The Strategy of Containment in US Foreign Policy: Origin and Development of the Concept between 1945 – 1953

Author: PhDr. Petr Suchý, Ph.D.

The strategy of containment represents probably the most characteristic and the most well-known element in the US foreign policy during the Cold War era. Its long-term presence in the US foreign policy, quite a long-lasting consensus between the two major party camps – Republicans and Democrats – in case of its implementation in the first stage of the Cold War, thus from its beginning to the .... of the so called „Cold War Consensus“ about the framework of the war at the turn of 60s and 70s of the 20th century, demonstrate and prove its crucial role. It is further strengtened by the fact that the containment strategy was still maintained by the particular presidential administrations in the Soviet Union’s foreign policy even in the post-Vietnam period. The fact that in the period of détente there have been some apparent temporary tendencies to abandon this stategy or at least to push it into the background and not to enhance it, or eventually radically weaken some of its elements, makes no difference.

The continuous application of the containment principle significantly contributed to the success of the US foreign policy towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War, meaning the ultimate victory in this long-term confrontation between the superpowers and their allies, the fall of communist regimes in the Central and East Europe and the final collapse of the Communist Bloc finished up by the implosion of the Soviet empire. 

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