The US Policy of Containment

The US policy of containment was first articulated by U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan in his famous "Long Telegram" in 1946 with the aim of stopping the spread of communism. It stated that the USSR would attack the USA in an attempt to destroy the traditional way of life. Therefore, the USA should become more hostile and defensive.

Under the policy of containment, the USA aimed to....

The Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine was announced by President Truman in a speech to Congress on March 12, 1947. It signified the U.S. foreign policy shift towards a more assertive stance against the spread of communism, particularly in Europe. 

The Truman Doctrine declared that the United States would provide political, military, and economic assistance to any democratic nation under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces, with the primary aim of containing communism.

This focused on providing aid to Greece and Turkey, which were facing communist insurgencies and Soviet pressure. Truman asked Congress to provide $400 million in military and economic assistance to help these countries resist communist expansion.

The Greek Civil War

The USA's Marshall Plan / European Recover Plan (loans)

The Marshall Plan was launched in 1948 to aid Western Europe in rebuilding its economies after the devastation of World War II. 

The plan had been proposed in a speech by U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall at Harvard University on June 5, 1947.

Marshall argued that as a result of the war, countries in Eastern Europe were facing hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. The USA should assist in the return to normal economic health by providing loans and financial support. 

In total, US$12.5 billion was provided by the USA to 16 countries; 

Spain applied but was rejected due to it being under the rule of dictator Fransisco Franco.

Poland and Czechoslovakia initially applied, but were forced to withdraw their applications as they were controlled by the USSR.