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Greece and Turkey, formerly assisted by Britain, now found themselves about to be cut loose. The retreating Germans left Greece extremely crippled, destroying all the communications systems, sinking 90 % of the merchant marine, and burning around a thousand villages to the ground2. The Greek government found themselves left with a failing country, whose people were dying of malnourishment, and they had no supplies or the means to obtain those supplies to aid the people. In fact, even prior to the war, Greece was only able to provide enough for the country through massive imports. After the war, there was nothing but devastation.
In addition, during the war, the country had been subjected to several guerrilla attacks, and these continued afterwards as well. The movement was predominantly Communist -led and after some protracted discussion, the communist -led EAM movement was allowed a few seats in government. However, this did not work out as hoped, and over the next few years, Greece fell into political instability, which, Britain and the U.S. felt was mainly, the responsibility of the communists. Though Turkey was not as badly off as her neighbor Greece, both the Allies felt the danger of the spread of Communism and believed if Greece fell then her neighbor would too, and Britain requested that the United States contribute towards maintaining economic and military stability in the country3. America in particular, felt the danger in Communism, linking it to the Soviet Union, and felt that allowing it to spread in Greece and Turkey could mean allowing the Soviet Union and Communists to gather greater power all along Asia, stretching all the way up to India - the domino theory; if one falls, they all fall, one after the other.
Addressing Congress with this scenario, President Truman requested 400 million dollars in aid for these countries, stating the danger of allowing communism to spread and advocated the intervention by America into other countries affairs to prevent a threat to themselves later. He also requested that American experts be sent there to supervise the distribution of aid. He said:
"One of the primary objectives of the foreign policy of the United States is the creation of conditions in which we and other nations will be able to work out a way of life free from coercion. This was a fundamental issue in the war with Germany and Japan. Our victory was won over countries which sought to impose their will, and their way of life, upon other nations"4
The speech, which also said : "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way. I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes." called for the country's greater involvement in the United Nations.
One of the major outcomes of this speech and the doctrine is that it shaped America's foreign policy for the years to follow. After rescuing Greece economically, America has subsequently given aid to many countries torn by civil wars for example Indonesia5, and notably, Vietnam6. Vietnam especially is obvious for America's fight against communism. However this policy has also led to America becoming ...Show more


On March 12th, 1947, President Harry Truman addressed the Congress on a matter which changed America's foreign policy completely. Previously the United States had always preferred to be uninvolved in other countries internal affairs - an isolationist policy1…
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