How Successful Was The Usa’s Policy Of Containment?

2612 words - 11 pages

How successful was the USA’s policy of containment?

The policy of containment was not a success, As after the war, The USA aimed to quarantine communism to the only place it existed, Russia. However soon despite this, communism spread and communist dictatorship controlled most of Eastern Europe, soon after this the most populated state on earth, China, fell to a communist regime, as well as the creation of communist states in Vietnam and Korea. This consistent creation of communist states and the failure of the USA to prevent this, shows how ultimately, despite apparent success in some of Europe and Asia, the Policy of Containment failed in its primary function, to contain and prevent the ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, there is more evidence to support the argument that the USA’s policy of containment was a large success in the success of the Marshall Aid Plan. The Marshall Aid Plan created economic recovery in Western Europe this contained the threat of communism from spreading into war torn Europe through the provision of $13 billion to 17 different countries. As this provided both psychological and materialistic aid to Western European countries, as by removing the consistent threat of a poor economic situation and the provision of a capitalist means of recovery, countries and their people turned away from communist ideals which may, if left unchecked become prominent. This led to Leftist parties in Western Europe having losses in support which prevented them from gaining meaningful representation from the public, making it impossible for potential communist parties to mobilise communist revolution, thus acting as a method of containment in Western Europe. Proof of this can be seen in Western Germany, which benefited greatly from this aid and went through great economic recovery. Which led to the conservative parties victory in free elections, leading it to become a democratic state, economically stable. Thus making it both a functioning part of Western Europe and a success in the prevention of Russia from gaining ground into the West, making it proof of the genuine success of the Marshall Plan in providing success for containment in Europe.

Moreover, the Berlin Airlift also demonstrated the success of the containment policy it took a strong stand against communism, by providing 1.5 million tonnes of supplies to the Germans suffering, this aided over 2.5 million Berliners which created a pro-American opinion among Berlin’s population, as the cut off of basic supplies allowed the American’s to depict Stalin as a cold and unfeeling Tyrant which meant that any further attempt by Stalin to gain territory within Berlin would be met with expansive opposition, helping to contain communism within Eastern Germany and therefore proving the USA’s policy of containment a further success in Germany.

It is arguable that in some ways the Korean War can be seen as a relative success for the policy of containment as despite the USA’s forces being unable to gain on communist territory they did in fact succeed in meeting the directive of containment. As arguably the aim of the policy containment, was not the liberation of Communist countries, but preventing Communist nations and insurgencies from taking over pro-Western countries and therefore the eventual stalemate of movement and war at the 38th parallel can be taken as a success, as communism spread no further than where it originally existed meaning that in fact the USA prevented the spread communism into pro-western South Korea and therefore met the objective of the policy containment, making it an arguable success.

Finally, further evidence of the success of the USA’s containment policy was...

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