The Cold War and American Foreign Policy - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Two names more important than perhaps any other in terms of The United States foreign policy and its impact, position and effect in the Cold war are those of Paul Nitze and George Kennan, senior officials in the American administration, with sharply contradicting views and positions of strategy…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91% of users find it useful
The Cold War and American Foreign Policy
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Cold War and American Foreign Policy"

Download file to see previous pages Two names more important than perhaps any other in terms of The United States foreign policy and its impact, position and effect in the Cold war are those of Paul Nitze and George Kennan, senior officials in the American administration, with sharply contradicting views and positions of strategy. Each had a highly contrasted sense of policy from the other, in terms of how the United States should take a stand towards the Cold War and what would be the most favorable policy for their victory and the Soviets’ defeat. These views and the lives of these two men are outlined in Nicholas Thompson’s book, The Hawk and The Dove, and are investigated in the paragraphs to follow, along with the question of who influenced American foreign policy more favorably and what effect it would have on the ultimate result of the Cold War. To outline their most fundamental disagreement in a nutshell, one believed in prevention and the other believed in action. One of them, Nitze, believed their strategy should be to surpass any limits of capability the soviets may hold them responsible for and then act on them, while the other, Kennan, believed to think like the soviets would, try to analyze their intentions and then counter or contain them until they themselves internally collapsed, known as his policy of containment. Kennan, who believed in the latter, was of the belief that the soviets were fundamentally weak and insecure and that it would not take much for them to collapse, assuming they were handled correctly. Nitze on the other hand was of the opposing view that the Soviets were fast gaining power and that Moscow would attain strategic superiority from the United States in a few years, which he hoped to counter before it occurred. Where Kennan believed that it just took to understand the Soviets’ intentions and thoughts to end the cold war, Nitze believed it took to understanding and surpassing their every capability. To understand how fundamentally different the two men were, it is of interest to note that foreign policy aside, they even differed on their own country: Kennan condemned America for its vulgar culture, and its people for having a complacent and mediocre standard. Nitze on the other hand was convinced of America’s power and central hold on the world. Therefore, given their completely contrasting view, one ready to take the back-seat and one ready to accelerate with full force, they can both be said to sum up the two sides of a generation’s argument on the Cold War and America's foreign policy regarding it. Of course there were also many incidents where the two men, who were close friends, did agree, such as the Marshall Plan, or their stance on the American position in Vietnam, in which cases they tended to prove that they were quite correct in their judgment and often received favorable reaction. Nonetheless, those few times aside, they had different viewpoints at a primary and fundamental level, thereby making it more likely for them to disagree than agree. These differences however did not prevent them from seeking mutual benefit from each other’s policies. For example, Nitze extracted military benefit from Kennan’s theory of containment, by negotiating deals with Soviets regarding the United States military, and by keeping the military and its allies safe. Kennan on the other hand enjoyed a certain level of military and otherwise superiority from which to excise his policy of containment, thereby proving that each was necessary factor in American policy on the Cold War and that while each contradicted each other, it did not necessarily mean that they clashed with each other. Where the differences in their thinking arose from is of no mystery, as it was indeed early experience in the lives of both these men that were to shape them for the rest of their life. One’s experience with the Cold War, Nitze's, consisted of dealing with the live aftermath of a Nuclear War, on the scene ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Cold War and American Foreign Policy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(The Cold War and American Foreign Policy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words)
“The Cold War and American Foreign Policy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Cold War and American Foreign Policy

American foreign policy

... of the United States since 1945 was the containment principle outlined by George Kennan. Kennan explained that the objectives and strategies of the Soviet Union and the United States were incompatible and so that the latter should get ready for a prolonged conflict (McMahon 2003). Sometime in the future Soviet Union’s illegitimate regime would fall from within and the conflict would end. This is exactly what befallen Soviet Union under the administration of Gorbachev (McMahon 2003). Nevertheless, what should be remembered here is not that the United States emerged victorious, but to make sense of how it envisioned its foreign policy throughout the Cold War. The doctrine of containment was pessimistic and intolerant in the sense... that it...
10 Pages(2500 words)Essay

American Foreign Policy the world, the country’s preference of multilateralism rather than unilateralism, and Americans believe that confrontation of international terrorism ought to be prioritized. Part 2 Question 2 of 4. Assess what type of structural constraints - if any - the US Congress imposes upon the presidency in general and the Bush administration in particular. Introduction In the area of foreign policy, the constitution of United States enshrines the relevant powers and mandates of the congress. These powers include: declaring war, treaty, conformation of officials, making appropriations, raising and maintaining the country’s armed forces, regulating trade with...
8 Pages(2000 words)Assignment

