Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History

Committee Chair

Ross A. Kennedy


Looking out at the international political landscape of the late 1940s and the early 1950s, the Eisenhower administration was determined to challenge the evident appeal of Communism, particularly in Western Europe. NATO, which was a fragile organization due to the devastation of World War II (WWII), and its members were prone to any communist attack, either by military forces or through political parties. They had to be defended. The Eisenhower administration saw nuclear weapons as the only means to defend the alliance against the massive threat of the Soviet Union. Therefore, President Eisenhower committed nuclear weapons to NATO as a critical security strategy in 1953. This nuclearization process continued throughout the Eisenhower's presidency and became one of the top priorities of the administration's foreign policy goals. When Eisenhower left the office in 1961, Britain, Italy, and Turkey were the NATO states who had American nuclear weapons in their soil. This consequence paves the way to the question of why did the Eisenhower administration decide to nuclearize NATO. Specifically, why did his administration deploy Intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs), a.k.a. Jupiters, in Turkey? This thesis is going to answer these questions in the light of primary sources and several respected historians' arguments in this field.


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