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  • Revision:East - West Relations after 1945 up to Detente

TSR Wiki > Study Help > Subjects and Revision > Revision Notes > History > East - West Relations after 1945 up to Detente


East — West Relations after 1945

Definition: ‘cold war´ describes the conflict between the USSR and the ‘Western Powers´ in the period following WWII / Period of tension characterized by conflict at diplomatic, economic and all levels short of actual armed conflict between the principals on either side.


Contents

Origins

  • breakdown of wartime co-operation between the Allies (Obvious at Yalta and Potsdam conferences)
  • possible to trace as far back as 1917 when the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia led to the creation of the world´s first communist state (in conflict with the west)
  • Didn´t emerge until after WWII b/c the USSR and USA were both isolated after WWI and USSR could not put into practice the ideal of exporting revolution.


Factors which contributed to the outbreak of the Cold War

  • Mutual suspicion
    • Nature of the official ideology of the USSR: stated the inevitability of conflict with western capitalist states à contributed to suspicions from the west / not certain that Stalin was motivated by this Marxist-Leninist ideology
    • Liberal-democratic system of the West was not well understood by Stalin: the allies were unable to commit themselves ‘on the spot´ but had to refer to their parliament or congress, this was evidence for Stalin of lack of faith.
  • Conflict btw fundamental aims of Stalin and Roosevelt:
    • Roosevelt had idealistic aims (‘four freedoms´: f. from want, f. of speech, f. of religious belief and f. from fear)
    • Stalin had more concrete aims (regaining of Russian territory lost in WWI, control over E.E. …)
  • Tendency to interpret the actions of the other in the light of their own priorities.
    • Nature of Stalin´s regime: dictatorship of USSR was only justified if external forces threatened the security of USSR, therefore to prevent the danger of being overthrown from within, Stalin had to have external enemies.
  • Death of Roosevelt: Stalin had a great deal of respect for him / Truman was far less of an internationalist + far less willing to extent goodwill to the USSR / Churchill replaced by Attlee.
  • The bipolar nature of international relations: USSR and USA were the only real powers in the immediate post-WWII period and as representatives of rival social systems they were forced into confrontation.


The Cold War develops — events 1944-1949

The Yalta Conference, February 1945

  • Most of the discussions involved the arrangements for Europe following ending of the war since defeat of Nazi Germany was only a matter of time.
  • The Allies had been united by a negative goal and had not agreed on a positive goal which could continue to unite them once Hitler was not a threat anymore.

The Issues

Germany

  • Germany to be divided into zones of occupation as previously agreed.
  • Moved away from the ‘Morgenthau Plan´ (reducing Germany to an agricultural country but no alternative was found.
  • Eliminate or control "all German industry that could be used for military purposes".
  • Trials of the leading war criminals were agreed.
  • Commission to be established to determine reparations.


The defeated and liberated states

  • Complain by USA and GB that Stalin had not given the co-operation of Soviet authorities in areas occupied by the Red Army.
  • Declaration on Liberated Europe (what was to be done with Liberated countries)
  • Agreed that action regarding these areas should be joint action.
Poland
  • GB and USA had recognized Polish Gov. in exile while Stalin recognized the Lublin Committee (Polish communists).
  • Suggested that the 2 groups co-operate and that ‘free and unfettered elections…on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot´ would be held.
  • No decisive conclusion on frontiers but agreed that Soviet frontier would advance westwards and Poland would be compensated from German territory.
Japan
  • USSR agreed to enter war against Japan within ‘2 or 3 months of the ending of hostilities in Europe´
  • USSR to regain all territory lost to Japan in 1904/05 war and to have the major interest in the railways in Northern China

The Potsdam Conference, July/August 1945

  • Truman represented the USA / Churchill was replaced by Attlee / Truman informed Stalin of the US atomic bomb.
  • Council of Foreign Ministers formed to draft peace treaties w/ defeated enemy states.
  • Reparations: USSR to begin collecting reparations from its zone / eventually to receive a percentage of reparations from western zones.
  • Arrangements for trial of Nazi leaders went ahead in the American zone.

