Although the Korean War proved a moderate success for United States, the tense foreign relations with the Soviet Union and the disaster of the Vietnam war proved the policy of containment in the United States between 1945 and 1975 ultimately unsuccessful.
Since even before the end of World War II, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union began to plague their alliance. As soon as the Soviet Union threatened to force smaller nations under their communist sphere of influence, the United States adopted what was called a policy of containment. It was an effort to bring to a halt the Soviet Union’s potential for forcing other parts of Asia into communism. The first policy of this effort was the Truman Doctrine of 1947, which offered economic and military aid to Greece and Turkey in order to prevent occupation by the Soviets. This marked the beginning of the Cold War, the intense conflict between the communist world and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States.
Virtually the only success of containment was the Korean War. When Soviet-backed North Korean troops invaded South Korea to unite under one communist nation, the U.S. sent help to resist the invasion. With a United Nations counter-offensive on the South Korea side, the North Koreans were pushed back past their side of the border, the 38th parallel. The war ended with the only resolution being the establishment of a buffer zone between the two regions.
Perhaps the most painful failure of the Cold War era and the containment policy was the Vietnam War. When war broke out between communist North Vietnam and French South Vietnam, the U.S. held fast to the Truman Doctrine and sent troops. It was a bloody defeat for South Vietnam, marked by the capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese. It was also a long and agonizing defeat for the U.S., not without its own steep casualties. After the withdrawal of American troops, the whole of Vietnam came under communist power. It...
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