How did America seek to contain the threat of communism?
The Cold War, as we discussed, was mostly played out on the
diplomatic front and not the battlefield. As it became increasingly
clear that there would be a competition for power in the new world
order both nations formulated foreign polices designed to limit the
expansion of the other. In the case of the United States the policy
was known as containment. Simply put it was the goal of the US to
contain the spread of Communism. The specifics and implementation of
this policy as well as the Soviet response will be the focal point of
I. Post WWII Foreign Policy
A. What was the Soviet Foreign policy as WWII ended?
1. The Soviet Union feared US hegemony.
2. Stalin felt the need to control buffer states in Eastern Europe
and controlled most European nations with an iron grip.
3. Churchill described the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe as
the “Iron Curtain.”
4. Marxist/Communist philosophy called for worldwide communist
5. Stalin created the “Comintern” to facilitate said revolutions.
B. What was the US reaction to Soviet Post WWII foreign policy?
1. Development of Domino Theory
2. Development of Containment Policy.
C. How did President Truman enforce the Containment Policy?
1. Truman Doctrine – America would give vast financial
aid to stop the spread of Communism.
– US gave $400 million in aid to Greece and Turkey to
fend off Communist revolutions.
– 1947 US announces the Marshall Plan. 12 billion to be spent to
rebuild Europe. No Communist nation ever accepts a cent. Stalin
regards this as a threat.
D. How did the United States attempt a military solution to the
spread of Communism?
1. Creation of NATO – North Atlantic Treaty
Organization. 2. This was attempt to follow the doctrine known as
“Collective Security” Collective Security meant that Western
European nations would seek to protect themselves collectively
E. How did Stalin react to the creation of NATO?
1. Created a military alliance of Eastern European
powers called the Warsaw Pact designed to offset the power of NATO.
2. The Warsaw Pact Armies were far larger in troop strength than
their NATO counterparts but NATO was technologically superior.
3. Warsaw Pact was comprised of soldiers trained and armed by the
Soviet Union. Red Army troops lay behind them in support.
4. Warsaw Pact and NATO armies were less than a hundred yards away
at some points.