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Fingers Pointed at Truman

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Hissa Majid Al-Sowaidi

Fingers pointed at Truman

To define the Cold War is difficult. There was no direct fighting between the US and the USSR; and it was more of a military, political and economic competition. By the end of the 1950's, the world's two sides of power battled in a new medium that included an arms race. Both sides had opposing economic policies; one was capitalist, the other, communist. In order for the ultimate economic return after WW2, the other power was unable to exist. The Truman administration caused the Cold War because of its aggressive policies.

The Truman administration acted hostilely against The USSR to ensure their power. Truman had little foreign policy experience (Offner, BBC) and was sensitive to criticisms on his foreign policy stand. Besides, "Truman's decision to approve the use of nuclear weapons to compel Japan to surrender was harshly criticized," after the War. (Duiker, P 141) It was intended to send the message to Stalin that the US would not hesitate about using this horrendous new weapon and was a political statement towards the USSR to demonstrate power. (Yagami, P 302)

The Truman administration's actions constantly offended the USSR. In one instance, Truman used "the language of a Missouri mule driver" (Wood, P 69) towards the USSR's Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, rather than using the language of diplomacy.

The Truman administration's policies resulted in "dramatically changing the outlines of international relations, " (Zubok, P 46) because it divided countries in Europe by their economic policies. Furthermore, The Truman Doctrine went so far as to "provide money to countries that were threatened by the communist expansion," like Greece and Turkey. (Duiker, P 150) The Truman Doctrine and The Marshall Plan caused Stalin to tighten "Communist control over European governments," (Duiker, P 149) creating a separated Europe.

The Truman administration's continuous intrusion on The USSR was another factor in causing The Cold War. The US backed the Yugoslavian leader Tito, a communist. (Duiker, P 153) Truman's support for Tito was seen as hostile towards The USSR, who were trying to regain control of Yugoslavia. However, in spite of knowing Eastern Europe is in The USSR's informal control, Truman continued to assist the USSR's antagonists. Furthermore, The US had informal control over Latin America and Stalin did not intervene. Moreover, in Czechoslovakia the Truman administration sent multiple spies, further encroaching and angering Stalin.

Prior to Truman, Roosevelt and Stalin hoped to continue having a friendly relationship after WW2 (Duiker, P 140). However, Truman administration's hardline "Realpolitik" approach and determination to limit growth of The USSR through

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