Containment is a geopolitical strategy to stop the expansion of an enemy. It is loosely related to the term cordon sanitaire which was later used to describe the geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union in the 1945s. The strategy of "containment" is best known as a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism after the end of World War II.

As a component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to the Soviet Union's move to increase communist influence in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Containment represented a middle-ground position between detente (relaxation of relations) and rollback (actively replacing a regime).

The basis of the doctrine was articulated in a 1946 cable by U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan during the post-WWII administration of U.S. President Harry S. Truman. As a description of U.S. foreign policy, the word originated in a report Kennan submitted to U.S. Defense Secretary James Forrestal in 1947, which was later used in a magazine article.

Stop Communism - NARA - 5730080
United States Information Service poster distributed in Asia depicting Juan dela Cruz ready to defend the Philippines under the threat of communism, 1951.

Earlier uses of term

There were major historical precedents familiar to Americans and Europeans. In the 1850s, anti-slavery forces in the United States developed a free soil strategy of containment, without using the word, to stop the expansion of slavery until it later collapsed. Historian James Oakes explains the strategy:

The Federal government would surround the south with free states, free territories, and free waters, building what they called a 'cordon of freedom' around slavery, hemming it in until the system's own internal weaknesses forced the slave states one by one to abandon slavery.[1]

Between 1873 and 1877, Germany repeatedly intervened in the internal affairs of France's neighbors. In Belgium, Spain, and Italy, Bismarck exerted strong and sustained political pressure to support the election or appointment of liberal, anticlerical governments. This was part of an integrated strategy to promote republicanism in France by strategically and ideologically isolating the clerical-monarchist regime of President Patrice de Mac-Mahon. It was hoped that by ringing France with a number of liberal states, French republicans could defeat MacMahon and his reactionary supporters. The modern concept of containment provides a useful model for understanding the dynamics of this policy.[2]

Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, there were calls by Western leaders to isolate the Bolshevik government, which seemed intent on promoting worldwide revolution. In March 1919, French Premier Georges Clemenceau called for a cordon sanitaire, a ring of non-communist states, to isolate the Soviet Union. Translating that phrase, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson called for a "quarantine." Both phrases compare communism to a contagious disease.

The World War I Allies launched an incursion into Russia, ostensibly to create an eastern front against Germany. In reality, the policy was anti-Bolshevik as well, and its economic warfare took a major toll on all of Russia. By 1919, the intervention was entirely anti-communist, although the unpopularity of the assault led it to be gradually withdrawn. The US simultaneously engaged in covert action against the new Soviet government, involving the work of a young Allen Dulles. While the campaigns were officially pro-democracy, they often supported the White Terror of former Tsarist generals like GM Semenov and Alexander Kolchak.[3][4]

The U.S. initially refused to recognize the Soviet Union, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt reversed the policy in 1933 in the hope to expand American export markets.

The Munich Agreement of 1938 was a failed attempt to contain Nazi expansion in Europe. The U.S. tried to contain Japanese expansion in Asia in 1937 to 1941, and Japan reacted with its attack on Pearl Harbor.[5]

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 during World War II, the U.S. and the Soviet Union found themselves allied against Germany and used rollback to defeat the Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Origin (1944–1947)

Key State Department personnel grew increasingly frustrated with and suspicious of the Soviets as the war drew to a close. Averell Harriman, U.S. Ambassador in Moscow, once a "confirmed optimist" regarding U.S.-Soviet relations,[6] was disillusioned by what he saw as the Soviet betrayal of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising as well as by violations of the February 1945 Yalta Agreement concerning Poland.[7] Harriman would later have a significant influence in forming Truman's views on the Soviet Union.[8]

In February 1946, the U.S. State Department asked George F. Kennan, then at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, why the Russians opposed the creation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He responded with a wide-ranging analysis of Russian policy now called the Long Telegram:[9]

Soviet power, unlike that of Hitlerite Germany, is neither schematic nor adventuristic. It does not work by fixed plans. It does not take unnecessary risks. Impervious to logic of reason, and it is highly sensitive to logic of force. For this reason it can easily withdraw—and usually does when strong resistance is encountered at any point.[10]

According to Kennan:

  • The Soviets perceived themselves to be in a state of perpetual war with capitalism;
  • The Soviets would use controllable Marxists in the capitalist world as allies;
  • Soviet aggression was not aligned with the views of the Russian people or with economic reality, but with historic Russian xenophobia and paranoia;
  • The Soviet government's structure prevented objective or accurate pictures of internal and external reality.

