The second document highlights
the National Security Council 68, a central document of the Cold War that laid
out the strategic foundation for American foreign policy after the devastating
decline of western European powers during World War II left the United States
and Soviet Union as the dominant nations. The National Security Council argues
that the Soviet Union poses a threat due to “being animated by a new fanatic
faith” in communism to impose “absolute authority over the world” (Doc 2). This
type of behavior is anti-ethical to the American values, so the fight between
America and the Soviet Union was inevitable. The document outlined possible
responses of isolation, diplomatic efforts to negotiate, or the rapid buildup
of strength of America. The report strongly argued for the American government
to respond with a massive expansion of U.S. military and weaponry, including
nuclear. This will allow the United States to sufficiently protect its
territories and allies in the situation that the Soviets do attack to protect
the future of the United States and its allies.


In document 1, American diplomat George Kennan’s Long Telegram sent
in 1946 to leaders of the United States government details Kennan’s perspective
on Soviet ideology and practices and proposes the idea to stop the Soviet
expansion through economic force, which disagreed with the National Security
Council opinion. To begin, Kennan describes that current policies towards the
Soviet Union is flawed since Washington believes that they can influence the
Soviets to agree to long-term peaceful coexistence. However, this could never
be the solution because the Soviet government is influenced by the dynamics of
a “police regime and antagonistic capitalist encirclement” that seeks to
destroy the harmony and freedom of America (Doc 1). Since the Soviet mindset of
security derives from the idea of deadly destruction of rival Western powers,
Kennan argues that diplomacy and peace negotiations will not work. The Soviets “do
not work by fixed plans and are impervious to the logic of reason” (Doc 1). Consequently,
Kennan’s solution to overcoming the Soviets is “without recourse to military
conflict” through spreading awareness of the benefits of Western Freedom and
showing pressure and guidance. Overall, Kennan argued that the
United States should contain and stop the Soviets rather than appease the
Soviet government.


The ideas from
documents 1 and 2 helped shaped United States foreign policy from 1945 to 1960
by inspiring the Marshall plan and Truman doctrine. George Kennan’s perspective on the Soviet Union helped
influence the Truman administration to pass the Truman Doctrine. This resulted in
the global policy of containment by utilizing resources towards stopping
Communist countries. The Marshall Plan emphasized America’s aid to European
nations after World War II to assist in rebuilding and support to prevent the
financial crisis downfall into communism. After politicians recommended
National Security Council 68, President Truman signed the document into policy
to widen the scope of containment to allow military use and collection of arms
to limit communist growth. This document increased the United States government
military spending budget during peacetime.



In his 1961 farewell address,
President Eisenhower discusses America’s strength and leadership following the
holocausts of the world war in the early periods of the Cold War. He focused on
the character of American society and politics that experienced increased
military action. Eisenhower’s message reflects the idea from the National
Security Council 68 in that he expresses in order to maintain global peace, the
United States “arms must be mighty and ready for action” to prevent destruction
and another war. He talks
about the changes in industry during the Cold War of the development of a permanent
armaments industry that was not existent prior to the world wars, underscoring
the arguments of document 1 for America to boast scientific and technological
innovation and to increase United States defenses. Also, Eisenhower reflects
ideas from the Long Telegram in that his address to all people in the world
underscores the political force for oppressed people to recognize and
understand the benefits of freedom. This will hopefully bring about peace and
be the “binding force of mutual respect” to end the Cold War with the Soviets. Finally, President Eisenhower warns the American people
to be diligent on the “military-industrial complex” that has developed in
post-World War II years. He warns against the corruption and unwarranted
influence of misplaced power that will endanger the democratic processes and
human liberties. Leaders must be alert of the proper balance between military
force and peaceful and democratic methods.

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