The Cold War was a period of “ideological struggle” (Foner 720) between the communist Soviet Union and the twelve countries of NATO (Foner 713). Both sides of the war sought to spread principles of their governments to surrounding areas of the world, and the east was in danger of falling completely under communist influence. The Soviet Union threatened to “expand their power throughout the world” (Foner 710), and the United States seized much of the responsibility to prevent this expansion. Following World War II, countries such as Greece and Turkey needed aid in reconstructing destruction caused by the war. During this time, Greece was threatened by a “communist-led rebellion” (Foner 711), which consisted of “terrorist activities of several thousand armed men” (Truman Doctrine). The danger of Turkey was mostly due to its location; Turkey links the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and the Soviets wanted control of this area (Foner 711). In 1947, Great Britain announced that it could not provide “military and financial aid” to Greece and Turkey any longer due to economical distress following the war (Foner 710, 711). The United Nations w...
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...is speech by saying that without aid, the hurting countries would lose hope, making them vulnerable to communist influence; it was the sole responsibility of the United States to assist Greece and Turkey (Truman Doctrine).
The Truman Doctrine set a precedent for American foreign policy and aiding anticommunist countries (Foner 711). Without help, countries such as Greece and Turkey would have been subjected to the influence of the Soviet Union, thus promoting the expansion of communism throughout the world. The war of contrasting ideology could have ended much differently if the United States had denied assistance to other anticommunist regimes. Harry Truman’s speech succeeded in persuading both sides of the bipartisan Congress in providing assistance to Greece and Turkey (Foner 711), thus supporting the policy of containment and preventing the spread of communism.
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