Defeating Communism

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Between 1945 and 2001, the perceived national interest of defeating Communism took precedence over the real national interest of promoting Americans’ physical and economical security. The United States entered wars in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan because they believed preventing the spread of Communism was necessary to protect the American people. However, the success of the wars did not dictate American success in the overall Cold War. Professor Brands suggested that American leaders rally the people against a singular enemy to focus foreign policy on one mission at a time. Once the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States needed to find a new enemy.
In 1947, President Truman responded to the threat of a Communist takeover of Greece
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The Vietnam War proved that preventing the spread of Communism would not, in fact, endanger Americans or even the American way of life because the United States lost the war, but ended up winning the Cold War. Public opinion dictated that the war (1960-1975) was too costly both in terms of economics and human life, so the United States left the war in 1975. American failure to prevent a communist Vietnam did not lose United States the Cold War and proved that defeating Communism was not the real national interest, but rather an important tool to protect the security of …show more content…
This attack will forever live in infamy as a catastrophic attack on American soil. It also identified a flaw in American foreign policy. From 1945 until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States’ leaders considered defeating Communism the national interest. They believed that defeating Communism would best protect American security, both physically and economically. Unfortunately, the United States indirectly caused the rise in Islamic terrorism by siding with the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan and by continuously fighting the secular Saddam Hussein in the 1990’s. Once Arab nationalism lost its appeal, the new way to be “free from the West” became Islamic fundamentalism.
While the real national interest of American security remained unchanged throughout the Cold War and into the 1990’s, American policy makers learned the dangers of focusing on only one enemy. Focusing all efforts against Communism allowed for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the new enemy of the United

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