United States, Lyndon Johnson, Soviet Union Soviets discussed on Talking Politics

Talking Politics


If an invasion was declared, her airstrikes declared a submarine was depth charge that could have led to World War three. So it's a really close run thing because of this level of imperfect information. And I think the other thing it reveals and this is one of the paradox. Is international politics is that there is such a thing as too much strength. So there was the belief in the early nineteen sixties that there is a missile gap between the United States and the Soviet Union. And the belief on the United States part was that was a gap unfavorable to the United States. Well, in fact, it was the opposite of the United States had much greater military capacity in terms of its nuclear arsenal than the Soviet Union Soviets were aware of this. They were worried about intermediate nuclear forces in Europe, and they thought they had to balance that out by taking a big risk by trying to put missiles into Cuba. And so the fact of American strength superior strengthen nuclear weapons, had the effect of making the country much less secure. Whereas in when you think about conventional armaments, well, how can conventional armaments? How can you ever have too much? I suppose you can have too much right if it leads to balancing alliances coalitions of other countries against you, but nuclear weapons, right? This paradox of strength really comes to the fore and creates a kind of new appreciation in the minds of American policymakers. This by this point, all the countries you have these weapons Britain has them, France has them. I think by now Disraeli have won by this tweet tweet. Israel still has them right because they won't be the first introduced in the Middle East. So that's the official line. Anyway, wink, wink. Nudge nudge is one of the concerns for a long period about this and you touch earlier when you talked about the true ministration wanting to spread this technology has been to limit the spread of this technology. When does non proliferation become one of the goals of the nuclear age. One quick kind of nuance. Correction. Tumen doesn't want to spread nuclear weapons all over the place he wants to internationalize them. So he basically wants to take them out of the hands of states, at least this is the plan that detaches in the secretary of state and Lilienthal and Bernard Baruch trying to sell that ultimately doesn't work to just who would have control of them under that scheme. Basically, a United Nations agency would have had controlled them. This thing almost passes to, but basically. Falls against Soviet skepticism of the United States as well. We'll give up our nuclear weapons once we're sure that everybody else's relinquished all their nuclear material to this international agency, and then we'll go ahead which seems like a sucker spat to Joseph Stalin, right? Who's not the most trusting guy just ask them of his former generals in any event, serious thinking about non-proliferation, at least from the perspective of the United States in terms of keeping non-proliferation on a diplomatic basis, which is to say, the Iraq war is also about non-proliferation. You can pursue it and violent military means as well. But it really takes off under the Johnson Lyndon Johnson in stray Shen. So Johnson comes to the presidency after the assassination of JFK in nineteen sixty three Kennedy had been especially worried about nuclear proliferation in China. Mao had said things like, well, you know if nuclear war does occur and half of humanity as wiped out the other half will be socialist. Probably it'll be jolly good thing, right? So that made people including the Soviets very. Nervous about the idea of what it meant for communist China to have. It's hands on a nuclear arsenal. And when Johnson comes to the presidency shortly thereafter, the congress passes a resolution calling basically for the president to become more involved in diplomatic international non-proliferation agreements and Johnson signs onto this because you have to remember he's got a war in Vietnam. That's escalating, he's got the great society program at home. These things are going to be very expensive..

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