How did containment lead to the Cold War?
"Containment" was name given to the strategy formulated by American policy leaders in response to what they perceived as Communist aggression. This policy was first suggested by American diplomat George Kennan, whose "Long Telegram" painted the Soviets as implacable expansionists. In response, Kennan recommended (in a later article in Foreign Affairs) "long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies." Whether this caused the Cold War is open to debate, but it certainly helped shape the contours of the conflict. Within half a decade of Kennan's article, the United States committed to resisting communism by providing economic and military aid to anti-communists (as in Turkey and Greece,) by maintaining a large military presence to counter the Soviets (as in the divided Germany) and even by invasion (as in Korea). Containment assumed that the Soviets would always behave aggressively, and that the United States needed to maintain a firm response. Pursuing this policy contributed to many of the Cold War's early crises, beginning with the Berlin blockade and airlift in 1948. It would continue to shape American foreign policy until the end of the Cold War.