Saturday, January 06, 2007

SECURITY IN THE NEAR EAST

Part 10 of the pamphlet, "OUR FOREIGN POLICY 1952":

SECURITY IN THE NEAR EAST


IN the Near East live over 100,000,000 people, people whose friendship and well-being we as a mem-ber of the free world will always value. Throughout history the Near East –– the land bridge to Asia, Europe, and Africa –– has been a region of great strategic im-portance. Today the Near East is a hub for land, sea, and air communications, of which the Suez Canal is the best illustration. Near East oil fields contain over two-fifths of the world's proved reserves of petroleum. The Near East is troubled with many unsolved social and economic problems. There is a need for organiza-tion to utilize land and water. Many of the people suffer from diseases that lower their vitality. There is a wide-spread lack of modern technical skills.

Responsible governments are trying to improve con-

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ditions, but the obstacles are deeply rooted, Many of the customs and traditions of the Near East peoples, for example, stand in the way of improvements in their standard of living.

Political problems that disturb the area, such as the oil dispute in Iran, the Suez dispute, and the tension between Israel and the Arab States, are aggravated by the strong spirit of nationalism among the Near East peoples. Americans have a traditional sympathy for the spirit of independence and patriotism, but we have also learned that freedom depends on cooperation for mutual security.

The Soviet Union appreciates the economic and stra-tegic value of the Near East and constantly tries to gain positions of advantage there. After World War II, the Soviets promoted civil war in Greece. They put pres-sure on Turkey for concessions in the Dardanelles and in eastern Turkey. Their fifth column in Iran, the Tudeh Party, takes advantage of every chance to divide and weaken the Iranian people. Soviet agents miss no opportunity to encourage trouble between Israel and the Arab States.

The Soviet Union, in its approach to the Near East, has the advantage that it can win what it wants if it can rouse enough quarrels and disorder to create chaos in the area. The Soviet Union seeks control of the Near East but is not interested in relieving its troubles. The Soviets do not know or attempt to provide the solutions to any problems, nor do they care where the right and

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wrong can be found in any dispute. Their agents only blow on every fire and sabotage every element of good will or good sense.

The Soviets, however, have met with determined re-sistance. Backed by strong moral pressure from the United Nations in 1946, Iran got rid of the Soviet oc-cupying army which at first refused to evacuate its northern provinces. Greece, with American economic aid and military advice, decisively defeated the Soviet-inspired guerrilla revolt that had seriously threatened the freedom of the Greek people. Turkey, also with American backing, said a firm "no" to the Soviet encroachments.

After the attack on Korea, both Greece and Turkey sent forces to support the U.N. resistance in that coun-try. They also asked to be included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization so as to cooperate in the collective defense. The organization of a common defense in the Near East, hard enough in any case, would be considerably more difficult without the sup-port of Greece and Turkey.

The answer to the political problems of the Near East is up to the people themselves through self-education and an awareness of civic responsibility. The free world can give military and economic help. The Mutual Security Program is providing economic and technical assistance from the United States, as well as military aid.

To strengthen the defensive capabilities of the Middle East, we are working with other nations to establish a

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Middle East Command. The Middle East Command will help the states of the area with their preparations to resist Soviet aggression.

United States policy looks beyond the present emer-gency. Our program is designed to help the people of the Near East obtain the tools and technical guidance now which will enable them to carry on their develop-ment through the years to come.

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