Civilopedia Entry Edit
As the Cold War opened, the United States opted for a policy of “containment” of the Soviet Union, the “evil empire” of communism. George Kennan, a career Foreign Service officer, formulated the policy which became the basis of the Truman administration’s response to threatened communist expansion. It was controversial, to say the least. Eisenhower refused to intervene in the Hungarian Uprising in 1956, but Johnson used it to justify American involvement in Vietnam. Nixon and Kissinger rejected it completely in favor of working towards détente with Russia and China through expanded trade and cultural exchanges. Reagan returned to the strategy by sending aid to a variety of anti-communist insurgents, notably in Afghanistan, leading to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.