U.S. News & World Report February 24, 1950


Stalin is winning friends and influencing millions in Asia, at U.S. expense. Deal with China shows the pattern.

More of world’s people are pro-Communist than pro-American for the first time in history. In terms of population, Russia now has the edge, and is gaining.

U.S., spending billions all around the globe, still is on the short end of the “cold war.”

Balance of power in the world is tilting more and more Russia’s way. A military alliance between Russia and Communist China, now signed, shifts balance further to Soviet side in Asia.

For the first time since the Russian Revolution, there are more people in the world tied to Russia and her side than there are on the side of the U.S. and the West. Russian influence is growing at a time when U.S. influence seems stalemated in some areas and definitely slipping in others. Formal signing of a treaty between Russia and China automatically shifts China’s 463 million people and unmeasured undeveloped wealth away from the Western sphere.

“Cold war” to date, as waged by President Truman and a succession of Secretaries of State acting for the U.S., is one in which Russia holds the advantage.

On the western front in Europe, where Americans have poured billions in aid, U.S. and U.S. allies are ahead. Communism, a real threat at the end of World War II, has been checkmated throughout Western Europe.

On the southern front of Europe, Communism has been stalled, too. U.S. dollars and military aid helped hold 27 million Greeks and Turks out of Communist hands. Dollars were important in beating the Communists in Italy. Yugoslavia, Communist itself, is weaned away from Russian direction for the time being.

On the other fronts, Russia ahead and still moving. All through Eastern Europe, up to the Stettin-Trieste line, Joseph Stalin has strongly consolidated Russia’s position. In China, Stalin has won a diplomatic victory of immense proportions, at U.S. expense. Communist influence is spreading down through Asia.

Losses suffered by the U.S. and the West generally through the cold war as now waged are probably unprecedented in history. Russia’s world is having its most robust growth in a period when, by Western calculation, it should be shrinking. What has happened, in terms of people and their allegiance, is illustrated dramatically by a few facts as shown in the chart below. [Chart omitted.]

At war’s end,Communist governments, allied with Russia, dominated 193 million people in all the world. Russia and a few states along her borders were the only territories ruled by Communist dictatorships. In the non-Communist world were 1,820,000,000 people generally friendly to the U.S. and having ties with the West. This is the way the world looked when it moved into the postwar period.

Now, less than five years after the Potsdam meeting of President Truman and Joseph Stalin, the Russian sway is extended immensely. Communist governments—many of them led by men trained in Moscow—are in command of nations ruling almost 800 million people. Eastern Europe was taken in first. There the Russians set up their own regimes on the ruins of World War II. Now China has been swung around to the Russian side. India, Burma, Indonesia have gained their independence from Western rulers and are neutral in the continuing cold war.

The result is that the West finds it has lost more than 1 billion people from its sphere in less than 60 months. The losses came at a time when U.S. was handing out financial and economic aid to the rest of the world at an unprecedented rate.

Russia’s sweep over great areas of the world occurred after the U.S. set out on the so-called “Truman doctrine” designed to contain Communism and Russian expansion wherever it threatened. After many tries, the West decided a world settlement could not be negotiated on a friendly basis with the Russians. Decision was made that the only language understood in Moscow was the language of naked power, backed by arms. So U.S. tried being tough with the Russians, but Russia is still branching out.

Dividing the cold war along East-West lines at this juncture shows that the Russians can count on 795 million people in their part of the world. U.S. and the West can count on 725 millions, at the most. In terms of industrial power and resources, the Western world remains much stronger than Russia. In terms of man power, Russia has the edge.


Source: No author, "'Cold War': Russia Gains Edge," U.S. News & World Report, February 24, 1950

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