Nuclear issues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


John F. Kennedy became president in 1961, at the height of the Cold War, and was thus involved in many issues related to nuclear weapons and the strategic arms race. He discovered that the “missile gap” was a myth; he pursued a national security strategy of “flexible response,” intended to reduce America’s dependence on nuclear weapons; conversely, he accelerated the arms race with a significant nuclear buildup but also helped to stabilize it with some qualitative steps; he presided over two of the most dangerous nuclear crises of the Cold War, the Berlin crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis; he briefly flirted with an expanded civil defense program; he grappled with a series of nuclear sharing issues involving NATO allies; he resumed atmospheric nuclear testing; he tried to slow or halt nuclear proliferation; and he concluded the first significant arms control agreement, the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to John F. Kennedy
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118608760
ISBN (Print)9781444350364
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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