The blame for the Cold War cannot be placed on one person -- it developed as a series of chain reactions as a struggle for power. It can be argued that the Cold War was inevitable, and therefore no one's fault, due to the differences in the capitalist and communist ideologies. It was only the need for protection that had caused the two countries to sink their differences temporarily during the Second World War. Yet many of the tensions that existed in the Cold War can be attributed to Stalin's policy of Soviet expansion. Stalin's foreign policies contributed an enormous amount to the tensions of the Cold War.
They thought a departure from this model would signify a Soviet surrender to the Capitalist West in the ideological war. However, not all policies resulted in failure and devastating suffering (Allen 1964). One notable exception was the policy of Peaceful Coexistence instituted by Khrushchev. Until then, the country had been led by Josef Stalin. Under Stalin’s leadership, many oppressive and rigid policies were put in place.
He had managed to avoid direct confrontation with the USA by claiming that the Cuban missiles served as deterrence to US invasion, which was in fact a bluff. No major sacrifices from the USSR were made and the power balance between USA and the USSR tilted towards the favour of the USSR. Through USSR’S intervention and “intrusion” into US territory in the Cuban Missile Crisis, USSR was able to gain a better bargaining position over Berlin and other areas of conflict, allowing it to deflect American attention from its military weaknesses and allowing it to protect its defenses better. The defense of Cuba was not critical to the USSR as it was not worth sacrificing the USSR just because of Cuba. Furthermore, the USSR’s military
Truman made some decisions that ultimately had a huge effect in the build up to the cold war. When plans were made for the division of power after WWII, Truman originally opposed America ganging up against Russia and said he would keep the agreements that were made with them. But Truman wanted to appear decisive and tough and he was not prepared to accept any deal if he could not get the majority of it his way. When Truman went to the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, he went there only to advance American Interest and he believed that the atomic bomb was the way to do this. Though this treat he was able to have his way at the Yalta conference.
Laos was threatened by Communist insurgents and Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia had renounced aid from the US and demanded neutrality in any further conflicts. Left-wing insurgents were threatening Thailand and the British were having similar issues in dealing with threats in Malaysia and Borneo. Sukarno. Leader of Indonesia, had started to show an interest in the Indonesian communist party, much to the ire of America. While the more sophisticated of the US advisers realised that the domino theory was too simplistic in an increasingly non-linear world, split not just by ideology but also historically through ethnic and nationalist conflict, this didn't mean that the USSR and China would exploit any weakness shown by the USA.
However, the USA in the 1950s believed that if South Vietnam (which was not controlled by Ho) fell to Ho, this would mean communist expansion. This was because the American administration believed in the domino theory, i.e. once a country falls to communism, this will mean that Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, etc will start to fall to communism. In turn, the USA under Eisenhower drew a line in Vietnam to stop Ho reunification attempt. At the same time they tried to create a strong non-communist South Vietnam under the leadership of Diem.
Besides that Cheddi Jagan was a communist, John F. Kennedy did not have a valid reason to overthrow the British Guiana government. Kennedy was resolute in his decision and sought to deny Jagan and the PPP any power. Cheddi Jagan won the 1961 elections against the socialist Forbes Burnham, who Kennedy supported. Jagan’s victory made Kennedy believe that the country would allow for the growth of communism in the Western Hemisphere. Despite the United States’ concerns for the creation of a communist country, the British were unwilling to interfere.
In his work, Fleming explained that if the Soviets wanted to attack the united states of America they had done it because they had all the necessary equipment but at that period the nation was more interested in its inner politics than conquering the world. Seeing the Soviet Union as its biggest threat and being afraid of the “Domino” effect, the American government decided to take actions by supporting the rebels in Latin America and countries that were gaining their independence in a hope that these societies will adopt the capitalist ideology. The decisions that the USA made where not always elaborated and in some cases they did more harm than good. Isolating the U.S.S.R from the world politics was
How successful was the West in containing communism in Europe up to 1949? Explain your answer. Communism had always posed a threat to the interest of the U.S. and their attitudes towards the U.S.S.R. had proved they had not entertained the idea of communism much. But it was not until February 1946 did it all come out and the U.S.A began to act towards containing communism. The policy of containment meant the U.S. actively prevented the spreading of communism.
Throughout the better part of the 1950′s, Eisenhower’s national security strategy insured that there was no military superpower confrontation. Because Eisenhower had doubts that a “limited war” would remain such, his over-all national security policy, called the “New Look,” was based on the unstoppable nuclear striking power of Strategic Air Command. During this period of relative peace, Democrat political opponents and social-science civilian theorists were in constant chorus that the New Look Massive Retaliation was simply too risky for the country and the world. In spite of the Massive Retaliation doctrine’s success in preventing conflict between the U.S. and Soviet Union, in 1961 President Kennedy and his civilian social-science theorists rewrote the rules of war, conceiving and implementing a replacement doctrine they dubbed “Flexible Response” to counter client proxy warfare. It was at this point that we completely departed from the strategic thinking that had won World War II.