Foreign Policy of John F. Kennedy

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Sarah Stone Professor Ferrari 10 April 2012 John F. Kennedy Even before John Fitzgerald Kennedy began his presidency in 1961, he viewed foreign policy as one of the most important aspects of our lives. In one speech he said, “Foreign policy today, irrespective of what we might wish, in its impact on our daily lives, overshadows everything else. Expenditures, taxation, domestic prosperity, the extent of social sciences — all hinge on the basic issue of war or peace” (JFK Library). As the first president born in the 20th century, the youngest president to be elected to office, and the youngest president to die in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s time in office was brief, but full of difficult challenges in foreign affairs. I feel that he…show more content…
I admire Kennedy’s optimism in the possibility of compromising with the Soviets, but I also feel that he needed to be stronger and more direct with them. Kennedy’s structure of foreign policy was much different from Eisenhower’s foreign policy. During the Eisenhower years, America had a detailed national security structure, with a “massive retaliation” idea, while Kennedy was more informal, with his “flexible answer”, which I think fit his New Frontier model. After the rigid structure of Eisenhower, Kennedy and his advisors wanted a new, less formal way of dealing with international affairs. He was an activist, who was very popular with generations both young and old, and I think that he brought a new idea of informality to the way the White House worked. For example, he preferred to work directly with the officers in the Department of State, and he relied on his assistant for national security affairs, McGeorge Bundy, instead of the usual Operations Coordinating Board. In dealing with crises, and seeking advice, Kennedy had a small number of close advisors that were also his friends, one of which was his brother Robert Kennedy, the attorney general (Miller Center). Very early in Kennedy’s presidency he had his first major conflict in foreign affairs in the Bay of Pigs, which ended in disaster. He was told of a secret plan
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