Kennan's cable was hailed in the State Department as "the appreciation of the situation that had long been needed."[11] Kennan himself attributed the enthusiastic reception to timing: "Six months earlier the message would probably have been received in the State Department with raised eyebrows and lips pursed in disapproval. Six months later, it would probably have sounded redundant."[11] Clark Clifford and George Elsey produced a report elaborating on the Long Telegram and proposing concrete policy recommendations based on its analysis. This report, which recommended "restraining and confining" Soviet influence, was presented to Truman on September 24, 1946.[12]

In January 1947, Kennan drafted an essay entitled "The Sources of Soviet Conduct."[9] Navy Secretary James V. Forrestal gave permission for the report to be published in the journal Foreign Affairs under the pseudonym "X."[13] Biographer Douglas Brinkley has dubbed Forrestal "godfather of containment" on account of his work in distributing Kennan's writing.[14] The use of the word "containment" originates from this so-called "X Article": "In these circumstances it is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies."[15]

Kennan later turned against the containment policy and noted several deficiencies in his X Article. He later said that by containment he meant not the containment of Soviet Power "by military means of a military threat, but the political containment of a political threat." [16] Second, Kennan admitted a failure in the article to specify the geographical scope of "containment", and that containment was not something he believed the United States could necessarily achieve everywhere successfully.[17]

Harry S. Truman (1945–1953)

After Republicans gained control of Congress in the 1946 elections, President Truman, a Democrat, made a dramatic speech that is often considered to mark the beginning of the Cold War. In March 1947, he requested that Congress appropriate $400 million in aid to the Greek and Turkish governments, which were fighting Communist subversion.[18] Truman pledged to, "support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."[18] This pledge became known as the Truman Doctrine. Portraying the issue as a mighty clash between "totalitarian regimes" and "free peoples," the speech marks the adoption of containment as official U.S. policy. Congress appropriated the money.

Truman's motives on that occasion have been the subject of considerable scholarship and several schools of interpretation. In the orthodox explanation of Herbert Feis, a series of aggressive Soviet actions in 1945–47 in Poland, Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere awakened the American public to the new danger to freedom to which Truman responded.[19] In the revisionist view of William Appleman Williams, Truman's speech was an expression of longstanding American expansionism.[19] In the realpolitik view of Lynn E. Davis, Truman was a naive idealist who unnecessarily provoked the Soviets by couching disputes in terms like democracy and freedom that were alien to the Communist vision.[20]

According to psychological analysis by Deborah Larson, Truman felt a need to prove his decisiveness and feared that aides would make unfavorable comparisons between him and his predecessor, Roosevelt.[21] "I am here to make decisions, and whether they prove right or wrong I am going to take them," he once said.[22]

The drama surrounding the announcement of the Truman Doctrine catered to president's self-image of a strong and decisive leader, but his real decision-making process was more complex and gradual. The timing of the speech was not a response to any particular Soviet action but to the fact that the Republican Party had just gained control of Congress.[23] Truman was little involved in drafting the speech and did not himself adopt the hard-line attitude that it suggested until several months later.[24]

The British, with their own position weakened by economic distress, urgently called on the U.S. to take over the traditional British role in Greece.[25] Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson took the lead in Washington, warning congressional leaders in late February 1947 that if the United States did not take over from the British, the result most probably would be a "Soviet breakthrough" that "might open three continents to Soviet penetration."[26][27] Truman was explicit about the challenge of Communism taking control of Greece. He won wide support from both parties as well as experts in foreign policy inside and outside the government. It was strongly opposed by the Left, notably by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, who ran against Truman in the 1948 presidential campaign.[28]

Truman, under the guidance of Acheson, followed up his speech with a series of measures to contain Soviet influence in Europe, including the Marshall Plan, or European Recovery Program, and NATO, a 1949 military alliance between the U.S. and Western European nations. Because containment required detailed information about Communist moves, the government relied increasingly on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Established by the National Security Act of 1947, the CIA conducted espionage in foreign lands, some of it visible, more of it secret. Truman approved a classified statement of containment policy called NSC 20/4 in November 1948, the first comprehensive statement of security policy ever created by the United States. The Soviet Union's first nuclear test in 1949 prompted the National Security Council to formulate a revised security doctrine. Completed in April 1950, it became known as NSC 68.[29] It concluded that a massive military buildup was necessary to deal with the Soviet threat. According to the report, drafted by Paul Nitze and others:

In the words of the Federalist (No. 28) "The means to be employed must be proportioned to the extent of the mischief." The mischief may be a global war or it may be a Soviet campaign for limited objectives. In either case we should take no avoidable initiative which would cause it to become a war of annihilation, and if we have the forces to defeat a Soviet drive for limited objectives it may well be to our interest not to let it become a global war.[30]

Alternative strategies

There were three alternative policies to containment under discussion in the late 1940s. The first was a return to isolationism, minimizing American involvement with the rest of the world, a policy that was supported by conservative Republicans, especially from the Midwest, including former President Herbert Hoover and Senator Robert A. Taft. However, many other Republicans, led by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, said that policy had helped cause World War II and so was too dangerous to revive.[31]

The second policy was continuation of the détente policies that aimed at friendly relationships with the Soviet Union, especially trade. Roosevelt had been the champion of détente, but he was dead, and most of his inner circle had left the government by 1946. The chief proponent of détente was Henry Wallace, a former vice president and the Secretary of Commerce under Truman. Wallace's position was supported by far left elements of the CIO, but they were purged in 1947 and 1948. Wallace ran against Truman on the Progressive Party ticket in 1948, but his campaign was increasingly dominated by Communists, which helped to discredit détente.[32]

The third policy was rollback, an aggressive effort to undercut or destroy the Soviet Union itself. Military rollback against the Soviet Union was proposed by James Burnham[33] and other conservative strategists in the late 1940s. After 1954, Burnham and like-minded strategists became editors and regular contributors to William F. Buckley, Jr.'s National Review magazine.

