Thursday, December 22, 2011


NSC 68 is a document, written in 1950 to analyze the course of action available to the President of the United States in defense to the Soviet Union during the ongoing Cold War. NSC 68 focuses on the military, economic, political and psychological standpoints of the United States in relation to the Soviet Union.  NSC 68 was presented to President Harry S. Truman by his National Security Council and was primarily written by Paul H. Nitze.  Nitze proposed that the U.S. take a more drastic and aggressive form of foreign policy to safeguard the nation, as well as the free world from communist rule.  NSC 68 focused on the need for a massive military buildup, an increase in military funding for the armed forces, and authorization for the development of the hydrogen bomb.

In response to President Truman's request to the National Security Council, NSC 68 was to conduct "a re-examination of our objectives in peace and war and of the effect of these objectives on our strategic plans".  NSC 68 called for immediate action and contained a detailed outline portraying a proposal for extreme changes in the current U.S. foreign policy of containment. NSC 68 proposed the need for an aggressively larger, and more prepared military, including higher funding to back its expansion.  At the time of NSC 68 most agreed that diplomatic solutions were fully exhausted and military might was the only thing that would slow the Communist expansion. 

NSC 68 was an important Cold War document because it presented a world view of that conflict, which engaged U.S. society for nearly forty years. It portrayed a world divided by an epic struggle between two ideologies, in which the outcome could only be victory or defeat. It provided the justification for rearming the United States after World War II while prompting an arms race. Although actual war with the Soviet Union never occurred, NSC 68 helped put the United States on a war footing for generations, thereby contributing to the shaping of American society and culture during the second half of the twentieth century.  NSC-68 was an important part of an overall shift in American foreign policy to a full containment strategy that was established by following administrations. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Our Days of Weakness are Over!"

The invasion of Grenada, codenamed "Operation Urgent Fury", was the 1983 US-led invasion of the Caribbean Island (located 100 miles north of Venezula).
A bizarre series of events took place in mid October on the tiny Caribbean island. This was the first major operation conducted by the US Military since the Vietnam War.
President Ronald Reagan initiated the invasion, and created the National Security Decision Directive, which authorized military commanders to prepare options for possible action in Grenada.
The invasion was triggered by building tensions between the militaries, and the fact that President Reagan was informed of the "secret" construction of large airports and long runways, which to Americans was a threat of an attack.
There were several hundered American students who were attending a medical school in Grenada, so the main concern was their evacuation and safety.
The people had voted Reagan into presidency in 1980 because he promised to restore the "standing" of the
United States. Grenada gave him this chance..
Vice President George Bush called to report that the Special
Situation Group favored an operation that would not only
"secure American citizens, but restore democratic rule and end Cuban influence...that meant a full-scale invasion and overthrow of Grenada's government.
"If we've got to go there"..."We might as well do all that needs to be done"
- Ronald Reagan
The United States had no choice but to act strongly and decisively in order to defend its nation from any outside threats. The government of the United States had to save Grenada and the region from a "brutal gang of Leftist thugs".
There are two basic reasons that determined the President's decision to invade Grenada,
First, was his concertn for the welfare of American citizens living on Grenada.
Second, due to elements of grave concern to their safety and peace taking place. United States needed to assist in insuring and reinstating peace and stability in Grenada.
The Invasion aimed for and resulted in the restoration of a constituional government. Nearly 8,000 soldiers, airmen, and Marines participated in the invasion. Only 19 Americans were killed.
The invasion was justified and had support of Americans and the surrounding countries. University students were at risk and could have been taken hostage, the US had to take control of the situation at hand.
The problems that were faced during the invasion were due to lack of intelligence.
Americans faced difficulties navagating through unknown territory. An analysis by the United States Department of Defense showed a need for improved communications and coordination between branches of the United States forces and outsiders.
This video shows President Ronald Reagan discussing the invasion of Grenada.