An Overview

Eisenhower representing U2 crisis

I would like to mention about an international issue in the view of three distinctive theories covered in last week. The U2 crisis, which today’s one of great bands took its name from, was a spy-plane incident which caused a tension between the USSR and the US during the Cold War.

Let me tell the event at first in a nutshell: Under the approval of The US President Eisenhower, a spy-plane mission, which would fly over the Soviet airspace in order to take photos of bomber camps clandestinely started. In 1960, the plane was shot down and the pilot was taken into prison. The Soviet President Khrushchev announced the event to the world and required an apology, which caused the US a great embarrassment. But Eisenhower denied it was spying and this was carried out under CIA, without his authority and permission. However, the detained pilot admitted the mission, so Eisenhower had to apologize. The case was that the two presidents were at Paris summit for the talks of disarmament. This event just caused political tension between the two great powers of the time, making Cold War hardened again.

We have talked about information, systems and communication theories last week. Imagine only how the talks between the two presidents in the light of this event in a diplomatic environment take place at the summit. According to information theory, this event would be only a successive way of communication: Khrushchev utters his criticism about the issue by sending his message; Eisenhower, on the other hand, denies and utters a different claim; and their interaction goes back and forth not in a complex, complicated way but a successive conversation in a linear process.

In terms of systems theory, on the other hand, the talks can be assumed to be made up of different parts. For instance, the US President put himself in a dangerous position by denying and forcing his Russian counterpart in decision-making. The communication is surrounded by their relationships. This event was useful for political scientists in explaining some stakes of the Cold War.

According to communication theory, the whole interaction can be analyzed in a systematic way in which their communication takes place in a circular, ongoing trend. Opposed to information theory, here the overall relationship is more important than the elements in interaction.