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See Wikipedia:Rollback for the specific rollback function of Wikipedia. (This link is a self reference).

Opening examples[edit]

I'm not sure all of the examples really are rollback, as some fall pretty far from the cold war sense. Although the idea of reconquering all of Japan's gains and then attacking the main islands metaphorically fits an image of "rolling back," I don't think a war of attrition when attacked first count as rollback. Likewise, coming to an ally's defense during a war of attrition (WWI) doesn't seem to fit. Finally, the civil war wasn't an attempt to "force change in the major policies" of the confederacy, it was an attempt to end the confederacy - and thus isn't a good example of rollback. Even if there's debate on one or two of these wars, encyclopedias, especially in the introductory paragraphs, are meant for someone who doesn't know much about what the term they're looking up. It's confusing to introduce such dissimilar and disputed examples without explanation, which doesn't belong in the introduction.RantingRaven (talk) 01:48, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

rollback covers ending the regime in question--such as rolling back to the previous regime (Confederacy, Napoleon's empire). Rjensen (talk) 04:19, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

NPOV in the "Reagan Administration" section[edit]

I've massively edited the Reagan Administration section due to breaches of NPOV and basic accuracy bordering on the delusional. Aid to Afghan rebels is not rollback, it is containment, in the same way that an apple is not an orange. Also, this policy was started by the Carter Administration, not Reagan. -- (talk) 06:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

You should not put new comments here. Your removal of content about Angola, Cambodia, ect., is unexplained and will have to be reverted. Aid to the Afghans was absolutely rollback, and reliable sources commonly refer to it as such. Afghanistan was communist, and its government wanted Soviet aid; it wasn't a matter of "containing" Afghanistan by preventing the spread of communism to Pakistan.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 08:41, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps. Which "reliable" sources refer to Afghanistan as Rollback? And whom of? The Afghan government, or the Soviet? There is a lot of political polemic disguised as history on the cold war / Carter / Reagan pages. For example the "Background" on Operation Cyclone cites as a source a polemical article by Christopher Hitchens which describes President Carter in outright abusive terms - hardly scholarly, and certainly not reliable. -- (talk) 12:44, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
here's the RS that explain it well: (1) "The U.S. provided funds, supplies, and training to the Mujahideen, a conglomeration of anti-communist rebels working to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. Rollback was underway." Encyclopedia of the Cold War. Taylor & Francis US. 2008. p. 751. ; (2) "Afghanistan: Consensus,. Cooperation,. and. the. Quest. for. "Rollback". Without question, the longest and least controversial application of the Reagan Doctrine occurred in Afghanistan." James M. Scott (1996). Deciding to Intervene: The Reagan Doctrine and American Foreign Policy. Duke UP. p. 40. ; (3) "The Carter administration's decision to help arm the Afghan rebels constituted the genesis of what would become known as the Reagan Doctrine, a synthesis of rollback and the Nixon Doctrine." [Richard A. Melanson American foreign policy since the Vietnam War (2005) Page 142]; (4) "The third (Rollback) view, which ultimately won out, was the Reagan doctrine: extend maximum support to "freedom ... to a settlement rather than a sellout could occur only after the Soviets paid much greater military costs in Afghanistan" [Rubin, The search for peace in Afghanistan 1996 p 64]. Rjensen (talk) 14:30, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

origin of the term?[edit]

When was it first used? -- TheMightyQuill 14:06, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

My edit, and thoughts[edit]

I felt a need to add "by direct force of arms" to the end of the second sentence of "Rollback during Cold War". Feeling a need from there to elaborate on some context forming sentiments of the times I added some words on the reaction to the Iron Curtain speech. These sentiments might seem irreconcilable to the statement "many Americans felt that they were in a life or death struggle against world communism". These thoughts aren't entirely irreconciable as it's fair to say there was a spectrum of attitudes, even in the United States, towards communism. Also these thoughts are not exactly placed in chronological order. I don't think this goes nearly far enough to describe the evolution of public perception by Americans, especially with regards McCarthyism and the Red Scare. Although if some words on such are put in I think a real effort should be made to create a link to how public support or opposition affected rollback policy.

Only the United Fruit Company would have people believe the manufactured coup in Guatemala was an example of Rollback. Well the UFC and pro-communist sholars who would like to portray that incident as being typical and definitive of America defending capitalist interests. Private interests hijacking U.S. government agencies is not american strategy! There must be a better example.

