2014 Fall Student Summit

FINAL Banner Coldwar


2014 CIR Fall Summit: The Cold War

This is the 6th Annual Council on International Relations Fall Summit where we bring together area students and faculty to meet and discuss important international topics. Since World War II, The United States has been in direct competition with the Soviet Union.  This has become the focal point of our foreign policy where we have sought ways to advance our objectives and block those of the Soviet Union. This intense competition is called the Cold War.

The Cold War lasted from 1946 when Winston Churchill warned that an Iron Curtain was dividing Europe until 1989 when the Berlin Wall collapsed.  During that long period the Cold War included both “proxy wars” and more direct

US-Soviet confrontations.  The goal of this year’s seminar is to have student teams take an intensive look at one of these confrontations, and prepare a briefing on it for the larger audience.  In each case, the briefing should address, at a minimum, the following questions:

  • When and how did the crisis develop and which parties or issues were  involved
  • How did the United States and her allies respond to the crisis?
  • How long did it last and how much did it cost?
  • How was it finally resolved or, at least, stabilized?



I.  Soviet Expansion and Influence in Europe

A. Yalta

B. Truman Doctrine

C. Marshall Plan (1946-1949)

D.  Beginning of the Domino Theory

II. The Berlin Crisis (1948-1949)

A. The division of East/West Berlin.

B. The closure of West Berlin

C. The airlift to supply West Berlin

D.  Check Point Charlie

III.  Castro’s Cuba and the Missile Crisis(1959-1962)

A. The alliance between Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union

B. The Bay of Pigs

C. The naval blockade

D. The threat of Soviet missiles

E. The consequence of Daniel Ortega,Nicaragua and the Contras

IV. The Arms Race

A. Nuclear weapons capacity build up and capability

B. MAD Policy

C.  Dr. Strangelove

D. Training to survive a nuclear attack.

E. Strategic Air Command

F. Conventional Arms Race

1. Missile gap

2. Land, sea, and military competition

V. Uprisings and Freedom Fighters – Santa Fe Indian School

A. Berlin in 1953

B. Hungary in 1956

C.  Prague in 1968

VI.  Spheres of Influence – Monte Del Sol

A. The Space Race

1. First man in space

2. Satellite competition

3.  JFK’s pledge for  America’s Moon landing

VII.  Proxy Wars and Proxies – Desert Academy

A.  Korea (1950-1953)

1. Causes

2.  Alliances

B. Vietnam (1960-1975)

1. causes

2. alliances

3. David Halberstam

C.  Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan ( 1979-1988

1. causes

2. alliances

D.  Egypt, Suez Canal, and the Aswan Dam (1956-1967)

1. causes

2. alliances

 The Program

We are meeting on Thursday, October 16, starting at 8:30 a.m. The CIR Fall Summit is being hosted by The Master’s Program at Santa Fe Community College. Our Summit will take place in the Jemez Room with its excellent AV equipment and expandable space so please feel free to invite entire classrooms.  All faculty and all students are welcome.

Also, last year we had a suggestion to invite parents, administrators, and CIR members. We like this idea and encourage it, but we also want to keep this a student focused event. Please check with Dr. Jeff Case, drjcase@comcast.net, about the number count on the RSVP.

Our plan is to assign each school to deliver a content briefing on a particular Confrontation. We have selected seven Confrontations that we think can show the friction, competition, and challenging nature of the Cold War. We are asking schools to form teams of four to five students to deliver a 15 minute PowerPoint which follows previous models used for the topic Why Does America Go to War and Bilateral Relations.  Students may use maps, graphs, political cartoons, statements from world leaders like Khrushchev or Kennedy, and any social media resource. This has proven to be lively, informative, and interactive.

At the end of each presentation, former CIR President and diplomacy expert John Dobson, Foreign Service Officers Jim Joy and Herb Thomas, and CIA analyst Beth Bloomfield will provide commentary, dialogue, and augment the briefing.  All have served in major embassies, universities, and government agencies throughout the world and have distinguished careers. As in last year, this format should provide a lively, informative, and interactive experience for all those involved.


Dr. Jeff Case, Chair, Faculty/Student Committee, Council on International Relations,

505-231-3300 or email, drjcase@comcast.net