My teachers talked about it in school and my parents talked about it at the dinner table. Economic strength gave US leaders a decided financial and material advantage over the Soviets. Even moderate to conservative regimes that sought to advance national interests by constraining US influence came under assault from Washington. Nevertheless, the pre-Cold War foreign policy organizations were forced to adapt or be threatened continually with irrelevance. Only serious Congressional and public political mobilization could blunt the aggregation of covert powers. In contrast, the desire for informational synthesis and expertise—and sometimes deniability—drove presidents to delegate authority. National History Standards Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s) Standard 2: How the Cold War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics Standard 2B: The student understands United States foreign policy in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Empowering agencies or divisions of agencies with covert or clandestine missions was appealing for two interdependent reasons: sustainability and insulation from oversight. We shall focus upon the explosive struggles in Central America in the context of U.S. Moscow was an influential patron of many African governments and revolutionary movements during the Cold War, but almost completely withdrew from the continent following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since there was a huge connection, today's lesson will be dev… In particular, the United States feared that victories by communist forces would cause South America to become isolated from the United States if the governments of the Central American countries were overthrown and pro-Sovietcommunist governments were installed in their pla… Restrictions of access to information associated with covert and clandestine activities could offer presidents a menu of instruments with legal flexibility and were shielded from targeted appropriations cuts thanks to black budgets. Central America, 1981–1993. The strategic stalemate that prevented a direct military conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union displaced violent superpower competition to areas of the Third World where the two blocs could invest in local and regional wars without risking direct confrontation. By Other Means Part II: Adapting to Compete in the Gray Zone, Defense Industry, Acquisition, and Innovation, Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation, Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Impacts, Family Planning, Maternal and Child Health, and Immunizations. and In its prosecution of the Cold War in the Third World, the United States enjoyed formidable advantages over its Soviet rival. In the public realm, debates over the issue of access to the documentary record have been the U.S. equivalent of a truth commission. Ties to the US and the Cold War Ever since the start of the 20 th century, the US has always had a very significant influence on Honduras. Despite all the hubbub the Cold War created, I can't recall Latin America being referenced very often. These powerful incentives created a feedback loop of growing responsibilities and resources and permitted organizational autonomy unprecedented in the U.S. system. The Cold War was a faceoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, and during the Cold War years, Washington saw all other conflicts—in Latin America and elsewhere in the world—largely as offshoots of this primordial two-way struggle. In its prosecution of the Cold War in the Third World, the United States enjoyed formidable advantages over its Soviet rival. Cold War. Cold War Influences on American Culture, Politics, and Economics. For starters, let's define what we mean by t… Yes, there were talks of rebels, Nicaragua, and Castro, but other than that, information was pretty scarce. In the 1970s, Congress took greater interest in reviewing and restricting the activities, authorities, and budgets of agencies involved in covert and clandestine actions. López, Raúl Necochea Alliances with local elites eager to reduce domestic challenges proved especially helpful. The last time Central America received much play in the American news media was during the 1980s, when the region, one of the Cold War's hot zones, was plagued by civil war. Not surprisingly, three of the most violent nations on the planet are in Central America, with Honduras and El Salvador topping the list. In today's lesson we'll take a look at a blaring example of this as we discuss U.S. foreign policy in Guatemala and Chile during the Cold War. The United States, by contrast, adapted its security policies to a containment doctrine that defined the political complexion of every non-Communist government in the world as a matter of potential strategic interest. From “genesis” to “constraint” it shed gray zone-like responsibilities to a litany of novel, specialized organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, or the CIA. But Cuba and El Salvador seemed to be the two Latin American countries where the Cold War lived on. The United States deployed all of these resources in response to perceived affronts to its regime and policy preferences wherever they occurred. But novel organizational design and redesign was possible. In the era of the Cold War, the US feared communism spreading globally. El Salvador, 1979–1992, Patron-Client Relationships in Counterinsurgency, International Actors, International Influences, and Regime Outcomes, Canadian Foreign Policy Interests in Central America: Some Current Issues, Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. This combined political and economic challenge caused the United States to assist Guatemalan counterrevolutionaries and neighbouring Central American … Paiva, Carlos HenriǪue AssunÇÃo They want to keep who they consider 'undesirable' out! Birn, Anne-Emanuelle In the 1940s, Congress created and modified the principal organs of national security policymaking and execution. Soviet leaders feared and distrusted the United States, which was the only country with the atomic bomb — and which had used it. By positioning the NSC and the White House at the center of national security decisionmaking, especially on sensitive gray zone-like activities, presidents could surmount the impediments of departmental independence and interagency complexity. Westward expansion was fueled by the ambition to expand American territories and to economically exploit and develop the Far West. This book adds to this new conceptualization of Latin America’s Cold War era by extending it to musical culture as well. Hochman, Gilberto Thereafter, energy for organization and reorganization was generally driven by the executive branch, with some important but sporadic exceptions as noted above. The Cold War in Central America, 1975–1991, London School of Economics and Political Science, Good Governance in the Western Hemisphere: The Unit for