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Eisenhower Doctrine

In: Historical Events

Submitted By KayAngieBee1
Words 2931
Pages 12
POL 300 – International Relations
Dr. Barsegian
June 3, 2012

Eisenhower “Revised” Introduction

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) The Eisenhower Doctrine also sought to contain the radical Arab nationalism of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and to discredit his policy of "positive neutrality" in the Cold War, which held that Arab nations were entitled to enjoy profitable relations with both Cold War blocs. (Yaqub, 2003) Through economic aid, military aid, and explicit guarantees of American protection, the administration hoped to encourage such governments to side openly with the West in the Cold War, thus isolating Nasser and his regional allies, among them the Syrian government and Nasserist opposition parties in other Arab countries. (Yaqub, 2003)
American presidents have had a penchant for enunciating foreign policy "doctrines" or claiming as their own the label of "doctrine" that others have given a particular policy statement they had made. (Micheals, 2011) 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)

Eisenhower “Flawed Doctrine”

The doctrine marked America's emergence as the dominant Western power in the Middle East. (Yaqub, 2003) Although, 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) In evaluating the overall success of the Eisenhower Doctrine, one must distinguish between the policy's ultimate objective and the strategy employed to achieve that objective. (Yaqub, 2003)
One of the most important complaints was that the doctrine was too vague. Senator J. William Fulbright complained that the White House was asking for "a blank grant of power, for a blank length of time, under blank conditions with respect to blank nations in a blank area.... Who will fill in all these blanks?" (Yaqub, 2003) This was compounded by the administration's unwillingness to consistently explain how it would be employed in specific circumstances. Questions from both U.S. and non-U.S. audiences tried to seek clarification. (Micheals, 2011)
Although administration officials had originally believed that keeping the language vague would allow it more freedom of action, particularly in relation to defining which countries would be eligible for U.S. support, one of the consequences of this was that the administration gave the appearance of having an ill-defined and confused policy. (Micheals, 2011) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent Miles Copeland, writes that Nasser, who attributed the Eisenhower Doctrine solely to Dulles, saw that policy as "one of the shrewdest mistakes ever made by a Great Power diplomat." (Yaqub, 2003) Had dissenting views been taken into account, it is likely there would have been no Eisenhower doctrine, at least not in the form it took. (Micheals, 2011)

Syria “Then and Now”

Beyond Eisenhower “Syria”

Syrian-United States relations reached their nadir in December 1983, when the two nations engaged in near warfare. (Helen C. Metz) In June 1985, Syrian-United States relations improved dramatically when Syria interceded on behalf of the United States after the hijacking to Beirut of Trans World Airlines flight 847. (Helen C. Metz) Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (Syria shared intelligence on Al Qaeda with U.S. officials), U.S.-Syrian relations slightly improved. (Sharp, 2009) Syria placed the Asad regime on the defensive and, for several years, U.S. policymakers openly supported a policy of regime change in Syria. (Sharp, 2009) Relations cooled as a consequence of U.S. intervention in Iraq in 2003, declined following the imposition of U.S. economic sanctions in May 2004, and worsened further in February 2005 after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. (U.S Department of State)
Notwithstanding four decades of mutual distrust and accusations of aggression deteriorated in U.S.-Syrian bilateral relations, Syria had maintained somewhat better relations with European and Arab states. (Sharp, 2009) Following the Feb. 14, 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister and opponent of Syrian involvement in Lebanon Rafik al-Hariri, which nearly all experts believe was orchestrated at the highest levels of the Syrian government. (Nwazota, 2006) It angered France, whose former President Jacques Chirac had been a close friend of Hariri. (Nwazota, 2006)
On September 12, 2006 the U.S. Embassy was attacked by four armed assailants with guns, grenades, and a car bomb (which failed to detonate). (U.S Department of State) Syrian security forces successfully countered the attack, killing all four attackers. (U.S Department of State) Following the attack on the U.S. Embassy and Ambassador’s residence, the embassy reduced non-U.S. citizen services and instituted more stringent security procedures. (Sharp, 2009) As incitement and harassment of embassy personnel increased, U.S. officers were gradually evacuated. (Sharp, 2009)
The United States attempted to engage with Syria to find areas of mutual interest, reduce regional tensions, and promote Middle East peace. (U.S Department of State) These efforts included congressional and executive meetings with senior Syrian officials, including President Asad, and the return of a U.S. Ambassador to Damascus. (U.S Department of State) Despite signs of increased U.S. diplomatic engagement with Syria, there are several key unresolved questions facing U.S. policy. (Sharp, 2009) There is solid U.S. support for a resumption of Syrian-Israeli negotiations, are Israelis prepared to enter into a peace accord with Syria? (Sharp, 2009)

