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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 todays lesson.

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 revolution.

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 (together).

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.


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