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Containing Communism Essay

After the end of World War II, there had been an emergence of two world superpowers the United States and the Soviet Union who would be drawn into a Cold War that was a silent battle that raged on from 1945 to 1991. Which had started when the Soviet Union’s leader, Joseph Stalin, had started the spread of communism throughout Europe and Asia. At the time the majority of the world was either democratic or independent while only a handful of countries were communist; however all were powerful countries such as the Soviet Union and China. Which meant communism can spread adamantly, and rampantly. It had first started in Eastern Europe such as in Greece, Turkey, and Poland. So to counteract these overtakes, the United Nations, especially the United States had responded vehemently against the rule, with the use of containment in the form of policies, treaties, and responsive actions. Throughout the Cold War, they had managed to contain communist hotspots, and strongholds, in Berlin, Korea, and Cuba.

The Cold War was, at the core, only a clashing of ideologies, between democracy, and communism; as there was no large physical confrontation. Democracy had faced off against communism which in it’s purest form is the belief that private property should be replaced with community ownership. In words alone the aspect sounds desirable, but in practice is quite violent and unjustified. In Document A Stalin states that capitalism is inferior to communism  and that they’ll win any confrontation. In doing so it only leads to bloodshed and violence among many countries. Such acts of horrific terror and wanton destruction had caused the murder of millions of Soviet people due to of Stalin’s radical beliefs. At abroad communism has lead to genocides, and other instances of mass murder in countries such as Cambodia, and in both North and South Korea. So to ensure these beliefs don’t affect western democracies, the U.S formed a counter plan of containment. Which had been proposed by U.S diplomat, George Kennan who claimed that Stalin wouldn’t risk communist safety by going to war with the United States, and it proved true as the plan halted communism spreading in Eastern Europe after years of a futile struggle. This is accurately conveyed in Document A which is a telegraph from said diplomat to the U.S. The 8,000-word telegram had portrayed ways to conquer such adversities as communism. Amongst the silent chaos of the Cold war, a major reason to not immediately drop nuclear warheads was due to mutually assured destruction. Which stated that if war were to erupt then both countries could not avoid being destroyed and would serve any purpose rather than mindless bloodshed, and destruction. To contain communism the U.S had to be vigilant while being patient, and use precise well-timed counters to defeat the opposition.


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This plan of containment reigned true in Berlin. After WWII, the Allied leaders had divided the German capital into four sectors among the major allied countries, and the USSR had taken claim of East Berlin. This would serve to be Stalin’s catalyst towards communist rule in East Europe. Stalin wanted Germany to suffer for their damages in the war, especially in Russia and to do so he had aimed to cripple their economy and government by imprisoning the citizens with the self-righteous might of communism . He had blockaded all forms of travel out the sector except air transportation. This divide was known as the “Iron Curtain” first explained by British Prime minister Winston Churchill in 1946. The citizens were starving, and extremely lugubrious due to the horrible living conditions, the sudden change in culture, and the violent overtake of their lives. To aid them the U.N used the Berlin airlift that is stated in Document B. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization had sent aid in many forms of supplies, such as, fuel, toys, food, water, anything that would relinquish their deprived souls from the grasp of communism. This stalemate of take and give between the two powers had ended when Stain removed the blockade on May 12, 1949, three years later. While now free from the clutches of communism it served in invigorating NATO as this was a successful debut of communism falling to the hands of democracies. Which would inspire future events to be fought just as adamantly such as liberating other countries of communism.

During the span of the Cold war, conflicts in SouthEast Asia has arose causing the Korean war . North Korea had been heavily influenced by Communist China, and had been plagued by such beliefs from their neighboring country, and tried to conform South Korea into such a state such as portrayed in Document C. To aid them and preserve democracy the United Nations had sent troops to stop the advancement. The troops lead by WWII hero U.S general Douglas MacArthur had pushed the communist all the way to Chinese borders. However it brought the wrath of 300,000 Chinese soldiers that warned the U.N if they got to close to Communist Chinese borders, they would retaliate, and they did. They fighting lead to a stalemate that had divided both countries at the 38th parallel, and would mark the borders of modern North, and South Korea. This effectively halted communism in southeast Asia. However, it had caused many U.S deaths and worsen relations with China. But it did halt communism and had strengthened relations with Japan. The task of the prevention of communism would be concrete in the region due to the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). It was signed by many countries including the United States, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand and Pakistan. This treaty would serve the U.N as a pivotal point to contain communism and future endeavors in Southeast Asia.

There had been two major controversial issue that would have lead to nuclear warfare was in Cuba and the event known Bay of Pig invasion and the Cuban missile crisis. When the U.s had discovered that the Cuban government had possession of weapons of mass destruction the U.S had reacted prematurely. When 1,500 Central Intelligence Agency members stormed Cuba in an unsuccessful show of power. The agents were unprepared and outnumbered leading to their defeat. This only served to empower Castro and give him more power in his already corrupt system. The communist leader Fidel Castro seized control in 1959 and still holds hereditary power to date. In 1962, Soviets secretly gave them 60 missiles, 158 warheads, and 40,000 troops. This was a very undesirable position for the U.S as the communist forces were in position a to drop bombs on all major American cities.  When the U.S discovered such acts they reacted violently, but not enough to arise war. The U.S threatened to go to war ,and as a result, the USSR removed the warheads. To stay adamant such as stated in Document D proved to be useful. There had been many direct results of this crisis such as U.S missiles being removed from Turkey and Italy. To directly resolve the issues a hotline was formed between the capitals of Moscow and Washington D.C that would act as a route  to debate and work on resolving these problems. The result that had the most effect on a global scale was the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963. The treaty was signed by 36 countries including the superpowers and would prevent above ground nuclear test. It did not proactively end communism in such underdeveloped countries as Cuba however; they were able to avoid a nuclear war and setback future violent confrontations through the treaty and the hotline.

In conclusion due to counter actions against communism the U.S was able to halt and contain communism. Despite not prevent such overtakes, it did defend major democracies in the world. So this act of containment reign supreme in the battle against communism that would shape the modern world. The actions taken by both sides of the war would heavily affect the molding of the new world.

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