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United States gives military and economic aid to communist Yugoslavia

United States gives military and economic aid to communist Yugoslavia

In a surprising turn of events, President Harry Truman asks Congress for U.S. The action was part of the U.S. policy to drive a deeper wedge between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

Yugoslavia ended World War II with the communist forces of Josip Broz Tito in control. The United States supported him during the war when his group battled against the Nazi occupation. In the postwar period, as Cold War hostilities set in, U.S. policy toward Yugoslavia hardened. Tito was viewed as simply another tool of Soviet expansion into eastern and southern Europe.

In 1948, however, Tito openly broke with Stalin, though he continued to proclaim his allegiance to the communist ideology. Henceforth, he declared, Yugoslavia would determine and direct its own domestic and foreign policies without interference from the Soviet Union. U.S. officials quickly saw a propaganda opportunity in the fallout between the former communist allies. Although Tito was a communist, he was at least an independent communist who might prove a useful ally in Europe.

To curry favor with Tito, the United States supported Yugoslavia’s efforts in 1949 to gain a seat on the prestigious Security Council at the United Nations. In 1951, President Truman asked Congress to provide economic and military assistance to Yugoslavia. This aid was granted. Yugoslavia proved to be a Cold War wild card, however. Tito gave tacit support to the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, but harshly criticized the Russian intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

While the United States admired Tito for his independent stance, he could sometimes be a bit too independent. During the 1950s and 1960s he encouraged and supported the nonalignment movement among Third World nations, a policy that concerned American officials who were intent on forcing those nations to choose sides in the East-West struggle. Relations between the United States and Yugoslavia warmed considerably after Tito’s denunciation of the Czech intervention, but cooled again when he sided with the Soviets during the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1973. Tito died in 1980.

The Truman Doctrine, 1947

With the Truman Doctrine, President Harry S. Truman established that the United States would provide political, military and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces. The Truman Doctrine effectively reoriented U.S. foreign policy, away from its usual stance of withdrawal from regional conflicts not directly involving the United States, to one of possible intervention in far away conflicts.

The Truman Doctrine arose from a speech delivered by President Truman before a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947 . The immediate cause for the speech was a recent announcement by the British Government that, as of March 31, it would no longer provide military and economic assistance to the Greek Government in its civil war against the Greek Communist Party. Truman asked Congress to support the Greek Government against the Communists. He also asked Congress to provide assistance for Turkey, since that nation, too, had previously been dependent on British aid.

At the time, the U.S. Government believed that the Soviet Union supported the Greek Communist war effort and worried that if the Communists prevailed in the Greek civil war, the Soviets would ultimately influence Greek policy. In fact, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had deliberately refrained from providing any support to the Greek Communists and had forced Yugoslav Prime Minister Josip Tito to follow suit, much to the detriment of Soviet-Yugoslav relations. However, a number of other foreign policy problems also influenced President Truman’s decision to actively aid Greece and Turkey. In 1946, four setbacks, in particular, had served to effectively torpedo any chance of achieving a durable post-war rapprochement with the Soviet Union: the Soviets’ failure to withdraw their troops from northern Iran in early 1946 (as per the terms of the Tehran Declaration of 1943) Soviet attempts to pressure the Iranian Government into granting them oil concessions while supposedly fomenting irredentism by Azerbaijani separatists in northern Iran Soviet efforts to force the Turkish Government into granting them base and transit rights through the Turkish Straits and, the Soviet Government’s rejection of the Baruch plan for international control over nuclear energy and weapons in June 1946.

In light of the deteriorating relationship with the Soviet Union and the appearance of Soviet meddling in Greek and Turkish affairs, the withdrawal of British assistance to Greece provided the necessary catalyst for the Truman Administration to reorient American foreign policy. Accordingly, in his speech, President Truman requested that Congress provide $400,000,000 worth of aid to both the Greek and Turkish Governments and support the dispatch of American civilian and military personnel and equipment to the region.

Truman justified his request on two grounds. He argued that a Communist victory in the Greek Civil War would endanger the political stability of Turkey, which would undermine the political stability of the Middle East. This could not be allowed in light of the region’s immense strategic importance to U.S. national security. Truman also argued that the United States was compelled to assist “free peoples” in their struggles against “totalitarian regimes,” because the spread of authoritarianism would “undermine the foundations of international peace and hence the security of the United States.” In the words of the Truman Doctrine, it became “the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”

Truman argued that the United States could no longer stand by and allow the forcible expansion of Soviet totalitarianism into free, independent nations, because American national security now depended upon more than just the physical security of American territory. Rather, in a sharp break with its traditional avoidance of extensive foreign commitments beyond the Western Hemisphere during peacetime, the Truman Doctrine committed the United States to actively offering assistance to preserve the political integrity of democratic nations when such an offer was deemed to be in the best interest of the United States.

Primary Sources

(1) Henry Wallace, speech in New York City (12th September, 1946)

I plead for an America vigorously dedicated to peace - just as I plead for opportunities for the next generation throughout the world to enjoy the abundance which now, more than ever before, is the birthright of men.

To achieve lasting peace, we must study in detail just how the Russian character was formed - by invasions of Tarters, Mongols, Germans, Poles, Swedes, and French by the intervention of the British, French and Americans in Russian affairs from 1919 to 1921. Add to all this the tremendous emotional power with Marxism and Leninism gives to the Russian leaders - and then we can realize that we are reckoning with a force which cannot be handled successfully by a "Get tough with Russia" policy. "Getting tough" never bought anything real and lasting - whether for schoolyard bullies or businessmen or world powers. The tougher we get, the tougher the Russians will get.

We must not let our Russian policy be guided or influenced by those inside or outside the United States who want war with Russia.

(2) President Truman, speech to Congress (12th March, 1947)

At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is often not a free one. One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.

The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedom. I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.

(3) Andrei Vyshinsky, Soviet Union spokesman at the United Nations, speech (18th September, 1947)

The so-called Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan are particularly glaring examples of the manner in which the principles of the United Nations are violated, of the way in which the organization is ignored. This is clearly proved by the measures taken by the United States Government with regard to Greece and Turkey which ignore and bypass the United States as well as the measures proposed under the so-called Marshall Plan in Europe.

This policy conflicts sharply with the principles expressed by the General Assembly in its resolution of 11th December, 1946, which declares that relief supplies to other countries "should at no time be used as a political weapon". It is becoming more and more evident to everyone that the implementation of the Marshall Plan will mean placing European countries under the economic and political control of the United States.

The so-called Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan are particularly glaring examples of the way in which the principles of the United Nations are violated, of the way in which the Organisation is ignored. As is now clear, the Marshall Plan constitutes in essence merely a variant of the Truman Doctrine adapted to the conditions of postwar Europe. In bringing forward this plan, the United States Government apparently counted on the cooperation of the Governments of the United Kingdom and France to confront the European countries in need of relief with the necessity of renouncing their inalienable right to dispose of their economic resources and to plan their national economy in their own way. The United States also counted on making all these countries directly dependent on the interests of American monopolies, which are striving to avert the approaching depression by an accelerated export of commodities and capital to Europe.

It is becoming more and more evident to everyone that the implementation of the Marshall Plan will mean placing European countries under the economic and political control of the United States and direct interference by the latter in the internal affairs of those countries. Moreover, this plan is an attempt to split Europe into two camps and, with the help of the United Kingdom and France, to complete the formation of a bloc of several European countries hostile to the interests of the democratic countries of Eastern Europe and most particularly to the interests of the Soviet Union. An important feature of this Plan is the attempt to confront the - countries of Eastern Europe with a bloc of Western European States including Western Germany. The intention is to make use of Western Germany and German heavy industry (the Ruhr) as one of the most important economic bases for American expansion in Europe, in disregard of the national interests of the countries which suffered from German aggression.

(4) Izvestia, newspaper published in the Soviet Union (13th March, 1947)

Commenting on Truman's message to Congress, the New York Times proclaims the advent of the "age of American responsibility". Yet what is this responsibility but a smokescreen for expansion? The cry of saving Greece and Turkey from the expansion of the so-called "totalitarian states" is not new. Hitler used to refer to the Bolsheviks when he wanted to open the road for his own conquests. Now they want to take Greece and Turkey under their control, they raise a din about "totalitarian states".

(5) John Foster Dulles, speech (29th March, 1954)

The free nations want peace. However, peace is not had merely by wanting it. Peace has to be worked for and planned for. Sometimes it is necessary to take risks to win peace just as it necessary in war to take risks to win victory. The chances for peace are usually bettered by letting a potential aggressor know in advance where his aggression could lead him.

(6) George Kennan, Foreign Affairs Journal (July, 1957)

It is clear that the main element of any United States policy towards the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies. It is clear that the United states cannot expect in the foreseeable future to enjoy political intimacy with the Soviet regime. It must continue to regard the Soviet Union as a rival, not a partner, in the political arena.

