Chapter 4 – U.S. “Containment” Strategy from Truman to Johnson - 1950 to 1968

      CENTO—February 1955. The Central and Near East Treaty Organization (CENTO), also known as the Baghdad Pact, was established in Baghdad, Iraq on February 24, 1955 as a “pact of mutual cooperation” between the Kingdom of Iraq, the Republic of Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Dominion of Pakistan, and the Kingdom of Iran. The Pact, which was encouraged by the United States, called on the parties, consistent with Article 51 of the UN Charter, to:

co-operate for their security and defence, . . . refrain from any interference whatsoever in each other’s internal affairs, . . . [and be] open for accession to any member of the Arab League or any other State actively concerned with the security and peace in this region.9

Economic Alliances. The Rome Treaty (EEC)—March 1957. On March 25, 1957, the Western European democratic allies established the European Economic Community (the “Common Market”) to review common economic issues beginning in January 1958. This was followed in March 1958 by the opening meeting of the European Economic Assembly, the deliberative body of the Coal and Steel Community, the Common Market and Euratom (on civilian nuclear issues).

6. Two Eisenhower Arms Control Proposals: Atoms for Peace—1953, Open Skies—1955

While the events reviewed above were taking place, President Eisenhower (the former senior commander of Allied troops in the European Theater in the Second World War and in post-war NATO headquarters) advanced two far-reaching proposals in the area of arms control, but both were rejected by the Soviet leaders. The first of these proposals became a precursor to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“Atoms for Peace” Proposal. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on December 8, 1953, Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” Proposal reviewed nuclear energy’s peaceful potential but also enumerated the fearful power of atomic weapons and their likely proliferation. It then proposed that the existing nuclear powers:

to the extent permitted by elementary prudence, should begin now and continue to make joint contributions from their stockpiles of normal uranium and fissionable materials to an international atomic energy agency . . . under the aegis of the United Nations. The ratios of contributions, the procedures and other details would properly be within the scope of the “private conversations” I have referred to earlier. . . . [The AEA would] devise methods whereby this fissionable material would be allocated to serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind . . . agriculture, medicine, and other peaceful activities . . . [especially] to provide abundant electrical energy. . . . The United States pledges . . . its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma—to devote its entire heart and mind to finding the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.10

Eisenhower’s proposal led to the formation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an organization subject to United Nations rules, including Security Council vetoes. The veto significantly handicaps the organization’s ability to inspect potentially dual-purpose, nuclear-related equipment and sites in nations ruled or protected by dictatorships that are determined to conceal atomic weapons programs such as 21st century North Korea and Iran.

“Open Skies” Proposal—1955. Eisenhower’s “Open Skies” Proposal, directed particularly to the Soviet Union, was presented in an address to a multilateral conference of the U.N. Subcommittee on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland on July 21, 1955 in connection with a “Big Four” summit of the U.S., U.K., the Soviet Union, France. In his proposal, Eisenhower indicated U.S. readiness “to enter into a sound and reliable agreement making possible the reduction of armaments” by focusing on three early steps:

To give to each other a complete blueprint of our military establishments, from beginning to end, from one end of our countries to the other; lay out the establishments and provide the blueprints to each other.

Next, to provide within our countries facilities for aerial photography to the other country . . . where you can make all the pictures you choose and take them to your own country to study, you to provide exactly the same facilities for us and we to make these examinations. . . . [Finally] that we instruct our representatives in the Subcommittee on Disarmament . . . to give priority effort to the study of inspection and reporting . . . [that] could well include a step by step testing of inspection and reporting methods . . . to develop . . . mutual confidence.11

[Book pg. 82]