John F Kennedy contemplated using nukes to save India from China

Discussion in 'Military History' started by LETHALFORCE, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    John F Kennedy contemplated using nukes to save India from China - World - DNA

    Six months after the 1962 Chinese aggression on India, the then US administration headed by President John F Kennedy even contemplated using nuclear weapons to prevent the Communist state from defeating India.

    Kennedy, at a meeting with his top military aides on May 9, 1963, had expressed clear determination not to let Beijing defeat New Delhi, with his defence secretary even talking about using nuclear weapons against China if it launched another attack against India.

    These disclosures have come in a just released book 'Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F Kennedy' co-authored by Ted Widmer and Caroline Kennedy.

    "I gather we're coming to the defence of Israel and Saudi Arabia. What I think we ought to think about is, (unclear) it's desirable (?) for us, to give India a guarantee which actually we would carry out. I don't think there's any doubt that this country is determined that we couldn't permit the Chinese to defeat the Indians," Kennedy said.

    "If we would, we might as well get out of South Korea and South Vietnam. So I think that's what we'll decide at the time. Now, therefore, I don't mind making, seeing us make some commitments. Now, if it is politically important," he said.

    Kennedy was quoted by the book as making these remarks in the White House meeting with his Defence Secretary Robert McNamara and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Maxwell Davenport "Max" Taylor.

    The book is a selection of audio recordings of Kennedy's conversations and meetings at the White House. These recordings have been selected from the hidden recording systems in the Oval Office and in the Cabinet Room installed by Kennedy in July 1962, in an effort to preserve an accurate record of Presidential decision-making in a highly charged atmosphere of conflicting viewpoints, strategies and tactics.
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Kennedy was a known India supporter. India lost the op to ally with the US under him. Thanks to Nehru.
     
  4. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Had we had the Kashmir, I mean the full part, the western world would not have needed Pakistan as an entry port into Central Asia. Nehru lost a lot of things for us, most of which are invisible even now:tsk:
     
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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    kennedy had also air lifted weaponry during the 1962 conflict

    Kennedy offered to supply India with small arms, ammunition, and other equipment for mountain troops. Nehru gladly accepted; airlifts to India began in opening days of November. During the lull in the Chinese advance, the American airlift seemed to provide sufficient help to India. When the Chinese advance restarted, though, Nehru began panic again. On November 19, Nehru dispatched two letters to Kennedy, asking for the United States to send radar stations and twelve squadrons of all-weather fighter aircraft to help defend the cities of north India. Nehru further requested that both the radar stations and the fighters be crewed by American personnel. In other words, Nehru was not only requesting military aid, but direct intervention. As Robert J. McMahon notes in The Cold War on the Periphery, “It must have been a moment of supreme humiliation for the proud Nehru, a man who had always insisted that India follow the path of independence and self-reliance.”

    1962: China attacks India | WillyLogan.com
     
  6. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    It was the west in the first place that sided with pakis on kashmir.

    This is why nehru botched it up...he too though the west would be neutral but they weren't. His idealistic attitude in geopolitics cost us pok.
     
  7. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Special thanks to uncle Nehru.
     
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  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I see nothing in the quotes about nuclear weapons.
     
  9. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    US didn't seriously consider nuking China even during the Korean war, when the Chinese were killing hundreds of Americans every day, I can't believe they would consider the use of nuclear weapon in Sino-Indian conflict where the scale of combat pales in comparison with the other wars of that time.
     
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  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Interesting tidbit.

    More authentication is required.
     
  11. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Cant believe this..
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Posturing at best. But then Kennedy did play the game of brinkmanship well during th Cuban missile crisis so it's entirely possible he would have done something to scare the Chinese but really not use any nukes.
     
  13. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    I'm not sure if the two can be compared. Soviet missiles in Cuba posed a direct and immediate threat to the U.S.; in the case of hostilities with the U.S.S.R, all major U.S. cities and military sites could be flattened within minutes. Given such a threat, it was only natural that America responded with such severity.

    On the other hand, a relatively minor border conflict between India and China would hardly warrant use of nuclear weapons by any power, much less by the U.S. No major U.S. interests were at stake.
     
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  14. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    I don't think US can do it, neither in the past nor in the future, it has its own interests.
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Ideological considerations. Commie China targeting democratic India. those were the times. I don't think Kennedy would have actually used the nukes but would definitely done something to scare the Chinis off.

    Funny enough in less than a decade, US admin changed and they asked China to take a threatening posture against India by the US.
     
  16. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    I don't think that Kennedy was talking about nuclear option in the recorded statements... It seems that he was contemplating about directly US military involvement on Indian side like what the US had in South Korea and South Vietnam during that time. Indeed the US will not nuke China unless India was nuked first (and I don't think China will contemplate of nuking India in a war where it had the clear upper hand).

    Note that Kennedy made those statements before the Vietnam quagmire.
     
  17. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    You know that ideological considerations never played a major role in U.S. foreign policy, or else U.S. would not have allied itself with Imperial Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc. Heck even Commie China itself would become a major U.S. ally within a decade of the Sino-Indian War.
     
  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    the first two decades after WWII was spat in getting maximum number Of countries in the respective blocs. Hell the thaw with China happened after Sino-Soviet relations broke down.

    Case of ideology and geopolitics used as per convenience
     
  19. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The U.S. remains bedfellows with the barbaric Wahhabist monarchies of West Asia even today, two decades since the collapse of the U.S.S.R.

    U.S. foreign policy gives little to none practical consideration to ideology. It is based solely on national interest and nothing else; this is how U.S. has risen to the status of superpower. The moralism and ideology is just there for rhetorical and propaganda purposes (and hey, it works, so why not use it?).
     
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  20. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It all charged after the 60's. Till then ideological considerations did matter
     
  21. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Show me some concrete examples that support this statement.

    American foreign policy in the first half of the 20th century included propping up puppet dictatorships and banana republics in Latin America and the Caribbean (such as that of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba), colonizing the Philippines after a brutal insurgency, and forming an alliance with the evil Soviet Union against a common enemy, Nazi Germany. I fail to see where "ideology" played a major role in shaping American foreign policy.
     
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