Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War, 1945-1950

By Robert A. Pollard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE: GREECE, TURKEY, IRAN, AND U.S. INTERESTS IN THE NEAR EAST

THE SPECTER OF failure haunted American foreign policymakers at the beginning of 1947. The extensive cooperation with the Soviet Union that American leaders had foreseen late in the war seemed an impossible dream less than two years later, and America's main allies in Europe were in desperate trouble. Britain and France, the expected pillars of economic strength and political stability in Western Europe, had plunged into a deep recession while Germany remained in ruins.

Few Americans, however, cared about the plight of Europe. The mood of the country favored budget cuts and retrenchment in foreign policy. As the Republican-controlled 80th Congress assembled in Washington in January 1947, the White House faced stubborn resistance to any new ventures in foreign policy. Even if Americans had been less weary of international problems, the Truman administration had yet to devise a comprehensive program for European reconstruction. And before they could tackle European problems, American policymakers had to confront a series of crises in the Near East.


The Iranian and Turkish Straits Crises, 1945-1946

American involvement in the Near and Middle East had been limited before the war, but this would quickly change as the strategic and economic importance of the region's oil reserves became apparent. The Allies' ability to control most of the world's oil resources had been a significant ingredient in the victory over the Axis. Yet the vastly in-

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