b. You speak as though the US was in Europe as an altruistic exercise in chivalrous protection of the weak. My understanding is, that at least as much as such a motive, and in my view far more so, that the USA used Europe as its forward defence line against the USSR - that, just as the USSR grabbed itself many "vassal" states - at least partly as a defence against what it saw (quite reasonably) as a hostile post-war Europe and America, so the USA developed a network of friendly client states as a buffer against a hostile Soviet Union.
I'll go a bit further...the Cold War was about a few things: [..]
3. Spheres of influence: The Marshall Plan was a deliberate ploy by the USA following WWII to prevent the rise of Communist sentiment and political forces, by making reconstruction dependent on adoption of Capitalist values. These states are no less vassal states than those on the end of the USA's long arm control of the other side of the Iron Curtain.
Dlowan was talking motive
- and yeh, I don't think it's much of a controversy to propose the Marshall Plan represented primarily a move of strategic interest - that the embedding of Western Europe in NATO was in terms of motive a question of establishing "friendly client states as a buffer against a hostile Soviet Union".
But to say that, in practice
, "these states [were] no less vassal states than those on the [..] other side of the Iron Curtain", is a chutzpah. You can't really mean that. Sure the states of Western Europe were, vis-a-vis the US, "in a subservient or subordinate position" (which is what the dictionary gives for vassal), but "no less than those" of the Eastern Block?!
The regimes of the Eastern Block had no freedom to determine their own course to any extent up to the mid-fifties; and even after that only to a comparatively marginal extent: any move to legalise any political opposition whatsoever, or even to openly question any of the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism, being reason enough for instant removal from power ... As the countless victims of 1953, 1956, 1968 and 1980 testify ... Sorry to sound harsh but please do remind yourself of the comparison to the varied political systems, open debates and range of mixed economic systems in Western Europe before you start equating ...