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.
At the conclusion of World War II, Turkey was pressured by the Soviet government to allow Russian shipping to flow freely through the Turkish Straits, which connected the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. As the Turkish government would not submit to the Soviet Union's requests, tensions arose in the region, leading to a show of naval force on the side of the Soviets. Since British assistance to Turkey had ended in 1947, the U.S. dispatched military aid to ensure that Turkey would retain chief control of the passage. Turkey received $100 million in economic and military aid and the U.S sent the aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt. The postwar period from 1946 started with a "multi-party period" and the Democratic Party government of Adnan Menderes.
Seven weeks after the Axis powers abandoned Greece in October 1944, the British helped retake Athens from the victorious National Liberation Front (EAM), controlled effectively by the Greek Communist Party (KKE). This began with a mass killing of largely unarmed EAM supporters known as the Dekemvriana on December 3. The leftists attempted to retaliate, but were outgunned by the British-backed government and subjected to the White Terror. With the full outbreak of civil war (1946–49), guerrilla forces controlled by the Greek Communist Party sustained a revolt against the internationally recognized Greek government which was formed after 1946 elections boycotted by the KKE. The British realized that the KKE were being directly funded by Josip Broz Tito in neighboring Yugoslavia. In line with the Churchill-Stalin "percentages agreement", the Greek communists received no help from the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia provided them support and sanctuary against Stalin's wishes. By late 1946, Britain informed the United States that due to its own weakening economy, it could no longer continue to provide military and economic support to royalist Greece.
In 1946–47, the United States and the Soviet Union moved from being wartime allies to Cold War adversaries. The breakdown of Allied cooperation in Germany provided a backdrop of escalating tensions for the Truman Doctrine. To Truman, the growing unrest in Greece began to look like a pincer movement against the oil-rich areas of the Middle East and the warm-water ports of the Mediterranean.
In February 1946, Kennan, an American diplomat in Moscow, sent his famed "Long Telegram", which predicted the Soviets would only respond to force and that the best way to handle them would be through a long-term strategy of containment, that is stopping their geographical expansion. After the British warned that they could no longer help Greece, and following Prime Minister Konstantinos Tsaldaris's visit to Washington in December 1946 to ask for American assistance, the U.S. State Department formulated a plan. Aid would be given to both Greece and Turkey, to help cool the long-standing rivalry between them.
American policy makers recognized the instability of the region, fearing that if Greece was lost to communism, Turkey would not last long. Similarly, if Turkey yielded to Soviet demands, the position of Greece would be endangered. A regional domino effect threat therefore guided the American decision. Greece and Turkey were strategic allies important for geographical reasons as well, for the fall of Greece would put the Soviets on a particularly dangerous flank for the Turks, and strengthen the Soviet Union's ability to cut off allied supply lines in the event of war.
To pass any legislation Truman needed the support of the Republicans, who controlled both houses of Congress. The chief Republican spokesman Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg strongly supported Truman and overcame the doubts of isolationists such as Senator Robert A. Taft.:127 Truman laid the groundwork for his request by having key congressional leaders meet with himself, Secretary of State George Marshall, and Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson. Acheson laid out the "domino theory" in the starkest terms, comparing a communist state to a rotten apple that could spread its infection to an entire barrel. Vandenberg was impressed, and advised Truman to appear before Congress and "scare the hell out of the American people.":127-8 On March 7, Acheson warned Truman that Greece could fall to the communists within weeks without outside aid.:545
When a draft for Truman's address was circulated to policymakers, Marshall, Kennan, and others criticized it for containing excess "rhetoric." Truman responded that, as Vandenberg had suggested, his request would only be approved if he played up the threat.:546
On March 12, 1947, Truman appeared before a joint session of Congress. In his eighteen-minute speech, he stated:
I believe it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.
