Defining the Cold War, pp

Containment’s Longevity, Successes, & Costs

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Containment’s Longevity, Successes, & Costs

  • The policy of containment remained the core foreign policy agenda of all the Cold War presidents (from 1945-1991, the fall of the Soviet Union: Truman to Bush Sr.)

  • At times, presidents went beyond Truman’s conception of containment to “__________________________” communism where it already existed (example: the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1959, approved by ________, which had hoped to topple Communist leader Fidel Castro of Cuba with Cuban exiles financed and trained by the CIA)

  • There were times when containment worked successfully:

    • Marshall Plan: likely prevented many countries from being influenced by communism and helped the U.S. secure important allies politically and economically, though at a huge financial cost

    • Korean War (1950-’53): halted North Korea’s attempt to unite the Korean peninsula under communism; cost approximately 39,000 U.S. lives and the __________________________ of North Korea which continues to this day

    • Berlin __________________________ (1958-‘49): U.S. (and Britain) flew food and supplies into West Berlin for about a year after the Soviet Union began “holding West Berlin hostage” in an effort to force the Allies out of Berlin and allow communism to spread to all of the capital; eventually the Soviets gave up and lifted the blockade of West Berlin

    • Afghanistan (1979-‘89): U.S. supported anti-communist Afghans and encouraged the use of terrorism when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to prop up a communist government; eventually the Soviets gave up and exited Afghanistan

      • Note: Many of the anti-communist Afghans ended up becoming the Taliban, who controlled the government of Afghanistan from 1996-2001. The Taliban allowed Al Qaeda to set up shop in Afghanistan in the years leading to 9/11, which is why the U.S. invaded that country immediately after the attacks. Since being removed from power in 2001 by the invasion of the U.S. and its allies in the aftermath of 9/11, they’ve been attempting to come back to power. Bin Laden, the former leader of Al Qaeda, was also recruited and financed during this time by the CIA in an effort to keep communism out of Afghanistan.

  • There were times when containment did not work:

    • China (1949): China fell to communism despite U.S. aid to the anti-communists (nationalists)

    • Vietnam War (1950s-‘74): U.S. aided the unpopular anti-communist South Vietnamese government against the North Vietnamese communists; eventually the U.S. had to admit __________________________ and left the region, which was quickly toppled by the communists in 1975; the U.S. suffered approximately 58,000 casualties

  • At times, containment policy led to the assassination or ousting of power of Latin American and African leaders the U.S. perceived as __________________________-leaning (examples: Guatemalan president Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán was ousted in 1954 and Congolese president Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in 1960)

  • At times, the “__________________________ theory” was invoked to gain support for containment policies, as in the case of Vietnam:

“[Y]ou have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the “falling domino” principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences. . . . But when we come to the possible sequence of events the loss of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), of Burma, of Thailand, of the Peninsula, and Indonesia following, now you begin to talk about areas that not only multiply the disadvantages that you would suffer through loss of materials, sources of materials, but now you're talking about millions and millions and millions of people.” – President Dwight Eisenhower, 1954

  • Containment was a real __________________________ undertaking, as evidenced by the graph below:

    • Americans believed federal power should be used to fight communism abroad, despite its high cost

    • The cost was largely paid for by general rising prosperity in America and an expanding middle class

Directory: cms -> lib010 -> PA01916442 -> Centricity -> Domain -> 2100
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