The long term strategy of the United States during the Cold War was attempt to limit the presence of Communism by not allowing its future increase. America had already come to grips with the reality that there were going to be two superpowers, it and Communist Russia. In preventing its future increase in other countries, the United States never really confronted Russia directly, but rather sought to combat Communism's growth in other nations. This helped to increase the United States' involvement in nations like Vietnam and in the Korean peninsula. Part of this strategy was aimed at winning "the hearts and minds" of people all over the world with a depiction of the United States as a land of freedom and opportunity, elements that could not be experienced in a Communist configuration.
No, the strategy was definitely not McCarthyism. McCarthyism was a domestic thing with the US trying to fight against communists who might be undermining the US from within.
The real long term strategy of the US against the Soviet Union and communism in general was the strategy of containment. According to this strategy, we would not try to defeat communism -- we would not try to invade their countries and overthrow their governments. Instead, what we would do would be to try to keep communism bottled up where it already was -- to not let it spread.
Containment was the ultimate goal. Through financial aid (the Marshall Plan) and military support (NATO and the UN) the U.S. attempted to confine communism. Unfortunately, it became apparent that it was not working as hoped. Through the years, we watched China, N. Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, etc. succumbed to the ideology of communism.
Basically it was containment via the Truman doctrine and marshall plan.
Only the method in which those policies were implented changed ro rather became aggressive after the Korean war and the cuban missile crisis. Both incidences marked the militarization of the cold war and alerted both the superpowers the danger of the nuclear weapon than any other period of the cold war history.
During the early stage of the cold war, the us employed containment policy in western europe so as to curb communism influecen. It was more of an economic and political approach rather than military. Also the containment in Asia was marked by large sum of aid. But with the start of the cold war, and the cuban missile crisis, the militarization of the two superpower became prominent.
These means were not only curb communism but also build informal US empire in which the ideology and economic system that US deem right is most prevalent. Until the cuban missile crisis, us believe such us hegemony was possible, but after 14days of crisis, us had to admit that they can not totally eradicate the soviet union but to find ways to co-exist peacefully.