(7) John Gates, The Story of an American Communist (1959)

Communists shared power with other parties. The Communists called these states "peoples' democracies" to distinguish them from the Soviet-model "dictatorship of the proletariat" and many Communist parties actually changed their name. Today when much attention is focused on the question of independent paths to socialism, as advocated by Tito in Yugoslavia and Gomulka in Poland, it is often overlooked that such ideas were officially condoned by Moscow between 1944 and 1947.

One year after Churchill's speech at Fulton, however, the lines became sharply drawn. The Truman Doctrine was launched for Greece and Turkey and to "contain Communism" everywhere the Communists were ousted from the national unity governments of France and Italy (which they did not strongly resist, evidently preferring to go into opposition). In reply, the Communist Parties of the Soviet Union and of eight countries in Eastern and Western Europe set up the Communist Information Bureau, popularly called the Cominform. Coalition governments in Eastern Europe were broken up and the Communists proceeded to take over full power and establish "dictatorships of the proletariat." Against this background, American Communist Party policy became still more narrow and self-defeating. In opposing the cold war, we placed the entire blame on the Truman policy and we would not concede that any share in responsibility for the tensions could be attributed to the policies of Moscow and the Cominform. It is my opinion-which I know many readers will not share-that powerful, reactionary forces here at home were mainly respon¬sible for the cold war they did not conceal their opposition to peaceful coexistence and their active hostility to socialism. What I could not bring myself to see in those days was the considerable responsibility on the part of Moscow as a result of wrong policies of Stalin (and if I ever saw it, I considered it my bounden duty not to say so).

As policy hardened in the international communist movement, the Foster group increased the pressure to make everyone toe the mark. The Daily Worker which reflected the coalition policies to which the Dennis group still tried to cling, was the target of attacks from Foster, Thompson and Davis.


Interwar period Edit

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was created in the aftermath of the World War I under the influence of the Fourteen Points self-determination ideas by President Woodrow Wilson. Prior to Yugoslav unification United States established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Serbia from 1882 and the Principality of Montenegro from 1905.

World War II Edit

During World War II in Yugoslavia, the United States initially supported the royalist Yugoslav government in exile. When the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia in the spring of 1941, the United States decisively supported the Chetniks in the first years of the war. This however changed once British sources recognized Yugoslav Partisans as the only significant resistance movement which will rise to become the most effective anti-Axis resistance movement during the war.

Initial postwar years Edit

In the initial period after the war relations between the two countries were poor with Yugoslavia being perceived as the closest Soviet ally, and the country in which Communist party gained power without any significant Soviet support. [1] This phase lasted in a short period after the end of the World War II in 1945 and before the beginning of the Cold War in 1947. This period was characterized by Soviet conciliatory diplomacy towards West and much more belligerent Yugoslav foreign policy involved in issues such as the Free Territory of Trieste and Greek Civil War. Relations were further strained when two USAF C-47 Skytrain cargo aircraft were shot down over Yugoslavia in the space of two weeks. [2]

Relations after 1948 Edit

The 1948 Tito-Stalin split represented the major turning point in the relations of United States and the new socialist republic. Yugoslavia first requested assistance from the United States in summer 1948. Truman administration decided to provide substantial aid, loans and military assistance to Yugoslavia despite of some concerns caused by earlier relations. [3] Tito received US backing in Yugoslavia's successful 1949 bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, against Soviet opposition. In 1949, the United States provided loans to Yugoslavia, and in 1950 the loans were increased and followed by large grants and military aid. Even though the Yugoslavs initially avoided asking for military aid believing that it would be a pretext for a Soviet invasion, by 1951 Yugoslav authorities became convinced that Soviet attack was inevitable and Yugoslavia was included in the Mutual Defense Assistance program. United States recognized strategic importance of an independent and successful socialist Yugoslavia as an subversive model for other states which were part of the East Bloc.

The Yugoslav diplomacy dealt successfully with the shifts in the focus of American policy from Kennedy's "Grand Design," Johnson's "building bridges" appeal, Nixon's personal diplomacy, to Carter's focus on the human rights. [4] Yugoslavia pursued a highly independent foreign policy and maintained leadership of the international Nonaligned movement that created a competing ideology and challenged the two superpowers. [4]


Relations between the Kingdom of Serbia and the United States Edit

Diplomatic relations between the then-Kingdom of Serbia and the United States were established in the 19th century. In 1879, the Serbian Consulate-General in New York was opened. On February 3, 1882, the Serbian Parliament adopted a contract and Convention of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Serbia and the United States, given by King Milan Obrenović. The United States Senate adopted both documents on July 5, 1882 without debate or amendments. On November 10, 1882, Eugene Schuyler became the first United States ambassador in Serbia. [1]

Relations between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the United States Edit

US role in defining borders of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes Edit

After the participation of the United States in World War I, US president Woodrow Wilson issued his Fourteen Points as a list of prioritized negotiations to end the war. Wilson's tenth point asserted that the peoples living in Austria Hungary should independently decide their fates after the war, directly contradicting the British government's post-war vision of a surviving Austria-Hungary. [4] Wilson's eleventh point more specifically involved Serbia, explicitly stating that Serbia be guaranteed open access to the Adriatic Sea. [4] During the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles, the United States were represented by a delegation which was heavily involved in defining the borders for the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. During the process of defining new borders, The Kingdom of Serbia selected Jovan Cvijić to show maps to the American delegation in an effort to persuade them to endorse the acquisition of Baranya, east Banat, and other regions previously ruled by Austria Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. Likewise, the American delegation also faced the lobby of Serbia's neighboring countries, and for the most part endorsed the allocation of Baranya to Hungary and most of Banat to Romania, in contrast to Cvijić's proposals. [5]

Cultural exchange Edit

Serbian students began studying in US after the WWI. For that purposes International Serbian Educational Committee was founded by professor Rosalie Slaughter Morton in 1919, and it was soon made official by the Ministry of Education. Morton was the first woman professor of gynecology in New York and she sought to "pay her respect, gratitude and admiration" for Serbia's role in the war. [6] Total of 61 students (mostly from modern-day Serbia) were enrolled in the first generation. Various American colleges were made available for free studying to Serb students as a sign of good will and partnership. Such actions were only one aspect of generally good relations between the two nations on all fields at the time. [7]

American films made up over 50 percent of foreign showings in Yugoslav cinemas in the 1930s, with Charlie Chaplin being a favourite of the Belgrade public. [8] During the same period, Jazz music became popular and several American musicians played in Belgrade, such as Arthur Rubinstein. [9]

US support of Serbian monarchists during World War II Edit

During the Second World War in Yugoslavia, the United States initially supported the royal government of Yugoslavia. When the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia in the spring of 1941, the United States provided large amounts of support to the Chetniks in the first years of the war. This support took place in the form of extensive clandestine relations between the Office of Strategic Services and Chetniks with William Donovan's administration. [3] [10] Such cooperation was highlighted by complex operations such as Operation Halyard, in which several hundred American pilots were rescued by Chetniks. [3]

However, OSS support for the Chetniks was compromised by the British government's MI6 policy of favoring the Yugoslav Partisans instead of the Chetniks. In 1943, the US government's support for the Chetniks over the Yugoslav Partisans was such that president Franklin D. Roosevelt discussed with Winston Churchill in a private conversation that he imagined that Yugoslavia's boundaries would be completely redrawn into three separate states, with Peter II being the monarch of an independent Serbian kingdom at the end of the war. [11] The USAF and the RAF began bombing Belgrade in April 1944 when they came to the conclusion that the Nazi occupation could not be removed by Serbian resistance alone. [12]

The United States intelligence circles gradually conceded its influence on Yugoslav guerrilla operations to the British. At the end of the war, President Harry S. Truman dedicated a Legion of Merit to Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović, [13] but the award wasn't revealed publicly until 2005. [14] [15]

Cold War relations (1945–1991) Edit

After the end of World War II, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (FNRJ) was formed. One of the first diplomatic contacts made with the new communist government was the US Department of State's request for the US Army to testify at the Mihailović trial. [16] However, the request was shunned and early relations between the United States and the government of Josip Broz Tito became strained, as American diplomats were furious over Mihailović's execution in 1946. [17] [18] Relations degraded even further a month later, when two USAF C-47 Skytrain cargo aircraft were shot down over Yugoslavia in the space of two weeks. [19] More USAF aircraft were shot down over Yugoslavia up to 1948. [20] As a result, U.S. senator Thomas Dodd staunchly opposed American financial aid to Tito's government, [21] even saying that "Tito had bloodied hands." In one of Josip Broz Tito's early visits to the United States, protesters in San Pedro drowned an effigy of him. [22] Following the Second World War into 1961, the United States operated a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) and many Yugoslavian Officers received American training. Along with receiving many American weapons, Yugoslavia received US$600 million in military aid. [23]

