The Journal of Cold War Studies features peer-reviewed articles based on archival research in the former Communist world and in Western countries. Articles in the journal draw on declassified materials and new memoirs to illuminate and raise questions about numerous historical and theoretical concerns: theories of decision-making, deterrence, bureaucratic politics, institutional formation, bargaining, diplomacy, foreign policy conduct, and international relations.
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 1–2.
The Bay of Pigs Fiasco and the Kennedy Administration's Off-the-Record Briefings for Journalists
David M. Barrett
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 3–26.
After the failure of the April 1961 Bay of Pigs intervention in Cuba, senior officials from the Kennedy administration, including the president, devoted two days to off-the-record briefings for more than 200 journalists. Although President John F. Kennedy refused to assign blame, other officials were less circumspect, disagreeing about whether the Central Intelligence Agency or another part of the government was responsible for the failure. The most notable aspect of this episode is not that senior administration personnel discussed a covert action in the presence of journalists but that the briefings subsequently remained unknown. Some newspapers briefly mentioned them, but no book on the Bay of Pigs—from the 1960s through today—has mentioned that such briefings happened or described their content. Using primary-source materials (including fragments of the briefings’ transcript) plus some newspaper accounts, this article describes the conflicting opinions voiced at the briefings and explores why and how the Kennedy administration succeeded in keeping the encounters mostly unknown.
With Friends Like These: Australia, the United States, and Southeast Asian Détente
Andrea Benvenuti and David Martin Jones
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 27–57.
A generation of scholars has depicted the premiership of Labor Party leader Gough Whitlam as a watershed in Australian foreign policy. According to the prevailing consensus, Whitlam carved out a more independent and progressive role in international affairs without significantly endangering relations with Western-aligned states in East and Southeast Asia or with Australia's traditionally closest allies, the United States and the United Kingdom. This article takes issue with these views and offers a more skeptical assessment of Whitlam's diplomacy and questions his handling of Australia's alliance with the United States. In doing so, it shows that Whitlam, in his eagerness to embrace détente, reject containment, and project an image of an allegedly more progressive and independent Australia, in fact exacerbated tensions with Richard Nixon's Republican administration and caused disquiet among Southeast Asian countries that were aligned with or at least friendly toward the West.
Prelude to the Skybolt Crisis: The Kennedy Administration's Approach to British and French Strategic Nuclear Policies in 1962
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 58–109.
The speech delivered by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara on 16 June 1962 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is often cited for its significance in the enunciation of U.S. nuclear strategy, but the speech also featured passages decrying the existence of separate, national nuclear forces within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This article concentrates on the latter dimension of the speech by examining the context of McNamara's remarks and the reactions they provoked, particularly in Great Britain. A vociferous political debate erupted in the United Kingdom over the country's independent nuclear deterrent. The article presents new evidence about McNamara's thinking on independent nuclear forces during this period and shows that the speech had the unintended consequence of complicating Britain's attempts to enter the European Economic Community. The speech and the resulting debate were a crucial part of the sequence of events that produced the Skybolt crisis at the end of 1962.
U.S. Policy to Curb West European Nuclear Exports, 1974–1978
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 110–149.
After India's detonation of a nuclear explosive in 1974 publicly demonstrated the proliferation risks from nuclear assistance, the U.S. government increased its efforts to control nuclear exports worldwide. In doing so, U.S. policymakers faced challenges from two major West European allies, France and West Germany, both of which pursued their commercial interests through nuclear exports to countries such as Pakistan, Brazil, Iran, and India, among others. Despite multilateral efforts including the formation of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and bilateral negotiations with the supplier governments, the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter attained only partial success. The commercial interests of nuclear firms, the influence of pro-export coalitions inside supplier countries, and the emerging importance of the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries as alternative suppliers influenced the outcome. The United States was more successful in restraining the French through a series of quid pro quo arrangements than it ever was with the West Germans. Using recently declassified archival documents, this article sheds new light on U.S. nonproliferation policy in the aftermath of the 1973 oil price shock.
Toward “World Support” and “The Ultimate Judgment of History”: The U.S. Legal Case for the Blockade of Cuba during the Missile Crisis, October–November 1962
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 150–173.
The immense secondary literature on the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 tends to overlook the U.S. government's promotion of a case in international law to legitimize and generate support for the naval blockade of Cuba. This article explores the development and presentation of the legal case and then gauges its success by looking at the response of various non-Communist governments. Those governments endorsed U.S. policy despite, not because of, the U.S. legal case, which they found highly questionable. The analysis here draws extensively on archival sources as well as on the latest published research and presents a fresh contribution to the historiography about the most dangerous confrontation of the Cold War.
Chinese Society amid Mao's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution: The Roots and Nature of the Tragedy
Sergey Radchenko, Joseph Torigian, Radoslav Yordanov, and Frank Dikötter
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 174–196.
From Selma to Moscow: How Human Rights Activists Transformed U.S. Foreign Policy.
William Michael Schmidli
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 197–199.
Democracy Promotion, National Security and Strategy: Foreign Policy under the Reagan Administration
Rasmus Sinding Søndergaard
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 199–201.
Bojkot igrzysk olimpijskich jako instrument polityki międzynarodowej w latach 1976–1988
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 201–203.
Visions, Votes and Vetoes: The Empty Chair Crisis and the Luxembourg Compromise Thirty Years On
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 203–205.
International Development: A Postwar History
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 206–207.
East Punk Memories
Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2: 207–209.