How World War Two set the stage for the Cold War
How World War Two set the stage for the Cold War
Realism and liberalism foreign diplomacy ideology were the main factors that led to World War II and Cold War consecutively. World War II gave rise to new foreign diplomacy strategies that are engagement, rollback and containment. In the Cold War era, the Soviet Union was supporting realism while the United States was supporting Liberalism. Today, many nations worldwide have embraced the use the idealism type of policy while countries such as the Islamic nations still hold on realism type of foreign policy. The evidence of how engagement, rollback and containment policies were used in the cold war are Berlin Blockade, the Cuban missile, the Chinese Nixon/Mao speech, Vietnam War, and the Korean War. During the Cold War, all these of incidences impacted positively or negatively on either side of the Soviet Union or the United States interest. Currently, the Russian and the United States governments are still using engagement, rollback and containment policies to further their interest. For example, the war on ISL terror group in Syria and the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein regime.
Keywords: realism and liberalism policies
How World War Two set the stage for the Cold War
The World War II significantly impacted the cold war. Realism and liberalism ideology are essential in the international foreign policy. This is because they were the main factors that led to World War II and Cold War consecutively. Realism refers to the world`s affairs, and politics that is driven and control by competitive self-interest (Mazzoleni, 2015). Liberalism refers to the situation where people or countries have the ability to find mutual relationship and interests and can work together to achieve them (Mazzoleni, 2015). Liberalism opposes realism type of politics that suggest that power is the main struggle for this world. More ever, many countries are struggling to improve or preserve their economic welfare and military security in competitive terms with other countries. Realism applies the theory of the zero-sum game. For example, when a country is successive their competitors are termed as the loser. Realism during the world war era emerged as a result of countries failure to uphold peace strategies. During the World War, major European countries involved themselves in realism politics that resulted in the war.
World War I shocked everyone and President Woodrow Wilson started a campaign that advocated liberalism type of politics (Mazzoleni, 2015). Under the liberalism theory, foreign policy was required to reflect on issues such as moral, ethical and philosophical principles of the country. The movement opposed realism type of foreign policy that incorporated security and national interest above people ethic, beliefs and morality. Additionally, Wilson advocated peace in the democratic countries and helped in the setting of the league of nation body whose solemn role was to prevent another war from erupting. Liberalism works under the theory of non-zero sum game, which gives chances to a mutual benefit. In this scenario, both parties share win or loss, there are no double standards in the end (Mazzoleni, 2015).
Even though, Wilson was able to advocate liberal movement; another war happened. During the World War II, Japan and German attacks on their enemies were intensively fatal since they found their victims off guard. Alternatively, their assaults were seen as the dangers of embracing liberalism. This also proved that the objective of liberalism was naive in nature. The aggression of Japan and Germany happened when the country had left realism politics. The members of countries under the league Nation complained in defence of realism politics saying that it had strategies for countering such off guard assaults (Reynolds, 2006).
The effect of World War II is that engagement, rollback and containment strategies were incorporated in every nation that participated in World War II (Miles & EBooks Corporation, 2013). Engagement strategy refers to a situation of interacting and involving the opponents rather than isolating them. The policy of engagement was based on focusing on the international problems more than the domestic issues. Therefore, the policy is an interaction strategy aimed at diffusing reciprocity. Roll back strategy is based on advocating for the change in the major opponent policies that are done by replacing their ruling regime. Roll back involved the total termination of the opponent’s army and occupying the state power. This was seen during the World War II in Japan and Germany and the America Civil War revolution. Roll back strategy is always violent, and peace has minimal chance of co-existing. Many lives and properties are damaged in rollback strategy. Therefore, the aim of rollback is prevented recollection and revenge strategy of the opponents. On the other hand, containment policy was based on isolating the opponents from the rest of the international problem to prevent them from making new friends and allies. This will ensure that their room for expansion was closed. The disadvantage using of containment is that it weakens the state because they focus on one enemy while leaving a loophole for alternative enemies to attack.
