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Eisenhower Doctrine

Dwight Eisenhower

Eisenhower Doctrine: Dwight Eisenhower was the 34th American President who served in office from January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961. One of the important events during his presidency was the Eisenhower Doctrine.

Definition and Summary of the Eisenhower Doctrine
Summary and definition:
The Eisenhower Doctrine derives from a speech made to Congress on January 15,1957 by President Dwight Eisenhower in response to the Suez Crisis in which the Egyptian President Gamal Nasser had accepted aid from the USSR.

The Eisenhower Doctrine, in line with the US policy of containment, outlined the foreign policy position of the US government regarding the Middle East. It asserted that a Middle Eastern country could request U.S. military aid or economic assistance if it was under threat by armed aggression from another state controlled by international communism. The Soviet threat of communist expansion was singled out in his speech, as was the threat to the US economy and the supply of oil.

Facts about Eisenhower Doctrine
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Eisenhower Doctrine.

Background History: The Cold War (1945 - 1991) between the USA and the USSR was a period of "non-hostile belligerency" during which time the United States adopted the Policy of Containment to restrict the spread of Communism abroad.

Background History: The 1947 Truman Doctrine saw the United States pledge large amounts of economic and military aid to Europe, but the Truman Doctrine had no specific policy for other regions, like the Middle East or Asia.

Background History: In 1956 the Suez Crisis erupted when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the nationalization of the Anglo-French Suez Canal Company, and Egyptian troops seized control of the Suez Canal.

Background History: British and French troops responded to Nasser's example of Arab nationalism by invading Egypt.

Background History: The Soviet Union intervened by offering to send troops to help Egypt and by threatening rocket attacks on Great Britain and France.

Background History: America immediately went on to nuclear alert and to avoid war, pressurized Britain and France to call off the invasion. The back down significantly weakened of the position of the colonialist powers in the Middle East leaving a power vacuum in the region.

Background History: With their offer of support, the Soviets had gained an important foothold in Egypt and soon other Arab nations in the Middle East also began accepting Soviet aid.

The events during the Suez Canal Crisis meant that the U.S. was the only Western power in the Middle East and placed U.S. oil security in jeopardy as the USSR filled the power vacuum in the region.

President Gamal Abdel Nasser was ambitious, and was rapidly building a power base in Egypt and promoting Arab nationalism. By adopting a position of "positive neutrality" and accepting aid from the Soviets Nasser used it to play the United States and the USSR against each other

The Middle East contained a large percentage of the world's oil supply and if Middle Eastern countries were to fall to communism, the United States and its allies would suffer massive economic consequences.

In response to the Suez Crisis, President Eisenhower introduced his doctrine in January 1957. President Eisenhower’s goal in the Middle East, in line with the US policy of containment, was to prevent Arab nations from aligning with the Soviets and preventing the spread of Communism.

The Eisenhower Doctrine was presented in an address to Congress on January 15,1957, and was adopted by a congressional resolution in March 1957.

It outlined the foreign policy position of the US government regarding the Middle East and asserted that a Middle Eastern country could request U.S. military aid or American economic assistance if it was under threat by armed aggression from another state.

The purpose of the doctrine was to protect the Middle East from the influence of the Soviets and containing the rise of Arab nationalism.

The United States needed to assure Middle Eastern nations and its Arab allies, such as Iraq, could still depend on the West and discourage them from joining the USSR or turning to Nasser and Arab nationalism.

The Eisenhower Doctrine was tested in Lebanon during 1958 when Lebanon’s President, Camille Chamoun, requested assistance from the United States in order to prevent attacks from political rivals, some of whom had communist leanings and ties to Syria and Egypt. Eisenhower responded by sending U.S. troops into Lebanon to help maintain order.

The US action in Lebanon sent a signal to the Soviet Union that the United States would act to protect its interests in the Middle East.

The Eisenhower Doctrine was a major commitment by the United States to the security and stability of the Middle East and the continuance of their fight against the increasing spread of Communism

US American History
1945-1993: Cold War Era

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