This was the preparatory stage of the cold war.
After general hostilities ceased in 1945, the communists selected
Italy, France, Greece and Turkey as their main targets. They strengthened
their position in France and Italy, by taking advantage of the prevailing
chaotic conditions after the World War II.
The Truman Doctrine was announced by President
Truman in the American Congress on March 12, 1947. He declared that
the United States must adopt a policy to support free peoples who
were resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside
pressures. He said "We must take immediate and resolute action."
The Truman Doctrine was a proposal to send military and economic
aid to Greece and Turkey, which the American Congress authorized
in May 1947.
The Marshall Plan was an extension of the
principle underlying the Truman Doctrine. The Secretary of State
Marshall initiated the European Recovery Program, through
his famous speech at Harvard on June 5, 1947. The Soviet Union attacked
the Marshall Plan regarding it as an intervention in the internal
affairs of other countries. The tension between the US and the Soviet
Union in Greece increased so that relations between them deteriorated.
In accordance with the Marshall Plan, the US gave 11 billion dollars
in aid within a four-year period. Thus it helped in protecting Europe
from economic collapse and communist domination.
The Molotov Plan was initiated by the Soviet
Union which also established the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance
(COMECON) to help the economic consolidation of socialist
countries. Thus the Marshall Plan and the COMECON heralded the "cold
war" in international relations between the US and the Soviet