The Truman doctrine and the NSC 68 present two policies that were presented in the United States to define how the United States was to handle its foreign policy and national security matters. These two policies had far-reaching implications that further enabled the spread and scope of the American foreign policy. Also, the spread of the Soviet expansion which jeopardizes the interests of the United States was contained particularly through the use of the NSC 68. The Truman doctrine which was the origin of Americas containment policy represents the proposal by President Harry S. Truman to provide political, economic and military aid to all sovereign states that were under pressure from internal and external forces. The argument presented by President Truman was that the national security of the United States depended on factors that were beyond the physical security of its territory. This led to the belief that if the expansion of the Soviet totalitarianism could be contained, then the security of the United States could be improved. The event that led to the decision by the United States to pass the Truman doctrine was the decision by the British government to withdraw its economic and military aid to the Greek government who were fighting a civil war against the Greek Communist party (Bostdorff, 13).
The NSC 68 was a National Security Council report that was presented during the presidency of Harry Truman that was significant in American policy especially during the cold war. The document detailed the decision to make the containment of Soviet expansion a high priority in the interest of the United States. The containment policy had different implications on the United States government, the most outstanding of which was its previous stand of non-involvement in conflicts that did not directly affect the United States to one that had direct interventions in conflicts that did not affect the United States. The decline of Soviet expansion and the growth of new world order that was focused on the liberal-capitalist values that were core to the values of the United States signaled the success of Truman doctrine and the NSC 68 report. The formulation of the NSC 68 report was caused by; the detection of escalated radiation levels by a reconnaissance plane that was flying through Alaska in 1949. The United States believed that it was the Soviet Union who had detonated an atomic device that had led to the unexpected radiation levels. The United States were as such more motivated to ensure the security of the American population especially under threat of radiation from atomic bombs. The outcome of the Chinese civil war also contributed to the creation of the NSC 68 report, especially because a large part of Eurasia fell in the hands of the Communists at the end of the war.
According to the NSC 68, the authors of the document believed that the expansion of the Soviet Union was militaristic and as such its spread was forceful. Also, the spread was motivated by fanatical religious views that intended to inflict outright global authority in the form of Communism (Curt, 11).
The containment policy was beneficial to the United States in several ways; the spread of communism was becoming a concern to the United States because it was going through a battle of supremacy with the Soviet Union. The fact that containment policy was able to stop the spread of communism indicates that it was of great benefit to the United States (Nitze & Drew, 9).
The events that succeeded the signing of the Truman doctrine include the creation of NATO whose objective was to initiate economic and military links between western countries. The presentation of the marshal plan that was presented to aid European nations to recuperate from the war largely depended on the Truman doctrine for it to be executed (Wittkopf et al. 340).
The long-term effects of the Truman doctrine and the NSC 68 were that it was able to create dependable allies to the United States in Europe. The presence of allies in Europe enabled the United States to further its foreign policies for its benefits. Apart from assisting the United States to further its foreign policy, these allies were crucial to the United States in protecting its interests during the cold war and the Vietnamese war. The allies were crucial in furthering the spread of capitalistic ideals after the decline of the communism expansion. Also, the decline of the Soviet Union enabled the United States to emerge as the only super power, and this was essential for the spread of its capitalistic ideals (Kaufman, 92).
To conclude, Truman doctrine and the NSC 68 were important policies to the United States that were able to stop the communist expansion and further the capitalistic ideals of the United States. Also, the national security of the United States was secured through the use of the NSC68 report and the allies that were gained through the execution of the Truman doctrine.
Bostdorff, Denise M. Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine: The Cold War Call to Arms. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2008. Print.
Cardwell, Curt. NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War. London: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print
Kaufman, Joyce P. A Concise History of U.S. Foreign Policy. , 2010. Print.
Nitze, Paul, & Drew, Nelson. NSC-68 forging the strategy of containment. Washington DC: Institute for National Strategic Studies, 1996. Print.
Wittkopf, Eugene R, Christopher M. Jones, and Charles W. Kegley. American Foreign Policy: Pattern and Process. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008. Print.
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