Asked in History of the United StatesPolitics and GovernmentCold WarHarry Truman
Why was the Truman doctrine anything to do with the cold war?
July 12, 2009 6:07PM
President Truman believed the US needed more than a "get tough on the Russians" policy following the war. Russia's history was one of expansion as much as possible and the Soviet Union was following that same idea. Because of the desire of the Soviets to expand westward, and the fact that Stalin had a pathological mistrust of the US, it would be impossible to come to a peaceful settlement with the Soviets. Thus, the policy of containment, developed by George F. Kennan of the State Department, was adopted by the Truman administration. The policy would allow communism where it already existed, but would use all force necessary to prevent any further expansion. In other words, communism would be "contained" where it presently existed. Because of Russian expansion to the west, a policy carried on by the Soviets, it would be impossible to come to a quick settlement with Stalin, following the Second World War. Since the Russians would test the US by a cautious expansion and not start a major war, Truman developed the Truman Doctrine, with the aid of George Kennan. This Doctrine provided military and financial aid to all the nations that agreed to resist any attempt by Russia to take them over. It was first applied in Greece and Turkey.