Containment



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.

In crucial respects, then, the Cold War was a kind of tacit arrangement between the Soviet Union and the United States under which the US conducted its wars against the Third World and controlled its allies in Europe, while the Soviet rulers kept an
iron grip on their own internal empire and their satellites in Eastern Europe -- each side using the other to justify repression
and violence