The Cold War Redux

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Transcript The Cold War Redux

The Cold War Redux
The Soviet Union
The Soviets were largely concerned
about establishing greater security.
By some estimates, the U.S.S.R. had
suffered military and civilian losses of 20
million during the war.
Many more had died in Stalin's brutal
political purges.
The Soviet government, for example,
often executed as traitors returning Red
Army soldiers who had had the
misfortune of being prisoners of war
The Soviet Union
The Soviet Union wanted
Ward off another attack
Establish defensible
Encourage friendly regimes
on its western borders
“One cannot forget the following fact: the
Germans carried out an invasion of the
U.S.S.R. through Finland, Poland, Rumania,
Bulgaria, and Hungary....One can ask,
therefore, what can be surprising in the fact
that the Soviet Union, in a desire to ensure
its security for the future, tries to achieve
that these countries should have
governments whose relations to the Soviet
Union are loyal?”
Joseph Stalin
A Clash of Interests
• After World War II, the United
States and the Soviet Union
became increasingly hostile,
leading to an era of
confrontation and
competition that lasted from
about 1946 to 1990 known
as the Cold War.
“From Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic,
an iron curtain has descended across the continent.
Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient
states of central and eastern Europe. Warsaw,
Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade,
Bucharest, and Sofia, all these famous cities and the
populations around them lie in the Soviet sphere and
all are subject, in one form or another, not only to
Soviet influence but to a very high and increasing
measure of control from Moscow....Police
governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and
so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true
Winston S. Churchill
Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri
March 5th, 1946
• United States followed a
policy of "containment" when
dealing with the spread of
Communist regime
• The Long Telegram by
George Kennan
The Long Telegram
• The history of Russia has been
one of hostile neighbors and a
constant fear of attack; it's
inevitable that Russia will try to
take over its neighbor states to
provide a buffer zone.
• The United States has a duty to
confront Soviet aggression with
"unalterable counterforce."
• The United States must maintain
a policy of long-term containment
of Soviet aggression.
• The policy of containment required the
United States to react to Soviet
• This policy, gave the President much
greater military power.
• The need to respond quickly to foreign
crises did not allow the President the
luxury of waiting for Congress to
approve military action.
• Since the Truman Doctrine 9COVERS
Greece and Turkey), many United
States military actions, including those
in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Somalia,
have been undertaken by presidential
The Marshall Plan
• Marshall believed that the American
economy depended on open markets.
• Rebuilding the economies of Europe
would guarantee American prosperity by
providing an outlet for the nation's
• Economic stability in Europe would
translate into political stability, that
Communism would have little appeal to
well-fed and employed Europeans.
• Between 1948 and 1951, the United
States sent $13 billion in aid to Western
European nations.
• "German miracle,(1947-1954)" West
Germany's economic output increased
Belgian metal works before and
after Marshall Plan.
The Berlin Airlift
• In response to growing
American economic and military
power in Europe, the Soviet
Union cut off western links to
Berlin, which was located inside
the Soviet-occupied zone.
• Truman, in turn, ordered a
massive, year-long airlift of
medical supplies, food and
clothing for West Berliners.
• Eventually, the Soviets lifted the
• April 1949, twelve nations of Western
Europe and North America signed the
North Atlantic Treaty, creating the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
• The goal of NATO was to coordinate the
defense of Western Europe.
• An attack on any of its member nations
was equal to an attack on all, with each
nation obliged to battle their common foe.
• Primary support, both militarily and
monetarily, came from the United States.
• Soviets will counteract with the Warsaw
Pact in 1956