The Crisis in the Western Alliance
HANS J. MORGENTHAU, Director of the Center for the Study of American Foreign and Military Policy at the University of Chicago, contributes bi-monthly comments on political affairs to these pages. GRAHAM HUTTON is a British economist who lives in London and is a director of Hutton Economic Services Ltd. He was formerly Assistant Editor of The Economist and for a time served as head of British Information Services in Chicago.
Hans J. Morgenthau:
Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
FOR A CENTURY and a half, we accepted, and acted upon, this formulation of our relations with Europe which Washington’s Farewell Address gave us. Our interventions in the two World Wars we considered at the time as temporary exceptions to the rule of non-involvement, justified by “extraordinary” vicissitudes, combinations, and collisions. But in the spring of 1947, we radically changed the conception and course of our foreign policy by identifying our interests with those of Europe in what we thought was virtual permanence through the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and the military containment of the Soviet Union.
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