For the forty years of the Cold War, U.S. foreign and defense policy was guided by a central theme, a well-defined strategic objective. That goal was for the United States to lead in building a liberal economic and political world while defending that world against totalitarian communist attack. The single word best defining that policy was "containment."
Nitze, Paul N.
"World Order from Hiroshima to Kuwait,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 44
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol44/iss4/3