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The Effects of the Soviet Union’s Foreign Policy on the United States

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Katrina I.
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  1. Introduction
  2. US strategy for fighting the Cold War - the 'policy of containment'
  3. South Korea and North Korea in WWII
  4. Conclusion

Relations with the Soviet Union have been a large concern for the United States since the end of World War II and the emergence of the Cold War. The Soviet Union and its foreign policy during that time prompted otherwise avoidable animosity and conflict for the United States, namely with the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Afghan War. The relationship between the United States and Soviet Union can be called a rivalry, and throughout the course of the United States' history, the Soviet Union has repeatedly battled to match the United States' position as a superpower, mainly by flexing its muscles through proxy wars.

During the post WWII years, the U.S. formed a new mentality?a strategy for fighting the Cold War against the Soviet Union?called the ?policy of containment?. The principle was propagated by George Kennan, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow. It first came to the public eye when he published it in the form of a contribution to the journal 'Foreign Affairs', leaving only the anonymous signature ?X? though most everyone knew who wrote it. Kennan's theory stated that communism, unless impeded by superior forces, would wedge its way into countries that were weak and unstable. The appropriate response for the United States, then, was to buoy frail nations susceptible to communism in order to prevent further Soviet expansion.

[...] "Bay of Pigs, The Plan - History of Cuba." Cuban history begins here May 2009 . "BBC ON THIS DAY 15 1989: Soviet troops pull out of Afghanistan." BBC NEWS News Front Page May 2009 . "Cold War: Cuban missile crisis." Library of Congress Home May 2009 . "Containment." Howard Fienberg May 2009 . "Cuban Missile Crisis - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum." Home - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum May 2009 . "Cuban Missile Crisis." GlobalSecurity.org - Reliable Security Information May 2009 . [...]


[...] [xlv] "Zahir Shah." Afghan Network iNteractive May 2009 . [xlvi] "The Origins of the Soviet-Afghan War." Alternative Insight-Foreign Policy and Politics May 2009 . [xlvii] "People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (political party, Afghanistan) Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia May 2009 . [xlviii] "The Origins of the Soviet-Afghan War." Alternative Insight- Foreign Policy and Politics May 2009 . [xlix] Limited War: Afghanistan." Clemson University May 2009 . "The Origins of the Soviet-Afghan War." Alternative Insight-Foreign Policy and Politics May 2009 . [...]


[...] foreign policy from its customary, non-interventionalist position to a bristling stance in which, by following the shadowed footsteps of the Soviet Union, it would plunge into foreign entanglements.[viii] The Soviet Union was well-aware of the United States' newfangled policy, but made no visible effort to withhold its imperialistic nature. In 1943, while waging World War II, the Allies decided that Korea was to become ?free and independent?.[ix] They came to an agreement at the Yalta conference of 1945 that the Soviet Union was to occupy the northern half of Korea and the United States the southern half[x]?all in order to root out the Japanese forces which had presided over the Korean subcontinent since 1906.[xi] The divide came to be known as the 38th parallel.[xii] In 1947, the United States was interested in turning South Korea back to its citizens; as the area was deemed fit to run government on its own. [...]

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