The communist governments in Europe deferred to Stalin and rejected Marshall Plan aid from the United States in 1947. At first, Tito went along and rejected the Marshall plan. However, in 1948 Tito broke decisively with Stalin on other issues, making Yugoslavia an independent communist state. Yugoslavia then requested American aid. American leaders were internally divided, but finally agreed and began sending money on a small scale in 1949, and on a much larger scale 1950–53. The American aid was not part of the Marshall Plan. [24]

Yugoslavia began opening more diplomatic dialogue to western nations after the Tito–Stalin split, which assured that Yugoslavia was not to become a member of the Warsaw Pact. Pan American World Airways launched direct flights from New York to Belgrade in 1963. [25] On January 1, 1967, Yugoslavia was the first communist state to open its borders to all foreign visitors and abolish visa requirements. [26] The regular commercial air travel between the United States and Yugoslavia then saw the launching of JAT Yugoslav Airlines flights to the United States, effectively competing with Pan Am. [27] [28] Trade opportunities reopened between the United States and Yugoslavia, and American businesses began exporting to Yugoslavia. Likewise, by the 1980s Yugoslavia was even exporting many of its manufactured automobiles from Zastava Automobili's assembly line in Kragujevac to the United States. U.S. president Jimmy Carter discussed issues regarding Palestine and Egypt with Tito and referred to him as a "great world leader". [29] Subsequently, the Reagan administration presented their policies towards Yugoslavia in a Secret Sensitive 1984 National Security Decision Directive NSDD 133. "U.S. Policy towards Yugoslavia." A censored version declassified in 1990 elaborated on NSDD 54 on Eastern Europe, issued in 1982. The latter advocated "efforts to expand U.S. economic relations with Yugoslavia in ways which will benefit both countries" serving as "a useful reminder to countries in Eastern Europe of the advantages of independence from Moscow".

Serbian anti-communists in the United States Edit

For much of the socialist period, the United States was a haven for many Serbian anti-communists living outside Yugoslavia. On 20 June 1979, a Serbian nationalist named Nikola Kavaja hijacked American Airlines Flight 293 from New York City with the intention of crashing the Boeing 707 into League of Communists of Yugoslavia headquarters in Belgrade. [30] The aircraft, however, landed in Shannon, Ireland, where Kavaja was arrested. [31]

A group of six Serbian nationalists, among them Boško Radonjić, placed a home-made bomb in the home of the Yugoslav consulate in Chicago in 1975. [32] Radonjić later became the leader of the Westies gang in New York City, where he participated in organized crime and racketeering. [33] He eventually became one of the most feared gangsters in the New York City underworld, and developed extensive friendships with Vojislav Stanimirović, John Gotti and the Gambino family. After Sammy Gravano turned John Gotti in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in December 1990, Radonjić was highly suspected to have attempted to fix the trial on John Gotti's behalf. [34] As a result of this, Radonjić was arrested in December 1999 during a spectacular rerouted plane going to Cuba to a lockdown at Miami International Airport when he was tracked down by the FBI. [35] He was arrested in the United States again in January 2000 for further investigation of the 1992 Gotti trial. [36] Upon release in 2001, he left the United States and moved back to Serbia where he lived until his death in 2011. [37] He was also an admirer and long-time friend of Radovan Karadžić until the latter went into hiding in 1996. [38]

In the 1980s, Vojislav Šešelj taught political science at the University of Michigan [39] after being expelled by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in 1981. [40] In June 1989, he traveled to the United States again to meet with Momčilo Đujić in San Marcos, California, where Đujić named him Chetnik Vojvoda (duke in Serbian). [41] [42] [43] He went on to form the Serbian Radical Party in 1991 [44] and was accused by the ICTY tribunal of leading the Beli Orlovi militants in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in war-state Republic of Serbian Krajina. [45] Radovan Karadžić pursued post-graduate medical studies at Columbia University from 1974 to 1975, [46] but did so without any specific political agenda at the time being he later became the war-time president of the Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War and subsequently went into hiding in Serbia until his capture in 2008 for ICTY charges of war crimes and genocide. [47]

Deteriorating relations and war with FR Yugoslavia (1991–2000) Edit

The first form of sanctions initiated by the US against Yugoslavia took place already from 1990 as the Nickels Amendment, which was sponsored by senators Don Nickles and Bob Dole. The amendment was passed due to concerns about Albanians being arrested in Kosovo. [48] The amendment officially came into legal effect from May 6, 1992 although it applied only to $5 million-worth of US foreign aid, it was reported as instrumental in denying SFR Yugoslavia its last application for IMF loans [49] before its breakup and hyperinflation episode.

The breakup of Yugoslavia began in 1992, the territories consisting of Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo composed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the midst of the Yugoslav Wars, the United States as well as an overwhelming majority of states from the United Nations severed economic ties and imposed sanctions on FR Yugoslavia on May 30, 1992. [50] [51]

The Panić–Ćosić–Milošević triangle and the United States Edit

The Yugoslav government of the newly formed FR Yugoslavia (successor to SFR Yugoslavia) ended up having three ideologically-opposed leaders occupying executive positions. From 1992, while Slobodan Milošević was the president of the Republic of Serbia, national theorist Dobrica Ćosić was named President of FR Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, Milan Panić, a business magnate based in Newport Beach, California, accepted Milošević's invitation to be Prime Minister. [52] Panić was subsequently elected as Prime Minister in the 1992 Yugoslav parliamentary elections. The United States did not revoke Panić's citizenship even though his occupation of an executive position in the Yugoslav government clearly contradicted the United States Constitution. [53] Nevertheless, Panić would become a person of interest in US diplomatic circles, given his business and residence backgrounds. At a CSCE meeting in Helsinki in July 1992, US Secretary of State James Baker abruptly dismissed Panić's appeal to reduce the sanctions to Yugoslavia, even after an agreement (between Panić, Milošević, and Dušan Mitević) was reached by which Milošević would resign in return for sanction-relief. This ended up severely damaging Panić's unique diplomatic position internationally, as well as his standing in Yugoslavia. The Los Angeles Times published an article which described Panić as a doubtful upholder of potential American-Yugoslavian peacemaking, [54] when in fact, many years later made to be known, Panić was actually invited by Baker in the first place rather than voluntarily coming to Helsinki. [55]

Panić and former US ambassador to Yugoslavia John Douglas Scanlan cooperated on a deep level [56] in a campaign to challenge conservative politicians which echoed Baker's disapproval of giving Yugoslavia sanctions-relief in return for Milošević's planned resignation. One of Panić's advisors, academic Ljubiša Rakić, was dispatched to explain to Larry Eagleburger that the H.W. Bush administration was mistaken in seeing Panić as a Milošević puppet. Eagleburger replied, "Don't worry, we are going to do our own thing". [57]

The three-pronged government lasted only from May to December 1992, as Panić and Ćosić decided to challenge Milošević in institutionally-revised elections in December that same year. The December election ended up as a failure for the opposition to Milošević, as Ćosić pulled out of the campaign in the last moment due to health problems. Multiple politicians of the opposition parties criticized the US-instigated fossil-fuel sanctions in the midst of a cold 1992-93 winter, saying that they actually further helped sympathy for Milošević and not against him. [58]

Post-Dayton lull and US economic influence in Yugoslavia (1995–1998) Edit

On November 21, 1995, Serbian president Slobodan Milošević travelled to the United States to sign the Dayton Peace Accords with Croatian president Franjo Tuđman and Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović near Dayton, Ohio. Months later, sanctions against Yugoslavia were finally lifted in October 1996. [59]

In 1997, a group of 17 economists wrote a letter titled "Program Radikalnih Ekonomskih Reformi u Jugoslaviji", advocating liberal macroeconomic policy by creating alarming predictions of the Yugoslav economy from 1998 to 2010. [60] Not by coincidence, the letter was first published by B92, arguably the most West-friendly media outlet in Yugoslavia at the time. [61] This would be the base for what would become a highly controversial political party in Serbia, G17 Plus, which began as an NGO funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. [62] The original writers of the 1997 letter subsequently divided, as some either shunned or even criticized G17's fundamentals, whereas others would end up occupying positions in the post-Milošević government from 2000. [61]

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia Edit

The United States reinstated sanctions against Yugoslavia in March 1998 when the Kosovo War started. [63] Shortly after the controversies at Račak and Rambouillet, American diplomat Richard Holbrooke traveled to Belgrade in March 1999 to deliver the final ultimatum requesting entry of UN forces into Kosovo. [64] Milošević rejected the ultimatum, and the United States completely severed ties with Yugoslavia on March 23, 1999. Bill Clinton became the first president to declare war while bypassing a Congressional majority. [65] The establishment of the bombing campaign was contested by one of the tightest votings (213-213) in the entire history of the House of Representatives. [66] The United States declared war on Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999 to take part in Operation Allied Force led by U.S. general Wesley Clark. [67] Out of all the territories in Yugoslavia at the time, Serbia was bombed the most due to its concentration of military targets. [68] [69] As a result of Slobodan Milošević granting entry to KFOR in Kosovo, the war against Yugoslavia ceased on June 10, 1999. [70]

