The United States Utilized a Policy of Containment During the Cold War. Analyze Containments Effective Ness and Overall Success. Essay Example

Pages: 4 (809 words) / Published: Sep 25th, 2008
George Kennan introduced America’s Policy of Containment in 1947. This policy had a few good points but many more bad points. Kennan's depiction of communism as a "malignant parasite" that had to be contained by all possible measures became the basis of the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, and National Security Act in 1947. In his Inaugural Address of January 20, 1949, Truman made four points about his "program for peace and freedom": to support the UN, the European Recovery Program, the collective defense of the North Atlantic, and a “bold new program” for technical aid to poor nations. Because of his programs, "the future of mankind will be assured in a world of justice, harmony and peace." Containment was not just a policy. It was a way of life
In 1945 the United States saw the Soviet Union as its principal ally. By 1947, it saw the Soviet Union as its principal opponent. The United States misunderstood the Soviet regime. Despite much pretence, national security had not been a major concern of US planners and elected officials. Historical records reveal this clearly. Few serious analysts took issue with George Kennan's position that "it is not Russian military power which is threatening us, it is Russian political power”; or with President Eisenhower's consistent view that the Russians intended no military conquest of Western Europe and that the major role of NATO was to "convey a feeling of confidence to exposed populations, which was supposed to make them sturdier, politically, in their opposition to Communist inroads."
The US dismissed possibilities for peaceful resolution of the Cold War conflict, which would have left the “political threat" intact. In his history of nuclear weapons, McGeorge Bundy writes that he is "aware of no serious contemporary proposal...that ballistic missiles should somehow be banned by agreement before they were ever deployed," even though these were the only potential military threat to the US. It was always the "political" threat

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