The importance of foreign policy of a country cannot be gainsaid as far as the stability and economic well being of the country is concerned. This is especially considering the interconnectedness of countries, where it has been recognized that countries cannot live in isolation, rather they have to interact and depend on other countries and collaborate with them on varied issues. However, there are varied threats that the United States has come across in its history, which have necessitated a change in its foreign policy, as well as specific spelling of the same (Ferrell, 2006). These are, essentially, presidential doctrines, which reveal the United States attitudes in its approaches and dealings with its political goals, as well as approaches against foreign military and national economic policies (Jeffery, 2000). A large number of presidential doctrines were made during the Cold War and, in fact, are related with the same, while others are a reflection of the problems, as well as emerging problems pertaining to their time (Ferrell, 2006). Indeed, they underline a foreign policy ideology that is more consistently applied at a given time, as was the case for the Truman’s Doctrine.
The Truman Doctrine was crafted in an effort to curb the likelihood of a communist insurgency in Turkey and Greece (Jeffery, 2000). In the doctrine, President Truman requested the United States Congress to offer economic and military aid amounting to $400 million, so as to curb this insurgency. The doctrine was based on the requests by England, which, after being considerably weakened by the two World Wars, had abandoned its commitment to Turkey and Greece (Jeffery, 2000). In this regard, it urged the United States to step in and save the two countries from being subverted into communism. In this regard, President Truman, in 1947 lobbied the United States Congress to come to the aid of the two Mediterranean countries through the provision of $400 million (Jeffery, 2000). The statement used in justifying the doctrine, as Truman told the Congress, was that that the United States must have the policy for supporting free people that are resisting any attempts of subjugation by armed minorities, or even outside pressure.
A large number of studies pertaining to the relations between the United States and Greece focus primarily on the Cold War period after the Truman Doctrine. However, the two countries interacted on a number of fronts prior to the world war. The interest of the United States on Greece has been longstanding, although it has primarily been on the unofficial and informal level (Ferrell, 2006). Prior to the cold enunciation of the doctrine, the United States government had not been in active support of the Greek efforts. Indeed, the American philhellenes had been in support of attempts to protect and achieve Greek autonomy (Smuckler, 2001). They viewed contemporary Greece as an embodiment of virtues pertaining to its classical counterpart (republicanism, freedom of thought, human dignity, and knowledge among others), and worked in a diligent albeit unsuccessful manner to push policymakers in the United States to enhanced official concern for and interest in Greece (Jeffery, 2000). Scholars have noted that pre-Cold War intervention by the United States in Greek affairs was primarily motivated by perceived associations among the Greek and American political cultures (Bostdorff, 2008). The American Philhellenes felt that they were indebted to ancient Greece especially with regard to their democratic institutions, in which case they believes that they have a duty and obligation to impart the blessing pertaining to liberal and free institutions in Greece, as they considered this to be the land where these ideals had initially been conceived (Smuckler, 2001). The two countries had fought together in the World Wars, had similar ideals and had participated in NAT, the OSCE, as well as other international treaties that have formed strong basis for strategic cooperation between the two countries (Bostdorff, 2008). Underlining this cooperation is the fact that the United States has maintained Naval Support Activity in Souda bay in Crete, which underlines intense military cooperation. On the same note, Greek citizens are allowed to visit the United States for professional reasons and tourism without necessarily having a visa (Smuckler, 2001). The European Union- United States relations in the framework of Transatlantic Dialogue encompass a wide range of commercial, political and economic issues, not to mention institutionalized contacts, security issues, as well as coordination on varied levels (Smuckler, 2001). On the same note, the two countries have been undertaking government-to-government level interactions, especially considering the high-level Greece-United States Economic and Commercial Cooperation Committee (ECCC), which has become a strategic tool for the two sides to enhance their trade flows and bilateral economic cooperation (Bostdorff, 2008). Indeed, efforts are being undertaken in the business sector to enhance B2B cooperation between the two countries with the aim of facilitating or allowing for the access of enhanced markets in the Middle East, Southern Europe, Black Sea and Caucasian Region. This has been beneficial to the two countries as it has leveraged the United States business and technological leading edge, as well as Greece’s strategic geo-economic position (Spalding, 2006). All these elements of collaboration had their foundations formed by the Truman doctrine, which allowed for enhanced participation of the United States in Greece’s affairs.
The Truman Doctrine had far-reaching effects on the United States, as well as the global affairs. First, it defined the manner in which the United States and other countries under the United Nations approach foreign interventions (Bostdorff, 2008). The doctrine argued that failure to secure the welfare and stability of people in any part of the world would, essentially, be endangering the welfare and stability of the free world (Spalding, 2006). This line of thinking was instrumental in the formation of the United Nations, which has underlined the fact that local threats come with worldwide consequences.
In addition, the Truman Doctrine acknowledged the fact that foreign interventions were joint military, political and economic ventures. It underlined the fact that foreign interventions did not necessarily have to be reliant on military action (Bostdorff, 2008). Today, countries such as United States, and European countries have adopted economic and political sanctions as part of their foreign policy, thereby allowing for their achievement of international goals without the use of coercion or violence (Spalding, 2006).
Moreover, the Doctrine cemented the place of the United States in the frontline in the international community (Spalding, 2006). The country’s leadership is extremely crucial in spreading democracy, prosperity and peace around the globe. It is, therefore, no wonder that the United States has been intervening in varied countries even without the participation of the United Nations.
Bostdorff, D. M. (2008). Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine: The Cold War call to arms. College Station: Texas A & M University Press.
Ferrell, R. H. (2006). Harry S. Truman and the Cold War revisionists. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.
Jeffery, J. S. (2000). Ambiguous commitments and uncertain policies: The Truman Doctrine in Greece, 1947-1952. Lanham: Lexington Books.
Smuckler, R. H. (2001). The Truman Doctrine in Greece.
Spalding, E. E. (2006). The first cold warrior: Harry Truman, containment, and the remaking of liberal internationalism. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
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