Cold War Events of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s

1. Operation Ajax

What was Operation Ajax? Why did issues over oil and the fear that Mossadeq would turn to the Soviet Union for assistance inspire the U.S. and Britain to overthrow his government? Who was in charge of Operation Ajax? What tactics/strategy did the CIA use to overthrow Mossadeq? For how long was the Shah returned to power in Iran? What event in 1979 ended his rule?

2. Iran Hostage Crisis

What did the Shah receive from the U.S. in return for not nationalizing Iran's oil industry? (nationalize means making something, in this case oil, come under the control of the government. The Iranian oil fields had been under the control of a British company) Why did the Shah flee to the U.S.? What action did Muslim students take in November of 1979? What was the immediate response by President Carter and the U.S.? Why did the resuce mission in April of 1980 fail? What deal was eventually reached between the U.S. and Iran that led to the hostages being released?

3. Coup D'Etat in Chile (Coup D'Etat is an overthrow of a government)

What U.S. program did Chile become a member of in th 1960s? What was the goal of the Alliance for Progress? Why did labor unions and youth begin to protest the Chilean government and begin to lean more toward communist/socialist beliefs? Who became the president of Chile in 1970? Why did President Nixon want Allende out of power? Who was Henry Kissinger and what did he instruct the CIA to do? What action did Chilean military take in 1973? To what degree was the U.S. involved in the overthrow?


4. U.S. Involement in Guatemala (2 Articles)

Article 1: What did the CIA documents released in 1997 reveal? Who was Jacobo Arbenz Guzman? Why did President Truman authorize the shipment of weapons and money to anti-Arbenz groups? Was this first attempt successful at overthrowing Arbenz? Why did President Eisenhower want Arbenz removed? What were the goals of PBSUCCESS? What actions did the CIA take in carrying out PBSUCCESS? Did PBSUCCESS achieve its goal of removing Arbenz? Was PBSUCCESS a success in the long run?

Article 2: Why did Arbenz's land redistribution program threaten U.S. business interests in Guatemala? What U.S. company had come to own 42% of the land in Guatemala? Which notable individuals in the U.S. government had ties to the United Fruit Company? Why was this important in convincing President Eisenhower to approve th removal of Arbenz?

5.  The Angola Crisis

From what country did Angola win its independence?  After achieving independence, a Civil War broke out in Angola...what groups did the U.S. support? What groups did the Soviet Union support?  Why did the Angola Crisis turn into a Cold War battleground?  What group eventually became the official government of Angola?  Was it the group that we supported?  Why was our intervention Angola considered a failure?  How did the Angola Crisis worsen relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union?

6. Détente

What was détente?  During what decade did it occur?  What did both countries stand to gain from détente?  What actions did President Nixon take to improve relations between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.?  What actions taken by Presidents Carter and Reagan led to the end of détente?


What did SALT stand for?  Who was the president/leader of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. during SALT 1?  Who was the president/leader of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. during SALT II?  Why wasn't SALT II approved by the U.S. Senate?  What did START stand for?  Overall, what were the goals of SALT I, SALT II and START?