Originally produced on June 5, 2017 for Mauldin Economics, LLC
By George Friedman and Jacob L. Shapiro
Seventy years ago on June 5, US Secretary of State George Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University. Few speeches in modern times have had as much geopolitical consequence. In just eight paragraphs, Marshall made the case for significant US involvement in Europe’s economic reconstruction after World War II.
Within 10 months, the United States passed the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948. Better known as the Marshall Plan, it provided over $13 billion to 16 European countries (approximately $150 billion in 2017 dollars). According to the Congressional Research Service, the annual appropriation in 1949 alone accounted for 12% of the entire US federal budget.
The Marshall Plan became a significant instrument of American power. It represented a substantial sacrifice for the US, but one that paid dividends long after the US stopped providing funds to Marshall Plan recipients.
At a time when the world is divided on the merits of nationalism versus internationalism, it’s worth reflecting on why the Marshall Plan worked.......To Read More....