The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy to stop Soviet imperialism during the Cold War. It was announced to Congress by President Harry S. Truman on March 12, 1947 when he pledged to contain Soviet threats to Greece and Turkey. No American military force was involved; instead Congress appropriated a free gift of financial aid to support the economies and the militaries of Greece and Turkey. More generally, the Truman doctrine implied American support for other nations threatened by Soviet communism. The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of American foreign policy, and led in 1949 to the formation of NATO, a full-fledged military alliance that is in effect this day. Historians often use Truman's speech to date the start of the Cold War.

Truman told Congress that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." Truman reasoned, because these "totalitarian regimes" coerced "free peoples", they represented a threat to international peace and the national security of the United States. Truman made the plea amid the crisis of the Greek Civil War (1946–49). He argued that if Greece and Turkey did not

receive the aid that they urgently needed, they would inevitably fall to communism with grave consequences throughout the region. Because Turkey and Greece were historic rivals, it was necessary to help both equally, even though the threat to Greece was more immediate. Eric Foner argues, the Truman Doctrine "set a precedent for American assistance to anticommunist regimes throughout the world, no matter how undemocratic, and for the creation of a set of global military alliances directed against the Soviet Union."
For years Britain had supported Greece, but was now near bankruptcy and was forced to radically reduce its involvement. In February 1947, Britain formally requested the United States take over its role in supporting the Greek government. The policy won the support of Republicans who controlled Congress and involved sending $400 million in American money, but no military forces, to the region. The effect was to end the Communist threat, and in 1952 both Greece and Turkey joined NATO, a military alliance that guaranteed their protection.
The Doctrine was informally extended to become the basis of American Cold War policy throughout Europe and around the world. It shifted American foreign policy toward the Soviet Union from détente (a relaxation of tension) to a policy of containment of Soviet expansion as advocated by diplomat George Kennan. It avoided the policy of rollback because it implicitly tolerated the previous Soviet takeovers in Eastern Europe.

