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How did the United States contain communism?  

The US succeeded in containing Communism largely through its proactive efforts to build solidarity with foreign nations. This can be seen through the execution of the Marshall Plan, which delivered aid to European countries in order to rebuild their economies and prevent the spread of Communism, and the establishment of NATO, which joined the US and the democratic countries of Europe in a military alliance. 

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a controversial subject in light of the fact that many would contend that Communism was not successfully "contained." China became a communist state in 1949, and in the following thirty years, communist influence spread to other countries in Asia (North Korea and eventually all of Vietnam) and to some countries of the Middle East in spite of US efforts and the efforts of other Western countries to contain it.

Many people would contend, however, that the most important theater of influence was Europe, and it was here that the Soviets failed, assuming they really did have the goal of taking over the entire continent. The fact that Soviet control was not extended beyond the satellite countries of Eastern and Central Europe is mostly the result of the NATO alliance. The US was committed to the defense of its NATO allies, and no one on either side of the conflict wished to risk a nuclear war. This is exactly what probably would have happened if the Soviets had invaded Western Europe....

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