Truman And The Cold War Essay

Truman And The Cold War Essay-68
By forcing us to expend our energies and our substance upon these dubious and unnatural allies on the perimeter of the Soviet Union, the effect of the policy is to neglect our natural allies in the Atlantic community, and to alienate them.They are alienated also by the fact that they do not wish to become, like the nations of the perimeter, the clients of the United States in whose affairs we intervene, asking as the price of our support that they take the directives of their own policy from Washington. Their cities and their fields would be the bases and the bridgeheads in a total war which, because it would merge into a general civil war, would be as indecisive as it was savage.

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They are alienated above all by the prospect of war, which could break out by design or accident, by miscalculation or provocation, if at any of these constantly shifting geographical and political points the Russians or Americans became so deeply engaged that no retreat or compromise was possible. We may now ask why the official diagnosis of Soviet conduct, as disclosed by Mr.

X's article, has led to such an unworkable policy for dealing with Russia. X has neglected even to mention the fact that the Soviet Union is the successor of the Russian Empire and that Stalin is not only the heir of Marx and of Lenin but of Peter the Great, and the Czars of all the Russias. X decided not to consider the men in the Kremlin as the rulers of the Russian State and Empire, and has limited his analysis to the interaction of "two forces": "the ideology inherited by the present Soviet leaders from the movement in which they had their political origin" and the "circumstances of the power which they have now exercised for nearly three decades in Russia." Thus he dwells on the indubitable fact that they believe in the Marxian ideology and that "they have continued to be predominantly absorbed with the struggle to secure and make absolute the power which they seized in November 1917." But with these two observations alone he cannot, and does not, explain the conduct of the Soviet government in this postwar era–that is to say its aims and claims to territory and to the sphere of influence which it dominates.

It will be evident, I am sure, to the reader who has followed the argument to this point that my criticism of the policy of containment, or the so-called Truman Doctrine, does not spring from any hope or belief that the Soviet pressure to expand can be "charmed or talked out of existence." I agree entirely with Mr.

X that we must make up our minds that the Soviet power is not amenable to our arguments, but only "to contrary force" that "is felt to be too strong, and thus more rational in the logic and rhetoric of power." My objection, then, to the policy of containment is not that it seeks to confront the Soviet power with American power, but that the policy is misconceived, and must result in a misuse of American power.

It restores Russia to the geographical positions held by the last Romanovs.

The Baltic Republics and Bessarabia reverted–as, writing nearly twenty years ago, Isaiah Bowman predicted–to Russian domination; the territorial clauses of the Peace Treaty with Finland, outright cession of the Karelian Isthmus and Petsamo Province, and lease of a naval base at Porkkla-Udd, reinstate Russia actually, although not formally, in her pre-1917 positions on the Baltic and Arctic coasts; and Russian magnanimity towards Poland is rewarded by valuable gains in East Prussia, Bukovina and the Carpathians.

The Czarist project, cleansed of the dynastic and social pre-conceptions of Czardom, took shape in the system of annexed territories, occupation zones, friendly regimes and ideological affiliations which constitutes the Soviet sphere of influence in Europe.

It is only at the Straits that the Soviet Government failed to attain the goals set by its predecessors." This explains, as Mr.

The publication spoke out against the policy of containment held by President Truman and Mr.

"X" and popularized the term "Cold War," which was first introduced by Truman advisor Bernard Baruch in a congressional debate in April 1947. "X" was the author of an article printed in Foreign Affairs called "The Sources of Soviet Conduct." Mr. Kennan, director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff -- defined the policy of containment that the United States should employ towards Soviet expansion.


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