Sunday, April 22, 2007

Containment Worldwide!

Beginning in the mid-1940's the United States was striving to prevent communism from flourishing and controlling the country. America took steps toward this goal through its involvement in foreign affairs. The U.S. government expressed its concern about communist influence by establishing several containment policies in different nations. The U.S. possessed one main objective in establishing containment policies within both Latin America and Asia, but the actions taken ended their commonalities. Americans' top priority during this time period was to provide the U.S. with shelter from a communist government and its effects which was reflected in both foreign continents. However, the tactics used to reach this goal contrasted with one another. When observing the success of each policy Latin America possessed the most victories through U.S. intervention within their domestic affairs.

The U.S.- established policies in both Asia and Latin America possessed a common ground. Each was created in order to maintain America's democratic government without the influence of communism. Americans felt the need to become involved in foreign events which would possibly assure the containment of this type of government. The U.S. believed that if they could regulate leadership within these continents, the flourish of communism would not occur or cause their country to fall. In the end, victories were obtained through these policies which expressed how America did reach its primary objective.

The tactics used through both continent's policies contrasted with one another. The U.S. took action in Latin America by capturing the primary source of communism and its spread- leadership. Several dictators and presidents were overthrown in order to replace them with leaders who the U.S. approved of. They planned to overthrow Fidel Castro, dictator of Cuba, but failed to do so when they sent soldiers to Cuba's Bay of Pigs. The leader of Chile, Salvador Allende, was overthrown in 1973. America felt that Allende's Marxist programs were a threat to its own interests in economics and politics. The policy created within Asia consisted of more militant actions that were taken. The Vietnam War occurred due to France's desire to reclaim Indochina. The U.S. became involved in this conflict because of its alliance with the French. They assisted France in conquering the Vietnamese. President Johnson's allegations of the North Vietnamese attacking U.S. warships at the Gulf of Tonkin only added to their involvement in the war. Millions of U.S. troops were sent to Vietnam to wage war against the Vietcong and North Vietnam. The conflict ended in an agreement that withdrew all U.S. troops. The Koren War was another example of major bloodshed through the containment policy in Asia. After America received control over South Korea and the Soviets over North Korea once it was divided at the 38th parallel, a discrepancy was given rise to.Whether to have a communist or anticommunist government in each region was the problem. A war broke out between North and South Korea which included invasions and retaliations. In 1953 a cease-fire was agreed to at Panmunjon on the 38th parallel. The U.S. had contained communism in South Korea with the assistanceof militant actions.

When observing the aspect of which continent possessed the most success Latin America received that recognition. Unlike Asia, the U.S. containment policy there didn't let communism be the victorious one. The Chinese Civil War was a conflict that occurred in which the idea of communism slipped through the cracks of America's policy. The communist government of Mao Zedong and the anti-communist government of Jiang Jieshi were fighting a civil war with one another. The U.S. aided Jiang's military by sending supplies. Because of all the support the Chinese Communist Party received from China's population, the communist government won the war. President Truman was criticized of being too lenient on communism and not assisting the U.S.'s ally enough. However, in Latin America the policy aided the U.S. more in obtaining its goal of containing communism. In 1954, revolutionaries overthrew Jacobo Arbenz's, new president of Guatemala, government after he planned to nationalize land that was under the control of U.S. banana companies. It was replaced with a U.S. military regime. American government used their involvement in foreign government to seize the influence of communism by its roots.

To conclude, the containment policies in both Asia and Latin America held the same goal, but went about reaching it in several different ways. The U.S. obtained victory due to its involvement in matters that were indirectly associated with their country.


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