President Harry Truman is widely thought to have begun the cold war. This is particularly because of his policy, which was referred to as the Truman doctrine. The doctrine largely related to how America would relate with Greece and Turkey. President Truman believed that the best way to contain the Soviet expansion, or communism, was to ensure that no state was vulnerable or unstable so as to fall prey to the soviet influence. Accordingly, in postulating the doctrine, President Truman convinced Congress to give financial aid to Turkey and Greece, which at that time were experiencing tough times.
Truman’s policy was to support Greece and Turkey financially and to keep their economies stable to avoid the two nations from falling into communism which in his opinion would have very grave consequences throughout Western Europe. Truman supported this policy and even went ahead and convinced Congress to grant Greece 400 million dollars in military and economic support. This grant was very pivotal in helping the Greek government to overcome the KKE the (Greek Communist Party) which had on several occasions defeated the Greek government and which had the intention of converting Greece into a communist party.
This policy was also responsible for assisting Turkey to retain chief control over Dardanchelles which was a very strategic passage that the communist had vested interests in and which Stallin was demanding control over. Truman secured this passage by convincing the Congress to grant Turkey 100 million dollars in economic and military aid. This policy stood the test of time because it also took into consideration the Socio-Economic angles of the citizens of the countries in which the United States was helping in resisting to be entangled in communism. This was also successful as the United States achieved this goal without direct military intervention.
President Eisenhower succeeded Truman, and continued the containment policy under the Eisenhower Doctrine. He was however cautious about military intervention, and relied on international agreements and treaties meant to cut the influence of the Soviet and its allies. Examples of such instruments include the Central Treaty Organization and the South Asia Treaty Organization. Additionally, Eisenhower utilized the Central Intelligence Agency to reclaim nations that had fallen prey to the Soviet and also to contain the influence. The CIA did this covertly by sponsoring coups, assassinating heads of states, spreading propaganda, and arming opponents of communism. Example of such covert action includes the coup in Iran and Guatemala.
Eisenhower also popularized the idea of using nuclear warfare in the defence of the United States and also discouraging the Soviet Union from popularizing the communist agenda. This shift was necessitated as it was a cheaper form of containment and the U.S government needed to cut back on its budgetary allocations to the military to sustain its economic growth. This move also assisted the Eisenhower administration to effectively fight the cold war and at the same time cut the federal spending.
President Kennedy took over office from Eisenhower. He too continued the containment doctrine, combining the Truman doctrine and the Eisenhower doctrine. For instance, he increased military spending, increased American troops in Vietnam, and organized for the assassination of South Vietnam president. President Kennedy also used international agreements and negotiation. For instance he used diplomacy over the Cuba missile crisis and signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which banned the test of nuclear weapons in the air and water.