Truman himself adopted a rollback strategy in the Korean War after the success of the Inchon landings in September 1950, only to reverse himself after the Chinese counterattack two months later and revert to containment. General Douglas MacArthur called on Congress to continue the rollback policy, but Truman fired him for insubordination.[34]

Under President Dwight Eisenhower, a rollback strategy was considered against communism in Eastern Europe from 1953 to 1956. Eisenhower agreed to a propaganda campaign to roll back the influence of communism psychologically, but he refused to intervene in the 1956 Hungarian Uprising,[35] mainly for fear that it would cause the Third World War. Since 1950, the Soviets had been known to possess nuclear weapons.[36]


Operation Dominic - Frigate Bird nuclear explosion
A 1962 nuclear explosion as seen through the periscope of a U.S. Navy submarine. The goal of containment was to 'contain' communism without a nuclear war.

The U.S. followed containment when it entered the Korean War to defend South Korea from a communist invasion by North Korea. Initially, this directed the action of the US to only push back North Korea across the 38th Parallel and restore South Korea's sovereignty, thereby allowing North Korea's survival as a state. However, the success of the Inchon landing inspired the U.S. and the United Nations to adopt a rollback strategy instead and to overthrow communist North Korea, thus allowing nationwide elections under U.N. auspices.[37] General Douglas MacArthur then advanced across the 38th Parallel into North Korea. The Chinese, fearful of a possible US presence on their border or even an invasion by them, then sent in a large army and defeated the U.N. forces, pushing them back below the 38th parallel. Although the Chinese had been planning to intervene for months,[38] this action was interpreted by Truman's supporters as a response to U.S. forces crossing the 38th Parallel. That interpretation allowed the episode to be used to confirm the wisdom of the containment doctrine as opposed to rollback. The Communists were later pushed back to roughly around the original border, with minimal changes. Truman blamed MacArthur's focus on victory and adopted a "limited war" policy. His focus shifted to negotiating a settlement, which was finally reached in 1953. For his part, MacArthur denounced Truman's "no-win policy."[39]


Many Republicans, including John Foster Dulles, were concerned that Truman had been too timid. In 1952, Dulles called for rollback and the eventual liberation of Eastern Europe.[40] Dulles was named secretary of state by incoming President Eisenhower, but Eisenhower's decision not to intervene during the 1956 Hungarian Uprising made containment a bipartisan doctrine. Eisenhower relied on clandestine CIA actions to undermine hostile governments and used economic and military foreign aid to strengthen governments supporting the American position in the Cold War.[41]


In the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the top officials in Washington debated using rollback to get rid of Soviet nuclear missiles, which were threatening the United States. There was fear of a nuclear war until a deal was reached in which the Soviets would publicly remove their nuclear weapons, the United States would secretly remove its missiles from Turkey and to avoid invading Cuba. The policy of containing Cuba was put into effect by President John F. Kennedy and continued until 2015.[42]


Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for president in 1964, challenged containment and asked, "Why not victory?"[43] President Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic nominee, answered that rollback risked nuclear war. Johnson explained containment doctrine by quoting the Bible: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but not further."[44] Goldwater lost to Johnson in the 1964 election by a wide margin. Johnson adhered closely to containment during the Vietnam War. Rejecting proposals by General William Westmoreland for U.S. ground forces to advance into Laos and cut communist supply lines, Johnson gathered a group of elder statesmen called The Wise Men. The group included Kennan, Acheson and other former Truman advisors.

Rallies in support of the troops were discouraged for fear that a patriotic response would lead to demands for victory and rollback.[44] Military responsibility was divided among three generals so that no powerful theater commander could emerge to challenge Johnson as MacArthur had challenged Truman.[45]

Nixon, who replaced Johnson in 1969, referred to his foreign policy as détente, a relaxation of tension. Although it continued to aim at restraining the Soviet Union, it was based on political realism, thinking in terms of national interest, as opposed to crusades against communism or for democracy. Emphasis was placed on talks with the Soviet Union concerning nuclear weapons called the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. Nixon reduced U.S. military presence in Vietnam to the minimum required to contain communist advances, in a policy called Vietnamization. As the war continued, it grew less popular. A Democratic Congress forced Nixon, a Republican, to abandon the policy in 1973 by enacting the Case–Church Amendment, which ended U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and led to successful communist invasions of South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.


President Jimmy Carter came to office in 1977 and was committed to a foreign policy that emphasized human rights. However, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, containment was again made a priority. The wording of the Carter Doctrine (1980) intentionally echoed that of the Truman Doctrine.

