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Containment refers to the United States foreign policy toward the Soviet Union following World War II and through to the USSR's collapse in the early 1990s. The origin of the doctrine is a 1946 cable from George Kennan to the US Treasury Department, in which the diplomat Kennan described concepts that would comprise the basis of American foreign policy with regards to the USSR; among these were the ideas that the Soviet Union viewed itself to be in "perpetual war" with capitalism, and that social democracy and communism were incompatible.[1] The State Department then analyzed Kennan's telegram and proposed policy recommendations to President Harry Truman. Their report recommended "restraining and confining" Soviet influence. This rather vague statement allowed the United States to enforce "Democracy" on a worldwide scale, the effects of this being the basis, and justification, for the Cold War.

Truman Doctrine[edit]

The following year, 1947, saw massive unrest in Greece and Turkey; in both nations, a communist movement was gaining traction. Truman requested $400 million in aid to grant to Greece and Turkey to fight against the communist "subversion."[2] Truman's request (made in the form of a speech to Congress) represented the first official instance of containment policy, and the policy of providing aid to governments of nations in which the threat of communist uprising was significant is known as the Truman Doctrine.


If we let one fall, then others will fall, until even us are crushed under the weight of the mightiest domino the world has ever seen.

The United States has fought two major wars in attempting to "contain" the spread of Soviet influence (i.e. communism): the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Neither is remembered fondly.

The Korean War guaranteed the retention of South Korea in the capitalist camp. In this sense, it was a success, as the nation was a critical prop in the region, buttressing the rise of a booming Japan and in latter years becoming one of the most technologically advanced economies on the planet. However, it failed to affect North Korea, and the war led to the creation of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, in addition to winning the dangerous resentment of the batshit-crazy Kim Jong-il.

Vietnam... well, on the bright side, it inspired a lot of pretty good music. And, with a few exceptions (namely The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, Platoon [before Charlie Sheen became insane], and Full Metal Jacket), some pretty mediocre films.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]