Involvement of Jimmy Carter in the Cold War

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The Cold War, which lasted from 1947 to 1991, was an illustration of the open contempt between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies. There are many reasons for the start of this stretched-out demonstration, but a few include: The Soviet Union’s fear of the atomic bomb, their dislike of capitalism, and the American fear of a communist attack. It was waged on multiple fronts, but it was never fought directly. In fact, it was fought through proxy wars, the space or “brain” race, and the arms race. By the end of WWII, the American government decided to implement its policy of containment, specifically of its tension with the USSR. President Nixon decided that it would be best to use diplomacy to lower hostility in the world, instead of military action. This led to the U.N. recognizing the communist government of China, as well as establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. The policy of détente was also adopted towards the USSR. The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) was signed a while later. This banned the manufacture of nuclear missiles by both nations, as well as attempted to reduce the threat of nuclear war. Despite the fact that this large amount of progress was made, the Cold War fired up against under Reagan. He believed that the spread of communism threatened freedom in anyplace around the world. Because of this, he provided aid to anticommunist governments. While this was happening, the USSR was disintegrating: by 1991, it had fallen apart, marking the end of the Cold War.

In Mark Beeson’s paper, Rise of the ‘Neocons’ and the Evolution of American Foreign Policy, he introduces the idea that ideas are normally spread downwards from the ruling elite to the masses. The state establishes the perceived norms of the nation, which then introduces interdependence (reciprocity). Morera has a different take on this topic. In his paper, Gramsci and Democracy, he states that ideas flow downward from the intellectuals that codify these perceived norms to the masses. The resistors of these norms are targeted by the state. This is a clear example of a semi-periphery state, where the state deals with their own resistors. Yilmatz argues that the nation becomes a hegemonic power through its use of soft power and technology. Its hegemonic position also arises from its structural power. It must first establish its own structure before attempting to spread its values and norms through other states. From the analysis of these three articles, hegemony can be defined as the assertion of one nation or power over another. This nation uses its influence to resolve international conflicts, whether they were initially involved in it or not.

The domestic policies implemented by Carter resulted from tactics to lead the people by setting an example, but proved to be the opposite, as the people started to doubt his capability. His first major policy was known as stagflation, the combination of high inflation with high employment rates and static demand in the economy. At the time that Carter was inaugurated, the economy was recovering from the recession of the 1970s. It ended in March 1973, and had initiated a phase of slow growth soon after. Inflation appeared to be a major issue, both during the recession and after it. It initially was blamed on fluctuating oil prices, money hungry businessmen, union leaders, and currency speculators. However, it was clear that monetary policies were the main cause. Prior to Carter’s term, the annual inflation rate increased from 4.8% in 1976 to 6.8% in 1977. As a solution, the administration implemented an anti-inflation program, in hopes of solving their biggest issue. They promised to “hold down government spending, reduce the budget deficit, and eliminate government waste”, as well as slash federal hiring, cut the federal work force, oppose future reduction in federal income taxes. Many believed that the plan would fall unfairly on the poor, but the administration assured the public that it would not, and that the best thing that he can do is to combat inflation because they are the ones most affected by it. Along with inflation, unemployment was a major issue in the country.

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The oil crisis not only shocked the United States, but also the entire world. There was a decreased oil output in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Protests sparked in Iran due to the fleeing of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the takeover of the government by Ayatollah Sheikh Khomeini. These protests disrupted the oil sector, suspending exports and production. Production reduced from 6 million barrels per day to 1.5 million, mostly due the skilled and foreign workers fleeing the country. As a result, the Carter administration began phased deregulation of oil prices on April 5, 1979. At the time, the market price per barrel was $15.85. Oil prices soon began to rise swiftly, doubling to $39.50 in just 12 months (this was an all-time highest real price until March 3, 2008). The deregulation of prices allowed for oil output from the United States to rise sharply, particularly from the Prudhoe Bay fields. Meanwhile, the total amount of oil imports from Alaska decreased (oil was coming from North Slope Borough, Alaska, which was a census-designated place). There had been an oil crisis in 1973, which had already instilled panic in motorists, causing them to create long lines at gas stations in hopes of obtaining as much petroleum as they could.

Many people believed that the oil companies had fabricated these oil shortages in order to drive up prices, and help their businesses. Carter’s foreign policies furthered the position of the United States in international negotiations, as they displayed that the government was capable of initiating and maintaining contact between nations. Camp David Accords: From May 1948, there has been ongoing conflict between the Arab states (Palestine) and Israel. The real conflict draws back to the 1910s. Both the Jews, who were Zionists, and Arabs claimed Palestine. Fighting began in 1929, and Great Britain sought out to limit Jewish immigration into the land in efforts of conciliating with the Arabs.

Despite this, many Jews illegally entered Palestine, due to the Holocaust. Tensions between the two groups continued, and Great Britain was unable to find a feasible solution, and ended up passing down the issue to the United Nations. In 1947, the committee voted to partition Palestine from its royal mandate with Britain. According to the terms of the partition, the Jews were allocated more than half of Palestine, despite the fact that they made up less than half of Palestine’s population. There was pushback from the Arabs, the Jews secured their share, as well as a portion of the Palestinian land, which added more fuel to the fire. Britain officially withdrew on May 14, 1948, and the State of Israel was declared. This marked the start of the first Arab-Israeli war. From the start of his term, Carter was determined on finding a peace deal based on UN Resolution 242, established in November 1967. This called for the removal of Israel from territories that they had occupied, and an answer to the matter of displaced Palestinian refugees, a result of the war and the creation of Israel. Carter initiated contact with the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, who wanted the Sinai Peninsula (located between Egypt and Israel) to be returned to Egypt, as well as peace amongst the people, and a stronger relationship with the United States. This was relayed to the Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, who, surprisingly, was fully willing to consider these terms. The administration constructed an invitation letter sent to PM Begin, in which Carter suggested that the three meet at Camp David, a presidential retreat in Maryland, in hopes that a peace settlement would emerge from it.

Talks began on September 5 and ended on September 17, 1978. It appeared that much progress had been made. The agreements made included: full implementation of provisions of UN Resolution 242, including withdrawal of Israeli forces and civilians from West Bank lands that were acquired during the Six Day War, the establishment of a self-governing authority in West Bank and Gaza, the recognition of the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people”, the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and the reopening of the Suez Canal to Israeli ships (their ships were previously banned from navigating in those waters). Peace negotiations continued in the coming years, with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, which had similar arrangements in regards to Gaza and the West Bank. This event possibly shows the power of Carter and the U.S. government in the best manner. The United States was in no way involved in the conflict at first, but had somehow mediated the resolving of a long-standing feud between states. This raised the country in rankings, in regards to its ability to negotiate in international settings.

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