Promotion of Democracy, currently the Organization for Promotion of Democracy, A Multilateral Framework for Regional Governance, The Emergence of Consensus Around Democratic Institutions and Shared Norms During the Period of 1991 to 2005, Revitalizing the Inter-American Human Rights System, NGOs, Human Rights, and International Courts, Political Support and Democracy in Eight Nations, The Lesser of Two Evils? To understand how and why the United States became involved in Central American wars during the 1980s, it is necessary to examine preceding developments and patterns: the hegemonic role played by the United States in the region, U.S. support for rightist authoritarian regimes, Cold War fears of “communist subversion,” and human rights reform. Repeated executive reorganization allowed the USG to adapt to both external threats and internal demands. Long-term military governments, with changing leadership in most cases, controlled eleven Latin American nations for significant periods from 1964 to 1990: Ecuador, 1963–1966 and 1972–1978; Guatemala, 1963–1985 (with an interlude from 1966–1969); Brazil, 1964–1985; Bolivia, 1964–1970 and 1971–1982; Argentina, 1966–1973 and 1976–1983; Peru, 1968–1980; Panama, … US involvement in Latin American affairs during the Cold War period was extraordinarily deep and, according to most scholars, generally malicious. 2 The major aims of these statutes were … The Soviet Union tended to approach such conflicts cautiously even when they involved other Communist states. Governments do too. The Kingdom of Guatemala included the future countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Mexican state of Chiapas. NARA'S holdings of major textual records series pertaining to Department of Defense Cold War-era policies and programs are located in the following record groups: RG 330 (Secretary of Defense); RG 218 (Joint Chiefs of Staff); RG 340 (Secretary of the Air Force); RG 341 (Air Force Headquarters Staff); RG 335 (Secretary of the Army); RG 319 (Army Headquarters Staff); RG 428 (Department of the Navy); … Military bases were abandoned, and former Soviet allies began pivoting toward the U.S., and then later, to China. American auction house Julien's is putting up hundreds of artifacts from the Cold War-era up for auction early next year. Being a child of the '80s, I can remember the Soviet Union crumbling and newspapers full of headlines screaming 'End of the Cold War.' Governments that collaborated closely with the United States often had to ignore or suppress local interests opposed to US policies. Large-scale migration to the United States from Central America began, as hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans fled north from civil war, repression, and economic devastation. UNLV History 102. This is most clearly evident in the employment of Teodoro Castro; on the surface, he was an ambassador for Costa Rica, but in actuality he was a Soviet agent. Military bases projected US power into regions bordering on Communist states throughout the world. December, 4th 2009. 2020. and During the Cold War As long as it lasted, the Cold War kept American life off balance to one degree or another. The only significant replication of DoD responsibilities was the creation of the CIA’s Special Operations Group. The Soviet Union had suffered terribly during World War II and was hungry to recover. Governments that collaborated closely with the United States often had to ignore or suppress local interests opposed to US policies. Interestingly, it's not just people who have this issue. Following his electoral victory in November 1980, President Ronald Reagan amplified the concerns expressed by President Carter and Congress about foreign support of Central American leftist guerrilla forces. Although granted direction over aspects of economic, information, and covert operations during the genesis phase, the DoS struggled to execute gray zone-like competition on the scale and with the flexibility expected by most presidents. However, institutional destruction proved much harder than institutional reorganization and creation, making the entire governing apparatus more complex over time. Recent studies of diplomatic and military history have shown that the Cold War in Latin America was a multifaceted contest between various regional proponents of communism and capitalism. During the cold war, British officials and intellectuals were proud of Britain’s reputation for political toleration, especially in comparison to the abuses of American McCarthyism. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. Such restraint was also quickly attenuated by the geostrategic demands of the Cold War, leading to a 45-year-long ebb and flow in the degree to which gray zone competition meant covert action. The Soviet Union was the most active nation in using Costa Rica's respectability within Latin America to its advantage during the Cold War. The First Seminole War gave Monroe and Adams a chance to push Spain from the Southeast under the Adams-Onís Treaty, while entrepreneurs established a fur trade in the North and an aggressive "removal" policy forced Indian tribes from the South. The Cold War became a dominant influence on many aspects of American society for much of the second half of the 20 th century. It was big news! environment, that has made Central America the focal point of world attention and, in a sense, the touchstone of "East-West" conflict-as was the case in Vietnam fifteen years ago. The alliance between U.S. Republicans and militant anti-Castro exiles in Florida that had been solidified during the Reagan administration bore fruit with representatives who helped swing congressional and public opinion against the liberalization of relations with Cuba after the fall of the USSR. Local opposition to foreign rule in the US and European colonial empires, and social movements aiming to displace traditional elites elsewhere, confronted a strong US preference for reliably anti-Communist (and thus conservative to right-wing) regimes. Keeping institutional activities covert or clandestine reduced internal debate and dissent as well as public scrutiny, making policies less likely to be interrupted by dint of bureaucratic competition or external oversight. President Reagan and the hard-liner coalition preferred to emphasize Cold War concerns and moved quickly to step up U.S. aid to the government of El Salvador. This marked a level of congressional influence and interference unseen since the genesis period. On the foundations of the National Security Act, Cold War organization for gray zone-like activities was remarkably elastic and responsive to presidential administrative styles. The term cold war itself, popularized in a 1946 speech by prime minister Winston Churchill of Britain, describes the ideological struggle between democracy and Communism that began shortly after the end of World War II and lasted until 1991. 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