Kennedy, John F. (1917–63)

Colman, Jonathan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1223-9679 (2018) Kennedy, John F. (1917–63). In: The Encyclopedia of Diplomacy. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-88791-2

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President (1961–63) John F. Kennedy's foreign policy record was mixed: he was responsible for a disastrous attack on socialist Cuba by émigrés in April 1961 but acted much more judiciously during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October the following year. The Soviet renewal of its challenge to the Western position in Berlin in 1961 culminated in the communist authorities building the Berlin Wall, which Kennedy was willing to accept (despite criticism) on the grounds that it helped to preserve peace. He was responsible for increasing the US commitment in Vietnam but resisted pressure to send combat troops. He showed growing maturity during his brief time in office, with his main achievement being the Nuclear Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

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