Containment as U.S. Policy During Cold War Era

1889 Words Dec 1st, 2006 8 Pages
Containment as U.S. policy during Cold War Era

From after World War II and up until 1991 the foreign policy of the United States was based on Cold War ideology and the policy of containment; to prevent nations from leaning towards Soviet Union-based communism, as first laid out by George Kennan and later used as one of the key principles in the Truman Doctrine (LeCain). As this essay will argue, because of this policy the United States made a commitment to fight communism everywhere in the world and got them involved in conflicts more because of self interest, self protection and determination to beat communism than the cause itself. The fear of communism first emerged after the Soviet Revolution in 1917 during the First Red Scare in
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Even though President Truman had developed the policy of containment and gone to war in Korea to fight against communism, Senator McCarthy continued to attack the President calling him "a son of a bitch" (LeCain) and referred to Truman's and Roosevelt's Democratic administrations as "twenty years of treason" (Maier 815). Americans grew impatient due to the Korean conflict and McCarthy fueled the already angry and frustrated American voters and in 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president. President Eisenhower hinted that if the North Koreans did not come to the peace table, the United States might use atomic weapons (LeCain). Offering the same terms as President Truman did, Eisenhower was able to make the Chinese and North Koreans sign a peace treaty on July 27th 1953 (Maier 815). With Eisenhower as president Senator McCarthy's days were numbered (Fried 132), the massive defense budget would be reduced, but it did not have an effect on American Cold War policy (Brands 43). Eisenhower was a moderate Republican (LeCain) and he did not attempt to cut the New Deal programs, but wanted to reduce the budget. Six weeks after Eisenhower enters office, Stalin dies. This offered a possibility in reductions in defense expenditures, thus reducing the budget (Brands 41). The change of leadership in both Washington and Moscow made Winston Churchill advocate a summit
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