The blame for the Cold War cannot be placed on one person -- it developed as a series of chain reactions as a struggle for supremacy. It can be argued that the Cold War was inevitable, and therefore no one's fault, due to the differences in the capitalist and communist ideologies. It was only the need for self-preservation that had caused the two countries to sink their differences temporarily during the Second World War. Yet many of the tensions that existed in the Cold War can be attributed to Stalin's policy of Soviet expansion. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the role of Stalin as a catalyst to the Cold War.
Stalin's foreign policies contributed an enormous amount to the tensions
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Further, Russia argued that the areas had never had democratic governments, and that a communist system would allow these backward countries' to progress and flourish. Stalin's policy of expansion worried the West: in response, the West introduced the Truman Doctrine and the
Marshall Plan, both of which sought to arrest the spread of communism.
Stalin's aggressive tactics did not end with creating a sphere of influence. Stalin re-established Cominform in September 1947. Cominform represented a union of all of the communist states within Europe, including representatives from the French and Italian communist parties. Even within this communist structure, Stalin had to exert his influence. It was not enough for a state to be merely communist: it had to adopt the Russian-style communism.
Furthermore, the states within Cominform were expected to keep trade within the
Cominform member states, and were discouraged from making any contact with the
Western world. Russia strengthened the ties with the Cominform countries through the Molotov plan, which offered Russian aid to the satellite states, and the establishment of Comecon, which served to coordinate the economic policies of the communist states. These actions on the part of Stalin only increased the rift between the capitalist and the communist systems, and made future compromise and negotiations more difficult.
Perhaps the most aggressive move that Stalin made, however, was the