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The Truman Doctrine and proxy wars –

The Truman Doctrine and proxy wars – -...

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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
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Unformatted text preview: 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 perimeter deterrence – in order to maintain credibility, the US had to confront the Soviets in the decolonizing developing world – this would prevent these threats from escalating into Europe. As a result, the US and Soviets engaged in proxy wars – no direct confrontation between the two superpowers, but one side supported by the superpower – best examples are Vietnam (where the North Vietnamese were supported by the Soviets) and Afghanistan (where the US supported the mujahideen against the Soviets)....
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