History Essay: The U.S Containment Policy

Published: 2021-08-15
643 words
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University of Richmond
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The cold war was one of the most famous US foreign policy whose main aim was to contain communism in different parts of the world (Hook and Spainer). The US was keen on forcing its political and economic ideologies to countries such as the USSR and the Vietnam where communism dominated. Despite the efforts made by the US during the cold war, questions have been raised over the success of the US. It is evident that some of the wrong moves made during the time included the Vietnam War where they lost despite spending a lot of money, but success was recorded in many instances. Therefore, this study will establish why the cold war policy of containment did not make the world and the US safer against communism.

Overspending was one of the major undoing by the US in the containment policy (Gaddis). It is important to note that the fall of the Soviet Union can never be entirely attributed to the US impact. It has been argued that this fall was an inevitable fall that originated from within the USSR. One of the factors that led to the fall of the USSR was the excessive expenditure on the military that ended up being unsustainable. Two, the country became too large to be administered as one state known as the USSR. Finally, all these activities meant that the USSR spent more than it generated which led to bankruptcy and the collapse of the union.

The US efforts to contain communism almost led to a nuclear war that would have affected the entire world. This exposed US military intelligence for failing to develop effective policies after President Truman had declared US intention to contain communism. The Truman doctrine intended to make the US safe and peaceful by fighting communism outside America. Threats such as nuclear program development that brought together Cuba and USSR proved to be a big challenge. The failed intelligence exposed American soldiers both in Korea and the Vietnam. For instance, many soldiers were killed in Vietnam when they came up against the Viet Cog forces (Bragg). Also, America was exposed in Cuba after the indirect approach to funding a coup became unsuccessful. The intelligence should have monitored and predicted the fall of the USSR due to heavy spending and administration challenges. This would have reduced the amount of money spent by the US in the war in Vietnam, Cuba and the USSR.

While the US might have made a significant impact in the fall of the communism a new and more serious challenge known as extremism arose (Hook and Spainer). The Threat of the Islamic extremism was never realized in the US soil until the instances that occurred on September 11, 2001. The US had invested a lot of resources on communism and failed to recognize that communism was never as serious as extremism. The rise of extremism meant that the US was no longer safe and that new approaches required protecting US citizens from terrorist acts of the Islamic extremists.

The containment policy was an effort by the US government to contain communism around the world. This war was started by President Truman who believed that containing communism would make the US and the rest of the world safe. However, the policy faced many challenges that resulted in failures in several areas. The US wasted a lot of military resources and financial resources. The US intelligence was also exposed for failing to detect critical signs. Finally, the emergence of the extremist groups has proven to be a bigger threat as compared to communism.

Works Cited

Bragg, Christine. Vietnam, Korea, and US Foreign Policy. London: Heinemann, 2005.

Gaddis, John Lewis. Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 205.

Hook, Steven and John Spainer. American foreign policy since WWII. Washington: CQ Press, 2012.



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