Reagan Doctrine

Following the communist victory of Vietnam, Democrats began to view further communist advance as inevitable, but Republicans returned to the rollback doctrine. Ronald Reagan, a long-time advocate of rollback, was elected US President in 1980. He took a more aggressive approach to dealings with the Soviets and believed that détente was misguided and peaceful coexistence was tantamount to surrender. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, American policy makers worried that the Soviets were making a run for control of the Persian Gulf. Throughout the 1980s, under a policy that came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine, the United States provided technical and economic assistance to the Afghan guerrillas fighting against the Soviet army (Mujahideen).[46]

By sending military aid to anti-communist insurgents in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, and Nicaragua, Reagan confronted existing communist governments and went beyond the limits of containment doctrine. He deployed the Pershing II missile in Europe and promoted research on a Strategic Defense Initiative, called "Star Wars" by its critics, to shoot down missiles fired at the United States.

Reagan's aim was to defeat the Soviets through an expensive arms buildup the Soviets could not match. However, Reagan continued to follow containment in several key areas. He pursued a comprehensive nuclear disarmament initiative called START I and policy toward Europe continued to emphasize a NATO-based defensive approach.

After Cold War

The end of the Cold War in 1991 marked the official end of the containment policy, but the U.S. kept its bases in the areas around Russia, such as those in Iceland, Germany, and Turkey. Also, much of the policy helped influence U.S. foreign policy in later years, such as during the War on Terror and dealing with post-Cold War dictators, such as Iraq's Saddam Hussein.

See also


  1. ^ James Oakes (2012). Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. W. W. Norton. p. 12.
  2. ^ James Stone, "Bismarck and the Containment of France, 1873–1877," Canadian Journal of History (1994) 29#2 pp 281–304 online
  3. ^ Carley, Michael J. (June 1996), Review of Foglesong, David S., America's Secret War Against Bolshevism: U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920, H-Russia, H-Review, retrieved 2018-12-30
  4. ^ Foglesong, David S. (2014-02-01). America's Secret War against Bolshevism: U.S. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920. UNC Press Books. ISBN 9781469611136.
  5. ^ Sidney Pash, "Containment, Rollback and the Onset of the Pacific War, 1933-1941" in G. Kurt Piehler and Sidney Pash, eds. The United States and the Second World War: New Perspectives on Diplomacy, War, and the Home Front (2010) pp 38-67
  6. ^ Larson, Deborah Welch, Origins of Containment: A Psychological Explanation, p. 69.
  7. ^ Larson, p. 116.
  8. ^ Larson, p.68.
  9. ^ a b John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life (2011) pp 201-24
  10. ^ Kennan, George, "The Long Telegram"
  11. ^ a b Larson, p. 28.
  12. ^ Hechler, Ken (1996). Working with Truman: a personal memoir of the White House years. University of Missouri Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-8262-1067-8. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  13. ^ Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life (2011) pp 249-75.
  14. ^ "Driven Patriot: The Life And Times Of James Forrestal"
  15. ^ Adrian R. Lewis (2006). The American Culture of War: A History of US Military Force from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Taylor & Francis. p. 67.
  16. ^ George F. Kennan, Memoirs 1925-1950 P. 358
  17. ^ George F. Kennan, Memoirs 1925-1950 P. 359
  18. ^ a b President Harry S. Truman's Address Before a Joint Session of Congress, March 12, 1947.
  19. ^ a b Larsen, Deborah Welch, Origins of Containment, p. 9.
  20. ^ Larson, p. 15.
  21. ^ Larson, p. 147.
  22. ^ Larson, pp 145-46.
  23. ^ Larson, p. 302.
  24. ^ Larson, p. xi., p. 303
  25. ^ Lawrence S. Wittner, American Intervention in Greece, 1943-1949 (1982)
  26. ^ Dean Acheson (1987). Present at the creation: my years in the State Department. W W Norton. p. 219.
  27. ^ James Chace (2008). Acheson: The Secretary Of State Who Created The American World. Simon & Schuster. pp. 166–67.
  28. ^ John M. Schuessler, "Absorbing The First Blow: Truman And The Cold War," White House Studies (2009) 9#3 pp 215-231.
  29. ^ Efstathios T. Fakiolas, "Kennan's Long Telegram and NSC-68: A Comparative Theoretical Analysis," East European Quarterly (1997) 31#4 pp 415-433.
  30. ^ NSC 68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security
  31. ^ David McCullough (2003). Truman. Simon & Schuster. p. 631.
  32. ^ Jerel A. Rosati; James M. Scott (2011). The Politics of United States Foreign Policy. Cengage Learning. p. 342.
  33. ^ Daniel Kelly, James Burnham and the Struggle for the World: A Life (2002) p. 155
  34. ^ James I. Matray, "Truman's Plan for Victory: National Self-Determination and the Thirty-Eighth Parallel Decision in Korea." Journal of American History (1979): 314-333. in JSTOR
  35. ^ László Borhi, "Rollback, Liberation, Containment, or Inaction? U.S. Policy and Eastern Europe in the 1950s", Journal of Cold War Studies, 1#3 (1999), pp 67–110 online
  36. ^ Robert R. Bowie and Richard H. Immerman. eds. (1998). Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy. Oxford University Press. pp. 158–77.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  37. ^ James I. Matray, "Truman's Plan for Victory: National Self-Determination and the Thirty-Eighth Parallel Decision in Korea," Journal of American History, Sept. 1979, Vol. 66 Issue 2, pp. 314–333, in JSTOR
  38. ^ Chinese Military Science Academy (September 2000). History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea (抗美援朝战争史) I. Beijing: Chinese Military Science Academy Publishing House. pp. 35–36. ISBN 7-80137-390-1. On 4 August 1950, with the proposed Chinese invasion of Taiwan aborted, Mao Zedong reported to the Politburo that he would intervene in Korea as soon as the Taiwan invasion force was reorganized.
  39. ^ Safire, William, Safire's Political Dictionary, p. 531.
  40. ^ "Kennan and Containment, 1947", Diplomacy in Action, U.S. Department of State,
  41. ^ John Prados, Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA, (2009)
  42. ^ Alice L. George, The Cuban missile crisis: The threshold of nuclear war (Routledge, 2013).
  43. ^ Richard J. Jensen, Jon Thares Davidann, Yoneyuki Sugita, Trans-Pacific Relations: America, Europe, and Asia in the Twentieth Century, p. 178. (2003)
  44. ^ a b Jensen, p. 180. The quote is from Job 38:11.
  45. ^ Jensen, p. 182.
  46. ^ Olson, James Stuart. Historical dictionary of the 1950s. Westport, Conn: Greenwood P, 2000.


