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An American lion in winter: The post-presidential impact of Dwight D. Eisenhower on American foreign policy (John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson)

Posted on:2005-03-04Degree:Ph.DType:Thesis
University:State University of New York at BuffaloCandidate:Filipink, Richard M., JrFull Text:PDF
This work's thesis is that Dwight Eisenhower had a measurable impact on the foreign policy decisions of his Democratic successors. Eisenhower played an active public and private role during his post-presidential years due to his desire to protect his own administration's reputation, partisanship, and concerns about the ability of the two Democrats to successfully deal with the threat of communism.; After briefly discussing Eisenhower's foreign policy record, the work delves into the relationship between Eisenhower and John Kennedy. Particular emphasis is placed on the election campaign of 1960 and the pre-inaugural meetings between the two men which established the major focus for Kennedy's foreign policy, primarily Cuba, Laos, and Berlin. Eisenhower made it clear that he would reserve the right to criticize specific decisions while maintaining overall support for American policy.; In practice, Eisenhower was critical of Kennedy's lack of action, especially in Laos and Cuba. After the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy sought Eisenhower's blessing and silence, which lasted until the 1962 congressional campaign, when Eisenhower's increasingly pointed criticisms were only halted by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although skeptical about the Limited Test Ban Treaty and Kennedy's attempts to limit the scope of the Cold War, Eisenhower saved further criticism for the 1964 campaign.; The assassination in Dallas changed 1964 dramatically. Eisenhower initially withheld his criticisms in the aftermath of the tragedy and in the realization that he was uncomfortable with Republican nominee Barry Goldwater. Eisenhower had worked successfully with Lyndon Johnson during his own presidency, and would become a key Johnson adviser.; Johnson constantly sought Eisenhower's advice and support for his Vietnam policies. From February 1965, Eisenhower consistently advocated military escalation and firmness. He influenced Johnson's decision to carry out sustained bombing of North Vietnam, stiffened Johnson's resolve on the issue of sending more troops, publicly accepted the administration's policy of gradual escalation, but drew the line at explicitly acknowledging any direct relationship between his administration's policy and Johnson's decision to escalate.; Even as Eisenhower's health declined, Johnson continued to rely on him for support and advice, reinforcing Eisenhower's position as the most influential ex-president of the twentieth century.
Keywords/Search Tags:Eisenhower, Foreign policy, Johnson, American, Kennedy
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