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.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 121-143
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.