The Good Ol' Days of 1960s Foreign Policy

Category: Measuring History Waves Blog
Published Date
Written by Tony Dickey Hits: 8402

1960sversus2010sUSForeignPolicyWhile thinking about a pending series that compares the opening Uranus-Pluto squares of the 1870s to the current one, effective 2008-2020,  I ruminated the relative calm of the 1960s. Yes, the decade that contained war in Indo-China, the height of the Cold War, unaccountable South and Central America dictators, African independence movements and the foundational Six Day War of 1967. Most of these events transpired in a binary world. There was the Capitalist West and Communism; proxy wars took place, generally, with the sponsorship or assistance from one the two main camps. The 2010s are far more complicated.

Keep Your Frenemies Closer

The word "frenemies" says much about the current decade. That it entered popular lexicon speaks volumes. Perhaps it is because frenemy describes much about international  diplomacy these days. The best example appears in Russia's support of a separatist movement in neighboring Ukraine. While defiantly pushing against the West's efforts to "Natoize" Ukraine, it cooperates with the United States on Iran nuclear talks and with space projects. Economic sanctions against Russia could be anemic because some European nations count it as largest trading partner; China and Russia signed a gas transport deal. Whether this leads to actual cooperation is debatable. While holding a large percentage of US debt, China bristles against interference in a South China Sea dispute. Frenemies.
In the Middle East, ostensibly all Arab nations oppose Israel. In reality, the Saudi's secretly back Israel because they oppose Iran backed Hamas. Hamas, once backed by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, is instead now backed by Qatar and Turkey, a NATO member. In Iraq, the United States and Islamic Republic of Iran are on he same side. Frenemies.
How do you keep your friends close and your enemies closer, when its unclear who is what when and why?

The Good Ol' Days

 1966Uranus-0-Pluto2104  1966Uranus-90-Pluto2104
1960s: Potentials  2010s: Reality

Before protests undermined US legitimacy the entire world expected it to quickly vanquish its much smaller foe, North Vietnam. The US role in turning WWII was still fresh in the public mind; it had apparently prevailed in the Korean War. Most expected that once the leading superpower unleashed its full wrath on upstart Vietnamese, its industrial might would prevail. This was before that war exposed propaganda; before My Lai and Watergate. It was well before a second US led invasion of Iraq that demonstrated the limits of the industrial-military-complex.
Today's challenges are more abstract, obtuse and squirmy. The apex of US power happened before OPEC, climate change, Communist Chinese capitalism, BRICs, the EU and Too Big to Fail. When Israel at the Six Day War established much of its current territory, it was considered a plucky upstart. Now it is a major player in the region. a bit defiant to its main arms supplier. In 1967 no one would have suspected an Israeli leader demand an US administration not question his motives, . The Frenemies have become petulant.

Conjunction versus Square

1966Uranus-0-Pluto2104   1966Uranus-90-Pluto2104
 Events of the 1960s set strong foundations
for current foreign policy
 At square, reality, not potential comes to the fore.

Uranus was three degrees past its conjunction the day the Six Day War started

The 1965-66 conjunction between Uranus and Neptune ended 1852Uranus-Pluto1965; it began the new cycle 1966Uranus-Pluto2104. Just as important as what begins is what ends. In 1850 the United States Senate crafted the Compromise of 1850, which either delayed or helped cause the American Civil War, opinions vary. Because the central issue was slavery we might see the entire cycle, 1851-1965 as one across which Abolition extended. Since First Wave Feminism began at this juncture with the 1848 Seneca Falls Conference, we can say the same for the women's movement. Indeed, both Abolition, in the form of Civil Rights and feminism made great strides during and since the 1960s conjunction. We can accept it as a guage.

 1851Uranus-00-Pluto1965  1851Uranus-90-Pluto1965
 ~1850: US Foreign policy
still frotnier oriented
 1870s: Reconstruction ends;
Gilded Age begins;
US regional power; final
assault on frontier
 1851Uranus-180-Pluto1965  1851Uranus-270-Pluto1965
1900s (decade):
US adventurism; US among
top three economic power 
1930s: Uranus square Pluto;
US Leading Economy
reluctant leader 

~1850 US foreign policy was indistinguishable from frontier policy; there was little impetus to look outside its shores when the nation was still discovering itself; the California Gold Rush had just begun. By the 1960s the United States stood against the only other superpower, the Soviet Union. Between, centuries of diplomatic tradition had disappeared.
By the the 1960s the world looked to US foreign policy because it had little choice. The US pushed its weight around out in the open and behind the scenes. Right or wrong, US influence was undeniable and often unshakable. Soviet policy reacted, doing its best to keep up. Together each created a polar world, with other players acting as respective satellites.
Now under the square, where we separate real from potential, those satellites move in their own unique direction.  Frenemies to all the other frenemies. The United States must protect its interests, while allowing everyone else to protect theirs;  industrial and military might no longer necessarily trump everything else.

Sigh! Where did those good ol' days go?