Beyond Eisenhower “Israel”

U.S.-Israeli relations have evolved from an initial American policy of sympathy and support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in 1948 to an unusual partnership that links a small but militarily powerful Israel, dependent on the United States for its economic and military strength, with the U. S. superpower trying to balance competing interests in the region. (Mark, 2002) The broad issues of Arab-Israeli peace have been a major focus in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. U.S. efforts to reach a Middle East peace settlement are based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and have been based on the premise that as Israel takes calculated risks for peace the United States will help minimize those risks. (Global Security) On a bilateral level, relations between the United States and Israel are continually strengthening in every field. In addition to the Joint Political-Military Group described above, there are: bilateral science and technology efforts (including the Binational Science Foundation and the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation); the U.S.-Israeli Education Foundation, which sponsors educational and cultural programs; the Joint Economic Development Group, which maintains a high-level dialogue on economic issues; the Joint Counterterrorism Group, designed to enhance cooperation in fighting terrorism; and a high-level Strategic Dialogue. (Global Security)
The United States-Israeli relationship, however, has not been free of friction. The United States was forced to choose between irreconcilable Israeli and Syrian ambitions. (Helen C. Metz) Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, the United States considers the Golan Heights to be occupied territory subject to negotiation; it sympathized with the Israeli concern that Syrian control of the Heights prior to 1967 provided Syria with a tactical and strategic advantage used to threaten Israel's security. (Mark, 2002) The United States disagreed with the Israeli move as a violation of international law (Article 47 of the Geneva Convention which forbids acquisition of territory by force, and U. N. Security Council Resolution 242), and as a violation of the spirit of the Camp David peace process. (Global Security) Israel has been gradually turning from a strategic asset to a burden for the United States; U.S. foreign policy now prefers a "soft power" approach and an "unwillingness to use force to solve conflicts". (Global Security)

Beyond Eisenhower “Syria and Israel”

Since the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s, the United States has strongly supported Israel but has simultaneously indicated, that it acknowledges the legitimacy of some of Syria's grievances against Israel. (Helen C. Metz) Tension remained high In the Israel-Syria sector, and from March 1974 the situation became increasingly unstable. (United Nations) Against this background, the United States undertook a diplomatic initiative, which resulted in the conclusion of an Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces. (United Nations)
After the breakdown of Syrian-Israeli negotiations, Syria’s diplomatic relations with the United States spiraled downward. (Sharp, 2009) This standoff has a bigger chance of being resolved than any other in the Middle East, and many in Washington believe that Israeli-Syrian peace could lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. (Antelava, 2009) President Assad sought to convince the United States that Syria, however intransigent its negotiating stance, should not be ignored in any comprehensive Middle East peace treaty because it could resume war with Israel and therefore exert veto power over an Arab-Israeli settlement. (Helen C. Metz) At the same time, however, Assad was convinced that the United States was indispensable in any Middle East peace because only the United States could force Israel to make concessions to the Arabs. (Helen C. Metz)

Beyond Eisenhower “Current Affairs”

An Israeli-Syrian peace holds considerable advantage for U.S. interests in the Middle East. It would remove the last of Israel’s neighboring Arab states from the conflict, helping to stabilize the region and enhancing America’s reputation as peacemaker at a time when Iran is arguing that violence and terrorism is the answer to the region’s afflictions. (Indyk, 2008) President Assad continues to assert his interest in making peace with Israel and sent an official delegation to the Annapolis peace conference. He is also careful not to provoke conflict with Israel, or even retaliate for Israel’s strike on what appears to have been a clandestine Syrian nuclear facility. (Indyk, 2008) But when it comes to real changes no-one in the Middle East is holding their breath. (Antelava, 2009)