Areas of Disagreement

  • Stalin wanted the districts of Kars and Ardahan in Turkey.
  • Stalin demanded trusteeship of one of the former Italian colonies in Africa.
  • Stalin proposed joint action on Franco (rejected by western powers)
  • Stalin proposed discussion of situation in Syria and Lebanon but GB and FR considered this to be of their concern.
  • USA and Allies not able to access areas of Europe occupied by the Red Army.
  • Stalin moved the frontier of the USSR westwards and handed over to Poland a large area of the Soviet zone of Germany (including land to which the Allies had not agreed)

The breakdown of the alliance followed rapidly as conflicts arose in a number of areas

Iran

  • Northern part of the country to be a Russian sphere of interest / Southern part a British sphere.
  • During WWII country jointly occupied b/c on a supply route to the USSR.
  • September 1944: British negotiate an oil concession w/ Iranian Gov. for Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and Standard Oil of USA à Soviet seek a similar concession / Iranians (encouraged by West) refuse.
  • USSR began to give support to groups opposed to monarchy in Iran / refused to withdraw troops in 1945 / established ‘independent´ republic of Azerbaijani.
  • January 1946: Iran complains to UN security council
  • March 1946: USSR agrees to withdraw troops
  • Iranian forces move to restore Gov. control over ‘Azerbaijani´ and Soviet troops move to the border / both GB and USA threaten to support Iran à USSR backs down.

Turkey

  • Teheran Conferency (1943): Churchill stated that USSR was entitled to better access to the world´s principal sea routes.
  • March 1945: USSR demands that the treaty concerning the use of the Straits be revised / demand for naval base on the Dardanelles / demand for return of the old Czarist provinces of Kars and Ardahan à Turks refused and are supported by GB
  • August 1946: USA stated that any attack upon Turkey would justify action by Security Council of UN and moved an aircraft carrier force to Istanbul.

Greece

  • October 1944: Agreement btw Churchill and Stalin on spheres of influence in Balkans.
  • December 1944: British begin supporting the Greek monarchy against communist forces backed by Yugoslavia and Albania (suspicion that Stalin was behind the communist moves)
  • Feb. 1947: GB informs USA of their inability to support the Greek Gov. (USA must step in or there would be a further advance for the communist cause) à Truman decides to help stating his interpretation of events in what became known as the Truman Doctrine.

Germany

  • Allies agree that Germany should not be allowed to become a threat to them again / little agreement as to how this ought to be done.
  • Early problems caused by the French (b/c de Gaulle had not been invited to any of the ‘Big Three´ conferences and did not feel bound by any of the agreements reached there)


More serious differences soon arise btw USSR and western allies

Reparations

  • Carrying out the Potsdam agreement proved difficult b/c of the v. poor state of the German economy.

USA + GB were having to send reparations from their zones to the Soviets (unable to sell industrial produce to pay for imported food)

  • Soviets not sending the agreed food supplies from their largely agricultural sector
  • Spring 1946: USA + GB stop reparation deliveries to the Soviet zone.
  • Sept. 6th 1946: Byrnes (US Secretary of State) acknowledges that Potsdam agreement is not working and proposed that GB and USA merge their zones to form one economic unit. à done in January 1947 w/ the French zone joining in 1949.


Political developments

  • Under Potsdam agreement, setting up of ‘free democratic and anti-fascist´ parties had been provided for.
  • June 1945: Soviets allowed formation of political parties / in contrast with developments in the west (i.e.: French still talking of annexing the Saar)
  • December 1945: talks of merger btw Communist and Social Democrats à referendum in March 1946 but rejected.
  • Soviets went ahead with the merger in their own zone.
  • German political leaders in the west decided to form groups within the other zones: Soviet attempt to control German political parties had failed.
  • June 1947: anti-Soviet Reuteur elected as Mayor of Berlin / Not recognized by Soviet General Kotikov à parties were henceforth to develop separately in the Soviet zone and the western zones.


The Council of Foreign Ministers

  • March 1947; fourth session of the council began in Moscow: made no progress b/c of the annunciation of the Truman Doctrine à conference broke up.


Eastern Europe

  • By May 1945 Red Army occupied a vast area of E.Europe / ‘Declaration on Liberated Europe´ was the only guarantee that the Soviet area would not be used to strengthen USSR
  • Churchill had sought to improve the western position by:
    • Urging USA to order US armies to advance as far to the east as possible before ending of the war à refused by Roosevelt who was suspicious of Churchill´s motives.
    • Attempting to convince the USA that its planned withdrawal of troops from Europe should not take place so long as the Red Army had several million men under arms.
    • Churchill stated: "An iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind."
  • Between 1945-47 the USSR strengthened the position of Communist parties in E.E. whilst denying western officials access to the area.