  • Corke, Sarah-Jane. "History, historians and the Naming of Foreign Policy: A Postmodern Reflection on American Strategic thinking during the Truman Administration," Intelligence and National Security, Autumn 2001, Vol. 16 Issue 3, pp. 146–63.
  • Felix, David. Kennan and the Cold War: An Unauthorized Biography. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2015.
  • Gaddis, John Lewis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy During the Cold War. 2004.
  • Hopkins, Michael F. "Continuing Debate And New Approaches In Cold War History," Historical Journal (2007), 50: 913-934 doi:10.1017/S0018246X07006437
  • Kennan, George F., American Diplomacy, The University of Chicago Press. 1984. ISBN 0-226-43147-9
  • Pieper, Moritz A. (2012). "Containment and the Cold War: Reexaming the Doctrine of Containment as a Grand Strategy Driving US Cold War Interventions". Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  • Wright, Steven. The United States and Persian Gulf Security: The Foundations of the War on Terror, Ithaca Press, 2007.

External links


The concept of biocontainment is related to laboratory biosafety and pertains to microbiology laboratories in which the physical containment of pathogenic organisms or agents (bacteria, viruses, and toxins) is required, usually by isolation in environmentally and biologically secure cabinets or rooms, to prevent accidental infection of workers or release into the surrounding community during scientific research. The term "biocontainment" was coined in 1985, but the concept stretches back at least to the 1940s.

Biological hazard

Biological hazards, also known as biohazards, refer to biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. This can include samples of a microorganism, virus or toxin (from a biological source) that can affect human health. It can also include substances harmful to other animals.

The term and its associated symbol are generally used as a warning, so that those potentially exposed to the substances will know to take precautions. The biohazard symbol was developed in 1966 by Charles Baldwin, an environmental-health engineer working for the Dow Chemical Company on the containment products.It is used in the labeling of biological materials that carry a significant health risk, including viral samples and used hypodermic needles.

In Unicode, the biohazard symbol is U+2623 (☣).

Biosafety level

A biosafety level is a set of biocontainment precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents in an enclosed laboratory facility. The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) to the highest at level 4 (BSL-4). In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have specified these levels. In the European Union, the same biosafety levels are defined in a directive. In Canada the four levels are known as Containment Levels. Facilities with these designations are also sometimes given as P1 through P4 (for Pathogen or Protection level), as in the term "P3 laboratory".

At the lowest level of biosafety, precautions may consist of regular hand-washing and minimal protective equipment. At higher biosafety levels, precautions may include airflow systems, multiple containment rooms, sealed containers, positive pressure personnel suits, established protocols for all procedures, extensive personnel training, and high levels of security to control access to the facility.

Bomb disposal

Bomb disposal is an explosives engineering profession using the process by which hazardous explosive devices are rendered safe. Bomb disposal is an all-encompassing term to describe the separate, but interrelated functions in the military fields of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD), and the public safety roles of public safety bomb disposal (PSBD) and the bomb squad.

