Cold War Containment PoliciesHow did the U.S. respond to thethreat of communist expansion?VUS.13b"Flags courtesy of www.theodora.com/flags used with permission"
Origins of the Cold War The Cold War set the framework for global politics for45 years after the end of World War II. It alsoinfluenced American domestic politics, the conduct offoreign affairs, and the role of the government in theeconomy after 1945. The Cold War was essentially a competition betweentwo very different ways of organizing government,society and economy: the American-led westernnations’ belief in democracy, individual freedom and amarket economy, and the Soviet belief in a totalitarianstate and socialism.
Origins of the Cold War The Cold War lasted from the end of World WarII until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. The United States and the Soviet Unionrepresented starkly different fundamental values.The United States represented democraticpolitical institutions and a generally free marketeconomic system. The Soviet Union was atotalitarian government with a communist(socialist) economic system."Flags courtesy of www.theodora.com/flags used with permission"
Origins of the Cold WarThe Truman Doctrine of"containment ofcommunism" was a guidingprinciple of American foreignpolicy throughout the ColdWar, not to roll it back but tokeep it from spreading and toresist communist aggressioninto other countries.
Cold War ThemesContainment:To stop the spread ofCommunismDomino Theory:The idea that if onenation falls toCommunism, itsneighbor would fall, andeventually Communismwould dominate anentire region andthreaten the U.S.CollectiveSecurity:Using an alliance systemto prevent aggression(such as NATO)MassiveRetaliation:Using the threat ofcomplete war as adeterrent to attack inorder to keep the peace(President Eisenhower).This helped spark thearms race.Brinkmanship:Existing near a state ofwar so that each sidewould take great carenot to upset the balanceof peace.Arms Race:The rapid buildup ofweapons and military todeter any attack.Flags courtesy of www.theodora.com/flags used with permission
NATOThe North Atlantic TreatyOrganization was formed as adefensive alliance among the UnitedStates and western Europeancountries to prevent a Soviet invasionof Western Europe.
Warsaw PactSoviet allies in eastern Europe formed theWarsaw Pact and for nearly 50 years bothsides maintained large military forcesfacing each other in Europe.A defensive alliance system for the SovietUnion, it provided a buffer zone betweenthe “West” and the Soviets.This produced two large and armed campsin Europe!
The ArmsRaceAfter the Soviet Union matchedthe United States in nuclearweaponry in the 1950s, the threatof a nuclear war that woulddestroy both countries was ever-present throughout the Cold War.America, under PresidentEisenhower, adopted a policy of"massive retaliation" to deterany nuclear strike by the Soviets.
CHINA The communist takeover inChina shortly after World WarII increased American fears ofcommunist domination of mostof the world. Rather than strong allies,however, the communist nationsof China and the Soviet Unioneventually became rivals forterritory and diplomaticinfluence, a split whichAmerican foreign policy underPresident Nixon in the 1970sexploited.Mao Zedong led theCommunist Revolutionin China in 1949. Thiswas described as a“terrible loss toAmerica”.
CHINA TODAY:China continues to oppressfree thought and democracy.China put down a pro-democracy march atTiananmen Square in 1989.Communism is fading as U.S.increases its role and tradesfreely!This lone man risked his life todefy tanks during the 1989Tiananmen Square protest. Howstrongly do you feel about YOURrights?
Hot Spot:The KoreanWarAmerican involvement inthe Korean War in theearly 1950s reflected theAmerican policy ofcontainment ofcommunism.After WW2,Korea wasdivided along the38th Parallel-CommunistNorth and pro-West South.
The KoreanWarAfter communist NorthKorea invaded South Korea,American military forces leda counterattack that drovedeep into North Korea itself.Communist Chinese forcescame into the war on the sideof North Korea and the warthreatened to widen, buteventually ended in astalemate with South Koreafree of communistoccupation.Notice that theseAmerican forces areINTEGRATED. HarryTruman finally integratedthe armed forces in thelate 1940’s.
Korea Today: Korea is still a divided country-Communist North and “pro-West”South- still along the 38th Parallel. The armistice (agreement to stopfighting) has held up, thoughAmericans are still stationed there. North Korea most recently hasthreatened world peace withbuilding and testing nuclearweapons, which threaten China,South Korea and Japan.
CubaAnother site of Cold Warconfrontations.
CubaFidel Castro led a communistrevolution that took over Cubain the late 1950s.Many Cubans fled to Floridaand later attempted to invadeCuba and overthrow Castro.This "Bay of Pigs" invasionfailed, and Castro feltthreatened!
Cuban MissileCrisis In 1962, the Soviet Unionstationed missiles in Cuba,instigating the CubanMissile Crisis. President Kennedy orderedthe Soviets to remove theirmissiles and for severaldays the world was on thebrink of nuclear war. Eventually, the Sovietleadership "blinked" andremoved their missiles.
Cuba Today:Cuba is still a communistnation.The U.S. continues its tradeembargo.There are still many humanrights issues in Cuba.Will the end of Castro be theend of communist Cuba?