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Cold War

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After World War II, Stalin did not remove his troops from Eastern Europe as he pledged he would in the Yalta Agreement. Instead, he setup "puppet governments" which did exactly as Mother Russia stated. To protect it's interests for national security, the American Dream, and the belief that all people should have the right to a democratic life, complete with liberty, equality, and a representative government. Also playing a large part in Cold War tensions was the US interest in protecting its profitable foreign markets. The spread of communism challenged every one of these US aim's, and therefore the US became convinced it had to stop this spread. The deliberate opposition to the spread of communism to capital countries is known as containment, which the US adopted in the late 1940's. The US believed it must do everything in its power to uphold containment and save it's peoples way of life. Another theory that soon surfaced that was related to the containment theory was the domino theory, which stated that as one small country fell to communism, surrounding small countries would also fall to communism rapidly.

In the spirit of containment, strongly supported by President Harry Truman, was the main driving force behind the Korean War. Along with containment as a force was American Pride. After World War II and after Japanese occupation, Soviet troops moved in to North Korea, and the US moved in to South Korea. Each setup and supported its own government, and each government wanted unification on its own terms. The North Koreans were the ones to strike first, and the situation quickly involved US troops. Although originally winning the war easily, Gen. Macarthur ignored Chinese warnings and advanced further north. The Chinese entered the war in October 1950, and forced the UN forces back below the 38th parallel. Both held their grounds fiercely for the next two years, the UN forces driven by containment and the Communist forces driven by the ideal of global communism, until finally in 1953 a truce was signed in which the country was left divided exactly where it was before the war, along the 38th parallel.

The Korean War caused much frustration in the home fronts, where people wondered why 54,000 US men had died and many more were wounded for virtually no gains. Many people also questioned the country's determination in enforcing containment. This led to a much larger defense budget, as NSC-68 had outlined. Just as the Korean War was coming to an end, another was brewing 2,000 miles to the south.

Vietnam long controlled by France, had also been occupied by the Japanese during World War II. France was determined to win back its empire after the war and was backed strongly by the British. The US was influenced by the British and also supported the French. Ho Chi Minh, the rebel leader



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