Europäische Zeitgeschichte

Their ‘Apple of Discord’ or the Apple of Their Eye: How the British Secured Eastern Mediterranean and Western European Security, 1947-1948

This chapter examines the role the British policy in Greece played in the shift in American foreign policy that was manifested in 1947-48, that led directly to these alliances, namely the Western European Union and NATO. To achieve this shift (which also included support of British strategic interests in the Eastern Mediterranean) this chapter argues that the British used Greece, first as a way to draw the United States further into European affairs, and then as a way to anchor the United States in Europe, achieving a guarantee of security for the Eastern Mediterranean and for Western Europe. Drawing on both published and unpublished British and American sources, this chapter will also examine perceptions of the conflicts in and about Greece, and what it represented for Western European and Eastern Mediterranean security, and Western ideas of democracy when confronted with supporting a right-wing Greek government. In so doing, it clarifies how American foreign policy changed from its pre-war focus on non-intervention, to the cold-war politics of containment and intervention.