I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes.:547
The reaction to Truman's speech was broadly positive, though there were dissenters. Anti-communists in both parties supported both Truman's proposed aid package and the doctrine behind it, and Collier's described it as a "popularity jackpot" for the President.:548:129 Influential columnist Walter Lippmann was more skeptical, noting the open-ended nature of Truman's pledge; he felt so strongly that he almost came to blows while arguing with Acheson over the doctrine.:549:615 Others argued that the Greek monarchy Truman proposed to defend was itself a repressive government, rather than a democracy.:615
Despite these objections, the fear of the growing communist threat almost guaranteed the bill's passage.:616 In May 1947, two months after Truman's request, a large majority of Congress approved $400 million in military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey.:553-4:129 Increased American aid helped defeat the KKE, after interim defeats for government forces from 1946 to 1948.:616-17 The Truman Doctrine was the first in a series of containment moves by the United States, followed by economic restoration of Western Europe through the Marshall Plan and military containment by the creation of NATO in 1949.
The Truman Doctrine underpinned American Cold War policy in Europe and around the world. In the words of historian James T. Patterson, "The Truman Doctrine was a highly publicized commitment of a sort the administration had not previously undertaken. Its sweeping rhetoric, promising that the United States should aid all 'free people' being subjugated, set the stage for innumerable later ventures that led to globalistic commitments. It was in these ways a major step.":129
The doctrine endured, historian Dennis Merill argues, because it addressed a broader cultural insecurity regarding modern life in a globalized world. It dealt with Washington's concern over communism's domino effect, it enabled a media-sensitive presentation of the doctrine that won bipartisan support, and it mobilized American economic power to modernize and stabilize unstable regions without direct military intervention. It brought nation-building activities and modernization programs to the forefront of foreign policy.
The Truman Doctrine became a metaphor for emergency aid to keep a nation from communist influence. Truman used disease imagery not only to communicate a sense of impending disaster in the spread of communism but also to create a "rhetorical vision" of containing it by extending a protective shield around non-communist countries throughout the world. It echoed the "quarantine the aggressor" policy Truman's predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had sought to impose to contain German and Japanese expansion in 1937 ("quarantine" suggested the role of public health officials handling an infectious disease). The medical metaphor extended beyond the immediate aims of the Truman Doctrine in that the imagery combined with fire and flood imagery evocative of disaster provided the United States with an easy transition to direct military confrontation in later years with communist forces in Korea and Vietnam. By framing ideological differences in life or death terms, Truman was able to garner support for this communism-containing policy.
One draft, for example, of Truman's speech spoke of the "great natural resources" of the Middle East at stake (Kolko & Kolko 1972, p. 341).
The 1960 Turkish coup d'état (Turkish: 27 Mayıs Darbesi) was the first coup d'état in the Republic of Turkey. The coup was staged by a group of 38 young Turkish military officers, acting outside the Staff Chiefs' chain of command. It was orchestrated by Alparslan Türkeş and ultimately led on May 27, 1960 by General Cemal Gürsel, against the democratically-elected government of the Democrat Party. Alparslan Türkeş was a member of the junta (National Unity Committee).ASEAN Declaration
The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.Arthur Vandenberg
Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg (March 22, 1884 – April 18, 1951) was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Michigan from 1928 to 1951. A member of the Republican Party, he participated in the creation of the United Nations. He is best known for leading the Republican Party from a foreign policy of isolationism to one of internationalism, and supporting the Cold War, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate from 1947 to 1949.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan in a family of Dutch Americans, Vandenberg began his career as a newspaper editor and publisher. In 1928, Republican Governor Fred W. Green appointed Vandenberg to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy that arose after the death of Woodbridge Nathan Ferris. Vandenberg won election to a full term later that year and remained in the Senate until his death in 1951. He supported the early New Deal programs but came to oppose most of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's domestic policies. During the late 1930s, Vandenberg also opposed the United States' becoming involved in World War II and urged Roosevelt to reach an accommodation with Japan.
