After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union certainly had different goals and aims. America wanted to spread democracy and capitalism while finding places to trade with in the open market. At the same time, the Soviet Union looked to spread communism and secure its borders to prevent any future invasions. The United States wanted to stop communism at all costs, as seen in the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin Aircraft, and the Korean War. All of these things did in fact lead to the end of the Cold War. If the United States did not show how serious they were about stopping communism, the movement could have gone too far, just like Hitler's movement did during World War II. If Hitler had been challenged early, they were convinced, the carnage of World War II might have been avoided.
The American view of the Soviet Union was well known. "The devotion to Marxism, the attack against capitalism, and the often repeated desire to provoke Communist revolutions in other countries had made that nation the object of American suspicion long before the coming of World War II or even Vietnam." The experience of the Korean War, which left the safety of South Korea dependent upon the presence of American soldiers, sealed the U.S. government's attitude that all communist movements were hostile to the interests of the United States and its allies and the anti-communist effort in Vietnam was part of the struggle of the "Free World" against global communist expansion. .
Communist's scorned democracy, violated human rights, pursued military aggression, and created closed state economies that barely traded with capitalist countries. Americans compared communism to a contagious disease. If it took hold in one nation, U.S. policymakers expected contiguous nations to fall to communism, too, as if nations were dominoes lined up on end. The leaders of the U.S. feared that if we let communists have Korea, or Asia, they could gain momentum and take Europe.