American Foreign Policy in the Post-World War II Era
The history of the United States has its own milestone dates and periods of special significance. The period of time that followed the World War II (1945 – 1963) played the crucial role in the recovery of the depressive US economy and formulated the principles of the country’s foreign policy for the next several decades . The chief considerations that drove the American foreign policy after the World War II were the very consequences of the war for the whole world, the wish of the country to establish its permanently growing influence in various countries, and the Cold War that was started shortly after World War II.
The World War II is considered to the bloodiest war that the humanity ever experienced. However, scholars like Chafe (2003) argue that the war brought developmental impacts to the United States of America and determined the way this country carried out its foreign policy until the Soviet Union Collapsed in 1991. The point is that during the World War II the USA had to simultaneously fight Germany and struggle against the spread of communism in the world. This means that the beginnings of the post-war foreign policy of the United States can be traced back to the World War II times. Drawing from this, one of the chief considerations that drove the American foreign policy during and after the World War II was the strategic idea of preventing the development and establishment of communism in the countries freed by the Allies from the German invaders. Needless to say, this consideration was primarily conditioned by the United States’ own political interests and further resulted in the outbreak of the Cold War.
The Cold War as such appeared as the result of the 1950s considerations of the US National Security Agency, according to which the USSR and the USA formed two polarized powers in the world and keeping the balance between them is essential. The term Cold War was coined referring to the strong rivalry between the countries which, however, did not resort to the use of any weapons, especially nuclear ones. The Cold War set the direction of the US foreign policy as the countries supporting the USSR automatically became the rivals of the USA, while America supported the countries in conflicts with the Soviet Union. It was at the Cold War time that the USA formed friendly relations with Israel and developed contacts with such Western nations as France, Great Britain, and Germany. This period also put the beginning to tensions between the United States and Arabic countries and Eastern European countries like Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland.
Finally, the consideration that equally conditioned the directions of the US foreign policy after the World War II was the wish of the country to establish and develop its influence, both political and economic, in various regions of the world. Thus, Chafe (2003) and Hook and Spanier (2009) consider the sphere-of-influence policy of the United States as the response of the American government to the Soviet Union policies carried out after the World War II. In fact, the sphere-of-influence policies were first implemented after Germany was defeated in 1945 and the Allies, i. e. the United States, Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain divided the territory of Germany among themselves. As well, the world was divided into the spheres of influence, and this division was probably not satisfactory for the US to the extent that made the country get involved in the Cold War.