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Encyclopedia > Brinkmanship
The handling of the Cuban missile crisis has been described as brinkmanship.
The handling of the Cuban missile crisis has been described as brinkmanship.

Brinkmanship is the policy or practice of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome. It occurs in international politics, foreign policy and (in contemporary settings) in military strategy involving the threatened use of nuclear weapons. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1236, 314 KB) Aerial view showing missile launch site on Cuba 1962. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1236, 314 KB) Aerial view showing missile launch site on Cuba 1962. ... USAF reconnaissance photo of one of the suspected launch sites The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States regarding the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. ... International relations (IR) is an academic and public policy field, a branch of political science, dealing with the foreign policy of states within the international system, including the roles of international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs). ... A foreign policy is a set of political goals that seeks to outline how a particular country will interact with the other countries of the world. ... Military stratagem in the Battle of Waterloo. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ...


This maneuver of pushing a situation to the brink succeeds by forcing the opposition to back down and make concessions. This might be achieved through diplomatic maneuvers by creating the impression that one is willing to use extreme methods rather than concede. During the Cold War, the threat of nuclear force was often used as such an escalating measure. This page is about negotiations; for the board game, see Diplomacy (game). ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ...

Contents

Origins

The term brinkmanship was introduced during the Cold War by United States Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who advocated such a one-upmanship policy against the Soviet Union. In an article published in Life Magazine, Dulles defined the policy of brinkmanship as "the ability to get to the verge without getting into the war". His critics blamed him for damaging relations with communist states and contributing to the Cold War. For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... Seal of the United States Department of State. ... John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American statesman who served as Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. ... One-upmanship is the systematic and conscious practice of making ones associates feel inferior and thereby gaining the status of being one-up on them, as described by Stephen Potter in his tongue-in-cheek self-help books, and in film and television derivatives from them. ... A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ...


Brinkmanship is ostensibly the escalation of threats to achieve one's aims. Eventually, the threats involved might become so huge as to be unmanageable at which point both sides are likely to back down. This was the case during the Cold War, as the escalation of threats of nuclear war is mutually suicidal.


Benefits

Brinkmanship became very important in United States foreign policy during Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency. The American public sought to win the Cold War and also wanted lower taxes. Brinkmanship was a cheap alternative to fighting actual wars. D. D. Eisenhower during WWII Dwight David Eisenhower (born David Dwight Eisenhower, October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969), nicknamed Ike, was an American soldier and politician, who served as the thirty-fourth President of the United States (1953-1961). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Dwight D. Eisenhower. ...


Dangers

The dangers of brinkmanship as a political or diplomatic tool can be understood as a slippery slope: In order for brinkmanship to be effective, the threats used are continuously escalated. However, a threat is not worth anything unless it is credible; at some point, the aggressive party may have to back up their claim to prove their commitment to action. The further one goes, the greater the chance of things sliding out of control. In debate or rhetoric, the slippery slope is an argument for the likelihood of one event given another. ...


The British intellectual Bertrand Russell compared nuclear brinkmanship to the game of chicken[1]. The principle between the two is the same, to create immense pressure in a situation until one person or party backs down. Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell OM FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, and mathematician. ... It has been suggested that Peace war game be merged into this article or section. ...


References

  1. ^ Russel, B. W. (1959) Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare London: George Allen & Unwin, p30

See also

For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... USAF reconnaissance photo of one of the suspected launch sites The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States regarding the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. ... John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American statesman who served as Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. ... Massive Retaliation is a military doctrine in which an entity commits itself to retaliate in much greater force in the event of an attack. ... Mutual assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by one of two opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. ... The phrase balance of terror is usually used in reference to the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during Cold War. ... Game theory is often described as a branch of applied mathematics and economics that studies situations where players choose different actions in an attempt to maximize their returns. ... An international crisis is a crisis between nations. ...

External links

  • An analysis of brinkmanship tactics used during the Cuban missile crisis

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Brinkmanship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (642 words)
Brinkmanship refers to the policy or practice, especially in international politics and foreign policy, of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety) in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome by forcing the opposition to make concessions.
Brinkmanship is ostensibly the escalation of threats to achieve one's aims.
The dangers of brinkmanship as a political or diplomatic tool can be understood as a slippery slope: In order for brinkmanship to be effective, the threats used have to be continuously elevated.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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