American Commitment to Cold War: National Security Council Document
1. How NSC-68 influenced America’s response to Communist North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in June 1950 and to Communist expansion in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. The NSC-68 called for military assistance programs that would meet the requirements of our allies. Since South Korea was an ally, we assisted them in repelling the invasion of another communist nation. This help for South Korea meant that a communist nation would be weakened and therefore possibly cripple a potential ally for the Soviet Union. Also, South Korea would then respond to a call for aid if the Soviet Union ever attacked America.
2. The implications of NSC-68 for military spending by the United States and its allies. The NSC-68 stated that “budgetary considerations will need to be subordinated to the stark fact that our very independence as a nation may be at stake.” This meant that no matter how much it cost to build up our military, it would be done in order to protect our nation. Also, the rebuilding of European economies and defenses in order to try and contain Russian expansion without armed conflict, lead to the help of European powers having to return the favor of having their economies rebuilt with helping the United States in the Cold War.
3. The implications of the call for “covert actions” in NSC-68. Covert actions in the NSC-68 implies that the United States was not ready for another war so soon after World War II. Also, the Soviet Union had developed atomic weapons, which meant that the Soviet Union could cause mass destruction in the United States. However, America was unwilling to allow the communist nation of the Soviet Union to expand and gain enough power to crush the United States. So the government decided to use covert operations which would hurt their economy and cause unrest in the Soviet Union.
American Public Opinion and the Korean War, 1950-1952
1. What these responses reveal about attitudes toward American involvement in the Korean War. At the beginning, American opinion supported the war in Korea. However, as time went on, the American opinion changed because we no longer had a clear chance of winning the war. People then changed their opinions to say it was a mistake to enter the war and that overall, the enemy won the bigger victory according to the people.
2. Which events in the war may have influenced responses in the polls of October 13, 1950, and January 22, 1951. On October 9th, 1950, the UN troops that crossed the 38th parallel declared the defeat of North Korea and the attempted reunification of the country. On October 13th, 1950, Chinese Communist Forces entered Korea.
3. How much public opinion polls should influence the conduct of American foreign policy. American foreign policy should be heavily influenced by the public opinion polls as long as the public has enough information about the issue to make an intelligent decision. However, if the American government is keeping secrets from the people that need to be considered when concerning the conduct of American foreign policy, then the polls should not influence it.
The Origins of “McCarthyism”
1. Whether Griffith’s evidence supports his evaluation of McCarthy and McCarthyism. Griffith’s evidence does support his evaluation of McCarthy. Griffith says that McCarthy simply adopted a “political issue which was already sanction by much of the nation’s political leadership.”
2. Whether Griffith’s view of McCarthyism helps explain American politics in the 1950s. Griffith’s view of McCarthyism offers a clear explanation of American politics in the 1950s. Griffith says that political leaders helped to instill a sense of concern and urgency in the people about communism that dominated the decade. This concern and urgency was used by the Republican party in the 1946 elections and helped them to win the election. They crusaded with anti-Communism rhetoric.
3. Whether conditions similar to McCarthyism occurred in any other period in American history. A similar condition to McCarthyism occurred after World War I during the 1920s Red Scare.
Restraining Communism: United States Security Agreements, 1947-1959
1. The assumptions about the Soviet aggression this map suggests. The map suggests that Russia was seeking a warm water port somewhere and that they would look for it almost anywhere.
2. How these mutual security alliances reinforced the idea of the United States as “world policeman”. The United States was in nearly every alliance that took place and probably initiated the talks of an alliance also. This means that America is seeking a series of alliances that will increase the invulnerability of all countries involved since if any are attacked, all allies will respond, including allies of allies. This makes it difficult to attack any country without bringing the wrath of many other countries.
3. Whether such mutual security alliances were in the best interests of the United States. These alliances decreased the chances of Russia declaring war on America. With all of these countries allied with the United States, Russia would have had to fight a war overseas and on its own continent. These alliances also opened up new people to trade with and therefore made the economy better.