The United States suffered agreat deal of loss during the cold war, especially by entering the horrificproxy wars (such as Vietnam). All of these losses were a consequence of thepoor leadership decisions made by the United States government, all the wayback in World war II, however it was a period of great growth in foreign affairsand overall, there were some failures and successes for the United States.The Rio pact of 1947 was anexample of containment used in Latin America. The Rio Pact provided that”an armed attack by any State shall be considered as an attack against allthe American States and, consequently, each one of the said Contracting Partiesundertakes to assist in meeting the attack.” Signed in 1949, it createdthe North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). During the Cold War, suchpolicies seeking to limit Soviet influence, but consequently it involved theUnited States and its allies to get into proxy wars such as theKorean War andVietnam War.Rejecting the rollback ofCommunism by force because it risked nuclear war, Washington developed a newstrategy called containment to oppose the spread ofcommunism.
The idea ofcontainment was to match Soviet aggression with force wherever it occurredwhile not using nuclear weapons. The containment policy was developed by U.S.
diplomat George Kennan in 1947. Kennan characterized theSoviet Union as “anaggressive, anti-Western power that necessitated containment”, acharacterization which would shape US foreign policy for decades to come. Dueto the hostility on both sides and each countries’ search for security, a tenseworldwide contest developed between the two states as the two nations’governments vied for global supremacy militarily, culturally, and influentially.The United States enacted theMarshall Plan in 1948,which supplied Western Europe –including Germany–with $13 billion USD inreconstruction aid.
A similar program was used by U.S. to restore the Japaneseeconomy. The U.S. actively sought allies, which it subsidized with diplomaticsupport along with military and economic foreign aid. Most nations aligned witheither the Western or Eastern camp, but after 1960 the Soviets broke with Chinaas the Communist movement worldwide became divided.
For more than 40 years, theworldwide clash between Capitalism and Communism was shaped with a never endingnuclear arms race, intensive espionage and fierce competition as each sidetried to gain an upper hand in the much anticipated nuclear war that everybodyfeared would someday come. Of these, three major foreign policies shaped thecircumstances of the cold war. The grand alliance completelyfell apart after the WW2 ended and soon the countries turned against eachother, especially U.
S. and the Soviet Union, in their attempts to make theirgovernment model, a more widespread one.The Foreign policies of both thecountries throughout the second half of the 20th Century was defined by theCold War. They mainly focused on getting ahead in the competition between the Americansand the Soviets in terms of global affairs, military build ups, technology andnuclear power.
In Potsdam, the grand alliancehad made an agreement on the division of Germany. All of Germany was dividedinto zones of influence: French, British, American and Soviet zones. Berlin,the capital, was also split into these very zones. In terms of reparations, theSoviet Union pressed for the most reparations because they had the highest lossin terms of casualties and financial expenditure. In case of atomic bombs,America had already tested the atomic bomb and that made a massive differenceto the way they negotiated. Finally, in Poland, the Red army (the communistarmy) had occupied much of Eastern Europe. These factors, completely changedthe working relationship between U.S.
and the Soviet Union.The final conference, the Potsdamconference from 17 July to 2nd August, 1945,had some new faces. Harry S. Truman represented U.
S. after the death of FDR andClement Attlee was elected the new Prime Minister of Britain. There were veryserious divisions in this conference, especially because the war was now comingto an end- they didn’t have a powerful enemy they were all opposed to so therewasn’t much holding them together. Also, Truman, unlike FDR, had a verydifferent attitude towards Stalin. Four major topics came up for discussionduring Potsdam, that included Territory, German reparations, the atomic bomband Poland.
Many agreements made by FDR inYalta, backfired for the United States. U.S. had successfully deployed theAtomic bomb and so, they didn’t require assistance of the Soviet Union (as wasrequested by FDR), but the Soviet Union held up their end of the bargain,because of which they got notable influence over Asia. Also, in 1949, unlikewhat was agreed by FDR and Churchill, Stalin invaded all of Poland.
Poland wascommunist, and completely under the eastern sphere of influence.Following Tehran, the Yaltaconference in from 4th to 11th February, 1945,was the peak of the relationship for the Grand Alliance. Roosevelt wasbeginning to genuinely trust Stalin.