Post-war relations Edit

Overthrow of Milošević and aftermath (2000–2008) Edit

A group named Otpor!, originally formed by students in 1998 with the financial assistance of USAID, International Republican Institute, and NED, was one of multiple significant participants in the Bulldozer Revolution, from which Milošević was overthrown. [71] USAID donated over $30 million for Otpor to "purchase cell phones and computers for DOS's leadership and to recruit and train an army of 20,000 election monitors" as well as to supplement them with "a sophisticated marketing campaign with posters, badges and T-shirts." [72] In 2013, several media outlets reported that a CIA operative, Francis Archibald, participated in the organization of the October 5 coup, citing an Associated Press article which said that the overthrow was "regarded inside the CIA as a blueprint for running a successful peaceful covert action". [73] [74] [75]

After the Bulldozer Revolution on October 5, 2000, the United States reestablished a diplomatic presence in Belgrade. [76] The new president, Vojislav Koštunica, was initially lukewarm about talks with the US and ruled out a meeting with President Clinton or a visit by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. [77] US sanctions against FR Yugoslavia were lifted in January 2001 [78] but the United States under the Bush administration denied giving any aid to Yugoslavia even several months after UN sanctions were lifted [79] until Koštunica promised to cooperate with demands from The Hague regarding the Slobodan Milošević trial. [80]

After Milošević was arrested by the police under the new Yugoslav government, the United States pressured Yugoslavia to extradite Milošević to the ICTY or lose financial aid from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. [81] In March 2001, American economist Joseph Stiglitz traveled to Belgrade to talk to a prominent Democratic Opposition leader, Zoran Đinđić, about the potential consequences of IMF-sponsored austerity. [82] Koštunica denounced the extradition of his predecessor to the Hague Tribunal, which he saw as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy, and opposed NATO involvement in Kosovo. [83]

On June 25, 2001, Stiglitz published a paper, "Serbia's Advantages in Coming Late", about the necessity for Serbia not to rush privatization and not to pursue "shock therapy", which was the established macroeconomic advice of the Bretton Woods institutions. [84] Đinđić, however, did not live long to analyze the advice of the Bretton Woods institutions or the anti-austerity plan of Stiglitz, as he was assassinated on March 12, 2003. The G17 Plus got into an intense standoff with the Serbian government, composed mostly by DOS, due to the fact that G17 Plus continuously lobbied for the dissolution of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. [85] Later, in May 2006, Montenegro declared independence from the Serbo-Montenegrin state union the United States immediately respected the results and urged the new government in Podgorica to keep close ties with Serbia. [86] The United States recognized Serbia as the official successor state of the Serbia and Montenegro and the preceding Yugoslav state. [87]

Outside of fiscal policy, American influence was evident in executive positions. In September 2002, it was announced that the Military Court in Belgrade was to press charges against Momčilo Perišić, who was the vice president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the time, for espionage in the favour of the CIA. [88] The trial never took place, although upon his release from The Hague on February 28, 2013, it was announced by Perišić's lawyer Novak Lukić that his client was "ready to be judged" on the same 2002 accusations of espionage. [89] As of 2015 no further investigation has taken place.

Crisis in 2008 Edit

On February 15, 2008, it was announced that the pro-Western Boris Tadić won the 2008 Serbian presidential election. The 2008 elections were particularly important to Serbia's relations with the United States, as the main challenging party which lost the election, SRS, disintegrated when Tomislav Nikolić split with Vojislav Šešelj over integration into the European Union. When Nikolić split from SRS and began pursuing a pro-European profile (a reversal from SRS's eurosceptic position), he was being advised by American lobbying firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates. [90]

Only a few days after this election result, the declaring of independence by Kosovo on February 17, 2008 spurred off widespread unrest in Serbia, during which the embassy of the United States was evacuated and then torched by a mob. [91] [92] One man of Serbian nationality was killed inside of the embassy during the unrest. [93] Serbia temporarily withdrew its ambassador from Washington, D.C., but the U.S. embassy in Belgrade was closed only for several days. Ambassador Cameron Munter said that no degrading of relations were expected regardless of the unrest. [94]

SNS-era (2012–) Edit

On April 19, 2012, shortly before the 2012 Serbian parliamentary and presidential election, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani traveled to Belgrade to attend a news conference with the SNS candidate for Belgrade mayor, Aleksandar Vučić. [95] [96] The US Embassy to Serbia released a statement saying that Giuliani's appearance did not represent the United States endorsing any candidate in Serbia's parliamentary upcoming election. [97] The incumbent Belgrade mayor at the time, Dragan Đilas, slammed the conference which Giuliani attended, telling press that "Giuliani should not speak about Belgrade's future as a man who supported the bombing of Serbia." [98]

The 2012 Serbian parliamentary and presidential elections both took place on May 6, 2012. The result ended with the removal of the incumbent DS-led coalition from the parliament majority, and the loss of incumbent Boris Tadić to Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) candidate Tomislav Nikolić. On July 3, 2012, the US government sent Philip Reeker to Belgrade, who participated in an undisclosed discussion with Mlađan Dinkić of the United Regions of Serbia party in his first day there. [99] Reeker subsequently talked to Čedomir Jovanović, Ivica Dačić, Aleksandar Vučić, and Tomislav Nikolić. The contents of the discussions were not disclosed to journalists, as they were repeatedly shunned when asking about Reeker's mission in Serbia. [99] Reeker's meetings with the leaders of various parties shortly after the election resulted in speculation on the United States overtly forming a coalition in the Serbian government. In one instance, professor Predrag Simić from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences claimed that Reeker's visit to Belgrade in July 2012 was an attempt to create a parliamentary coalition between Democratic Party and SNS, as opposed to the SNS-SPS bloc which had been composed by the election results. [100] In spite of the claim, the victorious SNS kept SPS as a coalition partner. However, United Regions of Serbia ultimately joined the ruling coalition, [101] whose leader Dinkić was the first party leader Reeker spoke to in his July 2012 trip. [99] Overall, the election ultimately resulted in the defeat of DS as they became the largest parliamentary opposition to SNS. The newly elected government ultimately continued Euro-Atlantic integration programs pursued by the Tadić administration.

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, only 20% of Serbs approved of U.S. leadership, with 57% disapproving and 22% uncertain, the fifth-lowest rating for any surveyed European country that year. [102]

Ahead of the 2016 presidential election in the United States, Vučić attended the Clinton Foundation's Global Initiative Annual Meeting held in September 2016. [103] In the meeting, Vučić participated in a discussion about the relationship between Serbs and Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the former mayor of Srebrenica, Ćamil Duraković. [104] The discussion was moderated by Bill Clinton. [104] Subsequently, former Trump campaign consultant Roger Stone alleged on an InfoWars episode that the government of Serbia paid $2 million for attending the Clinton Foundation's meeting. [105] Before his appearance at the Clinton Foundation forum, Vučić was interviewed by Gorislav Papić from Serbian TV show Oko ("eye" in Serbian). [105] When Papić asked Vučić why he appeared in the Clinton Foundation meeting in September 2016, Vučić asked Papić, "what, you want to get into a conflict with Hillary Clinton?" [106] Vučić insisted that he was neutral in the US election in spite of his appearance at the Clinton Foundation meeting, adding that "Serbia is a small country to take sides of decisions made by Americans". [106]

On October 4, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump appointed Richard Grenell as the Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations. [107] After months of diplomatic talks, on January 20, 2020 Serbia and Kosovo agreed to restore flights between Belgrade and Pristina for the first time in over 20 years. [108] [109]

On September 4, 2020 the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti, signed an agreement on the normalisation of economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo at the White House. [110] The deal will encompass freer transit, including by rail and road, while both parties agreed to work with the Export–Import Bank of the United States and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and to join the Mini Schengen Zone, but the agreement also included the relocation of the Serbian embassy to Jerusalem, as well as, and mutual recognition between Israel and Kosovo. [111] [112]

There is a sizable Serbian American diaspora in the United States in 2007 a total of 172,834 people of Serbian nationality or descent were recorded to be inhabiting the U.S. [113] The first documented wave of Serbian immigrants to the United States was recorded in the 1970s when many Serbian factory workers emigrated to Detroit to manufacture automobiles for Ford. [114] In 2011, Serbia was ranked second in the world (after Guinea Bissau) in human capital flight according to USAID. [115] Brain drain to the United States and Canada has been cited as a chronic phenomenon in Serbia, [116] especially from 1990 to 2000 during the decade of UN sanctions and war. [117]

