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Kennedy 's Policy Goals During The Cold War

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Kennedy learned various lessons from Cuba and Berlin such as: looking for diplomatic solutions, being skeptical of his advisors, and to not act without plausible deniability. Kennedy would carry over those lessons for the rest of his term as President. Had Kennedy remained President from 1964-1968, the lessons acquired from Cuba and Berlin would have prevented an escalation in Vietnam. Kennedy viewed getting involved in Vietnam as a disruption to his foreign policy goals. One of Kennedy’s primary concerns during the Cold War was preventing escalation with the Soviet Union, it was a larger concern to him than to his advisors. The United States lacked support from other major countries and by interfering in Vietnam, the relationship with China that Kennedy wanted would have been negatively impacted. Kennedy’s priority during the Cold War was to defuse conflicts in Europe, and Vietnam would have been a secondary struggle with no real benefit. Kennedy demonstrated his skepticism to his advisor’s proposals by rejecting Rostow’s Berlin proposals. As a second term President, Kennedy would only have more freedoms when making foreign policy decisions. Kennedy did not want militaristic escalation in Vietnam, and would ensure that escalation would not take place. Although Kennedy did want to prevent the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, sending ground troops was not the way he wanted to accomplish his goals. Kennedy would carry over his diplomatic intentions or quick action
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