America’s Foreign Policy and the Cold War
The role of America at the end of World War II was where the origins of policing the world originate. America had been engaged in a very costly war in terms of dollars as well as lives. But, despite the expense the United States came out of World War II better than any other nation that was involved. The Second World War was a battle between the Allied and Axis Powers. The Allied Powers consisted of the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, China, and France. This war was seen as the fight against Nazi Germany, and therefore resulted in a majority of the battles fought on German and Russian soil. The aftermath left the Soviet Union in bad shape. Close to twenty million Russians had died fighting the war, which accounted for about eight percent of their population. Conversely, none of the fighting was done on American soil, and while the United States suffered in terms of casualties it was nothing compared to the loss Russia had endured. Because the war would not end until the Axis Powers fully surrendered to the Allied Powers, the United States was forced to use the first atomic warfare in history. The atom bomb would later serve as America's greatest possession.
Stalin, the Premier of the Soviet Union had always distrusted the American and English intentions. Because of Stalin's aggression and attitude pertaining to Soviet influence on Europe, the postwar stance on Russia had turned into a standoff. This became the origin of the Cold War. The Cold War, seen as a battle between communism and capitalism, was "in reality a more complex struggle over a broad range of ideological, economic, and strategic issues." Over the next several years the United States would spend more money on military and defense than ever before. Several measures were taken to ensure that the same mistakes at the end of World War I would not be repeated. The first in a series of measures was a postwar conference involving President Truman and the Soviet Foreign Minister, V.M. Molokov, where Truman controlled the entire meeting and basically scolded the Soviet's for not honoring agreements on Poland. Truman "told the Russians just where the got off and generally bossed the whole meeting." This symbolized America's strong-arm stance against communism and signified the position we would hold throughout the Cold War. The next step in Truman's agenda was to work with Congress to pass the National Security Act of 1947, which was designed to strengthen defense operations. This act created a single Department of Defense, and created the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA. These two new agencies acted as the first step in atomic warfare management.
Continuing to act as police of the world and leader of capitalism, Truman drafted the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan, which complemented the Truman Doctrine, "was a program of large scale economic and military aid to Europe." Considered by some, this was the most...