Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
Journal Article, International Security, issue 36, volume 4
By Paul C. Avey, Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
U.S. policy during the early Cold War is better explained by balance of power logic than ideology. Not only did the United States initially seek to cooperate with the Soviet Union, shifting toward a confrontational approach only when the balance of power tilted in the Soviet Unionís favor, but it later sought to engage communist groups that promised to undermine Soviet power. Given the vast differences between U.S. and Soviet ideology, the United Statesí willingness to put ideology aside in these instances suggests that relative power concerns are more important in generating and shaping confrontational foreign policies than is ideology.