Sie sind auf Seite 1von 7

Badji Mokhtar-Annaba University

Department of English
Master Course: (Prof. M.Manaa)

In current historiography the term Cold War describes the conflict

between the Soviet Union and the United States from 1945 until 1989. It
was popularized by the American journalist Walter Lippman in 1947 and
widely used thereafter to describe US-Soviet relations. In the aftermath
of the Second World War the Soviet Union and the United States were the
most powerful states and they formed the two poles of the international
state system (the bipolar system). Both nations were competing for
position of dominance within the system and they wanted to stop each
other filling the power vacuum created by the Second World War. The
American policy in the Cold War was called containment but it was a
policy of confining communism in those areas where it already existed.
The methods the Americans used to wage the Cold War were as following:
1. US dollars were the primary instrument of war. The United States
channeled huge amounts of economic aid to its allies to bolster noncommunist governments. For example, between 1948 and 1952 the
US granted 12.5 billion dollars in economic aid to the states of
western Europe, the so called Marshall aid.
2. The Americans also used military force to counter communism, but
not directly against the Soviet Union. Twice during the Cold War
the United States fought land wars in Asia, in Korea and Vietnam, in
order to defeat international communism. After 1950 America was
in continuous state of military preparedness and maintained a large
peacetime army.
3. US armed forces were serviced by a massive nuclear arsenal. The
Americans successfully developed an atom bomb in 1945 and by
1952 possessed a hydrogen bomb. The Soviet Union caught up
quickly, testing an atom bomb in 1949 and a hydrogen bomb in
1953. As the Cold War progressed both the nuclear weapons and
the delivery systems became more sophisticated.
4. In case of war the United States eagerly recruited friendly nations
into alliance systems. In 1949 most of the nations of western
Europe were organized into a military alliance called the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), while the communist states of
eastern Europe belonged to the Warsaw Pact after 1955. By the

mid-1950s the Americans had built a global network of anticommunist military coalitions encompassing Latin America, western
Europe, the Middle East, Australasia and southeast Asia.
5. Another traditional form of warfare employed by the Americans was
economic warfare. After the 1948 there was only a trickle of US
exports to the Soviet Union and curbs were imposed on the sales of
military equipment.
6. Propaganda was also an important weapon in the Cold War. Two
US-financed radio stations, Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe,
were set up in Germany to transmit Western news and values to
countries in Soviet-controlled eastern Europe, the so-called eastern
7. Espionage assumed a new importance during the Cold War. The
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was set up in 1947 partly to coordinate information-gathering on the Soviet Union and its allies.
After 1956 the American U-2 spy-plane, provided invaluable
intelligence about the Soviet Union, particularly the state of Soviet
missile sites. From 1960 satellites revolutionized intelligencegathering.
8. The CIA also conducted secret operations in order to combat
communism. As an example in 1950s the CIA orchestrated the
overthrow of left-wing governments in Iran and Guatemala and
developed plans to murder the heads of communist foreign states.

After the Second World War the wartime alliance disintegrated. By 1946
the United States had abandoned a policy of long-term cooperation with
the Russians and committed itself to the containment of Soviet power
across the globe. The Soviet Union was seen as an enemy intent on
territorial aggrandizement and ultimately world domination. It was in
1946 that the Cold War truly began.
But why did not the wartime partnership between the two superpowers
continue after the Second World War? US-Soviet friendship during the
war should perhaps be seen as above all an alliance of convenience
whose strongest bond was a common interest in defeating Nazi Germany.
The on-going failure to settle the major issues of the postwar world
deepened American suspicion about Soviet motives. The United States
now took a number of measures to enhance its national security in the
face of perceived potential Soviet threat.

A) One of the first attempts to block Soviet expansion occurred in

Manchuria. In China there was a civil war between the Chinese
Nationalists or Kuomintang (KMT) under Jiang Jieshi and the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong. Only few days
before the Japanese surrender the Soviet Union entered the war
against Japan and moved troops into neighboring Manchuria and
allowed the Chinese communists to establish a foothold there.
Soviet actions in Manchuria brought a swift response from the
United States. In September 1945 50,000 US Marines were sent to
northern China to establish a strong presence of the KMT in
northern China.
B) In August 1945 Soviet troops had moved across the Russian border
into northern Korea in the war against Japan. The Americans
quickly dispatched troops to southern Korea to prevent Soviet
control over the entire Korean peninsula. The two sides agreed to
divide Korea into two occupation zones along the 38th parallel.
C) Under wartime agreements Russian troops had been garrisoned in
Iran in order to stop a seizure of the Persian oilfields by the Axis
power. After the war Soviet troops remained in Iran and the
Americans and the British protested at the continued presence of
Russian troops there and reminded Russians that the agreed date
for withdrawal was 1 March 1946.
D) In May 1945 forces of the Yugoslavian communist leader Josip Broz
Tito reached Trieste, a port city whose ownership had historically
been disputed between Italy and Yugoslavia. The Americans
protested to both Stalin and Tito about the movement of
Yugoslavian forces into Trieste an Tito withdrew his troops.
E) In Greeks the withdraw of German armies had been followed by a
civil war between the right and left and the Americans feared a
takeover by the Greek Communists (KKE). The United States made
a $25 million loan to Greece in an attempt to stabilize the economy
and prevent a political revolution which they believed the KKE
might exploit.
During 1946 American perception of the Soviet Union changed for the
worse. From the opening months of that year the Soviet Union was seen
no longer as an ally but as potential adversary.