Bully Fire

The Bully Fire was a wildfire that started on July 11, 2014 at 3:37 PM PDT in Shasta County. The fire quickly spread to 700 acres (2.8 km2), and it was only 5% contained. During the next day, dry weather coupled with a heat wave allowed to fire to advance to 1,800 acres (7.3 km2), prompting mandatory evacuations to be issued for the region, as well as several miles of road closures. During the next few days, the wildfire exploded to 8,700 acres (35 km2), prompting additional evacuations, since the wildfire was only 25% contained. A couple of days later, the Bully Fire reached 11,700 acres (47 km2), but the containment also increased to 45%. By July 18, the wildfire had expanded further to 12,661 acres (5,124 ha), with the containment only at 65%. During the next few days, containment gradually increased to 95%, before progress stalled on July 22. However, the increase in containment allowed the road closures and the evacuation orders to be lifted. During the next 4 days, firefighting efforts continued to slowly extinguish the Bully Fire, until full containment of the perimeter was achieved on July 26, at 8:00 PM PDT. Fire patrols lingered for the next couple of days to work on extinguishing the blaze, and on July 28, the Bully Fire was reported to be 100% controlled. During its duration, the Bully Fire destroyed a total of 20 residential structures. A total of 21 injuries were also reported by the fire which was determined to be human-caused.

Containment (TV series)

Containment is an American limited series, based on the Belgian television series Cordon. The series was officially ordered as a series by The CW on May 7, 2015, and aired from April 19 through July 19, 2016. Julie Plec serves as executive producer, alongside with David Nutter. The series follows an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, leaving a section of the city cordoned off under quarantine and those stuck on the inside fighting for their lives.

On May 12, 2016, The CW announced that Containment would not be renewed and would remain as a limited series.

Containment building

A containment building, in its most common usage, is a reinforced steel or lead structure enclosing a nuclear reactor. It is designed, in any emergency, to contain the escape of radioactive steam or gas to a maximum pressure in the range of 275 to 550 kPa (40 to 80 psi). The containment is the fourth and final barrier to radioactive release (part of a nuclear reactor's defence in depth strategy), the first being the fuel ceramic itself, the second being the metal fuel cladding tubes, the third being the reactor vessel and coolant system.Each nuclear plant in the US is designed to withstand certain conditions which are spelled out as "Design Basis Accidents" in the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR). The FSAR is available for public viewing, usually at a public library near the nuclear plant.

The containment building itself is typically an airtight steel structure enclosing the reactor normally sealed off from the outside atmosphere. The steel is either free-standing or attached to the concrete missile shield. In the United States, the design and thickness of the containment and the missile shield are governed by federal regulations (10 CFR 50.55a), and must be strong enough to withstand the impact of a fully loaded passenger airliner without rupture.While the containment plays a critical role in the most severe nuclear reactor accidents, it is only designed to contain or condense steam in the short term (for large break accidents) and long term heat removal still must be provided by other systems. In the Three Mile Island accident the containment pressure boundary was maintained, but due to insufficient cooling, some time after the accident, radioactive gas was intentionally let from containment by operators to prevent over pressurization. This, combined with further failures, caused the release of up to 13 million curies of radioactive gas to atmosphere during the accident.While the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant had operated safely since 1971, an earthquake and tsunami well beyond the design basis resulted in failure of AC power, backup generators and batteries which defeated all safety systems. These systems were necessary to keep the fuel cool after the reactor had been shut down. This resulted in partial or complete meltdown of fuel rods, damage to fuel storage pools and buildings, release of radioactive debris to surrounding area, air and sea, and resorting to the expedient use of fire engines and concrete pumps to deliver cooling water to spent fuel pools and containment. During the incident, pressure within the containments of reactors 1-3 rose to exceed design limits, which despite attempts to reduce pressure by venting radioactive gasses, resulted in breach of containment. Hydrogen leaking from the containment mixed with air into an explosive mixture which resulted in explosions in Unit 1,3 and 4, complicating attempts to stabilize the reactors.

Cosmic Cube

The Cosmic Cube is a fictional object appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It first appeared in the Marvel Universe in Tales of Suspense #79 (July 1966) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Crystal River 3 Nuclear Power Plant

The Crystal River 3 Nuclear Power Plant, also called the Crystal River Nuclear Plant, or simply CR-3, is a closed nuclear power plant located in Crystal River, Florida. The facility is currently being decommissioned and is transitioning to a SAFSTOR condition. The power plant was completed and licensed to operate in December 1976, and operated safely for 33 years until shutdown in September 2009. It was the third plant built as part of the 4,700-acre (1,900 ha) Crystal River Energy Complex (CREC) which contains a single nuclear power plant, while sharing the site with four operational fossil fuel power plants.