He said during this conference: “If Igive him everything he will word me for a world of democracy and peace.”With this new trust, FDR requested the Soviet Union to join U.S. in the fightagainst Japan. Stalin negotiated and got a deal that in return, the Sovietwould have their influence in Asia recognized in particular in areas such asManchuria. FRD agreed. Many Americans weren’t happy with this decision becausethey felt they were giving away Asia to the Soviet Union. The big three, allagreed that they were going to force Germany to surrender: they would splitGermany into zones, areas they controlled; they would demilitarize Germany;remove traces of the Nazi party and Nazi leaders; and Germany would payreparations- part of which included forced labour.
The Soviet Union also madethe commitment to join the United Nations, an organization which was in theprocess of being created. It was also decided that Nazi war criminals would bechased and tried after the war. The division of Poland (unresolved from theTehran Conference) was still there.
They made an initial agreement that an areaof Poland would be under the Soviet Union. The rest of Poland would have freeelection and these would potentially be completely independent.The Tehran Conference in 1943,from 28th November to 1st December,was the first conference between the great alliance where Roosevelt, Stalin andChurchill discussed their strategies to defeat Nazi Germany and made crucialdecisions about situations after the end of WWII. Some of the importantdiscussions included an agreement to open a second front in WW2 ( WesternEurope). The Soviet Union was verykeen on having the second front open so that the pressure of German soldiersthey were fighting with in the Soviet Union, was lightened. The very firstclash in ideologies between these countries came up during this veryconference, when the Soviet Union wanted to have a sphere of influence overEastern Europe but U.S. and Britain wanted to have a western sphere ofinfluence over the same region.
This is crucial because countries under theirspheres of influence, follow those respective models of government. Someunresolved issues included the discussion of what would be done with Germanyafter the end of the war, and also how much of Poland would the Soviet UnionClaim? This was demanded by Stalin, because before he entered the Grand Alliancehe was in a pact with the Nazis, called the Nazi-Soviet pact where the divisionof Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union had been agreed upon.The relationship between the grandalliance began to change towards the end of WWII.
It essentially went fromfriendship to suspicion. Their relationship was an alliance due to a commonenemy rather than a genuine mutualistic relationship. Americans had issues withcommunism and the brutality of Stalin’s rule. The Soviet Union had problemswith America not treating it as an important part of the internationalcommunity and with America’s late entry into the second world war whichresulted in the death of tens of millions of Russians.
Even as allies in thesecond world war, tension was high between the two sides, which was clear ineach of the three conferences.The cold war was due to theintense geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and its satellite states,who were considered the eastern powers, and the United States and its NATOallies, who were considered the western powers. Historians don’t seem to agreeon a common timeframe for the Cold War,but it is commonly believed that it started either in 1947- the year the TrumanDoctrine was announced, or 1989- when communism fell in eastern Europe andended in the year 1991- when the Soviet Union Collapsed.
The Cold War wasmainly comprised of proxy wars rather than a large-scale fighting between thetwo sides.The Tehran, Yalta and Potsdamconferences were conferences between Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt(and later, Harry S. Truman) and Churchill (and later, Clement Attlee) whorepresented the Soviet Union, the U.S. and Britain respectively. These bigthree to decide their strategies to defeat the Nazis and the post-war world.These conferences are crucial because they highlighted the differences betweenthese three nations and therefore causes of the Cold war. These conferencestook place during the duration of the second World War, therefore the decisionsmade by FRD and other American Presidents during these conferences are the”leadership decisions” made by United States that shaped the post-warCold War.
The second world war was thesecond global war, starting on the widely accepted date of September 1st, 1939 and it lasted until September 2nd, 1945. TheUnited States allied with Britain and the Soviet Union, despite their differences, because they had acommon enemy– the Nazi Germany. This alliance was strange because it wasbetween the biggest Capitalist country (U.S.
), the biggest Communist country(Soviet Union) and the biggest Colonial power (Britain) and indeed, it was thereason for the post-WWII Cold War.