Vandenberg abandoned his isolationism, however, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1947 and supported Democratic President Harry Truman's Cold War policies, asserting that "politics stops at the water's edge." Vandenberg also served as the Chairman of the Republican Senate Conference from 1945 to 1947 and as the president pro tempore of the Senate from 1947 to 1949. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president in 1940 and 1948.Bibliography of Harry S. Truman
This Bibliography of Harry S. Truman is a selective list of scholarly works about Harry S. Truman, the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953).Carter Doctrine
The Carter Doctrine was a policy proclaimed by President of the United States Jimmy Carter in his State of the Union Address on January 23, 1980, which stated that the United States would use military force, if necessary, to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf.
It was a response to the Soviet Union's intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, and it was intended to deter the Soviet Union, the United States' Cold War adversary, from seeking hegemony in the Persian Gulf region.
The following key sentence, which was written by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser, concludes the section:
Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.
Brzezinski modeled the wording on the Truman Doctrine, and insisted for the sentence to be included in the speech "to make it very clear that the Soviets should stay away from the Persian Gulf."In The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, author Daniel Yergin notes that the Carter Doctrine "bore striking similarities" to a 1903 British declaration in which British Foreign Secretary Lord Landsdowne warned Russia and Germany that the British would "regard the establishment of a naval base or of a fortified port in the Persian Gulf by any other power as a very grave menace to British interests, and we should certainly resist it with all the means at our disposal."Cold War (1947–1953)
The Cold War (1947–1953) is the period within the Cold War from the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953. The Cold War emerged in Europe a few years after the successful US–USSR–UK coalition won World War II in Europe, and extended to 1989–91. In 1947, Bernard Baruch, the multimillionaire financier and adviser to presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Harry S. Truman, coined the term “Cold War” to describe the increasingly chilly relations between two World War II Allies: the United States and the Soviet Union.
Some conflicts between the West and the USSR appeared earlier. In 1945–46 the US and UK strongly protested Soviet political takeover efforts in Eastern Europe and Iran, while the hunt for Soviet spies made the tensions more visible. However historians emphasize the decisive break between the US–UK and the USSR came in 1947–48 over such issues as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Blockade, followed by the formation of NATO in 1949.The Cold War took place worldwide, but it had a partially different timing outside Europe.Containment
Containment is a geopolitical "strategic foreign policy pursued by the united states". It is loosely related to the term cordon sanitaire which was later used to describe the geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union in the 1940s. 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).
he basis of the doctrine was articulated in a 1946 cable by U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan during the post-WWIof 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.Dean Acheson
Dean Gooderham Acheson (pronounced ; April 11, 1893 – October 12, 1971) was an American statesman and lawyer. As United States Secretary of State in the administration of President Harry S. Truman from 1949 to 1953, he played a central role in defining American foreign policy during the Cold War. Acheson helped design the Marshall Plan and was a key player in the development of the Truman Doctrine and creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.Acheson's most famous decision was convincing President Truman to intervene in the Korean War in June 1950. He also persuaded Truman to dispatch aid and advisors to French forces in Indochina, though in 1968 he finally counseled President Lyndon B. Johnson to negotiate for peace with North Vietnam. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy called upon Acheson for advice, bringing him into the executive committee (ExComm), a strategic advisory group.
In the late 1940s Acheson came under heavy attack for his defense of State Department employees accused during the anti-gay Lavender and anti-Communist Red Scare investigations by Senator Joseph McCarthy and others, and over Truman's policy toward China.Domino theory
The domino theory was a theory prominent from the 1950s to the 1980s that posited that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to justify the need for American intervention around the world.
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower described the theory during an April 7, 1954, news conference, when referring to communism in Indochina:
Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the "falling domino" principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences.Greece–United States relations
Greece–United States relations, also known as Greek–American relations, refers to bilateral relations between the Greek Republic and the United States of America.
