After Republicans gained control of Congress in the 1946 elections, President Truman, a Democrat, made a dramatic speech that is often considered to mark the beginning of the Cold War. In the orthodox explanation of Herbert Feis, a series of aggressive Soviet actions in 1945–47 in Poland, Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere awakened the American public to the new danger to freedom to which Truman responded. Davis, Truman was a naive idealist who unnecessarily provoked the Soviets by couching disputes in terms like democracy and freedom that were alien to the Communist vision.In March 1947, he requested that Congress appropriate 0 million in aid to the Greek and Turkish governments, which were fighting Communist subversion. Portraying the issue as a mighty clash between "totalitarian regimes" and "free peoples," the speech marks the adoption of containment as official U. According to psychological analysis by Deborah Larson, Truman felt a need to prove his decisiveness and feared that aides would make unfavorable comparisons between him and his predecessor, Roosevelt.
In either case we should take no avoidable initiative which would cause it to become a war of annihilation, and if we have the forces to defeat a Soviet drive for limited objectives it may well be to our interest not to let it become a global war.
There were three alternative policies to containment under discussion in the late 1940s.
Key State Department personnel grew increasingly frustrated with and suspicious of the Soviets as the war drew to a close. The use of the word "containment" originates from this so-called "X Article": "In these circumstances it is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies." Kennan later turned against the containment policy and noted several deficiencies in his X Article.
He later said that by containment he meant not the containment of Soviet Power "by military means of a military threat, but the political containment of a political threat." Second, Kennan admitted a failure in the article to specify the geographical scope of "containment", and that containment was not something he believed the United States could necessarily achieve everywhere successfully. Truman's motives on that occasion have been the subject of considerable scholarship and several schools of interpretation.
There were major historical precedents familiar to Americans and Europeans.
foreign policy, the word originated in a report Kennan submitted to U. Defense Secretary James Forrestal in 1947, which was later used in a magazine article.The second policy was continuation of the détente policies that aimed at friendly relationships with the Soviet Union, especially trade.Roosevelt had been the champion of détente, but he was dead, and most of his inner circle had left the government by 1946.Containment is a geopolitical "strategic foreign policy pursued by the United States". In the 1850s, anti-slavery forces in the United States developed a free soil strategy of containment to stop the expansion of slavery until it later collapsed.It is loosely related to the term cordon sanitaire which was later used to describe the geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union in the 1940s. Historian James Oakes explains the strategy: The Federal government would surround the south with free states, free territories, and free waters, building what they called a 'cordon of freedom' around slavery, hemming it in until the system's own internal weaknesses forced the slave states one by one to abandon slavery.By 1919, the intervention was entirely anti-communist, although the unpopularity of the assault led it to be gradually withdrawn. He responded with a wide-ranging analysis of Russian policy now called the Long Telegram: Soviet power, unlike that of Hitlerite Germany, is neither schematic nor adventuristic. For this reason it can easily withdraw—and usually does when strong resistance is encountered at any point.The US simultaneously engaged in covert action against the new Soviet government, involving the work of a young Allen Dulles. initially refused to recognize the Soviet Union, but President Franklin D. Kennan himself attributed the enthusiastic reception to timing: "Six months earlier the message would probably have been received in the State Department with raised eyebrows and lips pursed in disapproval.The drama surrounding the announcement of the Truman Doctrine catered to president's self-image of a strong and decisive leader, but his real decision-making process was more complex and gradual.The timing of the speech was not a response to any particular Soviet action but to the fact that the Republican Party had just gained control of Congress.While the campaigns were officially pro-democracy, they often supported the White Terror of former Tsarist generals like GM Semenov and Alexander Kolchak. Roosevelt reversed the policy in 1933 in the hope to expand American export markets. tried to contain Japanese expansion in Asia in 1937 to 1941, and Japan reacted with its attack on Pearl Harbor. Six months later, it would probably have sounded redundant." Clark Clifford and George Elsey produced a report elaborating on the Long Telegram and proposing concrete policy recommendations based on its analysis.The Munich Agreement of 1938 was a failed attempt to contain Nazi expansion in Europe. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 during World War II, the U. and the Soviet Union found themselves allied against Germany and used rollback to defeat the Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan. Ambassador in Moscow, once a "confirmed optimist" regarding U. This report, which recommended "restraining and confining" Soviet influence, was presented to Truman on September 24, 1946.