Since the start of the Cold War in 1945, it seemed as if both the USSR and the USA, the two most powerful and influential superpowers, were set to be opponents in the game for world domination. Indeed, as no actual fighting and direct collision between the two nations took place, it was public opinion that the world would witness another, and most likely a nuclear World War. Nevertheless, critical events during the Khrushchev period between 1953 and 1964 argue that a thawing of relations between the East and the West could bring the world to peace. This period was characterized by Soviet opening of borders and Khrushchev's willingness to accept peaceful-coexistence with the Americans. On the other hand, the Americans under the Eisenhower and Kennedy administration maintained a tough stance on Communism to prevent its expansion whilst at the same time, Khrushchev tried to push forward Soviet interests in those areas where they seemed vital. Hence to what extent was the Khrushchev period, a period of thaw during the Cold War? To compare the situation from the late 1940s to the beginning of the 1960s, we have to analyze the foreign policies of both Khrushchev for the USSR and those of Eisenhower and Kennedy for the USA. It is their foreign policy that truly exposes their individualistic motives whist maintaining that the thaw was a practical' way for both sides to prevent a devastating nuclear war.
[...] Thus only a limited thaw existed during the 1950's as Khrushchev would only permit a little bit of freedom but not too much. As seen by the Hungarian uprising, any attempt against the communist government would end in a blood bath. What is interesting in the handling of this crisis is how the Americans appeared to be giving encouragements to East Europeans to rebel with hints that they might come to help. It had now become know that there was never a real chance of this, even if Foster Dulles had given that impression. [...]
[...] It is true that Khrushchev felt like a boxed in man by the Americans as he cited that the US missiles in turkey were only 150 miles from the USSR, which frightened the soviets of an imminent US attack. Hence Khrushchev began to look for a way to counter the United States lead and Cuba was the answer, shouldn't the Soviet Union have the right to do the same as America?” and he was right. For the Russians, this was the opportunity to gain support and influence in the Pacific. [...]
[...] In addition the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 1955 was the most important development in the thaw of the Cold War as it brought together Soviet and American efforts to a mutual goal, the independence of Austria. Like Germany, Austria had been separated into zones, splitting the West from the East. The three western powers organized the recovery of their zone while the Soviets squeezed out all of its resources. Hence the Russians were afraid that a merge between Western Austria and West Germany could happen right beneath their eyes. [...]
[...] Therefore the Khrushchev period was only a limited period of thaw as the actions that took place were not directed exactly at the opponent they were trying to weaken. Hence tension was palpable whenever the opponent took knowledge of what his enemy was discreetly undertaking. In the later years of Eisenhower's mandatory, the Cold War was at its pick. By 1957, the world had witnesses the inefficiency of Washington's foreign policy and how badly dealt was the Cold War in Europe. [...]
[...] Notwithstanding, Khrushchev's main motive for a thaw was to limit the chance of engaging the USA into a nuclear war but the situation in Moscow was pushing him to the brink. By 1960 Khrushchev had more trouble satisfying the hard-line communists in the soviet government than with the Americans. Embarrassed by the critics made by Mao as being too weak on the Americans, Khrushchev had to become aggressive to keep his popularity up in the USSR. In the USA, Eisenhower's outstanding achievement was to avoid war. [...]
using our reader.