Policy of Containment

  • by 1947 the USA began to reshape its policy to meet what it saw as the growing influence of the Soviet Union.
  • March 1947: Truman Doctrine.
  • June 1947: USA made known the means by which the above policy would be implemented: Marshall Aid.
  • It was hoped that the root cause of discontent (need for E. recovery) and spread of communism would be halted.
  • USSR attended initial meetings but soon withdrew and obliged E.E. states to do likewise.
  • End August 1947: USSR replied to what it saw as a clear anti-Soviet measure by signing trade agreements with several states thus tying them into the soviet economic system (Bulgaria, .CZ, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland and Rumania)
  • June 1947: article by a US State Department Soviet specialist stated that the USA must develop "…a policy of firm containment, designed to confront the Russians with unalterable counter force at every point where they show signs of encroaching upon the interests of a peaceful and stable world…" / This involved:
  • Decision to maintain large US forces in Europe in peacetime.
  • Establishment of a peacetime alliance (NATO) with a strong US commitment.


The Soviet Response

  • Tightened its grip upon the states of E.E. (1948 coup brought the last of the E.E. states, .CZ, under firm communist control)
  • Bilateral trade agreements.
  • Cominform established to strengthen links btw various communist parties.
  • Stated that WWII had been fought by USA and GB to eliminate German and Japanese industrial competition and warned that the world was now divided into "…two fronts, one imperialist, the other socialist and democratic…"
  • The Berlin Blockade: attempt to eliminate the only remaining area of western influence behind the ‘iron curtain´ à failed.


Europe Divided

Two Rival Camps

Europe by 1949 was divided into two rival camps each with their own political, economic and military alliances:


Economically

  • Western countries united through O.E.E.C. (initially formed to facilitate distribution of Marshall aid)
  • Countries of E.E. linked to USSR economically by bilateral trade agreements and Comecon (Council for *Mutual Economic Assistance — Jan 1949)


Militarily

  • Brussels Treaty (March 1948) allied GB, FR, and Benelux countries in the event of an attack / N.A.T.O. (April 1949) wider alliance.
  • Soviet countries united through the Warsaw Pact (1955)


Politically

  • In western Europe various organizations were established to attempt to achieve greater unity.
  • In E.E. the USSR established Cominform to link together the various communist parties.


The effects of the development of the Cold War

  • International relations were dominated by the Cold War and all conflicts tended to be seen in terms of the struggle btw the USA and the USSR à international relations were bipolar.
  • Europe was divided with a clear line of demarcation btw the capitalist west and the communist east.
  • Germany was not united: instead western and eastern zones gained independence separately and were not prepared to recognize each other.
  • No peace treaty was signed with Germany: sense of insecurity amongst countries of E.E. (this was solved in 1975 at the Helsinki Conference)
  • Unity in western Europe was encouraged by the Soviet threat and USA who hoped that western European states would play a greater part in their own defences.
  • USSR tightened its control over the E.E. states à setting up of one party states.

USA abandoned its policy of avoiding peacetime commitments: it was instrumental in setting up of NATO and other regional forces.

  • USA adopted the policy of containment à led to US involvement all over the world assuming that any communist group was acting upon the orders of Moscow (i.e.: Korea, Vietnam) à USA became the ‘world policeman´.
  • UN was never able to fulfil the role which Roosevelt had envisaged (peaceful settlement of international disputes) b/c of the veto power of both the USA and USSR.


The Cold War spreads to the East

  • By 1949, the position in Europe was static: the last attempt to change the balance (Berlin Blockade) had failed
  • With the advent of nuclear weapons neither side was prepared to risk open conflict in order to change the position.
  • However, events in the East brought that area into the Cold War conflict:


The Communist takeover of China

  • 1927-1937: civil war between the Kuomintang (nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-Shek) and the Chinese Communist Party (Mao Tse-Tung)
  • 1937-1945: uneasy truce to allow both to fight the common Japanese enemy.
  • By 1945 the scene was set again for a renewal of the civil war.
  • Truman sent General Marshal to persuade both sides to form a coalition Gov. but Chiang Kai-Shek didn´t wish to share power and the Communist party had grown in strength and was not settling for less than real power sharing.


The US attitude

  • USA had great interest in the future of China: supported China against its division by the Great Powers at the end of the 19th century, and against Japan.
  • USA was aware of the corruption of Chiang Kai-Shek´s regime and of its lack of support.
  • USA was aware that becoming involved in China would be an enormous undertaking (size of country, population, and backwardness)
  • As the Cold War developed in Europe, the USA became increasingly concern at the prospect of a victory for the forces of Mao Tse-Tung.
  • USA thus provided some limited support for Chiang Kai-Shek but in 1949 the remnants of the Kuomintang forces abandoned the mainland of China and fled to Taiwan (where they were protected by the US navy)


C.P.P. Victory

Victory of the C.C.P. in the Chinese civil war coincided w/ the most intense phase of the Cold War in Europe. The consequences were:

