U. S. Foreign Policy, the "Third Force," and European Union: Eisenhower and Europe's Neutrals

By Ruddy, T. Michael | The Midwest Quarterly, Autumn 2000 | Go to article overview

U. S. Foreign Policy, the "Third Force," and European Union: Eisenhower and Europe's Neutrals


Ruddy, T. Michael, The Midwest Quarterly


IN JANUARY 1995, Austria, Finland, and Sweden--all former Cold War neutrals--were admitted as full members of the European Union. Europeans hailed their admission as another milestone on the road to integration, yet it attracted scant attention in the United States. From an historical perspective, however, it should have attracted American attention. For this development is as much a legacy of America's Cold War endeavor to forge close political and economic ties between these neutrals and America's European allies as it is a tribute to Europe's determined effort at union.

In the past, historians have often tended to view virtually all of America's foreign policy decisions following World War II through the prism of the Cold War. Fear of Soviet communism, from this perspective, overrode more reasonable, realistic assessments of the international situation, contributing to policy decisions that aggravated the Soviet-American rivalry, tended to ignore the interests of the lesser nations, sometimes worked to the advantage of the Soviet Union, and nearly always were short-sighted in their evaluation of American interests. Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency has been particularly vulnerable to such accusations. However, a close examination of the American policy toward Europe's neutrals during these years belies this viewpoint.

Originally conceived during the 1950s as a means of promoting western collective security, America's neutral policy survived as a blueprint for European relationships in the post-Cold War era. A consideration of the rationale for and implementation of this policy, especially as it applied to Austria, Finland, and Sweden, contributes to the growing appreciation among historians of the Eisenhower administration's long-range impact on America's international relations. In recent years, the old perception of Eisenhower's administration as so preoccupied combating the Soviet threat that it was either blind to or ignored international realities has been challenged by a growing historical record documenting a more pragmatic and complex foreign policy. An examination of the U.S.-neutral relationship reinforces this new historical perspective and at the same time exposes a policy tailored to both the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.

America's stance with regard to Europe's neutrals was in a state of flux during Harry S. Truman's presidency, slowly evolving away from a stubborn insistence that states choose between the U.S. or Soviet camps toward a recognition of neutrality as an acceptable, or at least tolerable, third option. This trend culminated and was formalized during Eisenhower's tenure in office. As with most policies at the time, its principal motivation was to contain Soviet communism, but as it took shape, policymakers conceded that there was little chance of swaying these neutrals from their independent course. Consequently, they adopted a consistent plan of action, grounded in a pragmatic assessment of and respect for the neutral stance. This was merged with America's persistent support for an integrated Europe to fashion an effective system of collective security.

From the time he assumed office in 1953, Eisenhower committed himself to strengthening the collective security system Truman had inaugurated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization both by expanding the number of nations identifying with the West and by augmenting European economic and political cohesion as a complement to military preparedness. In effect, Eisenhower set out to broaden the scope of collective security. Aside from West Germany, the neutrals were the prime targets. Obviously, they would reject alliance membership, but if their economic and political interests paralleled the West's, collective security would be reinforced indirectly. Policymakers, therefore, strove to devise a working relationship with these neutrals.

This was a difficult task since Cold War animosities often engendered a distrust of nations--like the neutrals--with contrary agendas. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

U. S. Foreign Policy, the "Third Force," and European Union: Eisenhower and Europe's Neutrals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.