Containment refers to the broad strategy employed by the United States toward the Soviet Union soon after the end of the Second World War. Containment of Soviet influence remained the lodestar of American strategy throughout the Cold War. Various U.S. administrations interpreted the concept differently and changed it to suit the needs of the time. However, the focus of containment throughout the Cold War was on blocking further expansion of Soviet influence—both ideological and territorial—beyond the spectacular gains it made as a result of the post–World War II settlement among the great powers. It was also aimed at prodding the Soviet Union to modify its behavior, such that an internal consensus would emerge within the Soviet Union confirming that efforts aimed at attempting a ...

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