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Were the methods used by the United States to contain communism justified?

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laramie | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM via web

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Were the methods used by the United States to contain communism justified?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM (Answer #1)

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The US used so many different methods in so many different places, that it is practically impossible to generalize.  I would argue that some of the methods used by the US were completely justified while others were not.

An example of a completely justified method was the Marshall Plan.  The Marshall Plan sought to contain communism in Europe by helping Western European countries rebuild their economies after WWII.  The threat of Soviet expansion was real and the method used to contain it was peaceful and benign.  In this instance, then, US methods were completely justified.

However, other methods were much less clearly justified.  An example of this might be the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadeq in Iran.  Mossadeq was not clearly a communist, so it is not clear that he was a real threat.  The method used to contain his (alleged) communism was one which led to the creation of a repressive government.  This is much less clearly justified.

Overall, then, US actions must be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine which were justified.

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