The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

1214 words - 5 pages

With a new war on the horizon America began to disregard some of its values as well as adopt new ones. Following the end of World War II an iron curtain fell across Europe, on one side the capitalist nation of America and on the other the communist nation of Soviet Russia. As a result of the Ideological differences between these two superpowers, America embraced a new value which would drive foreign policy for decades on; containment. The value of containment which, according to George Kennan, can be described as “long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of [Soviet] expansive tendencies." was first introduced to American foreign policy through the Truman Doctrine in 1947. ...view middle of the document...

In this case the policy of containment worked in the favor of America and got the free world to stand behind Berlin and as result stand behind America “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!” (JFK 1963). JFK is saying that the entire free world supported Berlin in their struggle against communism from the berlin blockade to the berlin wall and on. All of the free world viewed the berlin crisis as a successful example of containment.
The policy of containment while successful in guiding America’s actions throughout the Berlin crisis was not as successful in the case of the Bay of Pigs invasion. Fidel Castro after leading a successful revolution took over Cuba and soon after established diplomatic relations with the Soviets as well as nationalized all American companies. The former leader of Cuba, Batista, misled JFK by telling him that it would be easy to incite a revolution due to the supposed hatred of Castro. Unfortunately, this was not the case and when JFK sent in rebels to ignite a revolution it backfired and sent Castro into the arms of the Soviets. Overall “The ultimate goal was to establish a non-communist government that was friendly to the U.S. using Cuban rebels. The mission failed due to poor planning and lack of support from the Cubans. Many lives were lost and prisoners taken.”(). The Bay of Pigs invasion was a pre-emptive strike in stopping the spread of communism to Cuba and the western hemisphere. Containment says that America needs to keep an adamant stance against Soviet expansion and therefore not allow Cuba to establish a communist government no matter the cost. The Bay of Pigs invasion tried to do just that, but instead failed due to flawed intelligence and poor planning. In the attempt to follow the strategy containment America lost sight of the value of sovereignty. America ignored Cuba's right to govern themselves. Therefore, driven by the policy of containment America lost sight of its other values.
Despite the failure of the bays of pig’s invasion America still firmly believed in the value of containment as evidenced by the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War lasted for eight years and was driven by the domino theory. The domino theory, which was inspired by containment, stated that if one country where to succumb to communist rule then an unstoppable chain reaction would start where the countries surrounding it and the countries surrounding those countries would also turn to communism. America...

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