The Continuation of the Cold War
Thoroughly discuss the continuation of the Cold War following the death of Stalin.
Here is the link to Lecture 10:
The Continuation of the Cold War
Stated, the Cold War was a struggle for power between the philosophies of communism and capitalism. The United States, as the ruler of the capitalist society, saw this as a moral necessity to prevent communism from being the world’s most prestigious political structure. As a result, deterrence was at the core of their foreign policy. Containment was the United States government’s effort to limit the dissemination of communist ideas abroad. Containment was first seen during Harry Truman’s presidency and continued throughout Dwight Eisenhower’s foreign strategy. Harry Truman founded containment as a strategy of explicitly opposing communism by providing money and assistance to countries perceived to be on the point of collapsing into communism. At the same time, Eisenhower transformed it into an emphasis on covert interventions and major retribution policy.
The basis for Harry Truman’s implementation of containment, donating money to European nations to stave away communism, was established in 1947, when he requested that the United States Congress send assistance to Greece’s impoverished country. His speech established what became recognized as the Truman Principle, which stated that the United States would support free individuals opposing attempted subordination by armed groups or other external stressors. Truman’s concept of containment was primarily based on diplomat George Kennan’s recommendations in his “Long Telegram” from February 1946.
Kennan was the Soviet Union’s top-ranking Foreign Service official, and as such, his words became the ultimate influence on Soviet Union doctrine. Kennan advised that the Soviets wished to grow all over and enjoy the benefits of any chance, and advised his subordinates to overcome their indifference, recognize the Kremlin as the adversary, and address all problems from the standpoint of rivalry with the Soviet Union. As the year progressed, Truman was told to be more proactive in dealing with the Soviets. The bulk of Truman’s containment strategy was an unwavering determination to provide as much assistance as possible to any European country in trouble of slipping to communism, and this is how Truman’s containment strategy is recognized.
As Dwight Eisenhower took office in 1953, he maintained the containment strategy but reshaped it to emphasize covert operations and his “New Look.” Eisenhower’s containment strategy carried a much greater chance of inciting the Soviets to strike (Pearl, n.d.). Eisenhower advocated covert actions to unseat foreign regimes that he saw as a danger to democracy as a form of containment. The first instance of this was the Iranian coup of 1953 (Pearl, n.d.). The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) launched Operation AJAX to depose constitutionally appointed Mohammad Mossadeq and install a more American and British friendly administration. The United States was involved in further undercover operations in 1954 when it arranged the removal of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz from power due to his communist-style land reforms and stress from the United Fruit Industry. Both of these fumbles were intended to ensure that socialist ideas did not infiltrate foreign nations. Eisenhower and the United States felt the obligation to appoint hand-picked, pro-American leaders to help counter communism. The other major aspect of Eisenhower’s containment strategy was his New Look, particularly his significant retribution policy.
Thanks to the focus on air and nuclear supremacy, the United States expanded the number of nuclear missiles, effectively completed the H-bomb, and obtained B-52 bombers within the New Design. This behavior led to Eisenhower’s strategy of massive retribution. Massive retaliation reported that the United States would react asymmetrically to any measures taken by the Soviet Union. It was a brave act. Eisenhower wanted to make the United States seem so strong that the Soviets would be frightened into silence, and therefore communism would have been controlled. These measures were much more militant than Truman’s containment measures but just as successful.
Massive retaliation claimed that the United States would react asymmetrically to any measures taken by the Soviet Union. It was an act of bravery. Eisenhower believed that by making the United States appear so strong, the Soviet Union would be intimidated into inaction, and therefore communism would be suppressed (Pearl, n.d.). These measures were much more militant than Truman’s containment measures but similarly successful.
While both Truman and Eisenhower’s containment measures laid the groundwork for potential distrust of the United States, both presidents’ initiatives assisted them well in controlling communism and protecting the United States. Truman successfully contained communism by providing considerable assistance to European countries without infuriating the Soviet Union to the point of overt confrontation. Eisenhower effectively suppressed communism by exerting leverage over some foreign governments, and his strategy of intense retaliation contributed to the Soviets refraining from any significant, offensive action. Containment measures pursued by both presidents were successful in limiting communist power and laying the foundation for the ultimate US triumph over the Soviets in the Cold War.
Pearl, K. (n.d.). 10. The Continuation of the Cold War.mp4. Retrieved 2021, from Dropbox website:https://www.dropbox.com/s/te8qkyuy8661sod/10.%20The%20Continuation%20of%20the%20Cold%20War.mp4?dl=0