The Crystal River reactor went offline in September 2009 for refueling, OTSG replacement (once through steam generator), and 20% power up-rate outage. In preparing the containment building for making the opening to replace the two OTSG's, tendons in the containment building wall were detensioned. During the concrete removal in creating the opening workers discovered a large gap in the concrete of the containment building wall. The main cause of the gap, which further engineering analysis determined was a large delamination, was attributed to the scope and sequence of the tendon detensioning. The plant had originally been scheduled to restart in April 2011, but the project encountered a number of delays. Repairs were successful, but additional delamination began to occur in adjacent bays. After several months of analyzing options, Duke Energy senior executives announced in February 2013 that the Crystal River Nuclear Plant would be permanently shut down. The coal-fired units are not affected.Crystal River was originally owned by Florida Progress Corporation (and operated by its subsidiary, Florida Power Corporation) but, in 2000, it was bought by Carolina Power & Light to form the new company, Progress Energy. Progress Energy owned 91.8% of the plant; the remainder is owned by nine municipal utilities. Effective July 2, 2012 Duke Energy purchased Progress Energy and made it a wholly owned direct unit of Duke Energy.


General Electric's BWR product line of Boiling Water Reactors represents the designs of a large percentage of the commercial fission reactors around the world.


A hierarchy (from the Greek hierarkhia, "rule of a high priest", from hierarkhes, "president of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy is an important concept in a wide variety of fields, such as philosophy, mathematics, computer science, organizational theory, systems theory, and the social sciences (especially political philosophy).

A hierarchy can link entities either directly or indirectly, and either vertically or diagonally. The only direct links in a hierarchy, insofar as they are hierarchical, are to one's immediate superior or to one of one's subordinates, although a system that is largely hierarchical can also incorporate alternative hierarchies. Hierarchical links can extend "vertically" upwards or downwards via multiple links in the same direction, following a path. All parts of the hierarchy which are not linked vertically to one another nevertheless can be "horizontally" linked through a path by traveling up the hierarchy to find a common direct or indirect superior, and then down again. This is akin to two co-workers or colleagues; each reports to a common superior, but they have the same relative amount of authority. Organizational forms exist that are both alternative and complementary to hierarchy. Heterarchy is one such form.


A levee (), dike, dyke, embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels. It is usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river in its floodplain or along low-lying coastlines.

Nuclear meltdown

A nuclear meltdown (core meltdown, core melt accident, meltdown or partial core melt) is a severe nuclear reactor accident that results in core damage from overheating. The term nuclear meltdown is not officially defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency or by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However, it has been defined to mean the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor, and is in common usage a reference to the core's either complete or partial collapse.

A core meltdown accident occurs when the heat generated by a nuclear reactor exceeds the heat removed by the cooling systems to the point where at least one nuclear fuel element exceeds its melting point. This differs from a fuel element failure, which is not caused by high temperatures. A meltdown may be caused by a loss of coolant, loss of coolant pressure, or low coolant flow rate or be the result of a criticality excursion in which the reactor is operated at a power level that exceeds its design limits. Alternatively, in a reactor plant such as the RBMK-1000, an external fire may endanger the core, leading to a meltdown.

Once the fuel elements of a reactor begin to melt, the fuel cladding has been breached, and the nuclear fuel (such as uranium, plutonium, or thorium) and fission products (such as caesium-137, krypton-85, or iodine-131) within the fuel elements can leach out into the coolant. Subsequent failures can permit these radioisotopes to breach further layers of containment. Superheated steam and hot metal inside the core can lead to fuel-coolant interactions, hydrogen explosions, or water hammer, any of which could destroy parts of the containment. A meltdown is considered very serious because of the potential for radioactive materials to breach all containment and escape (or be released) into the environment, resulting in radioactive contamination and fallout, and potentially leading to radiation poisoning of people and animals nearby.

Object composition

In computer science, object composition is a way to combine objects or data types into more complex ones. Compositions relate to, but are not the same as, data structures, and common ones are the tagged union, set, sequence, and various graph structures, as well as the object used in object-oriented programming.Object composition refers to the logical or conceptual structure of the information, not the implementation or physical data structure used to represent it. For example, a sequence differs from a set because (among other things) the order of the composed items matters for the former but not the latter. Data structures such as arrays, linked lists, hash tables, and many others can be used to implement either of them. Perhaps confusingly, some of the same terms are used for both data structures and composites. For example, "binary tree" can refer to either: as a data structure it is a means of accessing a linear sequence of items, and the actual positions of items in the tree are irrelevant (the tree can be internally rearranged however one likes, without changing its meaning). However, as an object composition, the positions are relevant, and changing them would change the meaning (as for example in cladograms).


In political science, rollback is the strategy of forcing a change in the major policies of a state, usually by replacing its ruling regime. It contrasts with containment, which means preventing the expansion of that state; and with détente, which means a working relationship with that state. Most of the discussions of rollback in the scholarly literature deal with United States foreign policy toward Communist countries during the Cold War. The rollback strategy was tried, but was not successful in Korea in 1950 and in Cuba in 1961. The political leadership of the United States discussed the use of rollback during the uprising of 1953 in East Germany and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, but decided against it to avoid the risk of Soviet intervention or a major war.Rollback of governments hostile to the U.S. took place in World War II (against Italy 1943, Germany 1945 and Japan 1945), Afghanistan (against the Taliban 2001) and Iraq (against Saddam Hussein 2003). When directed against an established government, rollback is sometimes called "regime change".