Serbia's strongest exports to the United States include Fiat automobiles manufactured in Kragujevac. Fiat purchased Zastava Automobili in 2008 and subsequently managed the factory in Kragujevac so that it would produce new Fiat automobiles as opposed to Zastava models (the last Zastavas were produced in 2008) in May 2013 alone, 3,000 Fiat 500L units were shipped from Serbia to Baltimore for sale in the United States. The Fiat 500L is the first automobile to have been exported from Serbia to the United States since the Zastava Koral before 1992, and is proving to be a popular model with a large amount of advertising in the United States. [118] Serbia is also the largest exporter of raspberries in the world (as of 2009), and much of the raspberries consumed in the United States are grown in Šumadija. [119] In 2015, the two states discussed to find ways to increase investments in Serbia. [120]

In 1963, Pan American World Airways launched flights from New York JFK International Airport to Belgrade. [25] From the 1970s to 1992, JAT Yugoslav Airlines flew from Belgrade to New York, Chicago, Cleveland, and Los Angeles using Boeing 707 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 equipment. [121] With the breakup of Yugoslavia, flights between Belgrade and the United States were not re-instated until 2003, when the government of Serbia and Montenegro granted Uzbekistan Airways rights to operate non-stop passenger flights between Belgrade and New York with their Boeing 767 aircraft. [122] [121] The flights continued to and originated from Tashkent International Airport. [121] The codeshare flights with Uzbekistan Airways were short-lived. [121]

On June 23, 2016 Serbian flag carrier Air Serbia launched its first flight from Belgrade to New York JFK International Airport. [123]

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  • Parenti, Michael (2002) [2000]. To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. Verso. ISBN978-1-85984-366-6 .
  • This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website https://www.state.gov/countries-areas/. (U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets)
  • Baev, Jordan. "US Intelligence Community Estimates on Yugoslavia (1948-1991)." National security and the future 1.1. (2000): 95-106 online.
  • Delevic, Milica. "Economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool: The case of Yugoslavia." International Journal of Peace Studies 3.1 (1998): 1-94.
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  • Lytle, Paula Franklin. "US Policy toward the Demise of Yugoslavia: the 'Virus of Nationalism'." East European Politics and Societies 6.3 (1992): 303–318.
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  • Vomlela, Lukáš. "Changes of American Foreign Policy towards the Countries of the Former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995." Central European Papers 4.1 (2016): 63-81 online.
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  • Albright, Madeleine. "US support for democracy in Serbia and Montenegro." Remarks at US-Serbian Opposition Meeting. Vol. 17. (1999) online by U.S. Secretary of State.
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Media related to Relations of Serbia and the United States at Wikimedia Commons


Djordjevic, Dimitrije. (1992). "The Yugoslav Phenomenon." In The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, ed. Joseph Held. New York: Columbia University Press.

Glenny, Misha. (2000). The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804 – 1999. New York: Viking Penguin.

Hupchick, Dennis P. (2002). The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism. New York: Palgrave.

Jelavich, Barbara. (1974). St. Petersburg and Moscow: Tsarist and Soviet Foreign Policy, 1814 – 1974. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Rothschild, Joseph, and Wingfield, Nancy M. (2000). Return to Diversity: A Political History of East Central Europe Since World War II. 3rd edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Arsenal of the Global South: Yugoslavia’s Military Aid to Nonaligned Countries and Liberation Movements

Yugoslavia’s military internationalism was one of the most practical expressions of the country’s policy of nonalignment. Beginning with Algeria in the 1950s until its demise in the 1990s, Yugoslavia was an ardent supporter of liberation movements and revolutionary governments in Africa and Asia. This article argues that Yugoslav military internationalism was at the heart of Yugoslavia’s efforts to reshape the post-1945 global order and represented an extension of Yugoslav revolution abroad. Military aid was an expression of personal identification of Yugoslavia’s “greatest generation” with decolonization struggle. However, Yugoslav military aid to other countries went beyond a single foreign policy issue. Yugoslav military internationalism touched upon many other issues that included problems related to finances, economic development, the acquisition and transfer of military technology, relations with the superpowers, national security, ideology and politics, and prestige and status in global affairs. By the end of the 1970s, with the departure of the World War II generation and the looming economic crisis, Yugoslav military involvement in the Global South became increasingly driven by economic reasons. Former Yugoslav republics, after a short hiatus in the 1990s during the wars for Yugoslavia’s succession, are still present in the arms trade in the Global South.

The History of US Foreign Aid And Why It’s As Important As Ever

Learn the history of foreign aid, and then stop foreign aid from becoming history.

Global Citizen's series, "Stop the Cuts," is aimed at educating people about the impact that US President Donald Trump's 2018 proposed budget will have on the world.

The term “foreign aid” is a misnomer, not because it implies anything false, but because it fails to fully reflect the scope of the policy’s pragmatism. The two-word phrase implies a one-way relationship in which the United States finances humanitarian development initiatives to other countries with no return on investment. This perspective is misguided.

In fact, foreign aid benefits the United States both in terms of national security and economic prosperity.

Foreign aid makes the US safer. It stabilizes countries that have been devastated by conflict and poverty, thereby alleviating the conditions that lead to terrorism. Essentially, foreign aid can stop wars before they start. More than 120 retired generals said as much in a letter urging lawmakers to oppose US President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign aid.

“The State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps and other development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way,” the letter said.

Furthermore, foreign aid helps the US economy by creating trade partners and markets for American goods. Currently, 11 of America’s top 15 trade partners have received foreign aid.

“Foreign aid” is also a broad term. Some of the money is military aid, some is economic, some addresses health issues like eradicating disease and providing food and clean water. There are a number of different government initiatives and private efforts to help developing countries in these areas.

But foreign aid hasn’t always existed as an extension of US policy and investment has fluctuated with the global socio-political landscape. Some years foreign aid is uncontroversially added to the budget, other times it causes partisan skirmishes. Some foreign aid programs have had unquestionably good effects — others, not so much.

So with all the focus on foreign aid’s place in the upcoming US budget, it’s good to take a step back. How, after all, has foreign aid gotten to the point it’s currently at?

Early Efforts

Foreign aid in the current sense of the phrase (used in both a moral and strategic capacity) started with the Marshall Plan after World War II, named after then-Secretary of State George C. Marshall.

While speaking at the Harvard University commencement on June 5, 1947, Marshall called for an aggressive foreign aid policy to help rebuild Europe which was still enduring the devastation of war two years after it had officially ended.

“It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace,” Marshall said. “Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.”

The Marshall Plan was passed in March of 1948, officially known as the European Recovery Program. Through 1952, the US provided more than $13 billion in aid to 17 European nations, helping to avoid a humanitarian crisis and to stimulate economic recovery. Even then, foreign aid wasn’t seen as a form of charity. The plan also invigorated the US economy by creating a market for American goods in western Europe and fostered alliances — 13 of those nations are NATO members.

The moral calling to rebuild European society was nevertheless shadowed by a political agenda. The Marshall Plan didn’t help millions of impoverished people solely for the sake of health and human prosperity the US wanted a strong European continent to act as a bulwark against the world’s other emerging superpower, the Soviet Union.

Shortly after the Marshall Plan was implemented under Harry S Truman’s administration, other initiatives like the Point Four Program in 1949 and the Mutual Security Act of 1951 added further military, economic and technical aid to US allies in Western Europe to check Soviet power and stop the spread of communism.

These early efforts were all separate initiatives. Ten years later, with John F. Kennedy in the White House, the US looked to centralize foreign aid efforts into one agency.


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was established by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Kennedy claimed that by uniting foreign assistance programs, the US could better maintain its place as a global leader and moral compass.

“There is no escaping our obligations,” Kennedy said. “Our moral obligations as a wise leader and good neighbor in the interdependent community of free nations — our economic obligations as the wealthiest people in a world of largely poor people, as a nation no longer dependent on the loans from abroad that once helped us develop our own economy — and our political obligations as the single largest counter to the adversaries of freedom.”

Ever since, USAID has acted as the primary arm of US foreign aid.

Kennedy also created the Peace Corps in 1961, via executive order, to further promote cultural exchange and economic development.

The Cold War and the 1990s

In 1973, Congress shifted the focus of foreign aid to meeting “basic human needs,” which meant a greater emphasis on food production, rural development and nutrition, population planning, health, and education.

Still, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, foreign aid was shaped by political strategy. The bulk of aid went primarily towards curbing communism and aiding countries in the Middle East.

In fact, the amount of aid sent to countries throughout this period correlates to the extent of US military involvement.

Funds going to Vietnam trended upwards through the 1960s and into the 1970s, peaking in 1973. Korea and India followed similar trends. Aid to Israel spiked in 1974, thanks to the Yom Kippur War, and peaked in 1979. Egypt also received an all-time high in aid in 1979 thanks to military assistance. These nations have been the top two recipients of US foreign aid since the 1940s.

