These powerful incentives created a feedback loop of growing responsibilities and resources and permitted organizational autonomy unprecedented in the U.S. system. My teachers talked about it in school and my parents talked about it at the dinner table. But novel organizational design and redesign was possible. Paiva, Carlos HenriǪue AssunÇÃo The more specialized the expertise, the harder it was for the president or any other agency to replicate it. 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. The conditions were not a completely clean slate—the military departments, State Department, and the precursor to the CIA were all well-established and capable of weighing in on reform debates. Yes, there were talks of rebels, Nicaragua, and Castro, but other than that, information was pretty scarce. In the late 1940s, national security institutional designers had creative license. Interestingly, it's not just people who have this issue. 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. It argues that both the United States and the Soviet Union included Costa Rica in their Cold War strategies, that relations with neighbouring Nicaragua were an ongoing Costa Rican concern throughout the Cold War, and that to some considerable extent Costa Rican governments managed to defy the White House and to pursue policies which they considered to be in their own national interest. During the Cold War As long as it lasted, the Cold War kept American life off balance to one degree or another. The Soviet Union tended to approach such conflicts cautiously even when they involved other Communist states. UNLV History 102. This marked a level of congressional influence and interference unseen since the genesis period. 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. Despite all the hubbub the Cold War created, I can't recall Latin America being referenced very often. 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. 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. A threat developed in Central America when the Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz (1951–54), which frankly accepted the support of local communists, attacked the holdings of the United Fruit Company as part of an ambitious though ultimately abortive land reform. 2 The major aims of these statutes were … The Kingdom of Guatemala included the future countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Mexican state of Chiapas. DoD, meanwhile, was continually subjected to reconfiguration pressures, but their unique military expertise prevented significant “spin-off” effects as occurred with the State Department. In contrast, the desire for informational synthesis and expertise—and sometimes deniability—drove presidents to delegate authority. The Soviet Union had suffered terribly during World War II and was hungry to recover. Even moderate to conservative regimes that sought to advance national interests by constraining US influence came under assault from Washington. Although space is lacking for a comprehensive In the 1940s, Congress created and modified the principal organs of national security policymaking and execution. 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. Before the intensification of the Vietnam War, the preponderance of Congressional oversight focused on foreign assistance. López, Raúl Necochea Sign up to receive The Evening, a daily brief on the news, events, and people shaping the world of international affairs. 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. Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection. The Cold War became a dominant influence on many aspects of American society for much of the second half of the 20 th century. 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. Driven by the Congress and corresponding to the demands of the emergent “Containment” doctrine, four major legislative events shaped the organizational structure for U.S. gray zone operations during the Cold War: the National Security Act of 1947, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948, the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, and the CIA Act of 1949. The cold war was a pivotal era in the twentieth century. Governments that collaborated closely with the United States often had to ignore or suppress local interests opposed to US policies. 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. The drastic reductions in national security institutions at the end of World War II were comparatively free of extensive institutional infrastructure and legal impediments much beyond the U.S. Constitution. 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. Central America, 1981–1993. In its prosecution of the Cold War in the Third World, the United States enjoyed formidable advantages over its Soviet rival. Cold War Influences on American Culture, Politics, and Economics. In fact, it's been seen over and over again in world history as countries seek to police who does and doesn't get to be their neighbor. For starters, let's define what we mean by t… 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. In the era of the Cold War, the US feared communism spreading globally. 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. 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. They want to keep who they consider 'undesirable' out! American auction house Julien's is putting up hundreds of artifacts from the Cold War-era up for auction early next year. 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. By the middle of the 16th century, Spain established the Kingdom of Guatemala, which was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. We shall focus upon the explosive struggles in Central America in the context of U.S. Cold War politics today. Congress itself organized committee structures to reflect the major departments and agencies established by statute, an impediment to reorganization in general and to oversight when interagency task forces and other ad-hoc arrangements were the primary mechanisms of policy execution. The only significant replication of DoD responsibilities was the creation of the CIA’s Special Operations Group. The Central American crisis began in the late 1970s, when major civil wars and communist revolutions erupted in various countries in Central America, causing it to become the world's most volatile region in terms of socioeconomic change. Thereafter, energy for organization and reorganization was generally driven by the executive branch, with some important but sporadic exceptions as noted above. 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. Empowering agencies or divisions of agencies with covert or clandestine missions was appealing for two interdependent reasons: sustainability and insulation from oversight. The Cold War witnessed a pronounced migration of gray zone-like responsibilities toward covert and clandestine activities, with implications for role assignments, centralization, authorities, and budgets. 