Containment is a geopolitical strategic foreign policy pursued by the United States. It is loosely related to the term cordon sanitaire which was later used to describe the geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union in the 1940s. The strategy of "containment" is best known as a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism after the end of World War II.
Cordon sanitaire is a French phrase that, literally translated, means "sanitary cordon". It originally denoted a barrier implemented to stop the spread of infectious diseases. It may be used interchangeably with the term "quarantine", and although the terms are related, cordon sanitaire refers to the restriction of movement of people into or out of a defined geographic area, such as a community. The term is also often used metaphorically, in English, to refer to attempts to prevent the spread of an ideology deemed unwanted or dangerous, such as the containment policy adopted by George F. Kennan against the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe, as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
As a component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to the Soviet Union's move to increase communist influence in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Containment represented a middle-ground position between detente (relaxation of relations) and rollback (actively replacing a regime). The basis of the doctrine was articulated in a 1946 cable by U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan during the post-WWII term of U.S. President Harry S. Truman. As a description of U.S. foreign policy, the word originated in a report Kennan submitted to U.S. Defense Secretary James Forrestal in 1947, which was later used in a magazine article.
A country's foreign policy, also called foreign relations or foreign affairs policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve goals within its international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. The study of such strategies is called foreign policy analysis. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will also have to interact with non-state actors. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in attempts to maximize the benefits of multilateral international cooperation.
The Eastern Bloc was the group of communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the hegemony of the Soviet Union (USSR) during the Cold War (1947–1991) in opposition to the capitalist Western Bloc. Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon ; in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China. In the Americas, the Communist Bloc included the Caribbean Republic of Cuba, since 1961.
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.
There were major historical precedents familiar to Americans and Europeans. In the 1850s, anti-slavery forces in the United States developed a free soil strategy of containment to stop the expansion of slavery until it later collapsed. Historian James Oakes explains the strategy:
James Oakes is an American historian, and is a Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he teaches history courses on the American Civil War and Reconstruction, Slavery, the Old South, Abolitionism and U.S. and World History. He taught previously at Princeton University and Northwestern University.
The Federal government would surround the south with free states, free territories, and free waters, building what they called a 'cordon of freedom' around slavery, hemming it in until the system's own internal weaknesses forced the slave states one by one to abandon slavery.
Between 1873 and 1877, Germany repeatedly intervened in the internal affairs of France's neighbors. In Belgium, Spain, and Italy, Bismarck exerted strong and sustained political pressure to support the election or appointment of liberal, anticlerical governments. This was part of an integrated strategy to promote republicanism in France by strategically and ideologically isolating the clerical-monarchist regime of President Patrice de Mac-Mahon. It was hoped that by ringing France with a number of liberal states, French republicans could defeat MacMahon and his reactionary supporters. The modern concept of containment provides a useful model for understanding the dynamics of this policy.
Republicanism is a representative form of government organization. It is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state organized as a republic. Historically, it ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular sovereignty. It has had different definitions and interpretations which vary significantly based on historical context and methodological approach.
Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, there were calls by Western leaders to isolate the Bolshevik government, which seemed intent on promoting worldwide revolution. In March 1919, French Premier Georges Clemenceau called for a cordon sanitaire, a ring of non-communist states, to isolate the Soviet Union. Translating that phrase, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson called for a "quarantine." Both phrases compare communism to a contagious disease.
Georges Eugène Benjamin Clemenceau was a French statesman who served as Prime Minister of France during World War I. A leading figure of the Independent Radicals, he played a central role in the politics of the Third Republic.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American statesman, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921, and was the leading architect of the League of Nations. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States into World War I in 1917, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism."
The World War I Allies launched an incursion into Russia, ostensibly to create an eastern front against Germany. In reality, the policy was anti-Bolshevik as well, and its economic warfare took a major toll on all of Russia. By 1919, the intervention was entirely anti-communist, although the unpopularity of the assault led it to be gradually withdrawn. The US simultaneously engaged in covert action against the new Soviet government, involving the work of a young Allen Dulles. While the campaigns were officially pro-democracy, they often supported the White Terror of former Tsarist generals like GM Semenov and Alexander Kolchak.
