Foreign Policy: Evaluating Nixon's and Eisenhower's Use of Power

3301 words 14 pages
Modern Presidency
Research Paper

Foreign Policy: Evaluating Nixon’s and Eisenhower’s’ Use of Power
Both President Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon were presidents during the cold war. Their uses of presidential power within foreign policy greatly shaped the United State’s strategies in cold war politics. Comparing their actions as Chief Diplomat, Chief Legislator, Chief Executive and Commander in Chief shows how they have used both their formal and informal powers to lead the nation. President Eisenhower was much more successful in gaining congress approval through working with them yet had much more trouble dealing with peace abroad. Nixon was able to use powers to make successful gains within the cold war abroad, yet had trouble
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However, China was angered when Nixon increased US troops in Cambodia and ceased talks. Like Eisenhower, Nixon began to try to relay messages through other parties such as Pakistan and Romania to China. After a year of sending these messages, China finally opened up to discussion once again (PBS Nixon 2002, 2). President Nixon then used another informal power by setting up United States ping pong players to visit China. Before Nixon had done this, the United states and China had not had a cultural exchange since 1949. “Ping pong diplomacy” pleased most Americans and helped to advance Nixon’s relations with China. By doing so, he also helped improve his relations with Russia because they feared a strong relationship between China and the United States (PBS Nixon 2002, 2). In 1972, Nixon was finally able to meet with Chinese official, Lai, in China. During this meeting, Nixon did not make any agreements with China, but this started a friendly relationship with one another. Due to his strategies, Nixon was also able to meet with a Soviet official, Leonid Brezhnev, where he signed ten formal agreements, including an anti-ballistic treaty and the SALT Treaty (PBS Nixon 2002, 2-3). Eisenhower and Nixon both had the same approaches to using their formal powers as Chief Diplomat. They both wanted to make agreements with communist nations. However, Nixon was able to use more planning within making these agreements.