The Cold War and U. S. Diplomacy: the Truman Doctrine
The Cold War and U. S. Diplomacy: The Truman Doctrine Ardell Simmons Professor Muhammad Sohna Politics 300 Friday, December 2, 2011 The Truman Doctrine: Contain the Expansion of Communism, Presumably Everywhere Summarize a situation that required U. S. diplomatic efforts during the president’s time in office. According to Woolsey (2008), “WWII had bled the British Forces to the bone. The Battle of Britain, and the huge casualties suffered in Africa and the Continent had made it impossible for them to continue the level of support for affairs in the Balkans and the Middle East.
It was with an understanding of this situation that President Truman and his advisors decided that the US had to become involved. And it was from this understanding that the Truman Doctrine was born. So, on March 12, 1947 President Truman issued a Presidential pronouncement declaring immediate economic and military aid to the governments of Greece, threatened by Communist insurrection, and to Turkey, under pressure from Soviet expansion in the Mediterranean area. Great Britain announced that it could no longer afford aid to those key countries.
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Both Turkey and Greece were targets for the Russians to bring them in as Communistic satellites. Congress appropriated $400 million to support the implementation of this doctrine. This was in addition to the $3 trillion loan which the US had made to Great Britain in late 1946, (p. 5). Explicate the diplomatic doctrine the president followed, with reference to specific actions or events that occurred. According to Roskin and Berry (2010), “A few weeks later, at the 1947 Harvard commencement, Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposed a massive program of U. S. aid to help war-torn Europe recover.
Almost unnoticed at the time, this began foreign aid a permanent part of U. S. foreign policy. The Marshall Plan, which began in 1948, pumped some $12 billion into Europe and was a major part of the U. S. effort to contain Communist expansion, (p. 31). According to Roskin and Berry (2010), Kennan turned a 1946 internal memo into an article for the influential Foreign Affairs quarterly. “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” appeared in the July 1947 issue and portrayed the Soviet Union as relentlessly expansionist both on ideological and geopolitical grounds, (p. 31). Describe the effects of these diplomatic efforts for the U.
S. and other countries. According to Frazier (2009), “Although most of the American press and public approved of the Truman Doctrine speech, a minority objected to it on grounds that it would lead to the expenditure of large sums of money, not just for Greece and Turkey, but for other countries. Some also feared that it would lead to a complete breakdown in relations with the Soviet Union or even war. Many, including Henry Wallace, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the influential journalist Walter Lippmann, felt that the problem should have been taken up with the United Nations.
A number of senior legislators, when faced with the request to provide aid to Greece and Turkey, asked whether such a step would commit the United States to similar action in every case of Soviet aggressive action. Dean Acheson, who oversaw the drafting of the Truman Doctrine, quickly explained to the congressmen that the United States would take action only when circumstances made it suitable and within its capabilities. This allayed most of the concerns, as evidenced by the passage of the aid legislation by greater than 70 percent majorities in both houses of Congress, (p. -5). Assess, in conclusion, the advantages and disadvantages of the particular doctrine that was followed. According to Time Magazine (1973), “Only months later, Truman initiated Secretary of State George Marshall’s plan for the economic revival of Europe. Along with the largely military Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan probably staved off imminent revolution in some countries and provided Western Europe with the means to rebuild its cities and industries. According to Time Magazine (1973), “At home, Truman was less successful.
He was heavily beset by postwar shortages, inflation, strikes and the mink-coat, deep-freezer hanky-panky of a few subordinates. In responding, Truman characteristically attacked rather than turned defensive. When the railroad workers struck, he threatened to seize the railroads. In early 1948, his popularity was at a low ebb. Panicky party strategists declared that if the Democrats did not appease the South, the party would vanish. Some seriously suggested that Truman should resign. Truman responded by proposing an elaborate series of civil rights measures that only further antagonized the South,” (n. . ). According to Gaddis (1974), “Unquestionably, a fundamental characteristic of U. S. foreign policy during the I9S0S and 1960s was the tendency to view world order as an undifferentiated whole, and to regard Communist threats to that order anywhere as endangering the structure of peace everywhere. Within this frame of reference, no essential difference existed between peripheral and vital interests; since U. S. interests were equated with the maintenance of peace, they, like peace, were considered indivisible.
