American Goals During the Cold War
The time of the Cold War was a very stressful time for the American people. Many major events happened during the first 16 years, 1947 to 1963. Some major events that happened during these times were the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Blockade and Airlift, the CIA Covert Operations in Guatemala, and the Bay of Pigs Invasion. In my opinion, it appears that during the first 15 years of the Cold War, the Presidents of the United States were trying to create a world where the United States was supreme.
The first way that the United States tried to make itself supreme was the Marshall plan, which was created in 1947. The plans main goal was to rebuild the countries of Europe after World War II, without any of the communist countries benefiting. This was done by providing money and supplies to countries which were trying to rebuild or threatened by communism. The President believed that it was important to protect these countries from communism because if they became communist, everybody would be afraid of a domino effect where more countries will become communist because one country makes it look like a better way of governing. The United States is very afraid of this because communism was viewed as one of the worst things on Earth right now, as it reduces the amount of trading partners for the United States, and most communist countries are aligned with Russia, the most hated enemy of the United States right now. If the United States could make a lot of allies with the help they provide, while hindering Russia, they will set themselves up for the first step in becoming supreme.
The next event which would help secure the supremacy of the United States is the Berlin Blockade and Airlift. This event was caused by the division of Germany after World War II, Russia had the eastern half of Germany, which contained its capitol, Berlin. In 1948, Russia decided to cut off the allied side of Germany, the western side, from trade with Berlin. By doing this, Stalin, Russia’s leader, cut off over 2.5 million people from food, supplies and electricity. The people on the Communist side who were being held against their will needed food and supplies, because it was clear that Russia was not going to provide any. Soon after, Clement Attlee, the British Prime Minister, and President Truman orchestrated an airlift of supplies. By the end of the airlift, the United States and Britain were delivering over 8,000 tons of supplies per day. The goal of the airlift was to not let Russia have the advantage it wanted, putting the United States above its only major competitor.
Six years later, the United States had a new goal, to stop Guatemala from becoming communist. In 1954, CIA Covert Operations in Guatemala were in effect. There was a new leader, Guzman, who was replaced by Arbenz, who both were turning the country’s government more communist, and distributing land which belonged to America. The United States had a corporation called the United Fruit Company, which owned 550 million acres of land in Guatemala, which was very profitable, and it was being taken away from the United States without permission. Luckily for the United States, there were many people who did not support the new government, and thus a rebel army was formed, led by an exiled Guatemalan general. The United States CIA funded this army, although it lost often and very badly. If the army lost so badly, the United States army itself could come in though, and dominate. Fearing this, Arbenz stepped down, and a joint military government was set up by the CIA. The United States just successfully kept 550 million acres of land in another country, without the world knowing that it did, although many people figured it out, and another country was prevented from becoming communist. This definitely still ensures the United States was trying to go for world supremacy.
The final topic which I will mention is the Bay of Pig Invasion. In 1961, Fidel Castro was in power in Cuba, and the United States, again, did not like that he was turning the country communist, and what was even worse was that Cuba was going to become allied with Russia. The solve this problem, the CIA was called in, and again, planned an invasion, but this time it was supposed to spark its own revolution. Although the plan was good, it was a huge failure. While President Eisenhower set up the plan, it was executed while Kennedy was in office, making him look bad after the failure. Cuba took about 1,300 prisoners, which were later exchanged after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although that was the goal, the failure caused Castro to gain more power. The USA was clearly trying to get rid of another communist country and weaken Russia, which is still its greatest enemy today, and further increase its position compared to Russia.
The goal of supremacy for the United States is not impossible, it is clear that the United States is looking out for itself more than any other country. From the success of the Marshall Plan, to the CIA Covert Operations in Guatemala, and the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, it is clear that the US was trying to gain global supremacy, although it is not admitted by the government. The death of President Kennedy is an end to the era of crazy missions and excessive funding to other countries. It is a shift in the position of America in the Cold War, a position which I hope we, as a country, will never have to resume.