The U.S. initially refused to recognize the Soviet Union, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt reversed the policy in 1933 in the hope to expand American export markets.
The Munich Agreement of 1938 was a failed attempt to contain Nazi expansion in Europe. The U.S. tried to contain Japanese expansion in Asia in 1937 to 1941, and Japan reacted with its attack on Pearl Harbor.
After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 during World War II, the U.S. and the Soviet Union found themselves allied against Germany and used rollback to defeat the Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Key State Department personnel grew increasingly frustrated with and suspicious of the Soviets as the war drew to a close. Averell Harriman, U.S. Ambassador in Moscow, once a "confirmed optimist" regarding U.S.-Soviet relations,was disillusioned by what he saw as the Soviet betrayal of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising as well as by violations of the February 1945 Yalta Agreement concerning Poland. Harriman would later have a significant influence in forming Truman's views on the Soviet Union.
In February 1946, the U.S. State Department asked George F. Kennan, then at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, why the Russians opposed the creation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He responded with a wide-ranging analysis of Russian policy now called the Long Telegram :
Soviet power, unlike that of Hitlerite Germany, is neither schematic nor adventuristic. It does not work by fixed plans. It does not take unnecessary risks. Impervious to logic of reason, and it is highly sensitive to logic of force. For this reason it can easily withdraw—and usually does when strong resistance is encountered at any point.
According to Kennan:
Kennan's cable was hailed in the State Department as "the appreciation of the situation that had long been needed."Kennan himself attributed the enthusiastic reception to timing: "Six months earlier the message would probably have been received in the State Department with raised eyebrows and lips pursed in disapproval. Six months later, it would probably have sounded redundant." Clark Clifford and George Elsey produced a report elaborating on the Long Telegram and proposing concrete policy recommendations based on its analysis. This report, which recommended "restraining and confining" Soviet influence, was presented to Truman on September 24, 1946.
In January 1947, Kennan drafted an essay entitled "The Sources of Soviet Conduct."Navy Secretary James V. Forrestal gave permission for the report to be published in the journal Foreign Affairs under the pseudonym "X." Biographer Douglas Brinkley has dubbed Forrestal "godfather of containment" on account of his work in distributing Kennan's writing. The use of the word "containment" originates from this so-called "X Article": "In these circumstances it is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies."
Kennan later turned against the containment policy and noted several deficiencies in his X Article. He later said that by containment he meant not the containment of Soviet Power "by military means of a military threat, but the political containment of a political threat."Second, Kennan admitted a failure in the article to specify the geographical scope of "containment", and that containment was not something he believed the United States could necessarily achieve everywhere successfully.
After Republicans gained control of Congress in the 1946 elections, President Truman, a Democrat, made a dramatic speech that is often considered to mark the beginning of the Cold War. In March 1947, he requested that Congress appropriate $400 million in aid to the Greek and Turkish governments, which were fighting Communist subversion.Truman pledged to, "support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." This pledge became known as the Truman Doctrine. Portraying the issue as a mighty clash between "totalitarian regimes" and "free peoples," the speech marks the adoption of containment as official U.S. policy. Congress appropriated the money.
Truman's motives on that occasion have been the subject of considerable scholarship and several schools of interpretation. In the orthodox explanation of Herbert Feis, a series of aggressive Soviet actions in 1945–47 in Poland, Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere awakened the American public to the new danger to freedom to which Truman responded.In the revisionist view of William Appleman Williams, Truman's speech was an expression of longstanding American expansionism. In the realpolitik view of Lynn E. Davis, Truman was a naive idealist who unnecessarily provoked the Soviets by couching disputes in terms like democracy and freedom that were alien to the Communist vision.
According to psychological analysis by Deborah Larson, Truman felt a need to prove his decisiveness and feared that aides would make unfavorable comparisons between him and his predecessor, Roosevelt."I am here to make decisions, and whether they prove right or wrong I am going to take them," he once said.
