Truman Doctrine


The Truman Doctrine was the impetus for the change in United States foreign policy,
from
isolationist to internationalists; thus we were drawn into two wars of containment and into
world affairs. The Truman Doctrine led to a major change in U.S. foreign policy from its
inception - aid to Turkey and Greece - to its indirect influence in Korea and Vietnam. The
aftermath of World War II inspired the U.S. to issue a proclamation that would stem
Communist influence throughout the world. However, our zeal in that achievement sent our
soldiers to die in Vietnam and Korea for a seemingly futile cause.
It must be the policy of the U.S. to support free peoples. This is no more than a
frank recognitions that totalitarian regimes imposed on free peoples . . .
undermine the foundations of . . . peace and security of the United States.

The Truman Doctrine would change the foreign policy of the United States and the world.

This policy would first go in aid to support the democratic regimes in Turkey and Greece.
These
nations were being threatened by Soviet-supported rebels seeking to topple the government
and install a Communist regime. The Soviets were also making extreme territorial demands
especially concerning the Dardanelles.
A direct influence of this Doctrine was, of course, the Marshall Plan. The Marshall
Plan
was designed to give aid to any European country damaged during World War II. It
tremendously helped ravaged European nations such as Italy and France. By helping them
economically, the Marshall Plan indirectly helped to stem growing Communist sentiment in
these countries.
The process whereby the Truman Doctrine came to fruition was a long and arduous one.
After World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States stood at the pinnacle of world
power. By the late ’40’s, the U.S.S.R. had caught up to the United States’ nuclear weapons
programs. In addition, they were very land-hungry. Throughout Russia’s history, they have
been in search of a port - a quest advanced further by Peter the Great and Catherine the
Great. The Soviets in that respect were direct threats to their non-Communist neighbors:
Greece, Turkey, and Iran.
In Iran, the U.S.S.R. was not evacuating Iran’s northern provinces despite entreaties
from
the United States. In Turkey, the Soviet Union coveted several naval bases along the
Straits of Dardanelles. Further, they pressured Turkey for border cessions that Turkey had
taken from Russia after World War I. In Greece, the Soviets encouraged the insurgent leader
Markos Vafiades with arms and economic support. The British troops helping the Grecian
government were strangled of supplies due to poor economic times in Britain. Also, further
territorial requisitions to Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria were being made.
Seeing the deteriorating U.S. - Soviet relations, Truman issued two statements about
“agreements, violations, reparations, and Soviet actions threatening U.S. security.” “1.
The Middle East is of strategic importance to the U.S.S.R.(from which they are in range of
an air attack.) 2. The U.S. must be prepared to wage atomic and biological warfare.”
(Ferrel 247) Soon after, he sent bombers to the Middle East. He desired the return of all
arms given to U.S.S.R. under the Lend-Lease Act.
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Russia intends an invasion of Turkey and
seizure of the Black Sea straits to the Mediterranean. Unless Russia is faced
with an iron fist and strong language another war is in the making, How many
divisions have you?

Truman had his eye on the Soviets and on war. However, The U.S.S.R. never made such
invasions and thus quelled Truman’s paranoia.
The Truman Doctrine was starting to develop during 1947 when Truman issued several
statements.
1. The present Russian ambassador . . . persona non grata . . . does not belong
in Washington. 2. Urge Stalin to pay us a visit. 3. Settle the Korean question . .
. give the Koreans a government of their own. 4. Settle the Manchurian question .
. . support Chang Kai-Shek for a strong China. 5. Agree to discussion of Russia’s
lend-lease debt to the U.S. 6. Agree to commercial air treaty. 7. Make it plain
that we have no territorial ambitions. That we only want peace, but we’ll fight
for it!
Truman also set