To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations

By John Allphin Moore Jr.; Jerry Pubantz | Go to book overview

Disarmament and Development

The United Nations is essential because global war is now unthinkable as the result of new and devastating weapons.

President Eisenhower to congressional leaders

Events in Vietnam, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East could leave one believing that the post-1962détente between the United States and the Soviet Union was ephemeral. It was not. A new bilateral rapprochement was under way with new trade agreements, an easing of the confrontation in Germany, more cultural and scientific exchanges, and, most important, some progress on arms control. Even the crushing of liberal reform in Czechoslovakia could only slow the thaw, not end it. For both President Kennedy and President Johnson a key element of détente was step-by-step arms control.

Central to the " Eisenhower model" spelled out in 1953 was the tenet that agreements on arms limitation were necessary and could be achieved with the help of the United Nations, but only after trust had been established between Moscow and Washington. By the late 1950s the Eisenhower administration refined that argument by pursuing limited arms agreements that might contribute to easing the cold war, not just be a reward for its conclusion. Kennedy and Johnson endorsed that approach, hoping to make significant breakthroughs in arms control even as the Soviet-American confrontation continued. The history of the period, however, confirms that arms agreements came during eras of "good feeling" and improved relations; they did not generate those relations. It also shows that the superpowers' effort at arms control was conducted with only a nod to UN responsibility for disarmament. For the most part, the depths of the cold war made disarmament impossible in the Eisenhower years, and only marginally more probable as tensions eased after the Cuban missile crisis.

Dwight Eisenhower believed in the power of an effective speech. An address by an American president on a matter of critical world significance could set in motion positive forces for change. His " Chance for Peace" speech in April 1953 had been given in that vein. He hoped to do the same regarding disarmament with his " Atoms for Peace" address to the United Nations General Assembly in December of that year. The president was deeply concerned about the arms race and the implications of the confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers. One of Eisenhower's first acts in office was to order a review of the

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To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • To Create a New World? *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Preface *
  • Frequently Used Citations *
  • Introduction *
  • 1: To Create a New World? American "Exceptionalism" and the Origins of the United Nations *
  • Dismissing the United Nations 7
  • The United Nations at Half Century 10
  • Woodrow Wilson and American Idealism 12
  • Traditional Arrangements of International Politics 17
  • The Twentieth-Century Crisis 21
  • 2: The Founders *
  • Fdr and the Un *
  • Yalta 44
  • Truman and the Un 47
  • Onset of the Cold War 53
  • Korea 69
  • 3: The Cold Warriors *
  • The President, His Foreign Policy Team, and the Un 84
  • The "Eisenhower Model" 91
  • Superpower Confrontation and the United Nations, 1953-1969 95
  • Cold War Tensions and UN Institutions 112
  • Jfk and the Un 118
  • Lyndon Johnson and the Un 131
  • Disarmament and Development 143
  • 4: The Realists' Ascent *
  • Nixon and the Un 176
  • 1968 184
  • Nixon and Watergate 186
  • "Nixinger" Diplomacy 188
  • Vietnam and Nixon 193
  • India and Pakistan, 1971 196
  • China 199
  • Yom Kippur 203
  • President Ford's Interregnum 208
  • 5: Two Sides of Idealism *
  • Carter and Foreign Policy 214
  • Carter, Human Rights, and the Un 219
  • Carter, China, and the Ussr 229
  • Breakthrough at Camp David 234
  • Carter and Africa 241
  • The Iranian Hostage Nightmare 248
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase One 254
  • The Middle East, Reagan, and the Un 262
  • Reagan and the World 268
  • Iran-Contra 274
  • Gorbachev 276
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase Two 280
  • 6: The New Moralists *
  • President Bush's UN Odyssey 290
  • President Bush's Use of the Un 298
  • President Clinton: the New Moralism and the Demands of Politics 315
  • Conclusion *
  • Appendix a Secretaries-General of the Un *
  • Appendix B U.S. Ambassadors to the Un *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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