THE MEDITERRANEAN: Its Role in America's Foreign Policy by William Reitzel

THE MEDITERRANEAN: Its Role in America's Foreign Policy

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The questions of why, when and how of America's entrenchment in the Mediterranean, an area where for generations the U.S.A. has rejected commitments, are plausibly answered in this excellent study from the Yale Institute. The period of deliberate evasion, the period of improvisation, both have yielded to a coherent regional approach -- rooted in military and economic power, holding threat of intervention if and when necessary. The British system and American resources have become Siamese twins, though confessedly their interests are not identical. The strategic value of regional operation in the eastern Mediterranean (with the Spanish and North African situations linked) is its defense against Communist expansion, whether in the Balkans or the Near East. The Mediterranean is shown as being involved in the larger pattern of America's international relations, whether we are facing a two-power world or a new balance of power, the Mediterranean is directly related to our survival. The author traces his findings, specifically from the North African invasion to the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. He backgrounds the period with a brief historical summary; he shows the points of tension which have resulted in shifts of policy, Venezia-Giulia, Trieste, Azerbaijan, Spain and Tangiers, Greece and Great Britain, the open bid for the Straits, the formation of the Arab League, the Palestine tangle (on this he contributes some light on the British position). America has chosen to make solid her position in regard to Italy as a bulwark against Communist advance, since the Balkan occupation by the Red Army altered the distribution of political powers, and Yalta ended the fiction of compatability. Not a book that presents opinions or conclusions- but that marshals the facts for clarification of the situation.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace