.. The United States was out to better their own country, and all the while not promoting any kind of unity between the superpowers, something that democracy is supposed to be all about. Undoubtedly, one of the more important Cold War origins belonged to the region of Eastern Europe, where turmoil between the Western powers and Russia lasted for decades. Russia, sacrificing so much to stop Hitler, desperately wanted the countries of Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on Poland. On the other hand, the United States demanded that Poland be a democracy where free elections would be held. This is certainly where the Cold War escalates, as Russia breaks a promise to uphold free elections in Poland in the late 40’s and early 50’s, something that does not sit well with Truman and his government.
Through this whole debate, Stalin vehemently states that the United States are not being sympathetic to the Soviet Union. For all that the U.S.S.R. gave up during the war, they felt Poland should be theirs, but more importantly they felt that Poland was a major security issue. The past two World Wars saw Russia being invaded through Poland, and they felt that this could simply not happen again, therefore, they wanted control so they could establish military and political defenses to any country wanting to attack Russia. This, along with the same reasoning behind other Eastern European countries, including a separated Germany, became a major debate of the Cold War where tensions almost lead to a war.
Russia felt that the West should establish their own capital in West Germany and let the Russians have Berlin, since Berlin falls in East Germany, yet another major Eastern European conflict. This was more Russia’s fault for having such heavy tension in this area, but one can certainly understand where Russia is coming from in wanting more control over this volatile region. On the other hand, breaking a promise to hold free elections, especially in a region where popular opinion is believed to would rather have a democracy is certainly an undeniable problem for both sides of the Cold War. Hostility in Eastern Europe was unavoidable, especially with the lack of communication during the war over the plans on what exactly to do with this area after 1945. Other events that transpired in the beginnings of this long and potentially devastating Cold War was two documents in particular produced by the American Government. With forced pressure from the interior government, Harry Truman and his administration took an aggressive stance on Communism, at any and all costs.
The first document was a speech by Harry Truman given in the spring of 1947. The document was considered a Cold War Biproxy and has gone down in history as laying a foundation for foreign policy and is called the Truman Doctrine. The main goal for this was to back up anyone fighting Communist aggression. At any chances of stopping Communism from spreading, the United States were prepared to stop any movement by Communist countries into free countries throughout the world. It was truly the first document proclaiming the United States as the “World Policeman” against Communism and just amplified the fact that America is no longer an isolationist country and our involvement in the global spectrum became very evident.
The other very significant document in American Cold War foreign policy was NSC-68, a document brought together by the National Security Council in 1950, a relatively new organization set up to create a department of defense, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency. This document just expanded thoroughly on the Truman doctrine, and packed the muscle behind America’s new foreign policy. NSC-68 called for an immediate upgrade of our defense systems. This was a pure military move, and would cost over $35 billion dollars a year. The threat for massive retaliation started to surface from this as well, and the threat of a nuclear war was ever-present, especially with the Russians successfully testing an atomic bomb in 1949.
This just called for an increase in nuclear armament, and if a war broke out, this document would guarantee that if the United States would have to fight to the death, they would, and they would also go down in a blaze of glory if necessary. This marked the first guarantee of a massive military response to any Communist forces wanting to test the waters of democracy. This was also about the time where the “rollback” theory came into play, and Americans debated about not just stopping but penetrating any Communist movements. These bold documents from the United States marked the beginnings of the height of the Cold War that would come about roughly ten years later, where if a large scale battle broke out with Russia or China, human and land losses would be atrocious. The origins of the Cold War would be one-sided and incomplete if it did not include the actions that were occurring in Russia.
An unorganized government, lead by a drunken and insane leader who makes diplomatic decisions at four in the morning is certainly a cause for action. The fact must be brought forth of the human casualties suffered in Russia by the government and the military. Individuals did not enjoy freedom to think for themselves in Russia, and if a Russian decided to speak out or question authority, he would be killed with no remorse. The fact of the matter is that many millions of Russian citizens were being massacred by their own government. That certainly is a large reason for concern.
Any alternative scenarios to avoid any Cold War conflicts would have to of ended with these atrocities. The United States could not have negotiated for Russia to cease these actions, so even though America could have reacted better to some events during and after the war, Russia still would not have been easy to deal with when it came to their own country, not to mention Eastern Europe. The Cold War was more than likely inevitable, but it probably could have transpired more peacefully and definitely not on such a grand level. Someone that crazy as Stalin was and consequences so heavy as letting Russia into Eastern Europe could not be ignored, and the Americans had every right to stop the advancement of Russia into Poland. The Polish would not want to suffer those horrendous acts of oppression, and if the United States wanted to be the policeman of the world and stop these human rights violations, then Russia is the perfect place to start.
The United States certainly did not always act brilliantly, and indeed they caused plenty of their own problems by a lack of good communication, but Russia was just as much to blame for the tensions throughout the world during the origins of the Cold War in the late 1940’s to early 50’s. History Essays.