehlenbeck 15).

JFK participated in the reduction of tensions with USSR which resulted from the crisis created by the Cuban Missile. Also, he built the teletype Hot Line, which would prevent the barriers of communication which had ensured the crisis, did not recur. There is no way JFK would have ran away from the control, which had been defined by the Truman Doctrine.  JFK ensured that the war was not lost through his actions. He pushed for the removal of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem since JFK was sure that Diem was a barrier to the Vietnamese winning the war (“The Cold War – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum” 01).

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a major cause of involvement of JFK in the cold war. The cold war was also referred to as the missile scare. It was a war between the US and the Soviet Union regarding the deployment or release of the ballistic missiles in Italy as well as Turkey after the Soviet ballistic missile which was launched in Cuba. The disagreement, which was led by JFK almost ended up as nuclear war (“The Cold War – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum” 01).

JFK’S legacy in the cold war did not end with his assassination in 1963. His strategies have lived over time as the United States continued to fight against the use of weapons in the attack of the enemies. A lot of emphasis was put on various elements, which ensured the progress of the security of the United States and the entire world. The major weapons, which were used by different nations, had to be rejected as they posed major threat to the society. JFK was an assurance for global peace.


Works Cited

“The Cold War – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum”. Jfklibrary.Org, 2017, https://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/The-Cold-War.aspx.

Douglass, James W. JFK And The Unspeakable. 1st ed., Maryknoll, N.Y., Orbis Books, 2014,.

Duncan, Jason K. John F. Kennedy: The Spirit Of Cold War Liberalism. 1st ed., Florence, Taylor And Francis, 2013,.

Khan, Shahrukh. “JFK And The Cold War – Harvard Political Review”. Harvard Political Review, 2017, http://harvardpolitics.com/united-states/jfks-legacy-overseas/.

Muehlenbeck, Philip E. “John F. Kennedy’s Courting of African Nationalism.” Madison Historical Review 2.1 (2014): 1-24.

Santa Cruz, Paul H. Making JFK Matter. 1st ed., Denton, Texas., University Of North Texas Press, 2015,.




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