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How did Cold War politics and assumptions shape American foreign policy from 1950–1980?

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It's no exaggeration to say that US foreign policy throughout the whole of this period was entirely determined by the imperatives of the Cold War. One of the most notable—and it has to be said, regrettable—manifestations of Cold War influence was on American policy towards the developing world. All too often, the United States openly supported and allied itself with all manner of unsavory regimes in this part of the world as a means of holding back the spread of communism.

Such regimes routinely oppressed their own people, presiding over the systematic violation of human rights. Yet they could always rely on the unwavering support of the United States so long as they played their part in keeping communist insurgency at bay. This particular aspect of US Cold War policy stored up a good deal of ill-will towards the...

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