Case #966.0

The Greek Crisis and the Truman Doctrine: A Rationale for Intervention

Publication Date: January 01, 1990
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This case synopsizes the story of the 1947 US decision to provide aid to the government of Greece in its efforts to defeat a communist insurgency. There was little dispute within the Truman administration that such aid was of crucial importance, notwithstanding isolationist sentiment in Congress in the wake of World War II. The fall of the Greek parliamentary democracy to communist guerillas threatened to allow the Soviet Union to dominate southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The future of western European democracy in the wake of such events was by no means assured. There was dispute, however, as to the nature of the rationale which the Truman administration should advance in support of the US aid package. Should the aid be linked to specific but limited American strategic goals? Or should it be justified by a broader "Truman Doctrine," framed in moral terms as support for those seeking freedom anywhere in the world? The issue divided President Truman from key foreign policy analyst George Kennan.

Other Details

Case Author:
David Fairman
Faculty Lead:
Dennis Thompson
Pages (incl. exhibits):