Due to the strong historical, political, cultural and religious ties between the two nations, Greece and the United States today enjoy excellent diplomatic relations and consider each other an ally. Modern diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in the 1830s and after the Greek War of Independence, and are today regarded as cordial.Greece and the United States have long-standing historical, political, and cultural ties based on a common western heritage, shared democratic values, and participation as Allies during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War and the War on Terror. The governments of the two countries cooperate closely in the areas of finance, energy, commerce, technology, academics, sciences, judiciary, intelligence and military, as well as through many multilateral organizations such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the United Nations; the latter of which are founding members.
The United States is the largest foreign investor in Greece; direct U.S. foreign investment in Greece was about $4.5 billion in 2006.
Greece has an embassy in Washington, D.C. and consulates-general in several U.S. cities. The United States has an embassy in Athens and a consulate-general in Thessaloniki.Guerrilla war in the Baltic states
The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.Johnson Doctrine
The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.Kennedy Doctrine
The Kennedy Doctrine refers to foreign policy initiatives of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, towards Latin America during his administration between 1961 and 1963. Kennedy voiced support for the containment of communism as well as the reversal of communist progress in the Western Hemisphere.Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey
The Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey (ODC-T, Turkish: ABD Savunma İşbirliği Ofisi) to Turkey is a United States Security Assistance Organization (SAO) to Turkey. It was established in 1947 as the Joint American Military Mission for Aid to Turkey (JAMMAT), and renamed the Joint United States Military Mission for Aid to Turkey (JUSMMAT) in 1958. It became the ODC-T in 1994. After Turkey joined NATO in 1952, JAMMAT became the largest of the United States European Commands (USEUCOM).Sol Bloom
Sol Bloom (March 9, 1870 – March 7, 1949) was an American politician from New York who began his career as an entertainment impresario and sheet music publisher in Chicago. He served fourteen terms in the United States House of Representatives from the West Side of Manhattan, from 1923 until his death in 1949.
Bloom was the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 1939 to 1947 and again in 1949, during a critical period of American foreign policy. In the run-up to World War II, he took charge of high-priority foreign-policy legislation for the Roosevelt Administration, including authorization for Lend Lease in 1941. He oversaw Congressional approval of the United Nations and of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) which worked to assist millions of displaced people in Europe. He was a member of the American delegation at the creation of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945, and at the Rio Conference of 1947.
Bloom was especially concerned with the fate of European Jews, but was unable to overcome very strong resistance to admitting Jews or any refugees before the war. He argued vigorously after the war that the United States needed to take in larger numbers of refugees. He adopted the Zionist position that Palestine should be the refuge for Jewish victims of the Holocaust. He urgently lobbied President Harry Truman in 1948 to immediately recognize the Jewish state of Israel, which Truman did. When the Republicans took control of the Foreign Affairs Committee after the 1946 election, Bloom worked closely with the new chairman, Charles Eaton. They secured approval for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan.Turkish Straits crisis
The Turkish Straits crisis was a Cold War-era territorial conflict between the Soviet Union and Turkey. Turkey, which had remained officially neutral throughout most of the freshly concluded Second World War, was pressured by the Soviet government to allow Soviet shipping to flow freely through the Turkish Straits, which connected the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. As the Turkish government would not submit to the Soviet Union's requests, tensions arose in the region, leading to a show of naval force on the side of the Soviets. The incident would later serve as a deciding factor in the issuing of the Truman Doctrine. At its climax, the tensions would cause Turkey to turn to the United States and NATO, for protection and membership, respectively. The result of this action contributed to the European post-cold war status quo that remains to this day.Ulbricht Doctrine
The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.
East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.
West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.United States presidential doctrines
A United States Presidential doctrine comprises the key goals, attitudes, or stances for United States foreign affairs outlined by a President. Most presidential doctrines are related to the Cold War. Though many U.S. Presidents had themes related to their handling of foreign policy, the term doctrine generally applies to Presidents such as James Monroe, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, all of whom had doctrines which more completely characterized their foreign policy.Western Bloc
The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".
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