Assessment of the Impact of the U-2 Incident on Soviet American Relations Post 1960

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Plan of the investigation:
The aim of this investigation is to assess the impact of the U-2 incident on Soviet American relations post 1960. This study will focus specifically on Soviet American diplomacy, the Berlin Crisis and the escalation of the arms race. This investigation will take into account the Soviet perspective of the events from Sergei Khrushchev’s, who witnessed his father’s actions when the events unfolded in the article “The Day We Shot Down the U-2” by American Heritage magazine. This investigation will also take into consideration the American perspective of the events through the memoir of Francis Powers - the CIA pilot of the U-2 plane when it was shot down – in “Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident”. A careful analysis of the events that followed the U-2 spy plane incident will be conducted. This analysis will indicate the extent to which the May 1st incident impacted the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Arms Race, and Soviet-American diplomacy between 1960 and 1965.

Word Count: 164

Summary of the evidence:
Prior to May the 1st 1960:
• Tensions were steadily improving between the USSR and the U.S.
• Successful summit meeting of the two superpowers in Geneva Switzerland (1955) (Athan)
• Growing fear in the U.S. of a rapid technological development in military technology in the USSR (bomber gap) (Judt, Bomber Gap)
• Eisenhower began approving reconnaissance flights over the USSR (1956). This allowed the U.S. to monitor Soviet military capabilities. Eisenhower constantly referred to the information gathered from these flights to quell calls by congress for increased military spending. (Brugioni)
• Both the USSR and the U.S. accepted the need for a Nuclear Test Ban treaty. (State)
• Nixon...

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... 3 Khrushchev, Sergei. The Day We Shot down the U-2 Patrick J. Hearden. Febraury 4 2000. 4 lbid 5 Kempe, Fredrick. Berlin 1961. New York: Penguin Group, 2011. 6 Tucker, Spencer C. The Encyclopedia of the Cold War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Chicago : ABC-CLIO Ltd , 2007. 7 Kempe, Fredrick. Berlin 1961. New York: Penguin Group, 2011. 8 Khrushchev, Sergei. The Day We Shot down the U-2 Patrick J. Hearden. Febraury 4 2000.

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