Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 236–246 | Cite as

A delicate balancing act: The place of Western Europe in JFK’s foreign policy

  • Leopoldo NutiEmail author


The article argues that at the beginning of the 1960s Western Europe, and Germany in particular, retained a crucial role in American global strategy, and that keeping the Atlantic alliance solid and cohesive remained a key goal of the new Kennedy administration that took office in January 1961. Europe at this time was still the main arena of the cold war. Yet this constant objective of American cold war strategy had to be balanced against other realities of the new phase of the global confrontation, such as the emergence of the ‘third world’ and the new threat represented by Soviet Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). In this process of readjustment there began a gradual, but significant, downsizing of the relative weight of Europe in American grand strategy.


John F. Kennedy Europe cold war transatlantic relations nuclear sharing modernisation 


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© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Roma TreRomeItaly

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