The Cold War Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How did the US enact the policy of containment?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,462 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

One of the key components of the policy of containment was the strategic alliance between the United States and various unsavory regimes in the developing world, most notably Latin America. Successive administrations propped up these regimes as a way of preventing the spread of Communism.

The ideology of Communism tends to take hold in agricultural societies where the wealth gap between rich and poor is wide, and the opportunities for the poor to change their lives through peaceful political activity are virtually non-existent. This creates the conditions for Communism to flourish, as Communists offer the poor and downtrodden an opportunity to strike back at a political and economic system which has held them down for so long.

Instead of trying to ameliorate these occasions as it had done in Western Europe after the Second World War, the United States reinforced the unjust socio-economic structures in various parts of the developing world by offering substantial financial and military...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 672 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write2,982 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


gsenviro | Student

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 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. A 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 the US build better relationships with European nations, but also highlighted its financial superiority, military superiority already was established by the 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).