A term coined by diplomat and Sovietologist George Kennan, it came to form the cornerstone of US policy toward the Soviet Union during the early Cold War. It found early application in the Truman Doctrine and sought to “contain” Communism to those areas where it already existed.
Time: Early War
Removed after event: Yes
Play it on the last Action Round. This is not worth holding between turns, unless you know for a fact that the US is holding Lone Gunman (which shouldn’t happen, as someone should trigger Containment in the Early War), and definitely not worth sending to space, which can actually end up making it hurt worse if the US draws it and headlines it.
One of the four great US headlines in the Early War, along with Red Scare/Purge, Defectors, and Marshall Plan. Unless I have a hand full of 4 Ops and scoring cards, I almost always try to headline Containment, because if I play it for Ops the USSR could draw it and then it would be almost worthless. And even if my hand doesn’t benefit much from Containment, I will simply hold it to next turn and headline it then.
Somewhat ironically, with Containment the US can expand much more aggressively than usual in the Early War. With a Turn 1 Containment headline, it is actually possible for the US to exit the Early War firmly ahead in both position and VPs (or even with an autovictory) given fortunate rolls and draws.
Containment is slightly better than Brezhnev Doctrine for two reasons: one, it comes out earlier, and two, even if the USSR plays it on the last Action Round, it will still have an effect. On Turn 3, if I have not yet seen Containment, then I know the USSR is holding it to the last Action Round, and so I will make sure that my last play can take advantage of it. It would be a waste to play a 4 Ops or a scoring card only to see it “boosted” with Containment.