The same decade saw massive increases in economic investment in Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica, at a time when many of these countries were experiencing debt crises.

Though certain regions experienced upticks in US aid foreign aid, overall spending trended downward starting midway through the 80s and continuing into the 1990s.

The US invasion of Panama, for instance, coincided with a flash of economic aid in 1990. Nevertheless, foreign aid spending continued its drop from the previous decade thanks to the end of the Cold War and efforts by Congress at deficit reduction. Foreign aid hit lows in 1996 and 1997 and remained less than 1% of the federal budget until 2003, when the US invaded Iraq.

Bush and Obama

After September 11, 2001, terrorism replaced communism in the American psyche as the greatest existential threat to the nation. Accordingly, foreign aid has increasingly been devoted to reduce global terrorism.

From 2003-20014, Iraq experienced a surge in economic and military assistance. Afghanistan has also received increased aid stemming from war. At $4.7 billion, Afghanistan is set to be the biggest recipient of US foreign aid in 2017, ahead of Israel ($3.1 billion) and Jordan ($1 billion).

There have also been massive efforts at global development beyond the Middle East. In 2003, George W. Bush created the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which has provided health services and support for about 11.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS, primarily in Africa.

The following year, Congress created the Millennium Challenge Corporation which provides grants to developing nations in sectors like farming and irrigation, infrastructure, clean water, sanitation, health, and education with the goal of sustaining economic growth and raising the standard of living. Both PEPFAR and MCC continue to receive strong bipartisan support.

Almost a decade after leaving office, Bush has continued the push for foreign aid, calling on Trump to continue assistance programs as a moral and security imperative.

“When you have an entire generation of people being wiped out and the free world turns its back, it provides a convenient opportunity for people to spread extremism,” he told NPR.

After taking office in 2008, Obama picked up where Bush left off. In addition to renewing PEPFAR, he signed the first US Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development reaffirming long-term foreign aid as a strategic, economic, and moral imperative for the US, and naming international development as a “core pillar of American power.”

In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. Conducted every four years, the study reformed the State Department and USAID by providing a blueprint for long-term development, rather than a year-by-year basis, and streamlined foreign assistance policies across US agencies. Thus, foreign aid was elevated as an extension of policy.

The Present

Trump’s budget proposal for 2018 slashes foreign aid in order to increase military spending, including a 44% cut to development programs that provide education, clean water, and sanitation. Though it is just that — a proposal — it nevertheless provides insight as to what the White House administration thinks about foreign aid.

Foreign assistance currently makes up less than 1% of the federal budget, though the American public believes it composes about 25%. Trump has tapped into that misinformation, claiming America will only pay its “fair share” for international development.

It’s true that the US is the biggest foreign aid donor in terms of total dollars. But when considering the aid contributions in relation to the size of its economy, the US doesn’t come out on top — far from it, in fact. Compared to its Gross National Income, the US ranks 22nd in the world in official development assistance.

Trump’s budget proposal also cuts funding to the United Nations (UN) in half. Since its establishment 1945, backing the UN has been pivotal to US foreign aid (supporting the UN was one of Truman’s four points in 1949).

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the main branch that distributes humanitarian aid, but the World Food Program, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Development Program (UNDP) are all pivotal in delivering relief assistance to populations in need.

The US provides roughly 20% of the UN’s budget. Suffice to say, the proposed cuts would cripple humanitarian aid operations.

While US foreign aid has made great strides in ending hunger and alleviating disease, historical trends show that majority of foreign aid follows conflict. By increasing military spending, foreign aid will only be needed more, but the organizations that provide it will be handcuffed by funding cuts, if they continue to exist at all.

It seems to be a self-defeating policy.

Foreign aid has never been a solely altruistic endeavor. It’s had two goals since its inception: helping people and strategically advancing the interests of the US. Regardless of political alignment, lawmakers and military leaders agree that foreign aid makes the world healthier and safer.

As Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis so said in 2013, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately.”

United States gives military and economic aid to communist Yugoslavia - HISTORY

Dear Walt : Although I have been in the Far East but three weeks, I think that the sharpness of some first thoughts and impressions derived in that time may make them of some slight interest to you with regard to the China situation—even though they are backed by such a wealth of inexperience.

Immediately upon arriving in Shanghai I was struck by the perfect field for the spread of Communism which it afforded. There is not only an immense disparity in wealth evidence in every part of the city such wealth as there is belongs to the comparatively few, and the great masses seem literally on the ragged edge of subsistence. I understand that economic dislocations have not made the lot of the poorest people substantially harder on the contrary their living standards have risen by comparison with pre-war standards. Nevertheless their misery is all too evident. On the other hand, too many of the wealthy people have made their money by means which are, to say the least, devious, and I am afraid spend it in ways which are, to say the least, heartless. Too often they seem to lack the virtues which might justify their privileges.

On the other hand, the intellectual leaders, if I understand correctly, are being severely squeezed by the progressive inflation. Naturally this factor, plus the corruption and reaction they see around them, has made them at least receptive to Communist propaganda if not actively sympathetic with it. This appears to be reflected in the university students who, as Ambassador Stuart put it, are 90% anti-Communist but also 90% anti-Government. Unhappily, so far as I yet have been able to see, the intellectuals have provided no outstanding liberal leaders, and the same is true of the really decent business men, who do not like the Government but who are not prepared to do anything effective about it (Lewis Clark 49 quoted to me a Tientsin business man who said that they practically vomited every time they thought of the National Government).

The National Government appears to be so steeped in reaction and corruption, so split in factions, and so generally inefficient, despite [Page 468] outstanding exceptions, that it cannot assume effective leadership. From our military observers comes a picture of chaotic conditions in the Nationalist Armies, and such a lack of morale among the soldiers that they are no match for Communist zeal and fanaticism. Too often they simply don’t fight.

Among civilians I find a complacent fatalism with regard to the spread of Communism in China. They seem to accept the inevitability of Communist success and to be indifferent to its implications they say placidly that the storm will pass, as have all other storms in Chinese history. It seems to make no difference if they belong to that group of Chinese which would certainly be the target of Communist witch hunting.

On the other hand, I find it difficult to agree with those observers who view the Communists as coming with gilded halos and wings to save and modernize China. I find the Communists mouthing today the same promises which they mouthed three years ago in Yugoslavia, and which they have there honored only in the breach since. It seems to me probable that if the Communists do succeed in winning all of China they will install in China a tyranny as subservient to Russia and a terror as brutal as Tito’s. Perhaps the Communists, even if they seem to win, will not succeed in taking over and dominating China completely, but their skill in other countries in knocking over one after another of the groups which might serve as the nuclei of successful opposition, while lulling the next victims with honeyed words, does not leave me very sanguine as to the outcome in this country. Communism would be a terrible alternative even to the rottenness of the present regime, quite apart from its implications in the world picture.

The major question in our relations with this country is, I assume, whether we should furnish aid, and if so in what manner and under what conditions. I take it as probable that if we do not furnish aid the regime will collapse and Communism, in one form or another, will come to dominate all of China. Experienced observers in this country seem to be generally agreed that both political and economic collapse could not be long delayed if aid were not given, and that the situation is deteriorating at an accelerating pace. We have tragically little time to act if we are to act, and we must realize that every day’s delay will make our task the more difficult in a material sense, if we eventually decide that we must rescue the Nanking regime.

Yet I do not think that we can afford to overlook the formidable objections to granting any aid. As I see it, if we embark on this course, in our further decisions we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. If we furnish a moderate amount of aid (and that seems to be [Page 469] the present line of thinking), it is hardly likely to prove effective, and in that event it would simply furnish the Communists the excuse, which they don’t need but which they will find convenient, to act as disagreeably as possible with regard to our citizens and their property. On the other hand, as you wisely suggested to me before I left Washington, we do not wish to commit ourselves lightheartedly to all-out aid to China. We do not wish to get our prestige irrevocably involved unless we are quite certain that it will be effective, that it will be supported by the American people, and that it will not merely be used by the Chinese to saddle us with an impossible burden. If we really go into this situation as we have in Greece we cannot afford to fail. However, nine-tenths at least of the burden must be shouldered by the Chinese if it is to be successfully carried, and I see discouragingly little evidence that the Chinese at the present time are prepared to shoulder any such burden.

There is a further dilemma in that aid given without strict controls would not be acceptable to the American people, for the very simple reason they know that it would be frittered away in inefficiency and graft. On the other hand, I question whether it would be possible, given the temper of the Chinese Government cliques and of the people, to impose the controls which would assure that any aid given would be effectively utilized. Communist propaganda has been extraordinarily successful in stirring up Chinese nationalistic sensibilities against the United States and the other western powers. In the light of Russia’s record this is amazing to me, but it is the fact. Should we demand strict controls, Communist propagandists would have a field day. Moreover, the many elements in the Government—the CC Clique, the grafters, etc.—who would be personally prejudiced by the imposition of strict controls have already made it quite clear that they would fight such controls in their press organs they have already invoked Chinese sovereignty against controls.

