Containment Of Communism

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The Cold War is the closest the world has ever come to complete destruction. In this period of time, two world super powers were in a stalemate economically and militarily and were constantly competing to be the superior. The Cold War started as result of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union had some differences on their perspectives of the world. United States being the richest country in the world promoted democracy and capitalism in the world. The newly formed Soviet Union thought that communism was a better political system because it transformed their economy and status in the world from nothing but a declining empire to a super power once again. The Cold War was a long series of events in which the communist tried to spread their ideas of government and socialist economy, known as expansionism, and the United States and some of the other Western powers such as Great Britain tried to contain it. Containment, a term introduced by George F. Kennan, was the foreign policy the United States practiced from 1946 to 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. The United States saw the Soviet Union to be a direct threat to the free world. During president Truman and Eisenhower’s administration the policy of containment evolved so drastically that American presidents would put anything on the line, including world peace.

It started with the Truman Doctrine (1947) that stated the United States would help any country financially and militarily that was interested in keeping the world free for democracy. The Truman Doctrine came about as direct result of communist guerillas in Greece trying to take over the government. American advisers believed that the guerillas were taking orders from the Soviets after they launched a civil war against the government. The United States decided to assist the standing government in Greece because they believed it would have a large impact on Europe and most importantly Turkey that was having its own problems with communism and was strategically located next to large oil reserves of Iran. Congress approved $300 million to aid Greece and $100 million in food and military expenses to aid Turkey.

The second large step in containment was the Marshall Plan. Proposed by Secretary of State George Marshall, it would provide economic relief to rebuilding Western European nations such as Great Britain, France, Belgium and even...

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...ed to nationalize the Suez Canal through which three fourths of all European oil is passed. After several months of negotiations Britain, France and Israel attacked Egypt and retook the canal. United Nations condemned their actions and forced them to give up the canal to Egypt once again. As a result of the Eisenhower convinced Congress to approve the Eisenhower Doctrine that would “assist any nation in the region that required aid against aggression from any nation controlled by International Communism.” The Eisenhower administration was very careful not to alienate any Middle Eastern countries that could provide the country with a steady supply of oil and this affected his foreign policy and the policy of containment.

During the Truman and Eisenhower administration a policy of containment served to save the free world from communism. But at times these two administrations put world peace on the line to prove its superiority as a nation. One cannot judge these events to being wrong or right because values of a nation and people change with time, we can just learn from these events and know that the next time United States has a contest of superiority it could cost us the world.
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