Abstract

In 1965, Washington's policymakers drew the wrong lessons from history in using the Truman Doctrine in Greece to justify the deepening military involvement in Vietnam. The Greek experience proved to be a faulty model for dealing with alleged commumst-inspired insurrections. The Athens government defeated the insurgency only in part because of the United States' limited intervention. Not only was Soviet complicity minimal at best, but the insurgents exposed themselves to superior Greek firepower by switching to conventional tactics at a crucial time in the war. In addition, Yugoslavia's rift with the Soviet Union led Tito to close his country's borders and to deny continued refuge to the insurgents. The Greek armed forces, aided by American napalm and Navy Helldivers, put down the insurgency in 1949. The Johnson administration erroneously believed that American military power had brought victory in Greece and, therefore, sought a military solution in Vietnam. The result was a near disaster.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 121-143
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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