Part I -- ROOTS AND STRATEGIES OF THE COLD WAR BEFORE REAGAN

Chapter 4 – U.S. “Containment” Strategy from Truman to Johnson - 1950 to 1968

Summary

The U.S. Cold War strategy of “containment” that is the focus of this chapter was shaped by the awakening of the Western democracies to the inescapable realities of the totalitarian Marxist-Leninist ideology reviewed in Chapter 2 and of the long record of the Soviet Union’s betrayals and aggression as reviewed in Chapters 2 and 3. The present chapter returns to major events of the later 1940s and continues through the 1960s as President Harry Truman, his national security team, and their successors, together with key Western allies, developed a comprehensive strategy to respond to the Soviet intensification of a range of “cold” and “hot” wars fought principally between the nuclear superpower protagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union.

The U.S., its allies, and people liberated from occupation by Hitler’s National Socialist armies and Imperial Japan’s hoped for a post-war world of increasing peace and secure freedom and emphasized economic assistance (e.g., the Marshall Plan), arms control initiatives, demobilization, democratization, decolonization and international cooperation. Yet the aggressively militant Soviet Union rejected and failed to reciprocate all such

[Book pg. 69]

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