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Should the US pursue a foreign policy on isolationism and interventionism?

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March 02, 2010 1:43AM

American interventionism post-WWII was better than isolationism post-WWI

If a country could choose peace or war, it would definitely choose peace. Since isolationism is usually associated with peace, it might seem to be the better policy for the U.S. However, post-WWI isolationism was futile since it eventually caused the U.S. to enter WWII; moreover, post-WWII interventionism is more beneficial because it helped contain Communism and improve reputation/relations through brinkmanship.

  1. Containment helped combat Communism (mention Domino Theory by Ike)-
    • Truman Doctrine
    • Marshall Plan
    • Korea and Vietnam
    • Idea of getting as close to war as possible w/o getting into one
    • Good-in the end, someone has to back down in order to avert a full-scale conflict, the one that does so is shameful and lost
    • Cuban Missile Crisis under JFK---SU placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, JFK orders quarantine of Cuba until missiles removed, SU heading with more missiles and US prepares an invasion force-Khruschev offers a deal to remove missiles if JFK does not invade Cuba
      • Better relations and White House and Kremlin hotline
  2. Brinkmanship-Ike's Sec of State John Foster Dulles' policy
    • Neutrality Acts 1935 and 1937 prohibits travel on belligerent ships, no trading with belligerents, and no use of American ports by belligerents
    • Neutrality Act of 1939: European democracies may buy war materials on "cash and carry" basis---favors allies
    • Lend-Lease Act-allows US to supply any nation that is deemed vital to US interests ----favors allies
    • Although we tried to be "neutral"-couldn't because it was inevitable to become a part in the war, since we had allies in war and it was hard to stay neutral
  3. Pre-WWII isolationism-did not make US neutral-always some kind of bias (more side with its allies Britain and France)