Was the Truman Doctrine a success or failure?  Why?Was the Truman Doctrine a success or failure?  Why?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The Truman Doctrine had some early successes. However ultimately it could not succeed in preventing the spread of communism everywhere. It also erupted into some less than successful campaigns. For example, the Vietnam War and the Korean War are not success stories.
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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I tend to think, overall, the Truman Doctrine was a success.  The idea that the US would offer military assistance to nations facing a communist threat successfully upheld the policy of containment, and did so without direct US military involvement.  I would not consider the Korean or Vietnam Wars as pure Truman Doctrine, as future Presidents chose to pursue containment in a more aggressive manner, and Korea was a UN mandate.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would say that this was a little bit of each.  The Truman Doctrine was an early type of containment.  It said that the US would help any country that was fighting against being taken over by the communists.  Some countries did manage to avoid this, but others didn't.

The two main success stories, I suppose, were Greece and Turkey.  In both cases, they repelled communist insurgencies with some US help.  By contrast, you can argue that China represented a failure of this policy.  The US wanted Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist government to retain power, but Mao and the communists took China in 1949.

So there were some results both ways, which presumably means the policy was partly successful and partly a failure.

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