The Truman Doctrine and proxy wars – In 1947, Truman pledged that the United States would assist free peoples wherever they were threatened. IN essence, this expanded the Cold War to a global level, leading the United States to oppose communist movements throughout the world. With decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s, this became particular important, as the US and Soviets competed for influence throughout the developing world. The Soviets supported communist movements in “national wars for liberation” and the US intervened throughout the world to oppose the Soviets. Many realists debated whether the US should intervene in the developing world. The issue here is the effect on alliances – in a bipolar system, alliances must be tight, in order to preserve credibility – however, the US intervention in the developing world, particularly the Vietnam War placed great stress on the US-European alliance. Some realists, like George Kennan, argued for strongpoint deterrence – the main focus of deterrence efforts should be Europe. Others argued for
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