The orientation of the American foreign policy establishment toward Communism in the Third World
AuthorVorkink, LeGrand Stuart
KeywordsCommunism -- Developing countries.
Socialism -- Developing countries.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Developing countries.
Developing countries -- Foreign relations -- United States.
AdvisorSullivan, Michael P.
Committee ChairSullivan, Michael P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study has been an attempt to describe and project trends in the perceptions of key American foreign policy-makers with respect to "Communism" in the Third World. In order to expedite matters, it focuses specifically on the verbalized concerns of the Presidency and the State Department with various Communist agents operating in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The period covered by the study spans from 1960 to 1971. An overriding purpose has been to measure as objectively and systematically as possible what in the past has generally been left to subjective impression. The questions guiding the research are listed as follows: (1) During the past decade what changes have occurred in American assessments of the Communist threat to the Third World? (2) Which agents of Communism (e.g., Communist China, International Communism or the Viet Cong) are perceived to be the most threatening to American and Third World interests? (3) Which Third World targets of Communism (e.g., Latin America, Asia or Africa) are most strongly threatened? (4) What are the projected or feasible directions of these American preoccupations for the early 1970s? (5) How closely do Presidential and State Department assessments of the agents and targets resemble each other? In order to respond to these questions thereby analyzing the perceptions or verbal preoccupations of the designated decisional units regarding Third World Communism, a manual form of content analysis was utilized. Indicators were developed by means of a procedure based on the Stanford Political Dictionary developed by Holsti, and associates. This tool is designed to investigate psycho-political factors of state behavior incorporating the normative (good-bad), potency (strong-weak) and behavior (active-passive) dimensions of the semantic differential. The data was gathered from (1) Public papers of the President, 1960-1968; (2) Weekly Compilations of Presidential Documents, 1968-1971; and (3) The Department of State Bulletin, 1960-1968. From a general perspective, the data reveals that the perceived Communist threat to the Third World gains intensity beginning in 1960 and continuing until 1967 or 1968. At this point an overall decline in concern emerges. In some cases this change in perception occurred as early as 1963. The study analyzed American preoccupation with what was termed general manifestations of Communism: International (Communism perceived as an international, monolithic conspiracy), National (embracing national based agents such as the Soviet Union or Cuba) and the Internal Communism (Communist phenomena emerging and operating within nations). It showed that International Communism has almost been erased as a threat in the eyes of the Presidents and State Department. Their greatest concern is directed toward national Communist entities. Concern with Internal Communism increased during the period. However until 1964, American preoccupation with the international manifestation had been greater than it had been with the internal or national aspects. With the exception of North Vietnam, the Communist nations (the Soviet Union, Communist Chine, Cuba, and North Korea) gave rise to relatively inconsistent, less intense preoccupations from the decisional units. As the period (1960 to 1971) closes, the ranking of Communist nations from the most threatening to the least is (1) North Vietnam, (2) Communist China, (3) the Soviet Union, (4) North Korea and (5) Cuba. But which Third World continents do Americans feel are most threatened by Communist agents? The data indicates that the concern is greatest for Asia and least for Africa, with Latin America ranking in the middle. In comparing the decisional unit preoccupations with Communist agents, the Presidency tends to view them as more threatening to American and Third World interests. However, relative to the Third World targets, the Presidency and the State Department display very little difference.
Degree ProgramGraduate College