This thesis looks to examine U.S. policies during the Cold War era towards the Soviet Union. In this case the timeframe exists from President Truman''s administration through the Eisenhower administration. Since entering the age of nuclear weapons, both the United States and the Soviet Union were eager to gain an advantage over the other. The United States started to build its nuclear strike power in the late 1940’s, during Truman''s administration, and it expanded in the 1950’s during Eisenhower''s administration. Nuclear deterrence was an important policy used towards the threat posed by the Soviet Union. From Truman''s Containment Policy to the New Look Policy of Eisenhower''s administration, nuclear deterrence became the theme of these two nuclear great powers struggling for survival.
Nuclear deterrence greatly affected the attitude of both Truman and Eisenhower''s administration towards the use of nuclear weapons. Using nuclear technology as a deterrent was always seen as a defense mechanism in the event of a surprise attack. Next, the military used this as a method for developing and as a counter-measure against a nuclear strike. From a political and economic viewpoint, this was considered a great bargaining chip and a sign of showing national economic strength. Deterrence theory will be the main theory used to analyze this thesis and, I also use Structuralism and System''s Theory with Deterrence Theory to examine the Containment Policy of Truman''s administration. Next, I use Offensive Realism and Geo-Strategy with reference to the Deterrence theory to analyze the New Look Policy of Eisenhower''s administration.
After analyzing all the theories, Deterrence theory is still the most reasonable theory among the others used. From the Containment Policy to the New Look Policy, the United States formulated a pattern to influence world trends towards its preference. Simultaneously, it was also used against challenges presented by the Soviet Union in various levels of application including; military, politics, economy to ideology, as well as morale and social systems. The most important difference between Truman and Eisenhower''s administration was to acquire the initiative of handling world affairs and crisis. With improving nuclear technology, both the U.S. and the Soviet Union could not end the Cold War dilemma by applying its military power. This world crisis also put the two powers on the brink of war, which also increased mutual distrust. This dilemma between the U.S. and the Soviet Union turned into an endless nuclear weapons build up.