Recognizing that I do not have the experience on which to base a sound judgment, I nevertheless think we must consider carefully whether we can devise any formula which on the one hand would achieve the necessary degree of control over any aid we might give, and on the other secure adequate cooperation from the Chinese authorities. Paradoxically enough, I think it arguable that openly partisan aid to the Nanking Government might prejudice rather than help its chances of survival.

As I see it, two prerequisites should be satisfied before we grant any aid: (1) We should await the establishment of a government which has the confidence of the Chinese people (2) that government should make the fundamental issue involved quite clear to the Chinese [Page 470] people—that they are fighting for their peace and freedom against the grave menace of Soviet imperialism. I recognize that it is unlikely that these two conditions can be met and met in time. That may well mean Communist domination of all China. But quite apart from the possibility that the present regime would survive, there is the further possibility, which Chinese history suggests, that we might have a better chance of accomplishing our purposes by building on some healthy anti-Communist growth after the collapse of the Nanking regime than by shoring up the termite-ridden timbers of that regime. In the event the Nanking regime disappears, we should probably not anticipate a split in Communist ranks or a successful uprising against Communist excesses, but I see little reason for optimism in any case, whatever course we follow.

I recognize, moreover, that if the two above-mentioned conditions were met and we were under those circumstances to grant the massive aid which alone would be effective, we would run a serious risk of precipitating World War III. I fear, however, that we cannot successfully bring Soviet aggression to a halt without running some risks, and that we might as well face them in China as anywhere else. I do not believe that the Soviets want to fight, and I believe that if they do they will not lack for excuses. The risk, then, of precipitating a war should be confined to the danger of starting a conflict which is wanted by neither side.

I must add that the present situation regarding aid fills me with misgivings. This town, for example, is swarming with our military and naval activities which are a shining mark for Communist propaganda. The same seems true all over the country—the AAG in Nanking, the Navy operations in Tsingtao, where some 2500 Marines are still on Chinese territory, and our activities in Taiwan, for example, which are evoking misgivings in the Chinese press. I should like to urge their restriction in this district were the situation not so serious that I would be gambling with the lives of American civilians in making any such recommendation.

Perhaps there is in all this an issue even more fundamental than the granting of aid to China. Our great issue in the battle with Communism for the minds of men, as I see it, is our upholding of freedom and democracy (we may believe that our system brings to the great masses more material wellbeing than Communism can, but it is difficult conclusively to prove it, let alone sell it to other peoples). How then can we back the Nanking regime, which obviously upholds neither? It is one thing to uphold the peoples of the world against the imposition of an aggressive tyranny, but it is a very different thing to uphold every rotten, reactionary regime against its own people merely because it happens to be anti-Communist.

As I see it, so far as the public record is concerned, we can scarcely afford to take a holier-than-thou attitude vis-à-vis the Russians. Whereas we have every reason to suspect, but so far as I know we have never been able to prove, that the Soviets are furnishing material military aid to the Communists, our AAG is public evidence of our military support of Nanking, and our activities in Tsingtao are obviously intended as an advance base to offset Port Arthur. One is led to wonder (considering particularly that China borders the Soviet Union but not the United States) whether we do not share in some degree the responsibility for exacerbating the world crisis by giving Russians some valid grounds in this area for their supersensitive suspicions.

Taking all of the above considerations into account, I do not think that we can afford, in honor and decency, to abandon the Nanking regime to its fate at this point. If we feel that a Communist China would jeopardize our vital interests, then it would be advisable to give all-out aid upon such conditions as will ensure its effectiveness, regardless of the yelps of those whose toes are trodden on—and make it very clear that a refusal to meet our conditions means our complete and immediate withdrawal. But if, as I suspect, we are going to spend most of the next year in putting our hand to the plow and then taking several looks back, I suggest that the public emphasis in any aid might be on its peaceful character, and that we might be a darn sight less ostentatious locally about what we’re doing. I believe we should examine the need of keeping Marines at Tsingtao, for example, and for having such a swarm of United States uniforms and military vehicles clogging the landscape. Can’t we do something like reviving the Flying Tigers, 50 for example? I recognize that the situation calls for more than palliatives, yet as I see it the situation is too precarious and our freedom of action too circumscribed by past actions and domestic limitations to insist at this time upon all of the conditions which, taken together, would give an aid program good prospects of success. But surely the Chinese Government should at least clarify the issue to the Chinese people if we are to grant aid there is no use in our pouring money into China if the Government accepts and even mildly foments for its own tortuous ends agitation against the United States and Great Britain.

Probably the greater part of my thinking is brash and foolish, but if it contains any constructive thoughts for you I shall feel that this letter has been worth while.

Postwar Diplomacy and Reconstruction of Europe and Asia

The origins of the Cold War can be seen while America and the Soviet Union were still allies in World War II. The two nations had a history of mutual suspicion, and both maintained very different ideas about how postwar Europe should be administered. Each nation wanted to recreate Europe in their own image by forming Western-style democracies or Soviet-aligned Communist governments. In addition, the Soviets wanted to create a pro-Russian “buffer zone” that would insulate them from potential attacks in the future. These conflicting visions were clearly manifest during the meetings of American, British, and Soviet diplomats at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences in 1945.

In February 1945, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met at the Yalta Conference February 1945 meeting in the Soviet Union between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. The three leaders discussed wartime strategy, the creation of the United Nations, and the reconstruction of Europe. . Yalta was a popular resort city in the Ukraine where the three leaders discussed the future of Germany and Eastern Europe while their armies continued to close in around Hitler. Stalin believed that the defense of his nation depended on creating a Russian sphere of influence in Poland and other Eastern European nations because Poland and Eastern Europe had been used as a corridor to attack Russia several times in the past two centuries. Stalin promised to create a coalition government made up of representatives of the democratic Polish government exiled in London. Churchill and Roosevelt correctly suspected that he would instead create an interim government led by pro-Soviet Communists.

The allies had reason to be concerned about how democratic this process would be given the actions of the Red Army in Poland the previous year. For example, Stalin halted his offensive against Nazi-occupied Warsaw for two months while the German army killed thousands of Polish fighters who opposed Communism. Even though the Western Allies feared that Stalin would turn Poland into a Communist puppet state, they were hardly in any position to demand otherwise considering the Red Army’s complete occupation of Eastern Europe. Likewise, the Western Allies recognized that Stalin’s army would occupy Eastern Germany. Hoping to keep their tentative alliance alive, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that each nation would be responsible for occupying and reconstructing the section of Germany and Central Europe that corresponded with the position of their armies.

By the time these nations met again in Allied-controlled Germany for the Potsdam Conference July 1945 meeting in Germany between new President Harry Truman, new British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. The three leaders discussed the reconstruction of Europe and decided to divide Germany and Berlin into American, British, French, and Soviet sectors. in July, Churchill would be replaced by Clement Attlee as prime minister and Truman replaced the deceased Roosevelt. Like their predecessors, Attlee and Truman recognized the futility of a military challenge to Stalin’s position in Eastern Europe. Instead, they focused their efforts on determining how Eastern Europe might be divided and administered by the Soviets in a way that would foster reconstruction and genuine independence. They hoped that the Soviet Army’s presence would be temporary and that new national boundaries might be established throughout Eastern Europe, which might prevent future conflicts.

As had been the case following World War I, those present at the Potsdam Conference attempted to divide Europe into individual nations according to the doctrine of self-determination. Unfortunately, tremendous ethnic and political strife throughout Eastern Europe derailed the process. The dominant peoples of Eastern Europe each sought to remove national and ethnic minorities. In addition, all of these areas were also divided among a host of political factions, each vying for control of regions that had been completely destroyed by war and military occupation. Before long, this economic, ethnic, and political strife spread to Southern Europe in places such as Greece, Italy, and even Western nations such as France.

Britain’s Clement Attlee, President Harry Truman, and the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin seated together in Germany following the end of World War II.

The postwar settlement was also similar to that of World War I in the way the victorious allies debated the fate of Germany. In addition to dividing Germany into four zones, the German military was disbanded and the National Socialist Party was permanently abolished. The nation’s infrastructure was in shambles following the combined onslaught of Western and Soviet armies, so a special council was created to administer humanitarian aid. Each of the four nations created interim governments in their respective zones and prepared for special elections the world hoped would lead to stable and democratic governance to avoid the previous instability of the post–World War I period.

