- May 24, 2020
The Role of the U.S.
TheRole of the U.S.
ColdWar is a period that was characterized by threats and embarrassments,since neither of the main players the United States, nor the SovietUnion, was willing to fight each other directly. Fundamentally, ColdWar was divided into groups. For instance, the United States led ateam in the West comprising of countries that were governed by ademocratic political system. Conversely, the Soviet Union ledcountries that had a communist political system. Other non-alignedcountries included nations that were not willing to get directlyinvolved in the War. Due to the vital importance, Cold War had, itwas important for the united states to get involved. It is criticalto examine the role it played, either socially, economically orpolitically. This paper will highlight and illustrate the importantrole the united states played during the cold war period.
TheEconomic Aspects of the Role of the U.S. In the Global Affairs duringthe Period of the Cold War (1947-91).
Duringthis period, the United States employed various policies to ensurethat the Soviet Union does not threaten it or its allies. The mostdocumented policy was the Truman Doctrine, which was agreed on by thethen United States President, Harry Truman. Essentially, one of themajor objectives of the doctrine was to finance countries that werethreatened by communism (Rockoff 125). The Soviet Union, being one ofthe major enemies made sure that countries that are not aligned withthe group suffer economically. Nevertheless, the Truman Doctrine waseffective, as it efficiently ceased the Soviet Union from taking overcontrol of Turkey and Greece. Ultimately, the Truman doctrine wasextended to become the foundation policy of the American Cold Warboth in Europe and all over the world.
TheMarshall plan was another major economic policy that was establishedby the United States. The Marshall Plan, which is sometimes referredto as ERP (European Recovery Program), was an initiative aidpre-ordained to rebuild the economic stability of Western Europe,which was destroyed after the World War II. The plan, which wasvalued at an approximate value of $12 billion, was in operation for aperiod of around four years. Other goals of the plan were to removetrade barriers, rebuild the devastated regions, and to make Europegreat again (A&E Television Networks). Also, the main aim of thisfunding was to prevent the spread of communism in Europe.
TheSecurity Aspect of the Role of the U.S. in the Global Affairs duringthe Period of the Cold War (1947-91).
TheBerlin Airlift is documented as a major event in the Cold War wherethe United States played a critical role in the affairs of the world.The end of the World War II, marked the partition of the defeatedGermany into Soviet-occupied zones, American occupied zones, Frenchoccupied zones and British occupied zones. Berlin, which was theGerman capital, was located in the deeper part of the Soviet zonealthough it was divided into four sections. In an effort to makeBerlin all by themselves, Russians blocked all railroads, highways,and canals (A&E Television Networks). According to the Russians,this would make it impossible for the residents of United Statesallies to get food and other supplies. Instead of retreating, theUnited States decided to provide food and other essentials to thesenations by air. Fundamentally, this airlifting of food and othersupplies is what is commonly referred to as the Berlin airlift, andlasted for more than one year. During the airlift, more than 2,500tons of commodities were supplied every day, hence, developingsecurity issues.
TheMilitary Aspects of the Role of the U.S. in Global Affairs during thePeriod of the Cold War (1947-91).
AfterWorld War II, United States emerged as a superpower contrary to theSoviet Union during the Cold War. During this period, the UnitedStates offered direct support to its allies. In other circumstances,the United States offered foreign military assistance against theSoviet Union. To be precise, the United States was the main player inboth the Vietnam War and the Korean War.
ToStart with, the Vietnam War was fought between 1959 -1975 in Laos,South Vietnam, near the Cambodian and North Vietnam border. TheUnited States got involved in the war, after they were asked foradvice by the Republic of Vietnam, on how to deal with “Viet Cong,”which was a communist insurgent group (Rockoff). Major involvementembarks on in the late 1964, after Congress offered President LyndonJohnson, a full blanket approval to use force in Gulf of TonkinResolution. Although the war had a coalition of forces between SouthVietnam and the United States, it was also supplemented by othercountries such as New Zealand, Philippine, Australia, Thailand andSouth Korea. All of these allies were fighting against the NVA (NorthVietnamese Army) and the NLF (National Liberation Front) which wascommonly referred to as “Viet Cong,” or rather the VietCommunists. While Viet Communist was getting military aid from Chinaand the Soviet Union, the other regions were given military aid fromthe United States (McCrisken 20). Ultimately, this turned Vietnaminto a “proxy war.”
Theintensification of guerrilla warfare in Vietnam made theAdministration realize the importance of a stable military andinternal security before any other stability. This realizationresulted in the allocation of more funds to purchase militaryequipment, not only for the United States military but also for theallies of the United States The containment strategy recognized thatthe military force played a critical role in upholding the balance ofpower.
Arguably,the militarization was a United States product to pursue anideological crusade, which would ensure that communism is contested.The enlightenment of the militarization forms a comparablerevisionist strand, which attempted to undercut the presidencyof Truman Presidencythat was praising him as the first “warrior of the cold war.”
Fromthe analysis, it is apparent that the United States got involved inthe cold war in almost all aspects. Economically, the country playeda significant role in aiding European countries that wereeconomically devastated during World War II. Also, the country playeda critical role in funding their allies in their collective role ofinfuriating the Soviet Union. Offering military backup was also aparamount role of the United States during this period. During thisperiod, military troops were engaged either actively, or bysupporting the allies. The Berlin airlift is a good exampleillustrating the important role played by the United States to ensurethat her allies remained secure from the communist. Ultimately, allthese aspects played a critical role in establishing the modernUnited States as seen today. Therefore, it is plausible to concludethat the United States played a critical role in Global Affairsduring the Period of the Cold War.
A&ETelevision Networks. “U.S. begins Berlin Airlift”. 2016. Accessed<http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/berlin-airlift-begins>18November 2016
Crocker,Chester A., The Lessons of Somalia: Not everything went wrong,ForeignAffairs,May 1995 Accessedhttps://www.foreignaffairs.com/19950501facomment5031/chester-a-crocker/the-lessons-of-somalia-not-everything-went-wrong.html18 November 2016
McCrisken,Trevor B. American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam: USForeign Policy since 1974. Coventry:University of Warwick, 2003
Rockoff,Hugh. America`s Economic Way of War: War and the US Economy from theSpanish-American War to the Persian Gulf War. New York: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2012.