Amira El Hamady
3 August 2018
The Truman Doctrine is a speech that was delivered by president Harry S. Truman before a joint session of congress on March 12, 1947. This speech was a result of George Kennan’s ‘long telegram’ that was sent in 1946. In this telegram, he outlined that Soviet power was developing, and that the only was to stop Russian ‘salami tactics’ was by following containment’s policy. Another reason for the speech was the announcement of the British Government that it would no longer provide military aid to the Greek Government in its civil war. With the Truman Doctrine, Truman clarified that the United States would provide political, military and economic aid to all nations that were being threatened by external or internal forces.
Truman starts his speech by introducing the idea that if America let one country fall to communism then, all the countries that are around would follow this. He asked the congress to provide assistance of $400,000,000 to both Turkish and Greek governments. He continues his speech by justifying his requests on two foundations. Firstly, if the Greek government lost the war against the communism, this would put the political stability in Turkey in danger and this would weaken the political stability in the middle east. Eventually, U.S. national security would be affected. Secondly, the United States should support “free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” In addition to this, he argued that the United States could no longer allow the growth of Soviet communism into free nations. He ended his speech by stating clearly that he believed that it’s a duty for the congress to help people to choose their future the way they want and that the congress’s help should be both financially and economically as they are important basics for economic strength.
This was a very powerful and serious speech. Through the speech, Truman expressed his level of concerns regarding the growth of communism’s threat to the future of the United States as well as its role as a democratic global leader. Also, he was trying to outline the idea that this issue was involved the congress and that is why he ended his speech by saying “I am confident that the Congress will face these responsibilities squarely.” This was a way of telling that he has done his part by informing them that there was a real danger and what he thought they should do. Moreover, he wanted the congress to understand the Soviet threat and what might happen if they did not do something about it. Overall, this was so powerful, and Truman succeeded to frighten congress by clarifying the nature of the threats that the country was facing, and this pushed them to take steps and try to keep unstable and persuadable countries from turning to communism. In conclusion, it can be said that the entire speech was written to ask the congress to join Truman in trying to protect these “responsibilities.”
Amira El Hamady