Armenuhi V. Ghambaryan
The end of the First World War inspired great hopes in the Armenians scattered all over the world, and especially in the newly created Republic of Armenia. The Armenians were eagerly awaiting the decisions of the conference on the problems of the post-war world, hoping that the allies would provide an opportunity for a just solution of the Armenian question – the liberation of all Armenian lands and the establishment of a united and independent Armenia. Without the help of the victorious Powers, it was also impossible to fulfill the key tasks facing the government of the young Republic – protecting the country from external and internal enemies, ensuring the physical existence of the people and solving the food problem. Most Armenians were convinced that the United States would lead their liberation and reconstruction.
However, the historical events of 1919 confirmed that the Great Powers, regardless of the ongoing geopolitical changes, as before, guided by their own interests, continued, if not forget, then to push into the background their “concerns” about the fate of the Armenians and gradually forget the promises and readiness provide the necessary assistance. The actions of the United States in this case practically did not differ from the positions of other Powers. Moreover, if the allies
openly distanced themselves from the solution of the Armenian question and leaving the latter to the United States, offered the Americans the mandate for Armenia, the United States acted contradictory manifestations. On the one hand, the Americans expressed interest in seeing the Armenian people free and independent, on the other hand, with regard to the Armenians and, in particular, in the issue of the mandate, they pursued a “passive” and “undefined” policy. Thus, in the studied period of time, it becomes pointless to wait for decisive actions on the part of the United States – in terms of political or military intervention in favor of the Armenians in general and the Republic of Armenia in particular. By the end of
the summer of 1919, with the withdrawal of British troops from the Caucasus and, in particular, from Armenia, when the situation in Armenia became critical, the only hope was the United States. However, the petitions and statements of the Armenians about the provision of military assistance, the dispatch of troops, weapons and ammunition to Armenia remained unanswered by the United States. The efforts of the civil and military missions of the Republic of Armenia that left for the United States in the autumn of 1919 with petitions and the hope that Congress would agree to first send small troops to Armenia to ensure control over the roads delivering aid through the territory of Georgia, then recognizes the Republic of Armenia and, in the end, will accept the mandate of Armenia. The above mentioned points were also included in the resolution of Senator J. Sh. Williams, submitted to the US Senate, on the provision of military assistance to the Republic of Armenia. The hearings of a special subcommittee on this issue, created by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, held from September 27 to October 10, were in fact unsuccessful. The issue of military assistance to Armenia from the United States did not receive a positive decision, and the refusal dragged on for more than six months – until mid of May 1920.
The reality that the United States did not openly respond to the provision of military assistance to Armenia, or, rather, consistently delayed a negative response, was neither an accident nor a “political hesitation”. The US policy towards Armenia was one of the vectors of a specially developed political line “Europe- East”, according to which military-state intervention in the protection of Armenians during the mentioned period was actually not on the agenda. In fact, the United States pursued a neutral policy – both economically and politically and even officially – de jure did not recognize the Republic of Armenia.