Cold War Essay

1784 Words Oct 8th, 2011 8 Pages
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Offner, Arnold, "Provincialism and Confrontation: Truman’s Responsibility" in Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Volume II. Gaddis, John Lewis, "Two Cold War Empires: Imposition vs. Multilateralism," in Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Volume II The Cold War was the longest war in which the United States has ever partaken and is the only war that involved little to no fighting. After researching the events, reading historical opinions, and listening to lectures in class, I have come to the realization that the war was just an exaggerated argument between two neighbors over which model fence, wood or metal, they would allow in their yards. One neighbor, President Truman, wanted Democracy, and the other
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Truman believed that if Russia got Greece and Turkey it would then get Italy and France and the “iron curtain” would extend to western Ireland and to the United States. Arnold posits that Truman’s views were excessive. Stalin never challenged the Truman Doctrine or western dominance in Turkey, which was under U.S. military guidance, and Greece. Arnold states, “ [Stalin] provided almost no aid to the Greek rebels and told Yugoslavia’s leaders in early 1948 to halt their aid because the United States would never allow the Greek Communist to win and break Anglo-American control in the Mediterranean” (221). Arnold believed that President Truman more often than not narrowed rather than broadened his options. Truman’s insecurity also reinforced his liking to view conflict in black-and-white terms, to categorize all nations as either free or totalitarian, to demonize his opponents, and to ignore the complexities of historic national conflicts. In sum, despite Truman’s claim to have “knocked the socks off the communists,” he left the White House with his presidency in tatters, military spending at a record high, McCarthyism rampant, and the United States on Cold War footing at home and abroad.
John Lewis Gaddis offers a different opinion of the one responsible for the Cold War. He believes that Stalin’s authoritarian vision was a minor issue; the big issue

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