Given the extreme hardships their country endured, Russian leaders also sought reparations as a method of punishing Germany while building up their military. This led to conflict between the four occupying powers as the West sought to rebuild a democratic Germany that could stand on its own and refused Soviet demands for reparations from their sectors of Germany. Within the Soviet sector of Eastern Germany, the provisional government also worked to reconstruct the German economy, but its military also seized many of the nation’s economic assets as war reparations, which hindered efforts at reconstruction.

While many Americans shared the desire of Russian leaders to punish their attackers, the United States had prospered during the war and its highest priority was to promote global recovery and avoid the economic and political instability that led to the rise of totalitarian governments. Rather than seeking reparations within its German sector, the United States launched a massive program to aid war-torn Germany and later Japan in hopes of promoting stable democratic governments. In both Asia and Europe, the US perspective was influenced by humanitarian concerns but also guided by self-interest. Business leaders hoped to resume trade with these nations while political leaders feared economic instability might lead Europe and Asia toward Communism. As a result, US aid was aimed at ensuring Japanese and German reconstruction in the American image of democracy and free enterprise. US aid to these former adversaries was rewarded by the close political and economic ties that developed as West Germany and Japan became two of the strongest US allies in their ensuing conflict with the Soviet Union.

US forces occupied Japan from 1945 until 1952, overseeing the transition to a democratic government while also seizing military assets, holding military tribunals for accused war criminals, and overseeing reparations payments. Given the horrific nature of the war in the Pacific, the peacetime transition of Japan from a militaristic dictatorship to a prospering democracy was remarkable. As was the case in Germany, the reconstruction of Japan mirrored the developing Cold War rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Soviets created their sphere of influence in Manchuria while the Americans occupied Japan. With the help of the newly created United Nations, Korea was temporarily partitioned into US and Soviet sectors and installed with rival governments.

General Douglas MacArthur Commander of US forces in the southwest Pacific in World War II, MacArthur was also placed in charge of the Reconstruction of Japan. MacArthur also served as commander of US and UN forces in the Korean War. MacArthur was relieved of duty after making unauthorized remarks calling for an attack against Communist China. was placed in charge of Japan’s reconstruction and created a constitutional democracy similar to the United States. Early years of Japanese reconstruction focused on reducing the power of that nation’s military and converting factories from creating munitions to producing consumer goods. Many Americans feared that promoting too much industrial growth might lead to Japan becoming a major power once again. However, as Communism began to spread throughout China and Southeastern Asia, US leaders shifted their orientation and invested resources to ensure Japanese economic growth under a pro-American government. Many of MacArthur’s democratic reforms such as female suffrage proved unpopular with the Japanese people at first, but by 1950, America and Japan had transformed from bitter enemies to allies. The basis of this friendship was US economic aid, mutual trade, and hostility to the growth of Communism in neighboring China and North Korea.

The reconstruction of Eastern Europe offers a sharp contrast to that of Japan and West Germany. The people of Eastern Europe had suffered tremendously and now demanded that German residents of the region leave their countries. After all, they reasoned, Hitler had justified his actions in the region based on reuniting all peoples of German origins. For this reason, authorities in Eastern Europe demanded that Germans living in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary return to Germany. The Potsdam Conference followed this line of reasoning in declaring its intention to create nations along ethnic lines. Poland was to be occupied by people of Polish origins, the Czechs were to live in Czechoslovakia, and Hungary would be for Hungarians, and so on.

This map demonstrates the division of Europe that corresponded to the positions of the armies of the Soviet Union and the Armies of the Western Allies. The Soviet Union would dominate the reconstruction of Eastern Europe, with the nations of this region forming socialist governments that were allied with Moscow.

As had been the case after World War I, this plan failed to recognize the vast ethnic diversity of the region and the impossibility of drawing national boundaries that would accomplish its goal without creating millions of refugees. In addition, millions of other ethnic minorities would also be forced to leave their homes if such a plan was universally enforced. Each government partially attempted to purge their nation of various minorities, usually enforcing the provisions of exclusionary schemes on those most vulnerable—the poor. Eastern Europe had scarce resources to feed or transport the millions of refugees created by the expulsion of ethnic minorities, and historians estimate that as many as 2 million people perished in refugee camps in the resulting disorder.

In addition to the atrocities resulting from expulsion, the people of Eastern Europe suffered under various totalitarian governments created under the influence of Stalin’s authoritarian régime. Some historians have blamed the “appeasement” of Stalin at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences for the abandonment of Eastern Europe to Soviet domination. However, the Western Allies were hardly in any position to dictate the reconstruction of Eastern Europe under Soviet terms given the position of the Red Army throughout the region. In addition, the Allies wanted to recreate the area west of Berlin in their own image.

The official declarations at Yalta and Potsdam mandated democratic elections and constitutional government. Indeed, many elections were held and both Communist and non-Communist leaders were democratically elected throughout Eastern Europe in the immediate postwar years. Before long, however, Communist groups throughout the region seized power with Soviet military backing. Shortly after the end of World War II, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and East Germany all had Communist governments that were backed by the Soviet Red Army.

Yugoslavia liberated itself from Nazi rule, which meant that it was never occupied by the Soviet Army. As a result, Yugoslavian leader Josip Tito Leader of Communist Yugoslavia. Tito was significant in world history because he fiercely defended the independence of his nation, despite the attempts of Stalin to dictate the affairs of all Communist states. was able to maintain independence from the Soviet bloc because the Red Army neither liberated nor occupied Yugoslavia. Tito’s Communist regime jailed dissenters as had other Soviet-backed regimes yet provided an alternative to Soviet leadership for leftists throughout the globe. By 1948, Europe was divided between democratic and Communist states along a line that corresponded to the orientation of the two superpowers whose armies had liberated Europe from the Nazis. Democracy and Capitalism ruled in the Western nations liberated and occupied by US troops, while the eastern nations liberated by the Soviet Red Army formed Communist governments.

The U.S. gives Egypt $1.5 billion a year in aid. Here’s what it does.

The biggest policy debate roiling Washington right now is whether to continue America's annual $1.5 billion aid package to Egypt. After all, Egypt just had a coup in which the military ousted the country's elected president, Mohammed Morsi. Doesn't that warrant a response?

The Obama administration says it prefers to keep aid flowing to Egypt for now — for stability's sake. “It would not be in the best interests of the United States to immediately change our assistance program to Egypt,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Yet some key members of Congress are calling for a cutoff. “We need to suspend aid to the new government until it does in fact schedule elections and put in place a process that comes up with a new constitution,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

So here's a quick primer on the situation — what we actually give Egypt, why we send so much aid, and under what circumstances we might cut it off.

What do we actually give to Egypt? Between 1948 and 2011, the United States has given Egypt about $71.6 billion in bilateral military and economic aid. That's more than we've given to any other country over that time frame save for Israel.

A recent report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service lays out the details. The biggest chunk is military aid, averaging about $1.3 billion per year since 1987, with much of that military equipment. For instance, Egypt plans to acquire 1,200 M1A1 Abrams Battle tanks from the United States. The components are jointly manufactured in both countries and shipped to Egypt for final assembly. This year, the United States is also shipping 20 F-16 fighter jets overseas. Plus there's money for border security along the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt also gets a few special financing provisions, says CRS, including the ability to deposit its funds at an interest-bearing account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The nation also gets to engage in cash-flow financing to pay for military equipment, a special provision not available to most recipients, and one that allows Egypt to negotiate bigger arms purchases.

On top of that, Egypt received about $250 million last year in economic aid, money that goes toward health, education, as well as democracy programs. (In past years, the United States also funded big USAID infrastructure projects in sanitation, communications, and so forth. But that was scaled back in the 1990s.)

Can you put those numbers in context? In fiscal year 2011, the United States handed out about $49 billion in military and economic aid all told. Egypt got about $1.5 billion — the fourth-largest recipient after Israel ($3 billion), Iraq ($2.1 billion), and Pakistan ($1.7 billion).

On Egypt's end, the assistance plays an out-sized role in the budget. No one knows the exact numbers, but by one one count, "U.S. military aid covers as much as 80% of the Defense Ministry's weapons procurement costs." (In 2011, a Cornell economist estimated that U.S. aid made up one-third of Egypt's broader military budget.)

Why do we give Egypt so much aid? Since the late 1970s, U.S. policymakers have justified the aid as a way to stabilize the region and promote its interests. Here's CRS laying out the official line: "Interests include maintaining U.S. naval access to the Suez Canal, maintaining the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, and promoting democracy and economic growth within Egypt, the region's largest Arab country."

More recently, the Obama administration has insisted that aid to Egypt is crucial to avoiding broader problems. “A hold up of aid might contribute to the chaos that may ensue because of their collapsing economy, said Secretary of State John Kerry in January. "Their biggest problem is a collapsing economy.”

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Watch the video: Ξεκίνησε τις εξαγωγές το Αφγανιστάν: Τρεις τόνοι ηρωίνης πιάστηκαν σε λιμάνι της Ινδίας (January 2022).