A Brief History of the Cold War

A Brief History of the Cold War

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1621574865

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Cold War was a crucial conflict in American history. At stake was whether the world would be dominated by the forces of totalitarianism led by the Soviet Union, or inspired by the principles of economic and political freedom embodied in the United States. The Cold War established America as the leader of the free world and a global superpower. It shaped U.S. military strategy, economic policy, and domestic politics for nearly 50 years.

In A Brief History of the Cold War, distinguished scholars Lee Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards Spalding recount the pivotal events of this protracted struggle and explain the strategies that eventually led to victory for freedom. They analyze the development and implementation of containment, détente, and finally President Reagan's philosophy: "they lose, we win." The Cold War teaches important lessons about statecraft and America's indispensable role in the world.

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to roll back the Kremlin drive for world domination.” Recognizing the possible dangers of such a policy, the report insists that a free people must be willing and able to defend its freedom. Just as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO had done, NSC 68 calls for a free world to which, at a minimum, the Soviet Union must adjust. Rather than coexisting with the USSR, it argues, the free world’s combined strength—made up of democracies under the rule of law, with open markets, and

the Pacific”: “Should such an attack occur . . . the initial reliance must be on the people attacked to resist it and then upon the commitments of the entire civilized world under the Charter of the United Nations.”1 Eager to take advantage of what he wrongly perceived to be American indifference to Korea’s security, Kim Il Sung pressed Stalin hard for permission to “liberate” South Korea. In February, Stalin ordered the preparation of a “Preemptive Strike Operations Plan” and on June 10 gave Kim

Truman, 1945–1948 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1977), 190–91. 8.Address of Winston Churchill, March 5, 1946, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, Congressional Record, March 6, 1946: House of Representatives: A1145 ff. 9.Ibid. 10.See Spalding, The First Cold Warrior, 37–43, for an analysis of the Churchill speech and the reaction in the United States and abroad. 11.Time, March 25, 1946, p. 26. 12.“What Does Russia Want?” New York Times, editorial, March 14, 1946. 13.Kennan, Memoirs:

(1945–1950) The need for a policy of containment emerged almost immediately after victory was declared in Europe in April 1945. Soviet troops remained in place throughout Central and Eastern Europe, as Stalin stressed the need for “friendly” nations next to Russia. In a “Long Telegram” sent from Moscow in late February 1946, George Kennan explained to his State Department colleagues in Washington that all Soviet efforts on the international plane were bound to be inimical to the United States

the “Four Policemen,” 26 threatens to withdraw support and trade agreements, 180–81 University of Notre Dame, 130 Uruguay, 126 U.S. Congress, 117, 120–21, 127, 129, 131–33, 150, 155, 169, 204, 209, 217, 220 U.S. Department of Defense, 204 Uskorenye, 158 U.S. Naval Academy, 115, 130 U.S. Pershing II missiles, 142, 153, 221 USS Pueblo, the, 214 USSR, 6, 14–15, 25–27, 29, 46, 59, 123, 173–74, 176, 180, 202–3, 206–9, 211–12, 216–17, 220, 222, 224 basic attitudes of, 34 Bush grants

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