George Kennan, an official in the US Embassy in Moscow, was

instrumental in changing attitudes towards the Russians. On 22

February he sent the State Department a telegram which offered a

historical analysis of Soviet foreign policy.

Britains wartime leader, Winston Churchill, was partly responsible

for hardened public opinion within the United States against the
Soviet Union by his iron curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri, in
March 1946. Churchill warned that the only way to deal with the
Soviets was to be firm with them in negotiations.

These two men contributed to changing attitudes towards the

Soviet Union within the political elite in Washington which were
also matched by a shift in the mood of the American public.

Whom to blame?
1. The Soviet Union was partly responsible for the outbreak of the
Cold War because it didn fully keep its agreements from Yalta and
2. Americas misunderstanding of Soviet motives was an important
cause of the Cold War. From 1946 US policy was based on the false
assumption that expansionist communist ideology and not the
national security drove Soviet foreign policy.
3. The scale of American power was also an important cause of the
Cold War. The Second World War had destroyed existing balances
of power within the international state system and had left the
United States as the most powerful nation in the world. The
American program was designed to remake the world according to
US interest and the American image and did not take account of
Soviet interest. US power provoked fear among the Russians.


Defining the label American can be complicated. What makes someone an
American? Citizenship status? Residency? Paying taxes, playing baseball,
speaking English, eating apple pie? The United States is a nation of
immigrantsalmost every one of us has ancestors who came to America
from other parts of the world, and immigrants continue to arrive today.
Citizens and residents of the United States demonstrate tremendous
diversity with regard to religion, culture, native language, beliefs, and

tradition. As the old adage goes, America is one big melting pot. So, if
were all different, how do we define our national identity? What does it
mean to be American when Americans are so diverse?
Now that the United States stands as the worlds only superpower,
defining American has become all the more important. Many of our
leaders wish to export American ideas and values abroad, but which ideas
and values are distinctly American? What are the basic factors that
influence and define our political identity? Before turning to the finer
points of American government, we need to explore the principles and
core values that define America.
The Importance of Geography
The United States covers a large chunk of the North American continent,
incorporating a variety of climates and bound on two sides by ocean. The
countrys unique geography has given it a number of benefits:

Isolation from conflict: For much of its early history, the United
States was able to keep out of political and military entanglements
with the rest of the world. Separated from Europe by one ocean and
from Asia by another, America avoided the conflicts and wars among
states in those regions. Peace provided a rich environment for the
development and growth of the new nation.
Vibrant trade: Although vast oceans separate the United States
from much of the world, access to these oceans allowed for the
development of lively trade routes in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries. The United States traded regularly with Europe and
increasingly with Asia as the nineteenth century wore on. America
also possesses a number of long navigable rivers (including the
Mississippi River) that allowed for extensive trade within the country.
Rich farmland: Large parts of the United States contain excellent
farmland. By producing more food than necessary, the United States
could trade excess food to support a growing manufacturing economy.
A vast frontier: Early white settlers were able to expand across
the continent. Access to a vast frontier encouraged development as
thousands of people pushed westward. The frontier also played a role
in shaping the American character.

Foreign Policy
For the Founders, foreign and domestic policy were supposed to serve the
same end: the security of the people in their person and property.
Therefore, foreign policy was conceived primarily as defensive. Foreign
attack was to be deterred by having strong arms or repulsed by force.

Alliances were to be entered into with the understanding that a selfgoverning nation must keep itself aloof from the quarrels of other
nations, except as needed for national defense. Government had no right
to spend the taxes or lives of its own citizens to spread democracy to
other nations or to engage in enterprises aiming at imperialistic
The Progressives believed that a historical process was leading all
mankind to freedom, or at least the advanced nations. Following Hegel,
they thought of the march of freedom in history as having a geographical
basis. It was in Europe, not Asia or Africa, where modern science and the
modern state had made their greatest advances. The nations where
modern science had properly informed the political order were thought to
be the proper leaders of the world.
The Progressives also believed that the scientifically educated leaders of
the advanced nations (especially America, Britain, and France) should not
hesitate to rule the less advanced nations in the interest of ultimately
bringing the world into freedom, assuming that supposedly inferior
peoples could be brought into the modern world at all. Political scientist
Charles Merriam openly called for a policy of colonialism on a racial
[T]he Teutonic races must civilize the politically uncivilized. They
must have a colonial policy. Barbaric races, if incapable, may be
swept away. On the same principle, interference with the affairs
of states not wholly barbaric, but nevertheless incapable of
effecting political organization for themselves, is fully justified.
Progressives therefore embraced a much more active and indeed
imperialistic foreign policy than the Founders did. In "Expansion and
Peace" (1899), Theodore Roosevelt wrote that the best policy is
imperialism on a global scale: "every expansion of a great civilized power
means a victory for law, order, and righteousness." Thus, the American
occupation of the Philippines, T.R. believed, would enable "one more fair
spot of the world's surface" to be "snatched from the forces of darkness.
Fundamentally the cause of expansion is the cause of peace."
Woodrow Wilson advocated American entry into World War I, boasting
that America's national interest had nothing to do with it. Wilson had no
difficulty sending American troops to die in order to make the world safe
for democracy, regardless of whether or not it would make America more
safe or less. The trend to turn power over to multinational organizations
also begins in this period, as may be seen in Wilson's plan for a League of
Nations, under whose rules America would have delegated control over
the deployment of its own armed forces to that body.