Works Cited

Antelava, N. (2009, March 18). US-Syria relations still mired in mistrust. Retrieved June 4, 2012, from BBC News:
Chester J. Pach, J. (n.d.). American President: A Reference Resource. Retrieved May 3, 2012, from Miller Center:
Dwight D Eisenhower. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2012, from
Global Security. (n.d.). Israel - US Relations. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from Global Security:
Helen C. Metz, R. F. (n.d.). Relations with the United States. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from Syria: A Country Study:
Indyk, M. S. (2008, April 24). The Future of U.S.-Syrian Relations. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from Brookimgs:
Mark, C. R. (2002, October 2). Israeli-United States Relations. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from Almanac of Policy Issues:
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:
Nwazota, K. (2006, September 14). PBS NewsHour. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from Syria's Role in the Middle East: U.S.-Syria Relations:
Sharp, J. M. (2009, March 11). Syria: Background and U.S. Relations. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from U.S. Embassy:
U.S Department of State. (n.d.). Background Notes: Syria. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from U.S Department of State: Diplomacy in Action:
United Nations. (n.d.). UNDOF Background. Retrieved June 4, 2012, from United Nations Disengagement Observer Force:
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:
Yaqub, S. (2003). Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East . Retrieved May 31, 2012, from The University of North Carolina Press:…...

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...because it was suggested that they do so. Some found the idea of “If it’s good enough for America, it’s good enough me” to be too stifling and didn’t allow for personal individuality. In addition to the new found spending of Americans, the rise in middle class neighborhoods caused a population surge which created congestion amongst the roadways. This led to the formation of the Interstate Highway Act. This plan was 90% paid for by federal money which was garnered by the government through special taxes on cars, fuel and auto parts. Though expensive and timely to complete it did provide the benefit of allowing Americans the freedom of the open road and linked consumers to previous out of reach markets. When the recession hit, Eisenhower wanted to limit the government’s involvement while New Deal Democrats were more apt to want to stimulate the economy through tax cuts and deficit spending. By the end of his term, Eisenhower’s attempts at sustaining the economy through special plans such as the Interstate Highway Act, St. Lawrence Seaway Act and his views on Farming policies had had mixed results and were not well supported by fellow Republicans. Though he did not continue to serve in the Republican majority in Congress he did eventually gain support from the public and is still considered a top ten favorite President....

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Essay on President Eisenhower

...President Eisenhower Eisenhower’s Doctrine and Beliefs 1/23/2012 Carlos Williams | In the history of international diplomacy the appearance of the Eisenhower Doctrine was an important and life changing document. Before January of 1957 there was no such notion in the entire world; it was introduced by President Eisenhower. Before that date all countries decided for themselves what political direction they were taking and were on their own in the political world arena. By that time the Soviet Union however was a powerful and ever growing country with desires to occupy more and more territories and to control as many countries as it could. Situation in the Middle East was a very favorable one for such actions of the Soviets that only waited for a suitable moment to contribute their political domination to those territories. Most of the Middle East countries were struggling for the independence and were trying to establish self-governing systems as in developed parts of the world. In the course of the history they frequently found themselves in the middle of fighting and misunderstanding between the nations, thus it was a rough process which was still continuing. In the midst of such conditions it was understandable that those countries were a piece of cake for the Soviet Union to make them communist "believers". The problem was not only based on the Soviet's desire, but mainly on the opponent‘s inability to resist the pressure of being involved in a new......

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Kennedy Doctrine

...The Kennedy Doctrines & US Relations BY Shaconda Peterson POL 300 Instructor Dr. Angela Agboli-Esedebe Date: September 3, 2011 The Kennedy Doctrine refers to foreign policy initiatives of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, towards Latin America during his term in office between 1961 and 1963. Kennedy voiced support for the containment of Communism and the reversal of Communist progress in the Western Hemisphere. The Kennedy Doctrine was essentially an expansion of the foreign policy prerogatives of the previous administrations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman. The foreign policies of these presidents all revolved around the threat of communism and the means by which the United States would attempt to contain the spread of it. The Truman Doctrine focused on the containment of communism by providing assistance to countries resisting communism in Europe while the Eisenhower Doctrine was focused upon providing both military and economic assistance to nations resisting communism in the Middle East and by increasing the flow of trade from the United States into Latin America. The Kennedy Doctrine was based on these same objectives but was more concerned with the spread of communism and Soviet influence in Latin America following the Cuban revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power under Eisenhower during the 1950s. Some of the most notable events that stemmed from tenets of JFK’s foreign policy initiatives in......

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