Turning Point Of The Cold War Essay

2134 Words 9 Pages
Following the Korean War, the United States was convinced that more had to be done to combat communism. The goal had shifted slightly from simply containing communism, to pushing it back. Eisenhower proposed liberating countries under attack from communist ones, much like the Truman doctrine, but the plan failed. Unrest in Eastern Europe led to rebellions, but the United States refused to help the protesters, and the USSR quelled the unrest. Despite that, the United States increased its stockpile of nuclear weapons to be sure that the Soviets would be deterred from either bombing the US or invading Berlin, due to the theory of massive retaliation. This theory states that if any country attacks or is against the interests of the free world, …show more content…
Before 1964, Russia had the upper hand in the missile gap, space race, and now communist revolutions were taking place all around the world. The US was committing resources to an unwinnable war, and even Americans disapproved of their own government’s actions. The US poured men into Vietnam, following the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The Gulf of Tonkin incident was an attack on US warships by NVA ships, which led to the widespread involvement of the United States in Vietnam. This singlehandedly changed the policy at the time from diplomatic to a much more aggressive and military confrontation with the Soviet Union. The US bombed the North relentlessly and dropped chemicals such as Agent Orange to try and starve the population out. The United States resorted to these methods as the Vietnamese would fight guerilla warfare, such as at Hamburger Hill, and would lay out traps for US soldiers. Also, many North Vietnamese civilian were the ones actually fighting the war as they became inspired by the death of their countrymen and destruction caused by American forces. The American public was also against the war due to the hippie movement and the ability to see what the war truly was like. As a result, the war was an unwinnable one, but the aftermath is what really changed the course of the cold war. After the war, the United States adopted a policy of détente, rather …show more content…
At first, the US was in a much stronger position due to the Apollo program, technological advancements in the US and the strengthening of the economy as well as civil rights for women and African-americans. Most notably, however, the US had to achieve all of its goals without any military intervention due to the anti-war sentiment felt after Vietnam. The US simply participated indirectly in wars by supporting Israel, the only democratic country at the time in the middle east against the Arab countries, who constantly tried to invade. Also, the US supported the mujahedeen in fighting the Soviet forces, a war which would eventually bring about the end of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately the mujahedeen later turned against the US, but the war is still seen as a victory for the Americans. This time period did not come without its faire share of crises, however. One of the earliest and most important was the overthrow of the Iranian government and the implementation of the theocracy still in power. This government harbors a strong anti-american bias and actually tried to kidnap several US ambassadors who were saved by the Canadian embassy in Iran. To trade for some other captured personnel, Reagan decided to sell arms to Iran in exchange for the prisoners and money which he used to fund the contras in Central America, who fought the communism there. This was a major controversy

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