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  • 1. [Containment] Containment is a military strategy to stop the expansion of an enemy. It is best known as the Cold War policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism abroad. A component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet Union
  • 2. [George F. Kennan] George Frost Kennan (February 16, 1904 – March 17, 2005) was an American diplomat and historian. He was known best as an advocate of a policy of containment of Soviet expansion during the Cold War on which he later reversed himself. He lectured widely and wrote scholarly histories of the relations between USSR and the United States. He was also one of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".
  • 3. [Marshall Plan] The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion (approximately $120 billion in current dollar value) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II. The plan was in operation for four years beginning
  • 4. [Turkey–United States relations] Turkey–United States relations in the post-World War II period evolved from the Second Cairo Conference in December 1943 and Turkey's entrance into World War II on the side of the Allies in February 1945, as a result of which Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after the war
  • 5. [Turkish Straits] The Turkish Straits (Turkish: Türk Boğazları) are a series of waterways in Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea (and hence the Mediterranean) to the Black Sea. They consist of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus, all part of the sovereign sea territory of Turkey and subject to the regime of internal waters. They
  • 6. [Arthur H. Vandenberg] Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg (March 22, 1884 – April 18, 1951) was a Republican Senator from the U.S. state of Michigan who participated in the creation of the United Nations. He is best known for leading the Republican Party from a foreign policy of isolationism to one of internationalism, and supporting the Cold War, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO.
  • 7. [Robert A. Taft] Robert Alphonso Taft (September 8, 1889 – July 31, 1953) was a conservative American politician, statesman, and presidential hopeful who served as a United States Senator from Ohio from 1939 until his death in 1953. A member of the Republican Taft political family, he was the elder son of William Howard Taft (the 27th President of the United States and 10th Chief Justice of the United States).
  • 8. [Multi-party period of the Republic of Turkey] The multi-party period of the Republic of Turkey started with the establishment of the opposition Liberal Republican Party (Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası) by Ali Fethi Okyar in 1930 after President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk asked Okyar to establish the party in order to switch to multi-party democracy in Turkey. It was soon closed by the Republican People's Party government, however, when Atatürk found the party to be too influenced by Islamist-oriented reactionary elements.
  • 9. [Greece–United States relations] Greek-American relations refer to bilateral relations between Greece and the United States of America.
    Due to the strong political, cultural and religious ties between the two nations, Greece and the United States today enjoy excellent diplomatic relations and consider each other a friendly nation. Both countries are members of several international organizations such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and NATO, and both are founding members of the United Nations.
  • 10. [Communist Party of Greece] The Communist Party of Greece (Greek: Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas, KKE) is a Marxist–Leninist political party in Greece. Founded in 1918 as the Socialist Labour Party of Greece, it is the oldest party in the Greek political scene. It is one of the most important communist parties in the Western world and at the same time one of the most hardline.
  • 11. [Greek Civil War] The Greek Civil War (Greek: ο Eμφύλιος [Πόλεμος], "the Civil War") was fought from 1946–49 between the Greek government army—backed by Great Britain and the United States—and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), the military branch of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), backed by Yugoslavia and Albania as well as Bulgaria. The result was the
  • 12. [Détente] Détente (French pronunciation: ​[detɑ̃t], meaning "relaxation") is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation.
  • 13. [Greek legislative election, 1946] Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on 31 March 1946. The result was a victory for the United Alignment of Nationalists, an alliance that included the People's Party, the National Liberal Party, the Reform Party, which won 206 of the 354 seats in Parliament. As a result Konstantinos Tsaldaris became Prime Minister leading a right-wing
  • 14. [National Liberation Front (Greece)] The National Liberation Front (Greek: Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο, Ethniko Apeleftherotiko Metopo, EAM) was the main movement of the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. Its main driving force was the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), but its membership throughout the Occupation period included several other leftist and republican groups.
  • 15. [Domino effect] A domino effect or chain reaction is the cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events. The term is best known as a mechanical effect, and is used as an analogy to a falling row of dominoes. It typically refers to a linked sequence of events where the time between
  • 16. [Adnan Menderes] Adnan Menderes (Turkish: [adˈnan mendeˈɾes]; 1899 – 17 September 1961) or Ali Adnan Ertekin Menderes was the Turkish Prime Minister between 1950–1960. He was one of the founders of the Democrat Party (DP) in 1946, the fourth legal opposition party of Turkey. He was hanged by the military junta after the 1960 coup d'état, along
  • 17. [Harry S. Truman] Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–53). As the final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the Allies successfully concluded World War II; in the aftermath of the conflict, tensions with the Soviet Union increased, marking the start of the Cold War.
  • 18. [Quarantine Speech] The Quarantine Speech was given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on October 5, 1937 in Chicago, calling for an international "quarantine of the aggressor nations" as an alternative to the political climate of American neutrality and non-intervention that was prevalent at the time. The speech intensified America's isolationist mood, causing protest by non-interventionists and
  • 19. [Democrat Party (Turkey, historical)] The Democrat Party (Turkish: Demokrat Parti, DP for short) was a Turkish moderately right-wing political party, and the country's third legal opposition party, after the Liberal Republican Party (Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası) established by Ali Fethi Okyar in 1930, and the National Development Party (Milli Kalkınma Partisi) established by Nuri Demirağ in 1945. Founded and led
  • 20. [Josip Broz Tito] Josip Broz Tito (Cyrillic: Јосип Броз Тито, pronounced [jǒsip brôːz tîto]; born Josip Broz 7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1943 until his death in 1980. During World War II he was the leader of the Partisans, often regarded as the most effective
  • 21. [Cold War] The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact).
  • 22. [NATO]
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO /ˈnt/; French: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense
  • 23. [Bipartisanship] Bipartisanship is a political situation, especially in the context of a two-party system, as is the case for countries such as the United States, in which opposing political parties find common ground through compromise, in theory. This is in contrast to partisanship, where an individual or political party only adheres to their interests without compromise.
  • 24. [Franklin D. Roosevelt] Franklin Delano Roosevelt (/ˈrzəvəlt/, his own pronunciation, or /ˈrzəvɛlt/) (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he won a record four elections and served from March 1933 to his death
  • 25. [Pincer movement] The pincer movement, or double envelopment, is a military maneuver in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks (sides) of an enemy formation. The name comes from visualizing the action as the split attacking forces "pinching" the enemy.
  • 26. [Communism] In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production, absence of social classes, money, and the state.
  • 27. [Black Sea] The Black Sea is a sea between Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus, and drains through the Mediterranean into the Atlantic Ocean, via the Aegean Sea and various straits. The Bosphorus Strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the Strait of the Dardanelles connects that
  • 28. [Soviet Union] The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; IPA: [sɐˈjus sɐˈvʲɛtskʲɪx sətsɨəlʲɪsˈtʲitɕɪskʲɪx rʲɪˈspublʲɪk]) abbreviated to USSR (Russian: СССР, tr. SSSR) or shortened to the Soviet Union (Russian: Сове́тский Сою́з, tr. Sovetskij Soyuz; IPA: [sɐ'vʲetskʲɪj sɐˈjʉs]), was a Marxist–Leninist state on the Eurasian continent that existed between 1922
  • 29. [Greece] Greece (/ɡrs/ GREESS; Greek: Ελλάδα, Elláda [eˈlaða]), officially the Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία, Ellīnikī́ Dīmokratía [eliniˈci ðimokraˈti.a]  listen ) and known since ancient times as Hellas (/ˈhɛləs/; Greek: Ελλάς, Ellás), is a country located in southeastern Europe. According to the 2011 census, Greece's population is around 10.8 million. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki, which is the second largest city and it is commonly referred to as the co-capital.
  • 30. [Mediterranean Sea] The Mediterranean Sea (/ˌmɛdɪtəˈrniən/; Italian: Mare Mediterraneo or Mar Mediterraneo [mar mediterˈraːneo]; Arabic: البحر الابيض المتوسطal-Baḥr al-abyaḍ al-Mutawassiṭ; Modern Greek: Μεσόγειος Θάλασσα [meˈsoʝos ˈθalasa]; French: Mer Méditerranée [mɛʁ mediteʁane]; Spanish: Mar Mediterráneo [mar meðiteˈraneo]; Latin: Mare Nostrum) is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed
  • 31. [Republican Party (United States)] The Republican Party, commonly referred to as the GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival the Democratic Party.
  • 32. [Europe] Europe (/ˈjʊərəp/ or /ˈjɜrəp/) is a continent that comprises the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia. It is generally divided from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the Bosporus waterway connecting the Black and Aegean Seas.
  • 33. [United States] The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (U.S.) or America, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is located in the northwestern part of
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