The Korean War And The Cold War Essay

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The Korean War represented a global expansion of the Cold War, but also set the limits and boundaries in which the belligerents would act, for decades to come (Judge & Langdon, 85, 99). Furthermore, the conflict in Korea was the first time in which the Cold War turned ‘hot’ (“Korea”, CNN). This violent clash of ideologies was the result of a complex series of events that began with the initiation of the Cold War.
Specifically, George Kennan’s ‘Long Telegram’ served as the outline for a strategy designed to contain Soviet expansionism and imperialism (“Iron Curtain”, CNN). The policy of containment would ultimately drive the decision to employ force in countering the aggression of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Kennan’s assessment of the Soviets proved accurate, and on 29 August 1945, Stalin’s regime tested their first atomic bomb successfully (Judge & Langdon, 66). This test represented a restoration in the Cold War’s balance of power, but for the United States, it signified a tremendous loss in advantage (Judge & Langdon, 67). This strategic balance limited America’s strategic options, which hinged largely upon the idea of nuclear deterrence. With the advent of the Soviet nuclear era, America now found itself in a tit-for-tat scenario and subject to the perceived unpredictability of Stalin (“Korea”, CNN). Moreover, 1949 also saw the victory of Mao Zedong’s Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the

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