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The US foreign policy from 1945-1991 - Case Study Example

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The thesis statement this paper would be holding is that the US foreign policy from 1945-1991 was overwhelmingly concerned with the USSR. All events from 1945 to 1991 that emanate from foreign policies of the USA are somehow connected with the Cold War…
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The US foreign policy from 1945-1991
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The US foreign policy from 1945-1991

Download file to see previous pages... This research will begin with the statement that the term Cold War was coined by Pulitzer prize-winning publicist Herbert Bayard Swope and refers to the intense feelings of hostility and the profound international tension and struggle for power between the the USA and then the USSR, both of which headed formidable alliances i.e. Allies and Russian satellites, respectively.  It started in 1945 and ended in 1989.  It was ‘cold’ because the relations between the two superpowers were icy but never came to a flashpoint verging on a shooting war.  The conflict involved political rivalry and advantage as well as an upper hand in the balance of power. The conflict was replete with clashes of competing ideologies i.e. between the democratic capitalist system of America and its allies and the socialist/communist system of the USSR and the satellite nations comprising the nations of the Warsaw Pact. The rivalry consisted of propaganda, military alliances, atomic arms development, reconstruction programs and the rivalry to win the hearts and minds of the neutral countries, most especially the third world countries which might provide military bases, natural resources, and markets. As early as 1929, the USA and the USSR had kept each other at bay and at arms' length despite differences in political ideologies. This estrangement was intensified by the USA's policy of isolationism in the 1930's which muted whatever feelings of mistrust they had for each other. But relations were improved when the USA and the Soviet Union unexpectedly found themselves fighting side by side against fascist Germany in World War II. The warm relations, however, rapidly dissolved when midway through the war, the USA realized that the USSR was determined to retrieve all the territories in Eastern Europe that it lost prior to World War I and these are eastern Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and parts of Romania and Finland. It became clear to USA that Stalin in his paranoid fear of Germany and its military might want all of Eastern Europe to serve as its buffer states and shields from German aggression. President Roosevelt stressed that USA as adherent of the principle of self-determination wanted these states to choose for themselves the kind of government they want. The other western allies looked at Poland as strategically the bulwark of Europe which when falling into the hands of the Soviets would open the floodgates of Russians invading Western Europe. The US fears were vindicated during the 1943 Teheran Conference when Stalin finally laid his cards on the table: that he expected territorial concessions in the form of the states of Eastern Europe. Justice, to Stalin demanded that Russia be recompensed from the deaths of 16 million Russians and the massive destruction and damage to Soviet properties and machinery during the first three years of war. It dawned on President Roosevelt that reality, tradition and history dictated that self-determination among the eastern European states would be anathema to Russia as any freely elected government in Eastern Europe would be hostile to Soviet ideology. Both the Yalta Conference and the Potsdam Conference in 1945 further strained the relations almost to the breaking point as Russia treacherously set up a communist government in Lublin, Poland followed by its undermining of elected non-communist governments in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. It was inevitable that the Cold War ensued in early 1946 after Berlin and Germany were divided into 4 factions i.e. Russian, American, British and French. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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