The language of the Truman Doctrine was compatible with this world view, but the policies the Truman administration actually followed between 1947 and 1950 were not. Communism was not regarded as a monolith during that period; distinctions were made, sometimes ruthlessly, between peripheral and vital interests. While conclusive judgments cannot be made without more sources and further research, sufficient evidence now exists to suggest that historians in search of turning points in American diplomatic history might more profitably concentrate their attention on the events of 1950 than on the famous 15 weeks of 1947”, (p. 402).
Summarize events between the U. S. and at least one (1) of the countries you wrote about in the first paper since the end of the Cold war. According to Political Outlook (2010) bilateral relations with the US and Russia have undergone a significant improvement. This is expected to persist over the forecast period, although there will always be a risk of renewed tensions, especially if the US revives plans to expand NATO or if it develops missile defenses without Russian participation. In the final years of the presidency of George W Bush, Russian relations with the US sank to their lowest level since the end of the cold war (p. ). Identify and describe the current relationship between the U. S. and one (1) of the countries you wrote about in the first paper. According to Political Outlook (2010), by contrast, the current US President, Barack Obama, has shown an interest in improving ties with Russia. Elements of a thaw in US-Russian relations include the weakening of US support for Georgia, the de facto postponement of further NATO enlargement, a toning down of US criticism of Russian internal developments, and increased Russian support for the US-led war effort in Afghanistan.
The decision by President Obama in September 2009 to abandon plans to install an anti-ballistic missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland opened the way for a significant improvement in US-Russian relations. This helped to facilitate an agreement on a new strategic nuclear arms deal (signed by Mr. Medvedev and President Obama in April 2010) to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I). It has also encouraged Russia to adopt a much tougher stance on Iran and to support new sanctions at the UN, (p. 5, 6).
Select a country you did not write about in the first paper, and describe the current U. S. diplomatic approach to the country. According to Jacques (2010), A classic illustration was the widely expressed anger and frustration in media and political circles against President Obama’s relatively contrite attitude toward the Chinese during his November visit to China. In fact, Obama was right on two counts: First, the US now has to learn to deal with China on equal terms and, second, it must be mindful of China’s role as its creditor.
Put simply: The major concern is not China getting too big for its boots – at least in the short term – but a growing sense of American frustration that its boots are no longer as big as they were or should be, together with an unwillingness or stubborn refusal to understand China on anything other than American terms (n. p. ). Contrast and compare the two (2) relationships. According to Jacques (2010) China is a formidable adversary whose ultimate strength is not its military hardware but its economic prowess, and whose diplomatic weapon is not saber rattling but great patience.
The spats between the United States and China appear to be getting more numerous and more serious. The Chinese objected in strong terms to Washington’s latest arms deal with Taiwan and threatened to take sanctions against those firms involved. President Obama recently accused the Chinese of currency manipulation. At Davos, Larry Summers, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, made an oblique attack on China by referring to mercantilist policies (n. p. ). According to Jacques (2010), the disagreement between China and the US at December’s Copenhagen climate summit has continued to reverberate.
The Chinese government reacted strongly to Google’s claims – supported by the US administration – that cyber attacks against it had originated in China and its statement that it would no longer cooperate with government censorship of the Internet. The US has been increasingly critical of China’s unwillingness to agree to sanctions against Iran. And finally the Chinese government is accusing the US administration of interference in its internal affairs by insisting on the meeting this week between Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama in Washington (n. p. ). Using the two (2) countries as examples, summarize how the U.
S. has changed the way it relates to other countries in the past 20 years. In my opinion, not much has changed in regards to the United States and how it relates to other countries in the past 20 years. The United States still has its special interests in other countries as it did 20 years ago and they still in the name of these special interests manipulate the American people in order to get what they want in these countries. For example, when President Bush wanted to go into Iraq because of special interest (oil) he told the American people that there were weapons of mass destruction, which was false.
According to Neutharth (2011), “The Iraq War, of course, should never have happened. President Bush — misled mostly by Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — invaded that country under the false pretense that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction. Not a sign of any was ever found. ” Almost a decade later, Obama has assured the American people that our troops will be out of Iraq by year-end.
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