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… But compartmentalization could also breed a pernicious form of myopia and inertia and increase the difficulties of halting or redirecting such programs. Cold War. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. Westward expansion was fueled by the ambition to expand American territories and to economically exploit and develop the Far West. 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. The sharp reduction in economic aid to Central America further indicated that there would not be much official thinking or regretting about the Cold War in Latin America. In fact, one could even argue that Honduras was completely under US rule during the late 1800s and early 1900s. 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. This book adds to this new conceptualization of Latin America’s Cold War era by extending it to musical culture as well. Check if you have access via personal or institutional login. 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. Only serious Congressional and public political mobilization could blunt the aggregation of covert powers. 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. The Soviet Union was the most active nation in using Costa Rica's respectability within Latin America to its advantage during the Cold War. 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. The year 1980 marked the opening of a decade of public controversy over U.S. refugee policy unprecedented since World War II. Military aid jumped from $6 million in 1980 to $82 million in 1982, and economic aid to El Salvador tripled during the same period to $189 million. 2020. Being a child of the '80s, I can remember the Soviet Union crumbling and newspapers full of headlines screaming 'End of the Cold War.' This combined political and economic challenge caused the United States to assist Guatemalan counterrevolutionaries and neighbouring Central American … 2020. 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? 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. Nevertheless, the pre-Cold War foreign policy organizations were forced to adapt or be threatened continually with irrelevance. Governments do too. Centralization also limited debate to expedite decisions and conferred greater responsiveness to presidential direction. However, institutional destruction proved much harder than institutional reorganization and creation, making the entire governing apparatus more complex over time. 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, … Panama, however, became part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. Alliances with local elites eager to reduce domestic challenges proved especially helpful. 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); … 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. Hochman, Gilberto In the 1970s, Congress took greater interest in reviewing and restricting the activities, authorities, and budgets of agencies involved in covert and clandestine actions. Military bases projected US power into regions bordering on Communist states throughout the world. Prioritizing Western political cohesion and military capacity; Supporting broader intervention and counterintervention in pro-Western and pro-Soviet states, respectively, coupled with economic and military assistance to the former; Pursuing détente and fewer U.S. entanglements in peripheral states; Cold War gray zone-like government organization was shaped by a mix of statutory and executive action. This also helps explain why the State Department suffered from more competitive organizations than the DoD. Repeated executive reorganization allowed the USG to adapt to both external threats and internal demands. The desire for unity of effort tended to drive presidents toward centralized organization. US ideological and cultural assets also helped. 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. Incidents like the Cuban Missile Crisis had Americans terrified of imminent nuclear war. December, 4th 2009. The foundations of the Cold War were broader than just the ideological struggle between capitalism and communism. 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. US involvement in Latin American affairs during the Cold War period was extraordinarily deep and, according to most scholars, generally malicious. The Cold War was a geopolitical chess match between the United States, the Soviet Union, and both parties’ allies in which the major power players sought to project their respective ideologies across the globe in the wake of colonialism’s collapse following World War Two. Fallout shelters and bomb drills were commonplace. In the public realm, debates over the issue of access to the documentary record have been the U.S. equivalent of a truth commission. Governments that collaborated closely with the United States often had to ignore or suppress local interests opposed to US policies. When it comes to their neighborhood, people can get pretty intolerant. Military bases were abandoned, and former Soviet allies began pivoting toward the U.S., and then later, to China. 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. 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. Birn, Anne-Emanuelle Close this message to accept cookies or find out how to manage your cookie settings. In its prosecution of the Cold War in the Third World, the United States enjoyed formidable advantages over its Soviet rival. and Since there was a huge connection, today's lesson will be dev… The United States deployed all of these resources in response to perceived affronts to its regime and policy preferences wherever they occurred. Economic strength gave US leaders a decided financial and material advantage over the Soviets. It was big news! 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. During the 1930’s, the US had been alarmed by Axis offering military cooperation with Latin American governments. Ranked #1 Think Tank in U.S. by Global Go To Think Tank Index, Contact H. Andrew Schwartz Chief Communications Officer Tel: 202.775.3242, Contact Caleb Diamond Media Relations Manager and Editorial Associate Tel: 202.775.3173. 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. and Not surprisingly, three of the most violent nations on the planet are in Central America, with Honduras and El Salvador topping the list. Soviet leaders feared and distrusted the United States, which was the only country with the atomic bomb — and which had used it. But Cuba and El Salvador seemed to be the two Latin American countries where the Cold War lived on. Feedback loop of growing responsibilities and resources and permitted organizational autonomy unprecedented in the century... And which had used it USG to adapt or be threatened continually with irrelevance the half. To this New conceptualization of Latin America being referenced very often designers had creative license my talked. 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