The drama surrounding the announcement of the Truman Doctrine catered to president's self-image of a strong and decisive leader, but his real decision-making process was more complex and gradual. The timing of the speech was not a response to any particular Soviet action but to the fact that the Republican Party had just gained control of Congress.Truman was little involved in drafting the speech and did not himself adopt the hard-line attitude that it suggested until several months later.
The British, with their own position weakened by economic distress, urgently called on the U.S. to take over the traditional British role in Greece.Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson took the lead in Washington, warning congressional leaders in late February 1947 that if the United States did not take over from the British, the result most probably would be a "Soviet breakthrough" that "might open three continents to Soviet penetration." Truman was explicit about the challenge of Communism taking control of Greece. He won wide support from both parties as well as experts in foreign policy inside and outside the government. It was strongly opposed by the Left, notably by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, who ran against Truman in the 1948 presidential campaign.
Truman, under the guidance of Acheson, followed up his speech with a series of measures to contain Soviet influence in Europe, including the Marshall Plan, or European Recovery Program, and NATO, a 1949 military alliance between the U.S. and Western European nations. Because containment required detailed information about Communist moves, the government relied increasingly on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Established by the National Security Act of 1947, the CIA conducted espionage in foreign lands, some of it visible, more of it secret. Truman approved a classified statement of containment policy called NSC 20/4 in November 1948, the first comprehensive statement of security policy ever created by the United States. The Soviet Union's first nuclear test in 1949 prompted the National Security Council to formulate a revised security doctrine. Completed in April 1950, it became known as NSC 68.It concluded that a massive military buildup was necessary to deal with the Soviet threat. According to the report, drafted by Paul Nitze and others:
In the words of the Federalist (No. 28) "The means to be employed must be proportioned to the extent of the mischief." The mischief may be a global war or it may be a Soviet campaign for limited objectives. In either case we should take no avoidable initiative which would cause it to become a war of annihilation, and if we have the forces to defeat a Soviet drive for limited objectives it may well be to our interest not to let it become a global war.
There were three alternative policies to containment under discussion in the late 1940s. The first was a return to isolationism, minimizing American involvement with the rest of the world, a policy that was supported by conservative Republicans, especially from the Midwest, including former President Herbert Hoover and Senator Robert A. Taft. However, many other Republicans, led by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, said that policy had helped cause World War II and so was too dangerous to revive.
The second policy was continuation of the détente policies that aimed at friendly relationships with the Soviet Union, especially trade. Roosevelt had been the champion of détente, but he was dead, and most of his inner circle had left the government by 1946. The chief proponent of détente was Henry Wallace, a former vice president and the Secretary of Commerce under Truman. Wallace's position was supported by far left elements of the CIO, but they were purged in 1947 and 1948. Wallace ran against Truman on the Progressive Party ticket in 1948, but his campaign was increasingly dominated by Communists, which helped to discredit détente.
The third policy was rollback, an aggressive effort to undercut or destroy the Soviet Union itself. Military rollback against the Soviet Union was proposed by James Burnhamand other conservative strategists in the late 1940s. After 1954, Burnham and like-minded strategists became editors and regular contributors to William F. Buckley, Jr.'s National Review magazine.
Truman himself adopted a rollback strategy in the Korean War after the success of the Inchon landings in September 1950, only to reverse himself after the Chinese counterattack two months later and revert to containment. General Douglas MacArthur called on Congress to continue the rollback policy, but Truman fired him for insubordination.
Under President Dwight Eisenhower, a rollback strategy was considered against communism in Eastern Europe from 1953 to 1956. Eisenhower agreed to a propaganda campaign to roll back the influence of communism psychologically, but he refused to intervene in the 1956 Hungarian Uprising,mainly for fear that it would cause the Third World War. Since 1950, the Soviets had been known to possess nuclear weapons.
