Nixon Doctrine

Nixon Doctrine

The Nixon Doctrine (also known as the Guam Doctrine) was put forth in a press conference in Guam on July 25, 1969 by U.S. President Richard Nixon. He stated that the United States henceforth expected its allies to take care of their own military defense, but that the U.S. would aid in defense as requested. The Doctrine argued for the pursuit of peace through a partnership with American allies.

In Nixon's own words (Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam November 3, 1969):[1]

  • First, the United States will keep all of its treaty commitments.
  • Second, we shall provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security.
  • Third, in cases involving other types of aggression, we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense.

The doctrine was also applied by the Nixon administration in the Persian Gulf region, with military aid to Iran and Saudi Arabia.[2] According to author Michael Klare,[3] application of the Nixon Doctrine "opened the floodgates" of U.S. military aid to allies in the Persian Gulf, and helped set the stage for the Carter Doctrine and for the subsequent direct U.S. military involvement of the Gulf War and the Iraq War.

Doctrine In Practice

Both Nixonians and Contrarians argue that the Guam Doctrine may have masked other needs, intentions, and motives.[citation needed] Nixon was president when a resolution of the Vietnam War was essentially mandatory due to growing public opinion in favor of withdrawal;[4] A Gallup poll in May showed 56% of the public believed sending troops to Vietnam was a mistake. Of those over 50, 61% expressed that belief, compared to 49% of those between 21 and 29, even if tacit abandonment of the SEATO Treaty was ultimately required, resulting in a complete communist takeover of South Vietnam despite previous US guarantees.[5]

US retreat from unconditional defense guarantees to lesser allies in general was driven as much by financial concerns[6] as by policy re-examination of strategic and foreign policy objectives, reflected in Nixon's goals of detente and nuclear arms control with the Soviet Union, and establishment of formal diplomatic relations with Communist China. As a consequence of this shift, direct sales of weaponry[7] to nations no longer under the nuclear umbrella of previous US security guarantees dramatically increased as US guarantees were withdrawn.


  1. ^ Richard M. Nixon (November 3, 1969). "President Nixon's Speech on "Vietnamization"" (reprint). 
  2. ^ Beinart, Peter (2007-01-04). "Return of the Nixon Doctrine". TIME.,9171,1574151,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-bottom. 
  3. ^ author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency (New York: Henry Holt, 2004)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Todd, Olivier. Cruel April: The Fall of Saigon. W.W. Norton & Company, 1990. (originally published in 1987 in French)
  6. ^ [The Gold Battles Within the Cold War: American Monetary Policy and the Defense of Europe, 1960-1963. Francis J. Gavin, University of Texas at Austin]
  7. ^ [Resource: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute:]

Further reading

  • J. Kimball (2006). "The Nixon Doctrine: A Saga of Misunderstanding". Presidential Studies Quarterly 36 (1): 59–74. doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2006.00287.x. 
  • H. Meiertöns (2010): The Doctrines of US Security Policy — An Evaluation under International Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521766487.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nixon Doctrine — the policy declared by President Nixon in 1969 that the U.S. would supply arms but not military forces to its allies in Asia and elsewhere. * * * …   Universalium

  • Nixon Doctrine — use Japan, Iran, and South Africa to oppose communist influence in their regions; for Richard M Nixon, thirty sixth president of the United States …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Nixon Doctrine — the policy declared by President Nixon in 1969 that the U.S. would supply arms but not military forces to its allies in Asia and elsewhere …   Useful english dictionary

  • Doctrine Nixon — Nixon, à son arrivée au pouvoir en 1968, se trouve confronté à plusieurs problèmes: d une part, la guerre au Vietnam semble être un bourbier dont l armée américaine ne peut que difficilement sortir. D autre part, le système financier, basé sur le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctrine Carter — Doctrine de politique étrangère américaine (1980) : toute tentative de gagner le contrôle de la région du Golfe provoquera des représailles des États Unis. Cette doctrine s inscrit dans la continuité de la doctrine Eisenhower. L application… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nixon (film) — Nixon Theatrical poster Directed by Oliver Stone Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Doctrine Reagan — Le président des États Unis Ronald Reagan La doctrine Reagan était une stratégie orchestrée et mise en place par les États Unis sous l administration Reagan pour contrer l influence globale de l Union soviétique au cours des dernières années de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctrine Hallstein — La doctrine Hallstein désigne une doctrine de la République fédérale d Allemagne appliquée à partir de 1955 qui consiste à prononcer la rupture des relations diplomatiques avec tout État qui reconnaîtrait la République démocratique allemande.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctrine Kennedy — La doctrine Kennedy désigne la politique étrangère des États Unis sous la présidence de John Fitzgerald Kennedy, principalement à l égard de l Amérique latine. Sommaire 1 Discours inaugural 2 Guerre froide 3 Contexte historique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctrine Truman — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Truman. .. La doctrine Truman est née le 11 mars 1947, elle est la base de la politique des États Unis contre le Bloc communiste durant la guerre froide. « Je crois que les États Unis doivent soutenir les… …   Wikipédia en Français