The Significance of Truman Doctrine for International Relations

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During World War 2, oil had a vital role in modern warfare and economic and political life, but it was realized that the US self-sufficiency in oil1soon could come to an end. This convinced private and public1decision-makers that the United States “must have extraterritorial petroleum reserves to guard against the day when our steadily increasing demand can no longer be met by our domestic supply.” (D. Painter, p. 2). The United States is one the greatest consumer of petroleum in the world. The departments of state, defense and interior outlined the1“Security and International Issues Arising from the Current Situation in Petroleum” stating that there are only two known areas1which can supply the import requirements for petroleum1in the other countries of the free world which are the Middle East and largely Venezuela in the Caribbean area (D. Painter, p. 11).

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The Truman Doctrine speech was important as this was the first time the US began to consider the Middle East as a region of strategic importance. The Truman Doctrine meant that the US would provide political, military economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces. The Truman Doctrine has its origin from a speech made by US President Harry S. Truman in 1947,1which effectively reoriented US foreign policy from avoiding conflict and withdrawal from foreign regions to intercept and possible intervention in global conflicts (The Truman Doctrine, 1947). The reason for the doctrine was a statement made by the British government, that it would no longer provide military and economic assistance to Greece and its civil war against the Greek Communist Party. The US government feared that the Soviet Union supported the Greek Communist war effort and therefore wanted to prevent it by providing military personnel and equipment to the region. The argument was that a communist victory in Greece would endanger the political stability,1which would undermine the political stability of the Middle East (The Truman Doctrine, 1947).

Economic ties and political interests inclined the United States1to support the British and was a key element of US foreign policy,1especially in the Middle East,1which was an area considered to be of British military and1political responsibility (D. Painter).1The democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddeq wanted to nationalize the oil owned by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, AIOC, from Great Britain. The US, however, did not have much sympathy with Great Britain in the region,1but feared that the actions for reverse nationalization1could lead the loss of Iran to the Soviets. The nationalization of the oil in Iran threatened the major elements of US foreign policy; to maintain stability and Western orientation of the Middle East (D. Painter). During the 1940s, US foreign policy towards Iran therefore changed to be a concern of Iranian independence due to fear of Soviet expansion of the Middle East.

However, relatively newly released declassified1documents describe in detail how the US,1with British help, engineered a coup against1Mohammad Mosaddeq. For the first time,1the CIA has publicly admitted that it was behind the coup in 1953 against1Iran's democratically elected prime minister (The Guardian). The documents also demonstrate how the British was trying to avoid information getting released displaying its own involvement of the overthrow. The ultimate plot was about oil in the region. Britain considered Mosaddeq as a serious threat to its strategic and economic interest, since the democratic elected prime minister nationalized the oil, essentially taking back control of their oil from the British company, AIOC. Britain then asked US for help which eventually lead to the over trough of the prime minister of Iran (Foreign Policy). After the coup the United States provided substantial1assistance to Iran since of the established royal dictatorship,1and thus marked the first step towards the rupture1of US-Iran relations that would come with the revolution of 1978-79 (D. Painter, p. 20).

Historically nations have created false flags to justify a war or an invasion, e.g. Operation Northwoods, an American plan signed by the Defense General Lyman Lemnitzer to legitimize an attack against the socialist Cuba in 1962. The plan was to create a false flag, meaning a terror attack which the US’ government should perform against its own bases and troupes. This however, got rejected by John F. Kennedy and therefore never got completed. A side note is that Kennedy got murdered a year later.

The terror attacks on September 11th, 2001 on US soil prompted George W. Bush to declare a global ‘war on terror’. A secret blueprint, called the Project for the New American Century, for US global domination reveals1that the Bush cabinet were planning a premediated1attack on Iraq to secure1‘regime change’ even before he took power in1January 2001. The agenda was to take military control of the Gulf region even if Saddam Hussein was in power or not: “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein” (

Furthermore, the document calls for the US to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars” and further states “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. One year to the month the US had what George Bush1at that time called “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century” ( This justified the ongoing ‘war on terror’ and changes in society that has gone on ever since.

An interview in 2007 with General Wesley Clark (Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000) further supports this agenda in the Middle East. About a week after 9/11, 20th September, General Wesley Clark got told that the Pentagon made the decision to go war with Iraq. A few weeks later he went back to the office, and at that time the US were bombing in Afghanistan. He got told through a memo, the plan to take over 7 countries in 5 years “starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran” ( The George W. Bush1administration made a false accusation that the Iraq1government had Weapons of Mass1Destruction which led to a US invasion eventually toppling1Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Since the attack on US soil in 2001 that shocked the whole world, constant regime changes in the Middle East has followed through a series of justifications. It has never, and still does not matter which president that is in the cabinet in the US or which prime minister is located at Downing Street. With George W. Bush and Tony Blair in the seat, lies about WMD in Iraq were told to the world, Barack Obama and David Cameron and the attempt to ‘protect civilians’ in Libya against Qaddafi’s forces by issuing ‘a no fly-zone’ and alleged chemical weapons used on the population of Syria by Bashar al-Assad, and at the moment Donald Trump and mainly Theresa May providing sanctions against Iran, Trump tearing up the nuclear deal after the Obama administration reached an agreement, and many excuses to go to war with Iran, e.g. an attack against a British oil tanker, shooting down US drones in their own military area and now drone attacks against the biggest Saudi oil company which the US and others say came from Iran ( The attacks on Saudi Arabia owned oil company has meant even greater sanctions against Iran in recent weeks meaning high inflation rate in the country impacting the ordinary Iranian. A rational argument is that the plan to take over Iran has been planned for many years. Highlighting the interview with General Wesley Clark and the US plan to “take out 7 countries in 5 years”, and the other information, the agenda in the Middle East and against Iran has been public ever since.

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