Nixon's Foreign Policy: A Global Balance of Power .
Period: 7 Background Richard Nixon entered office in the midst of one of the gravest foreign policy crises in American history. The Cold War was at its height, hundreds of thousands of American troops were in Vietnam, and the views of society were split down the middle. With the aid of his national security adviser and secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, Nixon felt that it was imperative to change America's foreign policy. They felt that it was necessary to support our interests in the long run, they felt it necessary to have a balance of power throughout the world in order to ensure peace and prosperity. One has to take into consideration geopolitics when discussing balance of power. The main purpose is stability by using different political philosophies based on geography, and self-interest. If the major powers pursued their self-interest rationally and predictably, an equilibrium would emerge from the conflicting interest. Nixon knew that a strong America is essential to global equilibrium, and counted on stability to produce it. Under Nixon's new policy partnership, strength, and the willingness to negotiate were the three pillars essential in keeping peace. The policy would stop trying to eliminate communism and win the Cold War, but rather replace it through new initiatives directed toward finding areas of cooperation. In fact it was clear that the Soviet Union was Nixon's biggest partner towards peace. Nixon parted with the philosophy of containment, and thought that negotiations and peaceful competition would lead to strengthening of democracies. These negotiations became known as Détente. When Nixon announced to the world his new plan for foreign affairs, it became known as the Nixon Doctrine. It was an outline of America's foreign policy that dealt with the ordeal that the past involvement in Korea and Vietnam, which were countries with no prior commitment to us, and in regions not protected by any alliances.