Consequently, the evidence of how engagement, rollback and containment policies were used in the Cold War are as follow: During the cold war George F. Kennan formed the containment theory. He was the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union during the cold war era. Kennan advocated defence mechanism that would confront the Russia with strong counter force. They isolated the Russians from the major global programme such as world trade affairs and development meeting. Secondly, the Berlin Blockade in 1948 was a containment strategy used by the Soviet to prevent Great Britain, France and the United States from accessing their zones in Berlin (Reynolds, 2006). The Blockade was the first foreshadow of the conflict of the city of Berlin. The Soviet had occupied western Germany while the NATO members had grounds on West Berlin. The blockade set by the Soviet failed when the NATO gained sympathy from the citizens. This is after they provided humanitarian assistance to the residents of West Berlin. The border was reopened on 1949 and Germany was dived into East and West.
Thirdly, The Cuban missile crisis in 1962 was another strategy of containment used by both Soviet Union and the United States. After many unsuccessful trials by United State to overthrow Fidel Castrol government in Cuba, the Soviet used their enormity to plan missile in Cuba. In respond to this, the United States plan missile in Turkey in case the Soviet stage any attack on them. After a long period of dialogue, they both come to the conclusion of removing IL-28 bomber from Cuba and Jupiter missile in Turkey (Reynolds, 2006).
Fourthly, Nixon/Mao in 1971, China specialist argued United State to stop isolating them in international matters (Reynolds, 2006). The United state accommodated the China`s support because they will offer influence towards their win in the cold war against the Soviet Union. Fifthly, The Korean War in 1950 was influenced by NATO involvement that supported the South Korea. In this war, the rollback strategy took effect since Japanese troop surrendered (Reynolds, 2006). The actions by the United States leading South Korea to victory was seen as a containment strategy of increasing the United States political base. Besides, the United States participation in the Vietnam War was portrayed as a containment strategy. They contributed to the success of South Vietnam through helping them to win the war. As a sign of appreciation, the South Vietnam supported the United States in the Cold War hence gaining strength over the Soviet Union (Reynolds, 2006). Engagement strategy ensured the Cold War never evaporated to aggressive nature because the two parties also engaged in talks. This is why these two super nations of the world are now living peacefully to date. However, George F. Kennan was opposed to it saying that this policy gives the enemy an opportunity to plan an attack and containment was the best to handle the Soviet Union (Reynolds, 2006).
Today, after the Cold War, the use of engagement, rollback and containment in foreign policy has been seen in trending international cases. For instance, the war in Iraq made the United Stated to use rollback strategy to terminate the government of Saddam Hussein (Miles & EBooks Corporation, 2013). In addition to that, the rollback strategy has been used against the ISL terror group. The United State has occupied the major regions in Syria that were under the control of ISL group. The United State is also aiding in the fight against terror in Somalia (Miles & EBooks Corporation, 2013). They use engagement strategy to assist that country but in return, their interest of international security is maintained. Currently, the Russian government has overtaken the responsibility of fighting the ISL group in Syria from the United States government. Even though, they utilise roll back strategy that involves air strike bombing on Syrian soil and deployment of their soldiers in that country. The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin has been recorded blaming the United States government for facilitating the initial growth of ISL group through their engagement policies that supplied them with firearms. The French government has joined the Russian government in this mission after facing numerous terrorist attacks in their country.
In conclusion, Realism and liberalism date back in the World War era where both of them had an equal amount of advantages and disadvantages. Many countries fought in world War fight because of their stand on either realism or liberalism. In the Cold War era, the Soviet Union was supporting realism while the United States was supporting Liberalism. Currently, many countries are influenced to use the liberal type of policy while countries such as the Middle East and other Arab countries prefer to realism type of foreign policy. Contrary, country like America uses both liberalism and realism in ensuring that their affair and interests are met. Lastly, Liberalism has the advantage of democracy, human right respect, decreased discrimination cases and ethical ruling system. Realism, on the other hand, advocates supremacy battle and competition.
Mazzoleni, G. (2015). International encyclopaedia of political communication. Place of publication not identified: John Wiley & Sons.
Miles, A., & Ebooks Corporation. (2013). The US foreign policy and the rogue state doctrine. (EBL.) Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Reynolds, D. (2006). From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the international history of the 1940s. Oxford: Oxford University Press.