The American people were willing to use arm forces if that meant stopping the spread of communism. Other than arm forces, the American people were willing to give economic and military aid to those countries who faced threats of communism (76). About 80 percent of American people favored the aid to stop communist aggression (76). The Cold War consensus had influenced foreign policy during that time.
This variation is representable one, because this one is a main policy during the rest of Cold War. This variation as known as ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’. This variation appeared with incensement of Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons. This variation’s definition is ‘Military theory of nuclear deterrence holding that neither side will attack the other if both sides are guaranteed to be totally destroyed in the conflict’. Hungarian mathmatition ‘John Von Neumann’ claimed this theory first, President J.F.Kennedy and Lyndon .B
Although each president’s style varied from each other, they were all trying to reach a common goal. The main objective was to stop the spread of communism and each president fought it differently, Truman favored economic aid, Eisenhower preferred to use the military, and Kennedy liked to be flexible between all of the options. Truman was the first president to be in office during the Cold War. As a result
By establishing the Truman Doctrine, his main goal was to keep other nations who were resisting Communism to be able to stand up for themselves. Since the Soviet Union was in the midst of all Communist activity, Truman knew that Stalin would eventually spread his beliefs into other parts of the world. Fearing that he would lose yet another nation to Stalin, Truman quickly decided that he had to do something to help other countries who were in need of political and monetary aid. As a result, the Truman Doctrine was first created when Truman stood before Congress on March 12, 1947, and asked for $400 million to fight Communist aggression in Greece and Turkey. When Congress approved Truman’s request, he was able to send political, military, and economic assistance to Greece and other democratic nations that were under threat from Stalin (history.state.gov).
When China took Soviets side, Truman added China to his list of enemies. He declared a battle against North Korea, which led to them fighting the Chinese as well. He chose not to fight with nuclear weapons to decrease the chances of a nuclear war. In June 1950, when communist forces from North Korea invaded South Korea, Truman sent in U.S. planes, ships and ground troops to aid the South Koreans. He was able to save South Korea from becoming communists
The proliferation of nuclear arms during the Cold War was thus to deter against aggression from the other power by reducing benefits and raising the cost of facing retaliatory capabilities that will keep the other side in fear of striking first. Nuclear deterrence can also be precarious where missteps could easily spiral, as seen in the Cuban Missile Crisis when US and USSR came close to having a nuclear war. After the collapse of the USSR and with the increase in nuclear states, nuclear proliferation became a renewed security concern as the source for deterrence have changed and nuclear arms have increased destructive power. The incentive of nuclear deterrence in ensuring the security of states could cause a proliferation of nuclear weapons, further increasing the number of dyads in the already multipolar system. A neo-realist like John Mearsheimer will argue that since multipolarity breeds instability, the increase in dyads creates greater imbalances in power which makes deterrence harder and more prone to miscalculations that could easily escalate to nuclear war, and is hence a great security
If the policy of containment was purely humanitarian, it would be expected that the actions of all US agencies would follow this ethos. However, this is not the case. Perhaps the best example of this would be the CIA’s assistance in a royalist coup in Iran resulting in the expulsion of its then Prime Minister. The coup was primarily organized in reaction to the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry as well as fear of Iran joining the Soviet Bloc. This is a clear example of the dubious nature of facets of the containment policy, after all, there is a strong argument that the coup was arranged in order to secure American access to resources as opposed to halt the advance of communist ideology.
The Truman Doctrine demonstrated the U.S. intention to counter any further expansion with military force. This was the hard power element of containment. Then the Ottawa treaty or the land mine treaty that came in during the bush administration because the Clinton administration had not signed it. When George W Bush came into power he revoked the signing of that ban. This is significant because, the refusing to sign the deal there were no major consequences that came their way.
Firstly the Korean War was a Cold War conflict was the manifestation of the Cold war through a proxy. This moved the rivalry of the superpowers , fighting from Europe to Asia, and became a direct conflict. Syngman Rhee (South Korea) under USA’s support, was a strategist who claimed to “produce a victorious end to the wars in Korea … would swing the balance of power so strongly against the Soviet Union that it would not dare risk war with the United States”. Kim Il Sung (North Korea) was emboldened by both China and USSR and said “the liberation of the Korean people in the south is next in line”. It would seem that North Korea had plans to unify Korea and USSR supported the unification.
4. John F. Kennedy was president through 1961 -1963 and was a firm believer in containing communism and made it clear that he would continue the same policy of former President Eisenhower in supporting the government in South Vietnam along with the ‘Domino Theory’ which suggested that if one country in a region were to fall under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino-like effect. While Kennedy had been warned that further involvement of warfare in Vietnam would only trap America in a “bottomless military and political swamp” he still decided to further fund and expand the Vietnamese army from “150,000 to 170,000” soldiers and agreed to send an “extra 1000 US military advisors to South Vietnam” n order to help train the new Army.
Kennedy however used different tactics. Truman and Eisenhower both used containment, the act of sending money and supplies to susceptible countries to prevent the soviet union from taking hold and growing, and economic aid, sending money and supplies to poor countries to jump start their economies. Kennedy, however used Military use, the sending of troops and having the country use them for defense and attacking threats, and Flexible response, instead of what previous people did this is taking action in your own way (more on that later), instead of Massive retaliation, the willingness to solve problems with nuclear force, all three presidents used
Another interesting event to note is the Berlin Airlift. The American foreign policy following WWII was called ‘Containment’ which basically means that America cannot stop communism but we can top it from spreading. Following WWII we adopted something called the Marshall Plan which was “crucial to the overall strategy of rebuilding Europe’s war-torn economies.” It was a European recovery program to rebuild Europe’s currency, economy and to foster free trade. But there was another motive to George Marshall’s plan and that was Containment.