Eisenhower Doctrine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Eisenhower Doctrine was a policy enunciated by Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 5, 1957, within a "Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East". Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression.[1] Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism".[2]The phrase "international communism" made the doctrine much broader than simply responding to Soviet military action. A danger that could be linked to communists of any nation could conceivably invoke the doctrine.

Background

In the global political context, the doctrine was made in response to the possibility of a generalized war, threatened as a result of the latent threat of the Soviet Union becoming involved in Egypt after the Suez Crisis. Coupled with the power vacuum left by the decline of British and French power in the region after the U.S. protested against the conduct of their allies during the Suez War, Eisenhower felt that a strong position needed to better the situation was further complicated by the positions taken by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was rapidly building a power base and using it to play the Soviets and Americans against each other, taking a position of "positive neutrality" and accepting aid from the Soviets.[3]

On the regional level, the intent was that the doctrine would help to provide the independent Arab regimes with an alternative to Nasser's political control, strengthening them while isolating communist influence through isolation of Nasser. The doctrine largely failed on that front, with Nasser's power quickly rising by 1959 to the point where he could shape the leadership outcomes in neighboring Arab countries, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia; in the meantime, Nasser's relationship with the Soviet leaders deteriorated, allowing the U.S. to switch to a policy of accommodation.

The Eisenhower Administration also saw the Middle East as being critical for future foreign policy not only regarding the United States, but also its allies. The region contains a large percentage of the world's oil reserves needed by the allies. Eisenhower's protests against longtime allies—Britain and France—during the Suez Canal Crisis meant that the U.S. was the lone western power in the Middle East and placed U.S. oil security in jeopardy as the USSR filled the power vacuum. The Eisenhower Doctrine was a backflip against the previous policy, however—the U.S. now had the burden of military action in the Middle East to itself.

The military action provisions of the doctrine were only applied in the Lebanon Crisis the following year, when the United States intervened in response to a request by that country's then President Camille Chamoun.

See also

References

  1. ^ Buescher, John. "The U.S. and Egypt in the 1950s", Teachinghistory.org, accessed August 20, 2011.
  2. ^ "The Eisenhower Doctrine, 1957"; see http://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/eisenhower-doctrine
  3. ^ Peter L. Hahn, "Securing the Middle East: The Eisenhower Doctrine of 1957." Presidential Studies Quarterly 36.1 (2006): 38-47.

Further reading

  • Hahn, Peter L. "Securing the Middle East: The Eisenhower Doctrine of 1957." Presidential Studies Quarterly 36.1 (2006): 38-47. in Questia
  • Lesch, David W. "The 1957 American-Syrian Crisis: Globalist Policy in a Regional Reality",in The Middle East and the United States: History, Politics, and Ideologies; David W. Lesch and Mark L Hass eds., Westview Press, 2013 edition, p. 111 - 127.
  • Meiertöns, Heiko (2010): The Doctrines of US Security Policy - An Evaluation under International Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-76648-7.
  • Takeyh, Ray. The Origins of the Eisenhower Doctrine: The US, Britain and Nasser's Egypt, 1953-57 (2000) in Questia
  • Yaqub, Salim. Containing Arab nationalism: the Eisenhower doctrine and the Middle East (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

External links

  • Text of the January 5, 1957 Special Message to Congress
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eisenhower_Doctrine&oldid=803979678"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_Doctrine
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Eisenhower Doctrine"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA