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The Eisenhower Doctrine

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1074
  • Category: War

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In the United States, the term “doctrine” has been applied to a particular set of presidential statements, usually consisting only of several sentences. (Micheals, 2011)Presidential doctrines have also been defined as “a grand strategy or a master set of principles and guidelines controlling policy decisions. (Micheals, 2011)

Eisenhower “Man”
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas and raised in Kansas. He was born to a poor family and attended public schools his entire life, finally graduating high school in 1909. (Dwight D Eisenhower) Inspired by the example of a friend who was going to the U.S. Naval Academy, Eisenhower won an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. (Chester J. Pach) Many have said that Eisenhower was a born leader becoming one of America’s greatest military commanders. As early as 1943 Eisenhower was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. (Micheals, 2011) Presidents Eisenhower’ began his first term in 1952 and his first task upon assuming office was to fulfill his campaign promise to end the Korean War. (Dwight D Eisenhower) Within six months of his assuming office, an armistice agreement was signed. Eisenhower instituted a new military policy for the US Armed Forces, that policy was called the “New Look”.

Eisenhower “New Look”
Dwight D. Eisenhower brought a “New Look” to U.S. national security policy in 1953. (Chester J. Pach)The main elements of the New Look were (1) maintaining the vitality of the U.S. economy while still building sufficient strength to prosecute the Cold War; (2) relying on nuclear weapons to deter Communist aggression or, if necessary, to fight a war; (3) using the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to carry out secret or covert actions against governments or leaders “directly or indirectly responsive to Soviet control”; and (4) strengthening allies and winning the friendship of nonaligned governments. (Chester J. Pach) It envisioned smaller conventional forces, backed up by massive nuclear deterrence. (Dwight D Eisenhower) The assumption was that the United States would respond to any attack with nuclear weapons. (Dwight D Eisenhower) The goal was to keep pressure on the Soviet Union, further evidence of this goal can be found in the Eisenhower Doctrine.

Eisenhower “Doctrine”
On January 5, 1956, President Eisenhower addressed a special message to Congress on the policy of the United States in the Middle East countries. Soviet’s had intention on expanding communism to the Middle East. 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.” (United States Department of State) The U.S. House of Representatives quickly endorsed the new policy; it was not until the 9 of March, and after intense deliberation, that the Senate passed the “Middle East Resolution.” (Micheals, 2011)

The Eisenhower Administration’s decision to issue this doctrine was motivated in part by an increase in Arab hostility toward the West, and growing Soviet influence in Egypt and Syria following the Suez Crisis of 1956. (United States Department of State) Responses from the governments of the Middle East were mixed; Jordan and Lebanon welcomed the declaration, Egypt and Syria denounced it as a threat to their security, Israel responded skeptically, and Iraq and Saudi Arabia opposed a U.S. military role in the region. (“Eisenhower Doctrine.”, 2003) But, there is no evidence that Eisenhower had intended for his Middle East speech to be cast as a “doctrine,” a label that was given to the speech by the press. (Micheals, 2011) However, as will be shown, the fact that the speech was labeled a “doctrine” had important ramifications for U.S. policy that might not have existed absent the label. (Micheals, 2011)

Eisenhower “Doctrine in Practice”
The United States first invoked the Eisenhower Doctrine in the Jordanian crisis of April 1957, and again in August 1957 when a perceived Syrian‐Soviet rapprochement threatened the stability of the region. (Chambers, 2000) But the first real test of the Eisenhower Doctrine came in 1958 in Lebanon, President Camille Chamoun, requested assistance from the United States in order to prevent attacks from Chamoun’s political rivals, some of whom had communist leanings and ties to Syria and Egypt. (United States Department of State) Eisenhower responded to Chamoun’s request by sending U.S. troops into Lebanon to help maintain order. (United States Department of State) The doctrine was revoked once again; when a coup d’état in Baghdad in July 1958 threatened to spark revolution in Lebanon and Jordan.

Eisenhower ordered U.S. soldiers to occupy Beirut and transport British paratroopers to Amman, the Jordanian capital. (Boyer, 2001) Secretary of State John Foster Dulles backed away from U.S. military intervention in Jordan, stating that the United States could get away with Lebanon but that “in the other countries, the thing might blow up. (Micheals, 2011) By late 1958, officials in Washington realized that their resistance to Arab nationalism had failed to guarantee western interests in the region. (Boyer, 2001) The Eisenhower Doctrine faded as the administration adopted a policy that was more accommodating to nationalism. (Boyer, 2001) Seldom mentioned after 1958, the Eisenhower Doctrine was indicative of American preoccupation with the Cold War. (Chambers, 2000) Characterized by some historians as an extension of the Truman Doctrine, Eisenhower’s policy lent credence to the belief that the United States had assumed a global role in the preservation of regional stability and the promotion of its own national interests. (Chambers, 2000)

Works Cited

Chester J. Pach, J. (n.d.). American President: A Reference Resource. Retrieved May 3, 2012, from Miller Center: http://millercenter.org/president/eisenhower/essays/biography/5 Dwight D. Eisenhower. (2012). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/181476/Dwight-D-Eisenhower/2058/First-term-as-president Dwight D Eisenhower. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2012, from HistoryCentral.com: http://www.historycentral.com/Bio/presidents/eisenhower.html “Eisenhower Doctrine.” Dictionary of American History. 2003. Retrieved May 05, 2012 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3401801331.html John Whiteclay Chambers II. “Eisenhower Doctrine.” The Oxford Companion to American Military History. 2000. Retrieved May 05, 2012 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O126-EisenhowerDoctrine.html Micheals, J. H. (2011). Dysfunctional Doctrines? Eisenhower, Carter and U.S. Military Intervention in the Middle East. Political Science Quarterly Volume 126 Number 3 , 465-492. Retrived May 05, 2012 from EBSCO Host: https://web-ebscohost-com.libdatab.strayer.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=5abba4dd-474a-4f8a-81c3-652de161e48d%40sessionmgr111&vid=5&hid=123 Paul S. Boyer. “Eisenhower Doctrine.” The Oxford Companion to United States History. 2001. Retrieved May 06, 2012 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O119-EisenhowerDoctrine.html United States Department of State. (n.d.). Milestones: 1953-1960: The Eisenhower Doctrine, 1957. Retrieved May 5, 2012, from U.S Department of State: Office of the Historian: http://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/EisenhowerDoctrine

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