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Cold War Position Paper

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Ivan Jose Caballero 4/9/18

Dr. Pellecchia APUSH

Cold War Position Paper

The Cold War Era was a period of political tensions between global powers such as America and the Soviet Union. It is an era when these superpowers are competing in an arms race. But who truly caused the creation of the Cold War? Many historians blame Stalin for his imperialistic tendencies of expanding his empire beyond Russia. Gaddis claims that Stalin was responsible for more state-sanctioned murders than Adolf Hitler. Stalin also treated world politics as an extension of domestic politics. However, this is a limited view of Stalin as he understood that the world was not ready for a nuclear war. On the other hand, Truman’s priority of national security entrenched the world into the Cold War since he did everything during his presidency to prevent the Soviet Union and Communism to spread. Truman’s foreign policy towards the Soviet Union intensified the European division and allowed Truman to make poor decisions such as his overreach in Asian civil wars. Although Stalin’s imperialistic tendencies which roots before World War II contributed to the arms race, Truman’s presidency was limited due to his parochial and nationalistic heritage which allowed Truman to make poor decisions, such as American involvement in the Korean War, and sets a precedent for a global arms race when he decided to use the atomic bombs to end World War II.

Truman’s character rooted back from his childhood when his illnesses alienated him from his peers and father. Truman’s father has a strong character which Truman never possessed when he was a child. Truman embodies this powerful and tough act during his presidency to solve Soviet-American conflict. One example of this is when Truman approved of getting tough with the Russians by curtailing Lend Lease shipments, but Anglo-Soviet protests caused him to countermand the cutoffs. This event shows Truman’s weak ability to stand his ground and fight for his purpose of curtailing the shipments. This demonstration of a weak character made him have a narrow point of view with the Russians as he is easily influenced with his decisions. Such as the time during the Korean War, Truman was easily influenced by MacArthur on pursuing American involvement in the civil war. The outcome of the war was a tragedy as they wasted countless lives and resources for an unnecessary conflict. Truman’s weak leadership contributed to more wars with countries that sparks an arms race since they would need to build their military against America.

In complement with Truman’s parochial heritage, he has the tendency to need to demonstrate his authority. Truman strongly disagrees with the idea of appeasement especially with the attempt with Nazi Germany. Truman had an excessive fear that appeasement would lead to a lack of preparedness and enemies at home and abroad would destroy America and democracy. Truman’s paranoia further contributed to

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