In this essay, I am going to discuss various policies and wars that were a huge part in America’s history of fighting against the spread of communism throughout the 1940s and 1950s. These things were policies and ideas that helped to shape and mold our nation’s foreign policies as well as touch on events that forever changed our country.
In 1947 the United States called on a man named George Kennan to make an assessment of the Soviet Union to better understand the soviet threat that the US was facing. Kennan, who is known as the father of Containment, sent the US State Department an 8000 word missive in what is known today as the “Long Telegram.” In this dispatch he stated that he believed the Soviets thought themselves to be in a state of constant war with capitalism. He believed that the Soviets would use Marxists in the world of the capitalists as allies. Kennan also stated that the aggression of the Soviets would not align with the Russians and their views or with the reality of the economy, but more so following along with the ideology as the Tsars. Lastly Kennan pointed out that the government of the Soviets had a structure the prevented an accurate picture of the reality, internal as well as external. These ideologies of Kennan and the policy of Containment were the foundation of the Four Pillars of Foreign Policy.
The first of the pillars is Containment. Containment was set forth to stop the spread of communism. Of all the pillars Containment was the most expensive. This was the pillar that created such institutions as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), CENTO (Central Eastern Treaty Organization) and SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization).
The second of the pillars is that of Deterrence. The idea of deterrence is best explained as the use of threats by someone to convince another party to keep from initiating a course of action. Deterrence theory holds that nuclear weapons are made to deter other country from hitting us with their nuclear weapons, through the promise of retribution and the possibility of the destruction of both parties. Deterrence was based on four things. First, it assumed that “the threat of nuclear war was imminent”. The second idea behind deterrence was the “requirement for massive stockpiling of nuclear weapons”. Next, deterrence was the “willingness to use nuclear weapons at all levels of engagement”. The final commitment was to “stay ahead”.
Deterrence was the cause of many scenarios that were thought up in US and Soviet policy think tanks to figure out how best to use nuclear weapons to gain the maximize advantage. Although the Soviets did not blow up their first Atomic bomb until the year 1949, a Russian spy named Klaus Fuchs was part of the Manhattan project and actively helped the Soviets in the design of atomic protocols.
The third pillar is known as Intervention. Intervention was important because it was imperative to prevent the spread of communism. Intervention says that the United States...