Cold War And Nsc 68 Essay

546 words - 3 pages

In the National Security Council's "Cold War Objectives" (NSC-68) document a description of the fundamental design of the Kremlin portrays a grim image of inevitable confrontation with the Soviet Union. In the context of describing the Kremlin’s design, the document positions the US as a perceived obstacle and adversary of the Kremlin and assumes that the Kremlin view includes an imperative to destroy or subvert the US by any means necessary. While the document called for a massive peace time mobilization and increase in spending to contain the military threat in the Soviet Union, decades later, the fall of the Soviet Union can be seen as either the ultimate success of the policies it advocated or rather the repudiation of its gross exaggerations of Soviet power.

Contrary to assumptions in ...view middle of the document...

In the 1950’s, NSC-68 had portrayed the Soviet Union as an expanding antidemocratic oppressor entity that worked to enslave populations and destroy the governing and social structures of dominated nations while being a direct enemy of freedom which is represented by the US. Although the document portrayed the Soviet Union as an inferior economically, it also painted a seriously grim image of a military force designed for world domination and specifically capable of dominating Western Europe. The document describes a massive scale of devastation in the case of Soviet atomic attacks and predicts economic and military growth in the Soviet Union to bridge the gap with the US given time.

While NSC-68 was prepared as a report to President Truman in 1950 as a statement on American Cold War policy with sweeping recommendations towards mobilization and armament in preparation for an inevitable conflict with the Soviet Union, a decade later, the same outlook persists with a more skeptical successor. In 1961, President Eisenhower laments the looming danger to democracy posed by the emergence of the military industrial complex. He feared a misplacement of power and resources in the wrong hands that would create an insolvent phantom of American democracy. A portrait that some will argue has become a reality in modern times when the US government gets to the point of shutting down in the face of mere debt repayment obligations. NSC-68 may have contained gross exaggerations of the standing power of the Soviet Union and overblown assessments of its threat and inclination to attack the interests of the United States. The collapse of the Soviet Union may have come as proof of the shortcomings of the document.

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