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Eisenhower Doctrine
Comments from
After the Suez Crisis of 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, citing the danger of the spread of
“international Communism,” told Congress on 5 January 1957 that the United States regarded “as vital to
the national interest and world peace the preservation of the independence and integrity of the nations of
the Middle East.” He asked for authorization to develop economic and military programs, including the
use of armed forces, to assist any “nation or group of nations in the general area of the Middle East
desiring such assistance” to preserve their independence. After two months of acrimonious debate,
Congress approved the “Eisenhower Doctrine” in a joint resolution on 9 March 1957.
The United States first invoked the Eisenhower Doctrine in the Jordanian crisis of April 1957, and again
in August 1957 when a perceived Syrian‐Soviet rapprochement threatened the stability of the region. But
Eisenhower did not dispatch armed forces. A military coup against the pro‐Western regime in Iraq on 14
July 1958 sparked the most visible manifestation of the Eisenhower Doctrine during the Lebanon Crisis,
when Lebanese president Camille Chaumon requested immediate military assistance to counter perceived
Egyptian‐Syrian attempts to destabilize his government. On 15 July, Eisenhower deployed the Sixth Fleet
and landed nearly 15,000 U.S. troops to ensure that Lebanon could elect its own president without
external interference.
Seldom mentioned after 1958, the Eisenhower Doctrine was indicative of American preoccupation with
the Cold War. Characterized by some historians as an extension of the Truman Doctrine, Eisenhower's
policy lent credence to the belief that the United States had assumed a global role in the preservation of
regional stability and the promotion of its own national interests.
Dwight Eisenhower, The White House Years: Waging Peace, 1956–1961, 1965.
Roger Spiller, ‘Not War But Like War’: The American Intervention in Lebanon. Leavenworth,
Papers, 1981.
Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower: The President, 1984.
Alan Dowty, Middle East Crisis: U.S. Decision‐Making in 1958, 1970, and 1973, 1984.
George Lenczowski, American Presidents and the Middle East, 1990
US Military Dictionary: Eisenhower Doctrine
A foreign-policy program presented by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and approved by Congress on
March 9, 1957, during the Cold War. Often characterized as an extension of the Truman Doctrine, it
authorized the use of military and economic aid to prevent the spread of communism in nations in the
Middle East.
Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: Eisenhower Doctrine
U.S. foreign policy pronouncement by Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1957). The Eisenhower Doctrine
promised military and economic aid to anticommunist governments, at a time when communist countries
were providing arms to Egypt and offering strong support to Arab states. Part of the Cold War policy
developed by John Foster Dulles to contain expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence, the doctrine
continued pledges made under the Truman Doctrine.
US History Encyclopedia: Eisenhower Doctrine
Following the Suez Crisis and the decline of British influence in the Middle East, President Dwight D.
Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles believed that Soviet assertiveness and growing
Arab nationalism, especially that of Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, posed a threat to vital U.S. interests. On
5 January 1957, Eisenhower announced that the United States would use military force to defend the
Eisenhower Doctrine
Comments from
independence and territorial integrity of Middle Eastern states against communist aggression. Congress
voted its approval two months later.
The Eisenhower Doctrine defined itself as a defensive move to contain Soviet expansionism, but response
from the governments of the Middle East was mixed. Jordan and Lebanon welcomed the declaration.
Egypt and Syria denounced it as a threat to their security. Israel responded skeptically and Iraq and Saudi
Arabia opposed a U.S. military role in the region.
Eisenhower did not invoke the doctrine in 1958, when he ordered troops to Lebanon to thwart an uprising
by Muslim rebels, because there was no evidence of communist involvement. In late 1958 Eisenhower
replaced the activist principles of his doctrine with a new policy of seeking accommodation with Arab
nationalists to preserve U.S. influence in the Middle East. The Carter Doctrine of 1980 revived the
military emphasis in U.S. policy toward the region.
Ashton, Nigel John. Eisenhower, Macmillan, and the Problem of Nasser: Anglo-American Relations and
Arab Nationalism, 1955–59. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996.
Brands, H. W. The Specter of Neutralism: The United States and the Emergence of the Third World. New
York: Columbia University Press, 1989.
Takeyh, Ray. The Origins of the Eisenhower Doctrine: The US, Britain, and Nasser's Egypt, 1953–57.
New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.
—Max Paul Friedman
The Eisenhower Doctrine was announced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a message to the
United States Congress on January 5, 1957. Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a country could request
American economic assistance and/or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed
aggression from another state. Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the
commitment of U.S. forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of
such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by
international communism."[1]
In the global political context, the Doctrine was made in response to the possibility of a generalized war,
threatened as a result of the Soviet Union's attempt to use the Suez War as a pretext to enter Egypt.
Coupled with the power vacuum left by the decline of British and French power in the region after their
failure in that same war, Eisenhower felt that a strong position needed to better the situation was further
complicated by the positions taken by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was rapidly building a power
base and using it to play the Soviets and Americans against each other, taking a position of "positive
neutrality" and accepting aid from the Soviets.
On the regional level, the intent was that the Doctrine would work to provide the independent Arab
regimes with an alternative to Nasser's political control, strengthening them while isolating Communist
influence through isolation of Nasser. The doctrine largely failed on that front, with Nasser's power
quickly rising by 1959 to the point where he could shape the leadership outcomes in neighboring Arab
countries including Iraq and Saudi Arabia, but in the meantime Nasser's relationship with the Soviet
leaders deteriorated, allowing the US to switch to a policy of accommodation.
The Eisenhower Administration also saw the Middle East as being influential for future foreign policy for
not only the United States but also its allies. The region contains a large percentage of the world's oil
supply, and it was perceived that if it were to fall to communism, the United States and its allies would
suffer immense economic consequences.
The military action provisions of the Doctrine were applied in the Lebanon Crisis the following year,
when America intervened in response.