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How did the US enact the policy of containment?

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felipeandliz | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM via web

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How did the US enact the policy of containment?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM (Answer #1)

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During the Cold War, containment was the main policy of the United States.  This was a policy that was meant to prevent the spread of communism.  The United States enacted the policy of containment in at least two main ways.

First, the US tried to use economic and political means to tie other countries closer to it and keep them from becoming communist.  Perhaps the clearest example of this was the creation of the Marshall Plan soon after World War II.  By giving economic aid of this sort, the US was building good will among foreign countries while also strengthening their economies.  This would, it was hoped, create stronger ties between those countries and the US and make them more resistant to communism.

Second, the US used military means to try to resist the spread of communism.  This was first done in Greece and Turkey via that Truman Doctrine.  It was used in the Korean War.  The whole concept of the nuclear deterrent was aimed at preventing the communists from spreading through military force.

Thus, the US used military, political, and economic tools to try to prevent the spread of communism during the Cold War.

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted April 28, 2015 at 1:34 PM (Answer #2)

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The Containment Policy was a strategic response to the alleged spread of communism by the Soviet Union and called for containing the communist influence in friendly countries via economic, political and military means. 

The policy was mostly associated with President Truman, who created NATO as a mutual defense group, particularly aimed at defending NATO countries from an attack by the Soviet Union. An example of the containment policy was Truman's request for $400 million as aid to Turkey and Greece who were fighting communist forces. Similar idea was used for the Marshall Plan, which provided $13 billion to rebuild the European countries destroyed by the war. This not only helped US build better relationships with European nations, but also highlighted its financial superiority, military superiority already was established by Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombing. 

Other strategies such as rollback were also used in American conflicts with communist states, but mostly reverted back to containment (Korean War is a good example).

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