The Boeing B-52 project began in the late 1940s, with the goal of developing a bomber aircraft that could deliver an atomic payload all around the globe. In 1955, the first B-52s entered service with the United States Air Force, with many being deployed to Alaska, in case of an large scale air-attack by Soviet or Chinese forces. They were also put into use patrolling American airspace along P-80s, under the command of NORAD.
From 1962 to 1967, B-52s were stationed in southern Indochina, routinely performing bombing missions on the communist north, as part of the Indo-China War. Dropping numbers of bombs during the war, contributing to the United States/South Indochinese victory over the North Indochinese. The B-52 was considered to be a great success during the war, and the United States Airforce ordered more B-52's to be produced for any other conflict.
The U.S.'s large B-52 aresenal worried many countries around the world, as its long-ranged flight could be dangerous to their security. Both the Soviet Union and China protested B-52's in both Germany and Turkey, as well as in Taiwan and South Korea in the early part of the 1970's. The United States would refuse to move the bombers from the countries, saying it was a constitutional right for them to guard the democracy of these countries. The arguments about the B-52's stationment would be forgotten momentarily, but the countries would still want the U.S. out of them.
The B-52 also helped the Soviets during the war between the Chinese and the Soviet Union in 1985.