New Military Alliances

The Truman Doctrine

President Harry S Truman of the United States, alarmed by the British withdrawal and the possibility of Soviet expansion into the eastern Mediterranean, responded in early 1947 with the Truman Doctrine. The Truman Doctrine stated that the United States would provide money to countries threatened by Communist expansion.

The Marshall Plan

The Truman Doctrine was followed in June 1947 by the European Recovery Program. Proposed by General George C. Marshall, U.S. secretary of state, it is better known as the Marshall Plan. The program was designed to rebuild the prosperity and stability of war-torn Europe. It included $13 billion in aid for Europe’s economic recovery. Underlying the Marshall Plan was the belief that Communist aggression was successful in countries where there were economic problems.


In 1949, the Soviet Union responded to the Marshall Plan by founding the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance for the economic cooperation of the Eastern European states. COMECON largely failed, however, because the Soviet Union was unable to provide much financial aid.


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in April 1949 when Belgium, Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, and Iceland signed a treaty with the United States and Canada. All the powers agreed to provide mutual help if any one of them was attacked. A few years later, West Germany, Turkey, and Greece also joined.


The Warsaw Pact

In 1955, the Soviet Union joined with Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania in a formal military alliance known as the Warsaw Pact. Now, Europe was once again divided into hostile alliance systems, just as it had been before World War I.


To stem Soviet aggression in the East, the United States, Great Britain, France, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand formed the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.


The Central Treaty Organization, which included Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Great Britain, and the United States, was meant to prevent the Soviet Union from expanding to the south. By the mid-1950s, the United States found itself allied militarily with 42 states around the world.


  •  Spielvogel, Jackson. Glencoe World History. E.U.A: National Geographic, 2008. P.979.

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