11 July Discussion Questions


These are questions we will discuss in class on Tuesday. Many of the questions require you to interpret what Cohen has presented rather than finding exact answers in the text. There is no need to prepare detailed answers to all of these questions but you should be able to discuss several in class discussion.


 “Chap. 1: The Cold War as History”


According to Cohen, why does the US maintain a large navy and air-force but not as large an army after World War II? How role do international military requirements play compared to domestic political or economic factors?


Why does the Middle East become more important after WWII?


Why does the US reverse its opposition to colonialism in deed if not in word?


What is the effect of the Vietnam war on US foreign policy? How did the US “loss” in Vietnam affect the course of the Cold War? Put differently, did Vietnam matter?


How did the “imperial” role of the US with its allies and clients during the Cold War differ from that of the Soviet Union?


“Chap. 2: The End of the Cold War International System”


What caused the end of the Cold War, according to Cohen?


What were the “handicaps” that Reagan’s successor, G.H.W. Bush, faced?


How does US policy toward China in 1989 compare with its policy toward Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union?


Why are Bush and his advisors so focused on Europe compared to Korea, Iraq, and Haiti, and Panama?


What are US war aims in Iraq in 1990-91? Why does the US not depose Saddam Hussein?


Why does Bush choose to intervene in Somalia but not in Yugoslavia?