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17.4 The Cold War between 1953 and 1963

During this phase of the cold war, the US continued her policy of military and economic offensive. On September 8, 1954, the Treaty of Collective Defense of South-East Asia, known as SEATO was signed by the US, Great Britain, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines, for the collective defense for preserving peace and security in the "treaty area."

The Baghdad Pact which was signed in 1955 between Iraq and Turkey, had military and economic aspects. Britain, Pakistan and the US entered into the Pact later. It was directed not only against the Soviet Union, but also against the non-aligned Arab states.

On May 19, 1954, the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement was signed between the governments of Pakistan and the US

The Warsaw Pact was the Treaty of Friendship, co-operation and Mutual Assistance signed by Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Rumania and the Soviet Union in May 1955, in order to meet the challenge from the US and her allies.

Indo-China was a troubled area after World War II. After the Geneva Agreements were signed, Vietnam was partitioned so that North Vietnam was to be under the Communists, and South Vietnam was to be under the French. However, the whole of South Vietnam fell into the hands of the Communists in April 1975. The cold war in Indo-China ended in the complete victory of the Soviet Union and Communist China, against the US and her allies.

Exhibit 17.4
The USSR and US leaders battle it out during the Cold War

The Cuban Crisis

Thanks to Cuba, Latin America obtained a first-hand experience of the cold war.

Cold War in Africa

In Africa, the Soviet Union helped the Congo in order to balance the influence of the Western powers.

The Suez Canal crisis in 1956 after the Suez Canal was nationalized by President Nasser of Egypt. In a bid to re-exert international control over the canal, Israeli forces attacked Egyptian positions in the Suez Canal zone. Britain and France joined the attack against Egypt. Eventually, the US put pressure on Britain and France who withdrew their forces from Egypt. This resulted in the resignation of British prime minister Eden. The Australian prime minister, Robert Menzies was appointed to bring about a settlement. However, his mission was unsuccessful. Besides the military intervention in the whole affair met with Soviet protest. America too did not support this. Hence US relations with Britain, France and Australia were strained for a while.

The Eisenhower Doctrine was enunciated by President Eisenhower for the Middle East, proclaiming the American intention to use armed forces against any communist aggression in the Middle East. The Eisenhower Doctrine aimed at providing economic and military aid to any nation threatened by Communism.

The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed on August 5, 1963 by the US, the Soviet Union and Great Britain. It provided for a limited ban on nuclear tests in the atmosphere, beyond its limits, including territorial waters or high seas.

Exhibit 17.5
The Cuban leader, Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro took over the reigns of the Cuban government from January 1, 1959, after overthrowing the then leader Fulgencio Batista. He went on to nationalize American-owned industrial estates and companies and then struck a trade agreement with the Soviet Union. This naturally led to a deterioration in US-Cuban relations. The US broke off all ties with Cuba in 1961. After this, with Kennedy’s backing the deposed Batista’s supporters invaded Cuba, landing in the Bay of Pigs. The rebels were easily crushed by the Cuban forces. This event resulted in Castro declaring himself a Marxist and Cuba becoming communist.

It was found from aerial surveys that medium-range ballistic missiles had been installed in Cuba. On October 22, 1962, President Kennedy declared that there was to be a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment bound for Cuba. This came into effect on October 24, 1962. Ultimately, the Soviet Union agreed to dismantle the Cuban missile sites and transport the missiles back to the Soviet Union. Thus the imminent danger of a world war was averted, owing to the restraint shown by Khrushchev on this occasion.

The Cuban crisis had several consequences, of which the danger of a nuclear holocaust was the most significant.

Exhibit 17.6
A Photograph of the Cuban missile site

[next page]


17.0 - Introduction
17.1 - The Development of the Cold War
17.2 - The Cold War between 1945 and 1947
17.3 - The Cold War between 1947 and 1953
17.4 - The Cold War between 1953 and 1963
17.5 - The Cold War between 1963 and 1970
17.6 - The period of Detente(1970 - 1980)
17.7 - The Cold War after 1980
17.8 - The meaning of Disarmament
17.9 - Reduction of weapons Nuclear and Conventional
17.10 - Disarmament and the UN
17.11 - The Hazards of Nuclear War
17.12 - The Non-Military Dimension of Nuclear Energy
17.13 - Dates & Events

Chapter 18


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