The U.S. followed containment when it first entered the Korean War to defend South Korea from a communist invasion by North Korea. Initially, this directed the action of the US to only push back North Korea across the 38th Parallel and restore South Korea's sovereignty, thereby allowing North Korea's survival as a state. However, the success of the Inchon landing inspired the U.S. and the United Nations to adopt a rollback strategy instead and to overthrow communist North Korea, thus allowing nationwide elections under U.N. auspices.General Douglas MacArthur then advanced across the 38th Parallel into North Korea. The Chinese, fearful of a possible US presence on their border or even an invasion by them, then sent in a large army and defeated the U.N. forces, pushing them back below the 38th parallel. Truman publicly hinted that he might use his "ace in the hole" of the atomic bomb, but Mao was unmoved. The episode was used to support the wisdom of the containment doctrine as opposed to rollback. The Communists were later pushed back to roughly around the original border, with minimal changes. Truman criticized MacArthur's focus on absolute victory and adopted a "limited war" policy. His focus shifted to negotiating a settlement, which was finally reached in 1953. For his part, MacArthur denounced Truman's "no-win policy."
Many Republicans, including John Foster Dulles, were concerned that Truman had been too timid. In 1952, Dulles called for rollback and the eventual liberation of Eastern Europe.Dulles was named secretary of state by incoming President Eisenhower, but Eisenhower's decision not to intervene during the 1956 Hungarian Uprising made containment a bipartisan doctrine. Eisenhower relied on clandestine CIA actions to undermine hostile governments and used economic and military foreign aid to strengthen governments supporting the American position in the Cold War.
In the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the top officials in Washington debated using rollback to get rid of Soviet nuclear missiles, which were threatening the United States. There was fear of a nuclear war until a deal was reached in which the Soviets would publicly remove their nuclear weapons, the United States would secretly remove its missiles from Turkey and to avoid invading Cuba. The policy of containing Cuba was put into effect by President John F. Kennedy and continued until 2015.
Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for president in 1964, challenged containment and asked, "Why not victory?"President Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic nominee, answered that rollback risked nuclear war. Johnson explained containment doctrine by quoting the Bible: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but not further." Goldwater lost to Johnson in the 1964 election by a wide margin. Johnson adhered closely to containment during the Vietnam War. Rejecting proposals by General William Westmoreland for U.S. ground forces to advance into Laos and cut communist supply lines, Johnson gathered a group of elder statesmen called The Wise Men. The group included Kennan, Acheson and other former Truman advisors.
Rallies in support of the troops were discouraged for fear that a patriotic response would lead to demands for victory and rollback.Military responsibility was divided among three generals so that no powerful theater commander could emerge to challenge Johnson as MacArthur had challenged Truman.
Nixon, who replaced Johnson in 1969, referred to his foreign policy as détente, a relaxation of tension. Although it continued to aim at restraining the Soviet Union, it was based on political realism, thinking in terms of national interest, as opposed to crusades against communism or for democracy. Emphasis was placed on talks with the Soviet Union concerning nuclear weapons called the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. Nixon reduced U.S. military presence in Vietnam to the minimum required to contain communist advances, in a policy called Vietnamization. As the war continued, it grew less popular. A Democratic Congress forced Nixon, a Republican, to abandon the policy in 1973 by enacting the Case–Church Amendment, which ended U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and led to successful communist invasions of South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
President Jimmy Carter came to office in 1977 and was committed to a foreign policy that emphasized human rights. However, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, containment was again made a priority. The wording of the Carter Doctrine (1980) intentionally echoed that of the Truman Doctrine.
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Following the communist victory of Vietnam, Democrats began to view further communist advance as inevitable, but Republicans returned to the rollback doctrine. Ronald Reagan, a long-time advocate of rollback, was elected US President in 1980. He took a more aggressive approach to dealings with the Soviets and believed that détente was misguided and peaceful coexistence was tantamount to surrender. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, American policy makers worried that the Soviets were making a run for control of the Persian Gulf. Throughout the 1980s, under a policy that came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine, the United States provided technical and economic assistance to the Afghan guerrillas fighting against the Soviet army (Mujahideen).
