Post WWII the cold war began and many problems came about. U.S. officials, concerned over Soviet pressures against Iran and Turkey, interpreted a 1946 speech by Stalin as declaring ideological war against the West. In 1947 the president proposed the Truman Doctrine, which had two objectives: to send U.S. aid to anticommunist forces in Greece and Turkey, and to create a public consensus so Americ8ans would be willing to fight the cold war. He achieved both goals. That same year, journalist Walter Lippmann popularized the term cold war in a book of the same name. In Congress there was a series of highly publicized inquiries into pro-Communist activity in the United States. The best-known investigator, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, gave his name to an era of intense anticommunism. In 1948 the United States launched the $13 billion Marshall Plan to rebuild Western and Central Europe. When Stalin responded by extending his control over Eastern Europe and threatening the West’s position in Germany, Truman helped to create a military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and to establish an independent West Germany.
War erupted in Korea on June 25, 1950, along the thirty-eighth parallel that separated North and South Korea. As North Korean units pushed deep into South Korea, the U.N. Security Council, at the instigation of the United States, condemned the North Korean invasion and later called on members to assist South Korea. That first week, President Harry S. Truman committed American forces to the conflict. Besides the preponderant American and South Korean forces, military units from fifteen other members of the United Nations fought in the conflict. MacArthur’s forces succeeded in holding the southeast center of the Korean peninsula because of the rapid reinforcement of his command and the crippling interdiction of the North Korean supply lines by American air power. Next, Communist China intervened, launching an offensive (November 1950 to January 1951) that thwarted the United Nations’ attempt to “liberate” North Korea and pushed MacArthur’s forces below the thirty-eighth parallel. Meanwhile MacArthur became increasingly vociferous and allegedly insubordinate in demanding a blockade of the Chinese coast, naval and air bombardments of Chinese industrial centers, and employment of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s Taiwan troops in Korean operations and against the Chinese mainland. President Truman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff disagreed, however, and in April 1951 Truman named Ridgway to replace MacArthur as head of the U.N. Command, the U.S. Far East Command, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, and the Allied occupation in Japan. The next period of the war, April 1951-July 1953, fell into two major phases: operations and negotiations. North Korea remained a staunchly communist state, though more closely aligned after 1953 to Peking than to Moscow. South Korea developed into a prosperous, if politically divided, country with strong economic and security links to the United States. Desegregation of the Eighth Army during the Korean operations was a milestone for blacks in the American military establishment. McCarthyism fed on public discontent with the conduct of the war. The Korean hostilities prompted the United States to strengthen its military commitment to NATO. From the start of the Korean fighting, the Truman administration escalated military assistance to the French in the Vietnam War and then sent aid and advisers to the fledgling Republic of South Vietnam.