I didn't put in "in some ways was already collapsing as the retreat got under way". Factually it may be true. I'm fairly certain the economic collapse that forced the Soviet Union's collapse was a hardship the Soviets endured for some time before-hand. I did see a need to add the word "and" to conjunct the thought to the rest of the sentence. 00:40, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

My edit, and thoughts: I'm removing this line "It led Moscow to worry that it might be next." from the Invasion of grenada comment. It's hilarious, but untrue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Various meanings[edit]

Is it suitable to include the section on civil rights in an article about a specific anti-communist idea? while attempts to undermine civil rights or other social policies may be termed 'rollback' they are sufficiently different to merit a separate article. although i expect any such article would become a bit of a battlefield. Letstalk 14:15, 28 March 2007 (UTC)


I find the part about Hungary 1956 in this section rather unclear. It first says that Nagy called on the West for help against Soviet troops, then it mentions a memorandum about "Nagy’s appeal for Soviet troops". Surely this is self-contradictory? (And the memorandum quote seems absurd, given that Soviet troops were invading.) Can someone clarify this please? Colonies Chris (talk) 14:27, 14 June 2010 (UTC)


Hello everyone!

When I read this article and had a look at the references, I was wondering to which text the footnotes 1 and 10 refer to. Number 1 refers to a text by "Stöder from 2004." There is no text by "Stöder" in the further reading list, only one by an author which had the name "Bernd Stöber". I dont know a cold-war historian with that name, only one who is called "Bernd Stöver", not "Stöber", I think this was a mistake so I changed the name to Stöver. Does reference number 1 refer to Stöver? I think so, so I too changed the name from "Stöder" in the note to "Stöver".

How about reference 11? There's a page number given which doesnt match any of the given texts/authors (it says "Stöder, p. 98"). Did the person who used this footnote refer to this text : Stöver, Bernd. "Rollback: an offensive strategy for the Cold War," in Detlef Junker, ed. United States and Germany in the era of the Cold War, 1945 to 1990, A handbook: volume 1: 1945--1968 (2004) pp. 111-117.)? The page numbers don't match. I think we should fix this, otherwise this footnotes doesnt make much sense... =) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:36, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

well that's a sharp eye for detail! The Bibliog should read:

Stöver, Bernd. "Rollback: an offensive strategy for the Cold War," in Detlef Junker, ed. United States and Germany in the era of the Cold War, 1945 to 1990, A handbook: volume 1: 1945--1968 (2004) pp. 97-102. Rjensen (talk) 14:25, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Grenadan communism at the time of the US invasion: Real or Perceived?[edit]

I took the liberty of qualifying earlier descriptions of the Grenadan coup government, the Revolutionary Military Council, at the time of the US invasion as "communist" or "Marxist", since the sources given only documented that it was labelled so by the Reagan administration (hardly an NPOV source...). The sections have since been rewritten, but the "communist tag" reappeared. I then reinserted a qualifier ("perceived"). Now do anyone actually have a non-Reagan administration source that unambiguously labels the Revolutionary Military Council as "communist", "Marxist" or similar? Also note that nothing is mentioned about the Revolutionary Military Council being communist in the Invasion of Grenada article, so if a case can be made for the Revolutionary Military Council being communist, that article will need to be rewritten as well.

Mojowiha (talk) 12:50, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The RS call Coard a staunch Marxist (he led the coup that killed Bishop). 1) here's a a British view "On October 13, 1983, former deputy prime minister Bernard Coard led the Grenadian army in a bloody coup, arresting and then executing Bishop and his as- sociates. Even more hard-line a Marxist than Bishop, Coard sent shock...." Will Kaufman (2005). Britain and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. ABC-CLIO. p. 434.  Kaufman = prof @ University of Central Lancashire, England. 2) "Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard, leaders of the New Jewel Movement in Grenada, were the most prominent examples of the transition in the English-speaking Caribbean from Black Power to Marxism." [from Rupert Lewis (1998). Walter Rodney: 1968 Revisited. Canoe Press, U of the West Indies. p. 46. ] Lewis = a Professor in Jamaica. 3) Here's an Australian Marxist view: "The Coard faction considered itself to be the "genuine" Marxist- Leninist wing of the NJM. It expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of the revolutionary process and advocated the immediate implementation of "socialist" measures." [from Socialist Workers Party (Australia) (1984). The Cuban Revolution and Its Extension: Resolution of the Socialist Workers Party. Resistance Books. p. 96. ] Rjensen (talk) 13:33, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Is this a distinct political topic?[edit]

As described, "rollback" is not a "strategy". Changing the government's policies is a goal for which there are many possible strategies that you could try to achieve that goal. Besides, "rollback" is not restricted to politics. Maybe this is a term of art within politics. If so, this article does not make it clear how "rollback" in a political context is different from "rollback" in a general context. For example, Merriam-Webster defines "rollback" as "the act of reversing or undoing something", which is a pretty good description of the sorts of things that this article is about. Danielx (talk) 20:27, 23 October 2013 (UTC)