During the cold war, the United States engaged in many aggressive policies both at home and abroad, in which to fight communism and the spread of communist ideas. Faced with a new challenge and new global responsibilities the U.S. needed to retain what it had fought so strongly for in World War II. It needed to contain the communist ideas pouring from the Soviet Union while preventing communist influence at home, without triggering World War III. With the policies of containment, McCarthyism, and brinkmanship, the United States hoped to effectively stop the spread of communism and their newest threat, the Soviet Union.
Truman’s Policy of Containment: As related to the Individual and Society Containment in foreign policy is known as the strategy suggested by George Kennan to prevent Soviet expansionism by exerting counter pressure along Soviet borders. The Truman Doctrine was the name given to a speech President Truman delivered to a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947, in which he proclaimed a new policy and role for the United States in global affairs. Specifically, the president sought $400 million in economic and military assistance for Greece and Turkey, two strategic Mediterranean countries threatened by subversive forces supported by the Soviet Union, after the British said a month earlier that they could no longer provide the needed support. To justify aid for Greece and Turkey to a skeptical Congress, Truman placed the situation in the context of broader changes that he saw taking place in global politics. Truman felt that the peoples of a number of countries had totalitarian regimes forced upon them against their will.
Containment was a pivotal United States idea used to prevent and restrict the spread of communism internationally, it was mainly focused in the Continents of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it was the one of the major reasons in which the ‘Cold War’ remained a cold war, and didn’t escalate into a hot war. The idea of Containment was a result of a series of movements by the Soviet Union to expand the ideology and influence of Communism internationally, it became evident this was needed with the Soviets no longer being seen as a reliable ally after the Second World War. The idea of Containment was based on a mix between the two U.S policies of “Appeasement and Rollback” in which a movement or ideology was restricted to a certain group or geographical location by means of diplomatic or military force backed by the United States government. It was thought only two outcomes of the contrast between the ideologies where possible; enter a third world war with the Soviet Union, or use non-military force to deescalate the prevalence of communism internationally which was otherwise known as Containment.
The “Cold War” was a unique time period were paranoia ran high and the world was at a stalemate as it watch the competition between the two world superpowers,(U.S. and the U.S.S.R.).
According to the conventional Western view, the Cold War was a conflict between two superpowers, caused by Soviet aggression, in which the U.S. tried to contain the Soviet Union and protect the world from it.
American Cold War policy was aimed to help the First World, help the Third World, and attack the Second World, respectively. America always had the interests of its self and its allies in mind when developing a plan of attack in the Cold War. Both the politicians and the American people could agree with pursuing economic, social, and bureaucratic interests. The second goal of America’s actions during the Cold War was helping the Third World. America aimed their foreign policy decisions toward helping the people of the third world advance themselves, and saving them from communism. America gained local and international support by focusing on aid. America’s third goal was to attack the Soviet Union. Political, military, and economic leaders in the First World knew the importance of preserving a predominately capitalist, democratic world. The people of the First World supported self defense and the idea of helping others. America’s people often doubted the morality of offensive moves. Cold War policy in America was based on America’s ultimate goals but also on the upkeep of a global reputation.
Following World War II, the United States and the USSR were the only two world super powers left. Because of different economic systems, strategic interests, and atomic weapons the US and USSR entered a Cold War. This war was not a typical war. It was strictly economical and political fighting, there was no physical fighting. The USSR believed that peace would only come from worldwide communism, but the US wanted to stop the spread of communism immediately. President Truman tried to offer financial aid to countries nearing turmoil and facing communism, in order to stop the spread of communism entirely. The United States was successful in that it did not actually fall to communism itself, and that the US was able to partially contain communism
After many disagreements with the Soviets shortly after WWII, the U.S instituted the Truman Doctrine in 1947 that stated the U.S would, “support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” Essentially, prevent communism from taking root in any more places. The direct consequences of this doctrine would be the U.S’s involvement the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and a mutual distrust between the U.S and USSR that would continue well into the nineties. The indirect consequences (indirect because these countries were largely independent of the Soviets or the Chinese) would be the U.S’s actions in South America, most notably the toppling of a democratically elected socialist governments in Chile and funding a bunch of thugs to harass the communist government in Nicaragua. A less direct method of containment would be the Marshall plan, which offered financial aid to all European countries (including the Soviet controlled countries) that had been damaged in the during the war, provided that they comply to a few economic sanctions. This made the U.S appear much more benevolent than the Soviets (Soviets couldn’t afford aid programs for all of its satellites) and allowed American consumerism to get its foot in Europe. While this policy containment did wonders at hindering the spread of communism, I think a policy that involved
...thin the Marshall Plan, all four foreign policies are addressed with special concentration on manifest destiny in order that we might assist European governments. Upon the rebuilding of Europe, the U.S. was once again able to expand its economic markets.