By sending military aid to anti-communist insurgents in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, and Nicaragua, Reagan confronted existing communist governments and went beyond the limits of containment doctrine. He deployed the Pershing II missile in Europe and promoted research on a Strategic Defense Initiative, called "Star Wars" by its critics, to shoot down missiles fired at the United States.
Reagan's aim was to defeat the Soviets through an expensive arms buildup the Soviets could not match. However, Reagan continued to follow containment in several key areas. He pursued a comprehensive nuclear disarmament initiative called START I and policy toward Europe continued to emphasize a NATO-based defensive approach.
The end of the Cold War in 1991 marked the official end of the containment policy, but the U.S. kept its bases in the areas around Russia, such as those in Iceland, Germany, and Turkey. Also, much of the policy helped influence U.S. foreign policy in later years, such as during the War on Terror and dealing with post-Cold War dictators, such as Iraq's Saddam Hussein.
The Cold War (1947–1953) is the period within the Cold War from the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953. The Cold War emerged in Europe a few years after the successful US–USSR–UK coalition won World War II in Europe, and extended to 1989–91. In 1947, Bernard Baruch, the multimillionaire financier and adviser to presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Harry S. Truman, coined the term “Cold War” to describe the increasingly chilly relations between two World War II Allies: the United States and the Soviet Union.
The domino theory was a theory prominent from the 1950s to the 1980s that posited that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to justify the need for American intervention around the world.
Dean Gooderham Acheson was an American statesman and lawyer. As United States Secretary of State in the administration of President Harry S. Truman from 1949 to 1953, he played a central role in defining American foreign policy during the Cold War. Acheson helped design the Marshall Plan and was a key player in the development of the Truman Doctrine and creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy whose stated purpose was to counter Soviet geopolitical expansion during the Cold War. It was announced to Congress by President Harry S. Truman on March 29, 1947, and further developed on July 4, 1948, when he pledged to contain threats in Greece and Turkey. Direct American military force was usually not involved, but Congress appropriated financial aid to support the economies and militaries of Greece and Turkey. More generally, the Truman Doctrine implied American support for other nations allegedly threatened by Soviet communism. The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of American foreign policy, and led, in 1949, to the formation of NATO, a military alliance that is still in effect. Historians often use Truman's speech to date the start of the Cold War.
The Reagan Doctrine was stated by United States President Ronald Reagan in his State of the Union address on February 6, 1985: "We must not break faith with those who are risking their lives--on every continent from Afghanistan to Nicaragua--to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth." It was a strategy implemented by the Reagan Administration to overwhelm the global influence of the Soviet Union in the late Cold War. The doctrine was a centerpiece of United States foreign policy from the early 1980s until the end of the Cold War in 1991.
Brinkmanship is the practice of trying to achieve an advantageous outcome by pushing dangerous events to the brink of active conflict. It occurs in international politics, foreign policy, labor relations, and military strategy involving the threat of nuclear weapons, and high-stakes litigation. This maneuver of pushing a situation with the opponent to the brink succeeds by forcing the opponent to back down and make concessions. This might be achieved through diplomatic maneuvers by creating the impression that one is willing to use extreme methods rather than concede. The term is chiefly associated with American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, during the early years of the Eisenhower administration 1953-1956. Dulles sought to deter aggression by the Soviet Union by warning that the cost might be massive retaliation against Soviet targets.
George Frost Kennan was an American diplomat and historian. He was best known as an advocate of a policy of containment of Soviet expansion during the Cold War. He lectured widely and wrote scholarly histories of the relations between the USSR and the United States. He was also one of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".
Détente is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation, through verbal communication. The term in diplomacy originates around 1912 when France and Germany tried, without success, to reduce tensions.
A United States presidential doctrine comprises the key goals, attitudes, or stances for United States foreign affairs outlined by a president. Most presidential doctrines are related to the Cold War. Though many U.S. presidents had themes related to their handling of foreign policy, the term doctrine generally applies to presidents such as James Monroe, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, all of whom had doctrines which more completely characterized their foreign policy.
