Eisenhower and the American Crusades

By Herbert S. Parmet | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 27
Redeeming Containment

A MERICA'S MILITARY AND economic dominance over the non-Communist nations failed to make possible the foreign policies that were visualized in the fondest dreams of the anti-containment anti-Communists. The domestic and national interests of the Western allies further restricted the flexibility of American global management; and the continued growth of mutual hostilities and suspicions had rendered East- West relationships as tedious and unwavering as static trench warfare. In pursuance of the American mission to protect freedom from Communist infiltration, the Germans, the French and the British needed cajolery. Maneuvering, however, became most hazardous when the formulation of policies had to satisfy both those concerned with American and "free world" economic progress and those intent on fighting a holy war against the "international Communist conspiracy."

There were, of course, no clear lines that placed such sentiments in simple classifications. Actually, the President and his Secretary of State were fine examples of that overlapping. Usually pictured as one in their international outlook, largely as an explanation of their harmonious relationship, Dulles, nevertheless, was less concerned with using foreign policy as a method of gaining economic advantages, less optimistic than Eisenhower about the value of economic relationships in rectifying moral wrongs, and much more likely than even the General in the White House to emphasize conventional concepts of military power. At the same time, both saw economic progress as an important deterrent of communism wherever lopsided societies made for a tiny ruling class at the apex of a pyramidal structure. Eisenhower, in particular, was also

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