Cold War Policies

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Following the end of the Second World War the western powers were not certain what system of defense they wanted to adopt. The European nations were in the process of recovering from the effects of the War but they knew that they wanted to keep the Soviet Union from dominating the entire continent. The United States shared this desire but did not want to get embroiled too heavily in what many considered a European problem. Nevertheless, the United States and their allies in Europe recognized that a strong U.S. presence was necessary in order to counterbalance the Soviet Union which had already established a strong presence in Eastern Europe. Policy makers in the United States hoped that the U.S. presence would be temporary and would last only long enough for the Western Europe nations to develop their own defenses (Deighton, 1990). Unfortunately, until the end of the Cold War the United States presence was reduced only slightly and, as a result, the United States influence in the area was considerable. The policy that West adopted in regard to relations with the Soviet Union became one of containment (Leffler, 1984). Under the policy of containment, the Western powers would not challenge Soviet influence in the areas where they had already established themselves but would do everything possible to make sure that their sphere of influence did not expand. The first exercise of the West's Cold War policy occurred in March of 1947 when the U.S. provided financial aid to
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