The Soviets sphere of influence expanded into Greece, where there had been a break out of a civil war between the monarchists and the communists. After world war 2, the British had established the Greek royal government, yet despite this, the communists in the countryside still resisted the monarchy and their governing. Stalin, aware that Greece was Britain’s area of influence, agreed with Churchill to not interfere with the uprising. However, the West were still suspicious as Albania and Yugoslavia, who were both run under communist governments, did send aid. The West believed that, despite the Soviet staying out of the affair, it was still their influence and expansion of communism that was triggering this rebellion in Greece. In February 1947, because of their economic instability, Britain could no longer maintain their troops in Greece, warning the US. The American government issued the Truman Doctrine. Truman argued that the US should follow a policy of ”containment’ to stop Russian expansion’. Despite claiming it was a response to the civil war in Greece, it was believed to be ‘designed for wider application’. Truman stated that America had a duty, an obligation of freeing those who were oppressed, meaning countries who were in the sphere of influence of the Soviets. This article says that he, Truman, believed that the Cold War was a choice between freedom and oppression.
As of 1947, a new US Secretary of State was appointed, George Marshall. Having traveled through Western Europe, Marshall was shocked at how economically devastated the countries were. He believed that Europe was so poor and lacking economic stability that it was on the verge of a possible transition into communism, as influenced by the Soviet state. Marshall and Truman funded 17 billion dollars into the European Recovery Programme, the Marshall Plan. However this grant was first refused by the congress, later to then be agreed on when in March 1948 Czechoslovakia turned communist. “The aid was given in the form of food, grants to buy equipment, improvements to transport systems, and everything “from medicine to mules”. Most (70 per cent) of the money was used to buy commodities from US suppliers: $3.5 billion was spent on raw materials; $3.2 billion on food, feed and fertiliser; $1.9 billion on machinery and vehicles; and $1.6 billion on fuel.” Stalin forbade the Cominform (set up in 1947 by Stalin to draw together various European communist parties) countries to apply for Marshall Aid.