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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Containment:
  • Include section on the role of John Foster Dulles
  • Include discussion of Paul Nitze
  • Expand section of NSC-68
  • Include ideas of Nicholas J. Spykman and Halford J. Mackinder
  • Expand ideas of George Kennan
  • Include reference to the competing idea of rollback and discussion thereof
  • Include discussion of whether detente was an end to containment, or an end to the idea of rollback
  • Discuss whether the end of detente came with Zbigniew Brzezinski or with Reagan?
  • Add references to everything. There are a million sources out there.
  • Include section on Yulia Tymoshenko's article "Containing Russia" in Foreign Affairs magazine, May/June issue pp 69-82

Article is not historically accurate[edit]

Though the term containment used today, most often refers to actions taken during the Cold War, its true definition fits such an example into a broader historical perspective. This being said, "containment" was a strategy discussed by Basil Liddell Hart during the 1930s and referred to a plan to prevent German hegemony over the continent by means of "collective security" and "limited liability" (see Azar Gat, A History of Military Thought (2001) pp.696-784). Therefore, containment is a policy by which one nation prevents another from achieving complete hegemony (or an unacceptable degree of influence or military presence) over a continent or territory. As a result, it can be seen that this concept stretches much further than the article would suggest. I would be happy to amend the introduction to the current article if others feel as I do. The article itself is not factually wrong, it merely requires a more accurate introductory definition that places the word's later uses in their proper context.--Dio free 05:19, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Reagan's role in the fall of the Soviet Union[edit]

This (mentioned at the end of the article) is heavily disputed by many political scientists and historians. Opposing viewpoints are also absent. As such, this article presents a Non-neutral point of view, and possibly a false assumption.

Yah. The article is also inappropriately dismissive of Carter's foreign policy -- as if he had somehow abandoned containment, which is false. --Dhartung | Talk 21:33, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Carter did not abandon Containment; upon taking office Carter did proclaim a new priority in American foreign policy, Human Rights, with Containment second. Before leaving office, Carter was convinced by his advisors, in and out of government, and American allied powers, and opposition critics, that this was a mistake. Hence Carter reversed himself with the Carter Doctrine, putting the Carter Administration back on the same song sheet with Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. This is the consensus analysis of American foreign policy observers and experts, Zbigniew Brzezinski included, as to American Foreign Policy in the 1977-1979 period.Nobs01 22:20, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Um, please learn Wikipedia wikilink style standards before editing articles. It isn't our job to guess what he did, if someone believes he abandoned containment, it needs to be sourced. --Dhartung | Talk 06:10, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Um, from, Jimmy Carter,
"Carter promoted his foreign policy as being one that would place human rights at the forefront." Nobs01 14:34, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
And how, logically, is that the same thing? --Dhartung | Talk 16:07, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
The reference to "abandoned", with the response that Carter made it the second priority (which is not "abandonment"), has been made twice now. Nobs01 16:17, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
The CIA funded Brian Crozier deplores heavily in his book 'Free Agent' that Carter cut CIA funding. At the end of his book, Crozier, who fought in the front row of Containment, admits that it basically fell in a heap. They went bankrupt, just as my late father had predicted since 1948. In the eighties I worked in a company in Frankfurt/M which worked with Comecon countries. (talk) 04:22, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

"Later developments"[edit]

In fact, this entire section may be irrelevant to the main topic.

That's possible, although again it goes to far in asserting that containment was somehow turned on its head instead of being finessed. There isn't a "History of foreign policy in the Cold War" article, yet, though. --Dhartung | Talk 21:33, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Various Edits[edit]

Good edits. nobs 02:57, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Fixed up a couple spots, added to the end of the overview and at the end of the article about the aftermath.User:Davidizer13 9:51 AM, 9-1-05

I've removed the sentence "contrary to the hopes of the George H.W. Bush administration". As the George H.W. Bush administration had no intention to oust Saddam at the end of the Gulf war. See George H.W. Bush's book A World Transformed (talk) 01:13, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Origin of the use of the word containment[edit]

I know that Kennan is credited with the concept of containment. But the origin of that particular policy is not clear by reading the Long Telegram. It becomes more clear in the Clifford-Elsey Report which uses the terms "restrain" and "confine". Shortly after the Truman Doctrine speech, the word "contain" starts to show up. The X article uses the word containment. So what am I saying? I think that the background summarizing the Long Telegram (2/46), Clifford-Elsey Report (9/46), Truman speech (3/47) and X article (7/47) would add nicely to this article. Clifford's work played a large role in Cold War policy but it is mostly overlooked because the report didn't go beyond President Truman's desk. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 02:48, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Use of containment as word[edit]

Containment, as referred to in the beginning of the article, is allegedly to contain Soviet expansion. It does not seem applicable to a policy of containing belligerent nations in the Middle East in Asia when the threat of Soviet communism no longer exists, except in the form of Kremlin pressure. Why, then, is it used in reference to Bush's policy in Iraq? Ykerzner (talk) 01:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

It's a bit mushy. You could interpret Containment as preserving and defending US pre-eminence in the world which comes of course through money. As Iraq was intended to strengthen US influence and power, that seemed to have been intended to 'contain' other influences, even though it did not turn out that way. But applying 'Containment' to Iraq, Libya, and Syria is very much justified as quite some areas of economic activity there were government owned, seen as remnants of socialism and communism which need to be addressed. Containment is not over until all government economic activity is privatised, and thus controlled by the finance industry, not government.
Pakistan is left out in the article. Benazir Bhutto's father nationalised some industries when he was PM. But he was replaced by General Zia ul-Haq who privatised it all again. Benazir Bhutto writes in her memoirs that people were running around with USD in the early stages of that process. When Zia condemned Bhutto to death in vexacious charges, President Carter was, from memory, the only world leader who did not speak against the execution. Apparently, Pakistan was seen as a little too socialist and another regime was installed. It's all in the late Benazir Bhutto's memoirs. (talk) 04:41, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

US policy as main article[edit]

Why is the US policy the main article? When one hears the word "containment," does one think of US foreign policy? Dude1818 (talk) 19:40, 18 April 2010 (UTC)


I have a report w/ the vietnam war And Containment. HELP24.99.77.190 (talk) 00:29, 4 March 2014 (UTC)