Aspects of American Foreign Policy in the Nuclear Age by Dr Jonathan Hunt, University of Southampton.
Dr Jonathan Hunt is shortly to attend a conference at the UN Headquarters, to commorate the 50th anniversary of the agreement to define which countries are allowed to have nuclear nuclear weapons, and which countries which develop nuclear weapons face the consequences of sanctions.
The politics of non-aligned and third world countries pursue a policy of anti-nuclear weapons, The countries that had nuclear weapons in their arsenal, pursued a policy of bluff, in trying to persuade other countries, in not developing their own nuclear weapons. From the original nuclear weapons countries of the USA, Soviet Union, UK and France, the expansion of countries that introduced nuclear weapons into their arsenals, tended to be in Middle East and Asia, but surprisingly not Eastern Europe.
When President Khrushov of the Soviet Union visited the neighbouring communist country of China, China was in the middle of a military crisis, known as the 2nd Taiwan crisis, with the USA supporting Taiwan by sending its powerful naval fleet to carry out naval exercises in the Taiwan straits. This combined with the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy and the attempted overthrow of the government in Jordan, which led to British troops been sent to restore order
Ireland , an European country, but not part of NATO, tried to introduce a proposal at the United Nations, a new world law, governing the development of nuclear weapons and energy, and to introduce a new world order, with the intention to prevent other countries introducing nuclear weapons. This new proposal failed, as the world super powers, the USA and the Soviet Union, did not see this proposal in their interest. Nuclear weapons are cheaper than a conventional weapons and standing armies.
In 1961, the world super powers, the USA and the Soviet Union, agreed to discuss, a limitation of nuclear weapons, but neither country had any intention to carry this out.
The Soviet Union decided to prevent China from developing its nuclear weapons, as the Russians feared that they might be dragged into a nuclear war, on behalf of China
When J.F. Kennedy became President of the USA, the US military became disillusioned with the President, as he refused to allow the US military to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam.
The most well know flash point in the 1960s, was the Cuban crisis, but there were many other flash points during this period of the cold war. The US cabinet did not care whether Soviet Union nuclear weapons were based in either Cuba or Russia, The problem, was that the USA had told the Soviet Union, to withdraw its nuclear weapons from Cuba, and while the Cuban crisis continued, there was a real fear, that President Kennedy would be impeached. The Soviet Union proposed a new nuclear policy to apply to the other countries of the world. The Soviet Union had a real that President Castro of Cuba would take unauthorized (nuclear) action the USA.
China took advantage of the Cuban crisis, by invading several Himalayan Indian states. The USA was concerned that the most serious problem facing the world , was the possibility might use its nuclear weapons
President Kennedy in his second most important speech, hints at a possible dente with Soviet Union, while at the same time portraying himself to the American people as a ‘concerned’ President, ‘looking after the American children’. President Kennedy sends an envoy to the Soviet Union, proposing a strategy, to isolate China. The Soviet Union replied, that it will only intervene, when China will use its nuclear weapons
The 18 nations of the UN disarmament committee, includes 8 non-nuclear countries, which has a significant influence on any international nuclear policy. President Johnson of the USA is persuaded that a nuclear treaty with the Soviet Union (never mind the details) will leave a positive view with the American voters