The United States' strategy to confining, or preventing, the rise of Communism following World War II was known as "The Containment Policy." The goal was to make other countries rich enough to escape the allure of communism. Greece and Turkey were the first to put containment to the test. In both cases, the American government provided financial support that helped these countries resist Soviet pressure for influence.
Containment did not work with China. The US government knew that if Mao Zedong's Communist Party took over, it would be a threat to America's allies in Asia and to freedom worldwide. So, in 1949, President Truman signed a treaty with the Chinese government providing economic aid in return for access to Chinese resources.
This aid became known as "Truman Doctrine" because it was designed to help countries who resisted communist takeover by giving them money to help them rebuild their economies after the war.
Containment proved successful in limiting the spread of communism. By 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, there were only five countries still under communist rule: Cuba, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
However, containment had its drawbacks. Because of the need for secrecy, the US government had little input into what countries received aid from the fund; therefore, some of them became dependent on it.
Containment was a foreign policy of the United States of America at the start of the Cold War aimed at stopping the spread of Communism and keeping it "contained" and isolated within the current borders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR or the Soviet Union) rather than spreading to a war-torn world. The policy was formulated by President Harry S. Truman in response to the Communist takeover in China in 1949 and the subsequent formation of the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong.
Truman believed that if the US did not take action, then the USSR would likely do so itself. Therefore, the president decided that the best course of action was to contain the Soviet Union's influence within its own borders. This policy would keep Russia out of conflicts around the world and deprive them of the opportunity to become involved in another major power rivalry. Containment also prevented the spread of Communism because countries that saw themselves as part of the West could not be persuaded to join it. Even though many had a common enemy in Stalin, they did not want other countries to follow his example. Finally, containment helped keep the peace since there would be no need for additional military budgets if an outbreak of conflict was avoided.
In order to implement this policy, the United States formed NATO in 1949 and provided aid to countries in Europe who were vulnerable to Communism.
Containment was a United States policy that employed a variety of tactics to prevent the development of communism overseas. This Cold War policy was implemented in reaction to a series of initiatives by the Soviet Union to expand its communist sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, and Vietnam. Containment relied on the threat of military action if necessary to keep foreign countries from becoming too aligned with Moscow.
In addition to diplomatic efforts, the United States government adopted a number of laws and policies that were designed to hinder the growth of communism. One such law is the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which banned any American information agency from engaging in propaganda abroad. Another is the National Security Act of 1947, which established the office of secretary of defense and the position of chief of staff for the army. Both of these measures gave the government of the time greater control over how money was spent on national security issues.
Another important factor in containing the spread of communism was aid provided by the United States to other countries. During the Cold War, America's main ally was South Korea, which became officially independent in 1945. In addition, there were arrangements known as "defense pacts" or "security alliances" with many other nations. Under these agreements, each country received help from the others if they were attacked by any external force.
The final part of containment involved political actions taken by the United States to promote democratic reforms that would lead to free elections.
Containment was the primary Cold War policy of the United States and its allies to prevent communism from spreading overseas. This program was implemented in reaction to the Soviet Union's efforts to expand communist influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, Africa, and Vietnam.
The approach called for pressuring countries not to join the Communist Party, isolating them economically, and if necessary, using military force to stop them from becoming allied to Russia or China.
This policy was designed to cause enough damage to these countries so that they would remain neutralized instead of joining one side or the other. This strategy worked with some success; however, it caused many problems for our allies as well as America itself. For example, the isolation of China prevented it from contributing resources or support during the Korean War while the boycott of South Vietnamese goods caused serious economic problems for that country.
Additionally, containment brought about the spread of communism, since most of our allies followed this policy themselves. For example, France, Italy, Japan, India, Pakistan, and the USSR all had policies of containment toward each other. Finally, although America's own economy was strong, we could not compete economically with the Soviets when it came to supporting allies. For example, during the Korean War, America gave money to both North and South Korea but only the north had access to Soviet equipment because of America's trade embargo against the south.
The containment policy was intended to prevent the Soviet Union's influence from expanding. Containment is a geopolitical strategy used to halt an enemy's expansion. It was a Cold War foreign strategy pursued by the United States and its allies to prevent communism from spreading. The policy was devised by U.S. President Harry S. Truman in response to the Soviet Union's takeover of eastern Europe.
How did containment work? By isolating communist countries from the rest of the world, their economies would collapse under their own weight. Also, no one would buy their products, so they would not be able to make money. Finally, the people would rise up against their dictators and demand democracy.
Containment proved successful in slowing down the spread of communism. Today, all former communist states are democratic, with only Russia being officially rediscovered as a nuclear power.
However, some scholars believe that containment caused more damage to the West than it did to the Soviet Union. Because the policy required such a large military budget, it forced other countries to develop their own nuclear weapons programs. This led to the beginning of the nuclear arms race which ended up with each side building more and more nuclear bombs.
Another problem with containment is that both sides thought that the other country was too weak to ever fight back. So, they kept building up their armies and stockpiling their weapons.