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Lecture Six Cold War Stability. The Cuban Missile Crisis Soviets Attempt to Place Nuclear Weapons in Cuba Is U.S. Willing to Risk War to Prevent This?

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture Six Cold War Stability. The Cuban Missile Crisis Soviets Attempt to Place Nuclear Weapons in Cuba Is U.S. Willing to Risk War to Prevent This?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture Six Cold War Stability

2 The Cuban Missile Crisis Soviets Attempt to Place Nuclear Weapons in Cuba Is U.S. Willing to Risk War to Prevent This? U.S. Response Very Convincing. Kennedy Indicates Willingness to Use Force Soviets Withdraw Missiles. Crisis Changes Nature of Cold War Rivalry: Last Time U.S. and Soviet Union Find Themselves Involved in a Direct Confrontation

3 What Was the Cold War About? Traditionalists: Soviet Expansionism Revisionists: American Expansionism Post-Revisionists: Bipolar Power Structure Continuation of the First and Second World Wars

4 Why No “Hot” War? Causes of Stability in the Postwar Period

5 Structural Factors Bipolarity System that Emerged After WWII Accurately Reflected the Balance of Power in the State System A Simple system that Did Not Require Brilliant Leadership to Run Because of Power Discrepancy, Individual Alliance Defections Were Unimportant Nuclear Weapons Made the Costs of War Abundantly Clear These Costs Made Leaders More Risk Averse Created an Incentive to Manage Crises to Avoid Escalation

6 Rules to Manage the Rivalry Manage the Nuclear Balance MAD Arms Control ABM Treaty Avoid Direct Confrontation Proxy Warfare Accept Spheres of Influence; Don’t Challenge Anomalies Berlin Cuba Leadership is Out of Bounds

7 Realism in the 20 th Century The Rise of German, American, and Soviet Power Who would Claim Britain’s Role in the International System? Shift in Center of Power: From Euro-Centric World to US-USSR Dominated. Cold War Rivalry The 21 st Century: Multipolar, Unipolar, or Power Transition?

8 The Rise of China

9 Strengths of Realism Captures a Central Dynamic of International Politics Parsimonious

10 Limitations of Realism 1. Provides No Role for: Domestic Politics Individuals International Organizations

11 2. Narrow Conception of What matters in International Politics. --Great Powers, War and Peace matter. --All other issues either subsumed into war and peace or considered irrelevant.

12 3. Excludes the Possibility of Change in the international system

13 The Test 6 Short-Answer Questions (60%). 1 Essay Question (40%). Emphasize Concepts Rather Than Opinions. Some Simple Math For Allocating Time: 50 *.6 = /6=5. Five Minutes Per Short Answer. 50 *.4 = 20. Twenty Minutes for Essay.

14 What was NSC-68, and what impact did it have on US policy towards the Soviet Union? Ideal answer: NSC-68 was prepared by the U.S. National Security Council in It predicted a Soviet attack in four to five years. To meet this threat, it recommended a large increase in US military expenditures. It marked the beginning of the militarization of the Cold War.

15 Nye provides three explanations of the Cold War. Briefly describe each, and then briefly discuss which, according to Nye, is correct. Answer: Traditionalists: Soviet Aggression; Revisionists—American Aggression; Post- Revisionist—Bipolar Power Structure. Nye argues that…


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