Kennedy's Foreign Policy

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The Kennedy-Johnson years (1961-1969) provided the stimulant for social and economic re-form, but most of their policy initiatives were confounded by domestic strife and foreign policy failure. Discuss. The 1960s heralded a period of both social and economic change as both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson attempted to continue the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’. However, “competing domestic and foreign policy constituencies” stymied some of their efforts at reform therefore whilst in many cases their policies stimulated reform in later decades much of their energies in the 1960s were focused overseas. Many of these foreign policy and domestic issues were inherited from their predecessors particularly Eisenhower. The United …show more content…

In an attempt to overthrow Castro and prevent the spread of communism throughout Latin America, Kennedy was forced to implement “a watered down plan inherited from the Eisenhower administration” , which involved using CIA trained Cuban rebels to encourage an anti-Castro uprising which would then appear as an internal uprising. This resulted in what historian Theodore Draper described as a “perfect failure” On April 17th 1961, 1500 rebels landed on the Bahia de Cochinos however invaders were swiftly captured or killed and as Kennedy refused to send in USA troops and cancelled a planned air strike in order to feign lack of American involvement, the plan ended in “total humiliating defeat” . Kennedy was enraged that he had signed what he had seen as an “unworkable plan” and that he had “allowed himself to be swept along by sheer bureaucratic momentum” . Despite this he took full responsibility for the failed operation stating in a news conference on March 21st 1961, that while “victory has a hundred fathers, defeat is an orphan” . The Bay of Pigs ‘damaged US relations with foreign nations enormously” and “encouraged Khrushchev’s adventurism” resulting in increased Cold War tensions that demanded the President’s full

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