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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. Eastern Europe; The Soviet Union
(1948)

Multilateral relations,   pp. 1-732 PDF (280.9 MB)


Page 3


AID TO GREECE AND TURKEY
  3. The Communists, under the leadership of the USSR, seek world
domination and to this end are making piecemeal advances, principally
by aggression through indigenous Communist movements within other
countries. In line with this strategy the Communist movement, oper-
ating through the Communist party of Greece and the Soviet satellite
countries in the Balkans, is engaged in a forceful, energetic effort
to overthrow the present Greek Government, and to achieve complete
and dictatorial control of Greece. The Communist movement has
strong guerrilla forces operating in Northern Greece and has an-
nounced the formation of a "Free" Greek Government. Almost cer-
tainly one or more of the satellites, and possibly the USSR, will recog-
nize this "free" Government. The objective of such recognition
will
probably be to facilitate open military assistance which may enable
the "free" government to obtain de facto control over large segments
of Greek territory.
-4. The Greek Government rests on a weak foundation and Greece
is in a deplorable economic state. There are general fear and a feeling
of insecurity among the people, friction among short-sighted political
factions, selfishness and corruption in Government, and a dearth of
effective leaders. The armed forces of Greece, both military and police
units, are hampered in their effort to eliminate Communist guerrilla
forces by lack of offensive spirit, by political interference, by disposi-
tion of units as static guard forces and by poor leadership, particularly
in the lower echelons. The Greek army, if strengthened, adequately
equipped, operationally and technically well advised, and assured of
continued US support, can eliminate guerrilla forces composed of
Greek nationals alone. British troops, which remain in Greece and
which we are urging the British to retain there, have served the pur-
pose of contributing to Greek morale and of deterring overt inter-
vention in Greece by the neighboring Soviet satellites.
  5. UN Security Council action has been and will continue to be
rendered ineffective by Communist veto and other obstructionist
tactics.
  6. The United States has declared its intention to aid Greece in
keeping with US policy to help free peoples resist aggressive totali-
tarian movements. US measures to date have been inadequate to thwart
the Communist advances. It is now apparent that the aid program of
the United States, which expires June 30, 1948, will not strengthen the
Greek Government sufficiently to enable it to withstand Communist
pressure. The lack of convincing evidence that we are firmly deter-
mined to prevent Greece from falling under Soviet domination has
weakened the will of the Greek people in resisting Communist aggres-
sion. Effective implementation of US policy has- also been hampered
by lack of centralized control of American activities in Greece.
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