United States Objectives and Programs for National Security, better known as NSC 68, was a 66-page top secret National Security Council (NSC) policy paper drafted by the Department of State and Department of Defense and presented to President Harry S. Truman on 7 April 1950. It was one of the most important American policy statements of the Cold War. In the words of scholar Ernest R. May, NSC 68 "provided the blueprint for the militarization of the Cold War from 1950 to the collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s." NSC 68 and its subsequent amplifications advocated a large expansion in the military budget of the United States, the development of a hydrogen bomb, and increased military aid to allies of the United States. It made the rollback of global Communist expansion a high priority. NSC 68 rejected the alternative policies of friendly détente and containment of the Soviet Union.
The X Article, formally titled The Sources of Soviet Conduct, was an article written by George F. Kennan under the pseudonym "Mr. X" and published in Foreign Affairs magazine in July 1947. Kennan, who was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States to the USSR from 1944 to 1946, advocated in the article a policy of containment of the Soviet Union and strong anti-communism.
In political science, rollback is the strategy of forcing a change in the major policies of a state, usually by replacing its ruling regime. It contrasts with containment, which means preventing the expansion of that state; and with détente, which means a working relationship with that state. Most of the discussions of rollback in the scholarly literature deal with United States foreign policy toward Communist countries during the Cold War. The rollback strategy was tried and was not successful in Korea in 1950 and in Cuba in 1961, but it was successful in Grenada in 1983. The political leadership of the United States discussed the use of rollback during the uprising of 1953 in East Germany and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, but decided against it to avoid the risk of Soviet intervention or a major war.
This is a timeline of the main events of the Cold War, a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc.
The New Look was the name given to the national security policy of the United States during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It reflected Eisenhower's concern for balancing the Cold War military commitments of the United States with the nation's financial resources. The policy emphasized reliance on strategic nuclear weapons to deter potential threats, both conventional and nuclear, from the Eastern Bloc of nations headed by the Soviet Union.
This is an English language bibliography of scholarly books and articles on the Cold War. Because of the extent of the Cold War, the conflict is well documented.
The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made is a 1986 book by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas. It describes the actions of a group of U.S. government officials and members of the East Coast foreign policy Establishment. Starting in the immediate post-World War II period, the group developed the containment policy of dealing with the Communist bloc during the Cold War. They also helped to craft institutions and initiatives such as NATO, the World Bank, and the Marshall Plan. An updated edition of the book was released in 2012, as well as a "Quicklet" summary of the book.
The relations between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1922–1991) succeeded the previous relations from 1776 to 1917 and precede today's relations that began in 1992. Full diplomatic relations between both countries were established in 1933, late due to the countries' mutual hostility. During World War II, both countries were briefly allies. At the end of the war, the first signs of post-war mistrust and hostility began to appear between the two countries, escalating into the Cold War; a period of tense hostile relations, with periods of détente.
Project Solarium was an American national-level exercise in strategy and foreign policy design convened by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the summer of 1953. It was intended to produce consensus among senior officials in the national security community on the most effective strategy for responding to Soviet expansionism in the wake of the early Cold War. The exercise was the product of a series of conversations between President Eisenhower and senior cabinet-level officials, including Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and George F. Kennan, in the Solarium room on the top floor of the White House. Through these conversations, Eisenhower realized that strategic guidance set forth in NSC 68 under the Truman administration was insufficient to address the breadth of issues with which his administration was presented, and that his cabinet was badly divided on the correct course of action to deal with the Soviet Union. He found that internal political posturing threatened to undermine policy planning, and thus U.S. national security.
The foreign policy of the Harry S. Truman administration was the foreign policy of the United States from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953, when Harry S. Truman served as the President of the United States. The Truman administration's foreign policy primarily addressed the end of World War II, the aftermath of that war, and the beginning of the Cold War. Truman's presidency was a turning point in foreign affairs, as the United States engaged in an internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism.
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