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The Cold War, The Truman Doctrine

Foreign Affairs magazine, George Kennan, Soviet power, Truman Doctrine, resistance movement

In 1947 the Cold War conflict centered on Greece, where a Communist-led resistance movement, supported by the USSR and Communist Yugoslavia, threatened to overthrow the Greek monarchical government, supported by Britain. When the British declared that they were unable to aid the imperiled Greek monarchists, the United States acted. In March 1947 the president announced the Truman Doctrine: The United States would help stabilize legal foreign governments threatened by revolutionary minorities and outside pressures. Congress appropriated $400 million to support anti-Communist forces in Turkey and Greece. By giving aid, the United States signaled that it would bolster regimes that claimed to face Communist threats. As George Kennan explained in an article in Foreign Affairs magazine in 1947, “containment” meant using “unalterable counterforce at every point” until Soviet power ended or faded.

In 1947 the United States further pursued its Cold War goals in Europe, where shaky postwar economies seemed to present opportunities for Communist gains. The American Marshall Plan, an ambitious economic recovery program, sought to restore productivity and prosperity to Europe and thereby prevent Communist inroads. The plan ultimately pumped more than $13 billion into western European economies, including occupied Germany. Stalin responded to the new U.S. policy in Europe by trying to force Britain, France, and the United States out of Berlin. The city was split between the Western powers and the USSR, although it was deep within the Soviet zone of Germany. The Soviets cut off all access to Berlin from the parts of Germany controlled by the West. Truman, however, aided West Berlin by airlifting supplies to the city from June 1948 to May 1949.



Article key phrases:

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