Containment Essay

This essay has a total of 1078 words and 6 pages.


James Livingstone Critical analysis of Americas policy of Containment
Block:A History 12
America’s Policy of Containment was introduced by George Kennan 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 defence 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 suposed 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 of so-called “Communism" that was the primary concern. Of course, both
the US and USSR would have preferred that the other simply disappear. But since this would
obviously have involved mutual annihilation, the Cold War was established.

According to the conventional Western view, the Cold War was a conflict between two
superpowers, caused by Soviet aggression, in which the U.S. tried to contain the Soviet
Union and protect the world from it. If this view is a doctrine of theology, there's no
need to discuss it. If it is intended to shed some light on history, we can easily put it
to the test, bearing in mind a very simple point: if you want to understand the Cold War,
you should look at the events . If you do so, a very different picture emerges.

On the Soviet side, the events of the Cold War were repeated interventions in Eastern
Europe: tanks in East Berlin and Budapest and Prague. These interventions took place along
the route that was used to attack and virtually destroy Russia three times in this century
alone. On the US side, intervention was worldwide, reflecting the status attained by the
US as the first truly global power in history.

On the domestic front, the Cold War helped the Soviet Union entrench its
military-bureaucratic ruling class in power, and it gave the US a way to compel its
population to subsidise high-tech industry. It isn't easy to sell all that to the domestic
populations. The technique used was the old stand-by-fear of a great enemy.

The Cold War provided that too. No matter how outlandish the idea that the Soviet Union
and its tentacles were strangling the West, the "Evil Empire" was in fact evil, was an
empire and was brutal. Each superpower controlled its primary enemy its own population by
terrifying it with the crimes of the other.

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