Containment Early Cold war Essay

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Containment Early Cold war

In the early years of the Cold War, both the Truman and Eisenhower administrations pursued a policy of containment to counter perceived Soviet aggression. Generally, the presidential administrations pursued this policy to maintain stability in the international arena, to maintain a balance of power, and also in a sense, to express disapproval of totalitarian, non-democratic regimes. Containment was expressed through a variety of policies and institutions: economic, political and, of course, military. The ways the early presidential administrations defined and implemented containment strategy inevitably changed in focus, importance, and emphasis over time. While both external and internal reasons accounted to
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Nonetheless, Eisenhower saw an emphasis on trade as advantageous to America, even in the short term. Also, Eisenhower did not accept government economic intervention on a more ideological level -- he considered government planned economies too much like socialism.

Secondly, the administrations pursued different military strategies. Truman made more of a distinction between nuclear and conventional warfare. He saw that conventional warfare as a more plausible answer to peripheral containment, and clearly valued a strong conventional military. Eisenhower, for economic reasons, was less inclined to spend an exorbitant amount of money on conventional armies across the globe. He succeeded in blurring line between nuclear and conventional warfare and encouraged the idea that he was ready to use nuclear weapons at any time.

The Truman administration was more influenced by balance of power considerations than any other considerations, including domestic politics. Because of the external threats to the United States between 1947-1953, it was inevitable that these policies would have been pursued. Most significantly, Stalin at this point was perceived by the Western powers as having expansionist tendencies. Truman saw the Soviets as highly motivated to dominate the world, and committed to aggressively exploiting all opportunities to enlarge their sphere of influence. Considering the context of Truman’s post-W.W.II
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