After World War II, European countries whose economies had been destroyed turned to the United States for help. And it delivered: to rebuild Europe, the Harry S. Truman administration put together a massive aid package known as the Marshall Plan, the biggest ever of its kind. The economic assistance revitalized Europe’s industries and provided food for millions of people across the continent, but there was another equally important benefit. By providing political and economic stability to European countries, the United States pulled countries closer to it and further away from its Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union. The Marshall Plan is a reminder that aid isn’t just a gesture of kindness—it is a strategic tool that countries use to advance their interests.