US foreign policy during Cold War

...narration that the Eastern European power was to blame for the start of the conflict, or that Western countries had any genuine concern following the containment of social liberty in the region. The use of ex-Nazi officials by the United States in the Cold War against the Soviet resulted in a “blowback” effect back in the country as it triggered more socio-economic and political challenges in the country. This paper explores blowback of US foreign policy during Cold War. The sharp analysis of the role played by American officials relates to everyone; the most prominent one including Truman, the Dulles kin, Eisenhower,...
21 Pages(5000 words)Thesis

American foreign policy shaping the final outcome within the policy making process. Keeping in line with what Robert Divine had once remarked, “From the Revolution to the Cold War, Americans have been willing to fight for their interests, their beliefs, and their ambitions” (Divine, 1965, 172), there are clear evidences which suggest that the American foreign policies after the WWII, have roots in its domestic issues, concerns, and interests. Various researches on the subject of US international relations have distinguished 3 specific factors that appear to exert their influences on the foreign policies of...
14 Pages(3500 words)Essay

US Post Cold War Interventionism Foreign Policy

...? Running head: US post Cold War interventionism foreign policy Lecturer presentation Introduction The interventionism foreign policy that United States adopted in the post Cold War era has left the country and citizens more insecure than ever before. Since the Second World War ended in 1945, the United States military has engaged in five major conflicts in different parts of the globe, which have inflicted heavy economic damage on the country and loss of numerous lives of the combatants and civilian populations. The country has spent billions of dollars, which unfortunately has not translated into tangible sense of security for American interests within and outside the country’s borders. There is strong and credible argument... of the...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

American Foreign Policy

...American Foreign Policy Since the early ages, man has tried great endeavors in an attempt to take control or influence others. In the early days, this desire was fulfilled through battles and conquests. Today, a more subtle way has emerged – which often involves use of dialogue and persuasion. These forms of power are known as hard and soft power respectively. This paper is an analysis of application of the two forms of powers in the light of the U.S. government. Hard power is a concept that illustrates use of coercive and aggressive means to influence interests and behaviors of other countries. This form of power is often employed by a country having more economic and military power...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

US cold war foreign policy

...of the Cold War. To understand our Cold War policies and their effects requires us to examine some of the earliest documents of this conflict. This includes George Kennan's "Long Telegram" and his "Mr. X" article as well as Walter Lippman's response. NSC-68 and The Ugly American will also be analyzed. Together, these documents provide the necessary foundation from which to more completely understand how the Cold War ended and why. I. What was our policy and why When Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, it ended World War II fighting in Europe. Almost immediately,...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

US Foreign Policy during the Cold War

...of the Cold War. According to Bill Vann (2001) "The driving force behind the Cold War was US imperialism’s striving for world dominance. Notwithstanding its Stalinist degeneration, the USSR was a significant obstacle to the hegemonic aspirations of the American ruling elite. Washington was compelled to take into account the danger that its military interventions could meet with a Soviet reaction." The foreign policies followed during the Cold War have always been a subject of debate and many books have been written on them. One such book is the Ugly American,...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

American Foreign Policy

...American Foreign Policy After the Cold War The end of the Cold War signaled a new era in international relations and the establishment of a world order with the United States at the helm of a new and very different global system. Dreams of peace and prosperity ushered in the end of the Cold War; a new international order with the United States and liberal democracy firmly entrenched as the dominant power and ideological system in international affairs. Optimistic dreams of a New World Order in which markets were free and peace became the global modus operandi followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Seeking to explore the effects of the end of the Cold War on the foreign of policy of the United States, this essay... will...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

A. The Cold War affected many aspects of American life beyond foreign policy. How did the Cold War shape the politics, economy, society and culture of the US during the period between 1947 and 1953 (Dont limit yourself to McCarthyism.)

...occurred in civil. The effects of the cold war went a long way to shape the changes in civil rights of the minority and promote democracy (Balkin 22). The effects also aided the occurrence of progress in women’s rights to promote equality between women and men so that they would have access to the same opportunities as men and proper, politically, socially and also economically. In conclusion, the cold war not only contributed to changes in United States foreign policy, it also influenced the Americans way of life in many positive ways which are evident in the changes in family life, the role of women, civil rights...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Cold War and American Foreign Policy for FREE!

Contact Us