and the world since 1918
► In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson didn’t respect one of the most important cornerstones of American foreign policy: disentanglement. He chose to intervene in the European war. In 1941, F. D. Roosevelt followed the same policy and the United States led WW II on behalf of democracy and freedom.
► During the Cold War, US Presidents acted with idealism fighting communist nations. Since 1991, the United States has been the only superpower, intervening in the world alone (Iraq, 2003) or with allies (Iraq, 1991; Afghanistan, 2001).
► George Catlett Marshall (1947-1949) was Secretary of State during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. In 1947 and 1948, Marshall led the effort to formulate the massive aid package to Western Europe that would become known as the Marshall Plan. He also negotiated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, 1949). Although Marshall typically served President Truman without objection, he did strongly disagree with Truman on the recognition of the State of Israel. In 1953, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for the Marshall Plan.
► John Foster Dulles (1953-1959) was Secretary of State during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dulles and Eisenhower were friends. He was strongly opposed to communism and moved the policy from containment to rollback. He signed numerous alliances to control Soviet expansion in Asia: ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and Unites States Security Treaty, 1951), SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organization, 1954) and Baghdad Pact (1957).
► Henry Alfred Kissinger (1973-1977) was appointed Secretary of State by President Richard M. Nixon. He was first National Security Advisor and established relations with the People’s Republic of China (1972). He reached agreements between Syria and Israel (1974) and between Egypt and Israel (1978). In 1974, the Watergate scandal compelled President Nixon to resign, but Kissinger stayed on in his role under President Gerald Ford. Finally, he played a major role in the negotiations leading to the August 1975 Helsinki Accord, improving relationship between the USSR, the USA and most European countries.