SCP Foundation

The SCP Foundation is a fictional organization documented by the web-based collaborative-fiction project of the same name. Within the website's fictional setting, the SCP Foundation is responsible for locating and containing individuals, entities, locations, and objects that violate natural law (referred to as SCPs). The real-world website is community-based and includes elements of many genres such as horror, science fiction and urban fantasy.

On the SCP Foundation wiki, the majority of works consist of "special containment procedures": structured internal documentation that describes an SCP object and the means of keeping it contained. The website also contains thousands of "Foundation Tales", short stories set within the universe of the SCP Foundation. The series has been praised for its ability to convey horror through its scientific and academic writing style, as well as for its high standards of quality.

The Foundation has inspired numerous spin-off works, including the horror indie video game SCP – Containment Breach.

SCP – Containment Breach

SCP – Containment Breach is a free and open source indie supernatural horror video game developed by Joonas Rikkonen ("Regalis"). It is based on the paranormal fiction stories of the SCP Foundation website. The game is played in 3D from a first person perspective and the protagonist is a human test subject in a facility devoted to containing and researching scientific anomalies. The goal of the game is to escape from an underground SCP containment center in the situation of a complete security breach leading to the escape of the contained and dangerous anomalies. The game has a procedurally generated play area created from a random selection of pre-existing rooms and hallways that are strung together to create the facility which is played in.


Self-sustainability and self-sufficiency are overlapping states of being in which a person or organization needs little or no help from, or interaction with, others. Self-sufficiency entails the self being enough (to fulfill needs), and a self-sustaining entity can maintain self-sufficiency indefinitely. These states represent types of personal or collective autonomy. On a national scale, a totally self-sufficient economy that requires little or no trade with the outside world is called an autarky. Absolute purity of personal self-sufficiency or national autarky is a theoretical concept rather than a reality, but relative degrees are observable in real-world examples.

Self-sustainability is a type of sustainable living in which nothing is consumed other than what is produced by the self-sufficient individuals. Examples of attempts at self-sufficiency in North America include simple living, homesteading, off-the-grid, survivalism, DIY ethic and the back-to-the-land movement.

Practices that enable or aid self-sustainability include autonomous building, permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy. The term is also applied to limited forms of self-sustainability, for example growing one's own food or becoming economically independent of state subsidies. The self-sustainability of an electrical installation measures its degree of grid independence and is defined as the ratio between the amount of locally produced energy that is locally consumed, either directly or after storage, and the total consumption.A system is self-sustaining (or self-sufficient) if it can maintain itself by independent effort. The system self-sustainability is:

the degree at which the system can sustain itself without external support

the fraction of time in which the system is self-sustainingSelf-sustainability is considered one of the "ilities" and is closely related to sustainability and availability. In the economics literature, a system that has the quality of being self-sustaining is also referred to as an autarky.

Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy whose stated purpose was to counter Soviet geopolitical expansion during the Cold War. It was announced to Congress by President Harry S. Truman on March 12, 1947, and further developed on July 12, 1948, when he pledged to contain threats in Greece and Turkey. Direct American military force was usually not involved, but Congress appropriated financial aid to support the economies and militaries of Greece and Turkey. More generally, the Truman Doctrine implied American support for other nations allegedly threatened by Soviet communism. The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of American foreign policy, and led, in 1949, to the formation of NATO, a military alliance that is still in effect. Historians often use Truman's speech to date the start of the Cold War.

Truman told Congress that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." Truman contended that because totalitarian regimes coerced free peoples, they automatically represented a threat to international peace and the national security of the United States. Truman made the plea in the midst of the Greek Civil War (1946–49). He argued that if Greece and Turkey did not receive the aid, they would inevitably fall to communism with grave consequences throughout the region. Because Turkey and Greece were historic rivals, it was considered necessary to help both equally even though the crisis in Greece was far more intense.

Critics of the policy have observed that the governments of Greece and Turkey were themselves far from democratic at this time, and neither were facing Soviet subversion in the spring of 1949. Historian Eric Foner writes that the Doctrine "set a precedent for American assistance to anticommunist regimes throughout the world, no matter how undemocratic, and for the creation of a set of global military alliances directed against the Soviet Union."For years, the United Kingdom had supported Greece, but was now near bankruptcy and was forced to radically reduce its involvement. In February 1947, Britain formally requested for the United States to take over its role in supporting the royalist Greek government. The policy won the support of Republicans who controlled Congress and involved sending $400 million in American money but no military forces to the region. The effect was to end the Greek revolt, and in 1952, both Greece and Turkey joined NATO, a military alliance, to guarantee their stability.

The Truman Doctrine was informally extended to become the basis of American Cold War policy throughout Europe and around the world. It shifted American foreign policy toward the Soviet Union from anti-fascism ally to a policy of containment of Soviet expansion as advocated by diplomat George Kennan. It was distinguished from rollback by implicitly tolerating the previous Soviet takeovers in Eastern Europe.

Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.