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The United States used containment policy through economic, military and diplomatic strategies to spread communism. The containment policy was a major guiding concept in the United States after the end of the Second World War. This policy was applied until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, though many people think that this law has continually been applied until the twenty first century. The main objective of the containment theory was to oppose the expansion of communism to the uttermost parts of the world (Herring, 1991). One of the main challenges that affected the containment policy is its differing interpretations and looseness. The containment policy was considered by many as a correct approach because they thought that it would bring the desired results. It was aimed at securing the economy and the general nation of America but its aftermath was unspeakable leading to its partial abolishment.
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Containment Policy and Vietnam
This is clearly evident in the former United States president speech after the Gulf war. President Bush experienced his joy after experiencing euphoric victory at the end of the war. The Vietnam had preyed on America since the fall of Saigon for more than fifteen years. The Vietnam War was considered to be most drastic and convulsive war of the American Asian war. The economy of the United States started on a downward spiral at the end of the war. The aftermath of the war discredited and disarrayed America's containment foreign policy. These unexpected results led to the undermining of the people who strongly supported it. The effects of the containment policy led to a drastic division of the American people more than the separation that occurred a century ago after the end of their civil war (Herring, 1991). The Vietnam War led to complete battering of the American souls. These effects left many wondering because the containment policy was thought to be the correct intervention to the underlying issues and challenges.
The effects of the containment policy during the Vietnam War made the Persian Gulf War to look like impossibility for it often appeared like a heavy struggle with Saddam Hussein or its ghosts. The confidence of the American people was only raised after experiencing great victory in the Gulf war (Combs, 2008). The confidence in the America's military institutions and foreign policy rose again after the Gulf success. This further eliminated some of the inhibitions and hindrances that had been put after the Vietnam War. There are many questions that arise when one critically look at the America's Vietnam War. For instance, one does not clearly understand why America invested so much treasure and blood in a place like Vietnam which seemed to have no much significance. One fails to fully understand why the United States of America with great power greatly failed in achieving its objectives in focusing on Vietnam War.
It took America a period of fifteen years with series of minor decisions to engage in the war. The interaction between the cold war and the demolition of the colonial empires made the Americans to intervene in Vietnam. Therefore the weakening of the European powers as well as the formation of nationalism at the recess of the Second World War was to simply demolish a colonial system that had ruled the world's politics for a number of centuries. Such changes are not easily achieved therefore they lead to great conflict and turmoil. The most important thing about the Vietnam conflict on the Americans was the fact that it was organized and led by a communist. Ho Chi Minh used his nationalist united revolutionary frontier to remain in control. He was much disciplined and well organized a fact that enabled him to get what he wanted by simply taking advantage of other national groups disunity to establish his preeminence.
The United States engaged in the Vietnam conflict because it perceived it to be a disagreement with the Soviet Union. Therefore the Americans looked at Vietnam as the main drive for dominating the world through the soviet. This explains why they were fighting the communist because they did not want them to take over the world. The way the American looked at the whole concept remained unchallenged until the time when it seriously engaged in a full war with Vietnam. The outcome of the war was very complex because the associates of Ho and Ho himself were fully committed to creating first hand opportunity for his country. Before 1940 America was not concerned about the Vietnam conflict in any way, this only changed at the end of the war.
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The intervention of the United States in the Vietnam War was the best interpretation of the containment policy because they seized this chance as the only opportunity of complete destruction of the communist. The Soviet Union by then posed a great challenge to the Americans because they were almost gaining full control of the world, something that the super powers were not comfortable with. The Americans wanted to maintain their supremacy and politically power in controlling the nations of the earth (Herring, 1991). Therefore, there were not ready to loose this to any other national group that was gaining power and supremacy. Therefore the intention of the application of the containment policy was not to be bogged down in places like Vietnam though the whole conflict took a different angle from what many expected. This clearly explains why the American policy makers looked at the Vietnam conflict as their wider struggle with the communism.