  • USA assumed that the takeover of the communists in China was inspired by Moscow. (in fact Stalin had urged Mao to come to terms w/ nationalists b/c he didn´t feel that a communist revolution had a chance of succeeding)
  • USA became increasingly eager to accept the policy of containment.
  • Considerable opposition in the USA to the recognition of the new regime in China.
  • Many people felt that China had been ‘lost´ b/c the USA had not taken the necessary steps to support the Gov. of Chiang.
  • McCartyism (purges of Gov. / ‘Red Scare´)


The Korean War 1950-1953

  • Korea under control of Japanese since late 19th century.
  • Cairo Conference (1943) suggested independence of Korea to follow defeat of Japan.
  • After Aug. 1945 (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), the Soviet forces occupied the area to the north of the 38th parallel and the US forces the area to the south.
  • Development of the Cold War precluded co-operation btw the occupying forces.
  • By end 1948 there were two Koreas: the Republic of Korea (South) and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North).
  • December 1948: Soviet and US forces withdraw from their zone of occupation.


The ‘defense perimeter´

  • Jan. 1950: Secretary of State (Dean Acheson) outlined a perimeter beyond which the USA would not tolerate the advance of communism (however, he failed to include South Korea within)
  • Why did he not include S.K.?
    • Budgetary reasons
    • USA did not wish to involve itself to any great extent in the defense of Korea.
    • Oversight on the part of the US secretary.
    • USA did not feel that there was any threat to South Korea.
    • Exclusion of S.K. seems to have encouraged N.K. and USSR to believe that USA would not resist measures to unite two Koreas under communist rule.


The invasion of the South

  • June 25th 1950: N.K. forces cross 38th parallel and invade south / Probable that USSR encouraged this b/c:
    • Soviet supplies for N.K. far surpassed peacetime needs of N. Koreans.
    • Given the development of the Cold War it is unlikely that the Koreas would have taken such a step w/out consulting the USSR.
  • Truman´s View:
    • " The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war."
    • "I recalled some earlier instances: Manchuria, Ethiopia, Austria. I remember how each time the democracies failed to act it had encouraged the aggressors to go ahead………If this was allowed to go unchallenged it would mean a third world war."


Events

  • US air, naval, and ground assistance sent to N.K.
  • UN Security Council acted (b/c Soviet Union had been absent since Jan. 1950)
  • Seoul fell on 28 June 1950.
  • 10 July: Acheson states that US forces were in Korea to ‘restore the Republic of Korea to its status prior to the invasion´.
  • During summer 1950 US forces pushed back towards Pusan.
  • 15 September: Amphibious assault organized by MacArthur turned situation around à by 21 September, clear that US firepower had won.
  • 7 October 1950: US and UN changed their aims in Korea and decided on ‘the establishment of a unified, independent and democratic government in the sovereign state of Korea´.
  • No longer a war of ‘containment´ but an attempt to ‘roll back´ communism.
  • October 3: Chinese deliver an ultimatum to the USA: "If the Americans cross the 38th parallel China would be forced to intervene in Korea´.
  • October 19: Pyongyang taken à 16 October 350,000 men from Chinese army had entered Korea.
  • Motivation for Chinese entry in the war was found by RAND to be ‘rationally motivated´ b/c statements issued by MacArthur´s headquarters led to belief that he intended to invade China.
  • By December 5, UN forces were back below the 38th Parallel.
  • Truman and Attlee decide to abandon their aim of uniting Korea.
  • July 3: Seoul lost / Chinese rely on numbers and are met w/ the ‘meat grinder´ strategy.
  • April: UN forces back over 38th parallel into the North.
  • MacArthur incident: MA called for military operations against China à dismissed on 11 April 1951.
  • Any extension of the war against China herself would have lost the US some of her allies, risked global war or alternatively ‘delighted the Kremlin´ by pinning down even more US ground, air and naval forces in the *Far East while the Soviets looked on.
  • As an answer to MA´s accusation that the Truman administration had ‘no policy´: George Marshall (Defense Secretary) stated that "it is…our policy to contain communist aggression in different fashions in different areas without resorting to total war."
  • June 1951: Chinese propose an armistice.
  • March 1953: Stalin dies à not the time to confront the US.
  • July 1953: Eisenhower stated that "in the absence of a satisfactory progress at the truce talks, we intended to move decisively w/out inhibition in our use of weapons and would no longer be responsible for confining actitivities to the Korean Peninsula."
  • Armistice signed on 27 July 1953.


Outcome of Korean War

From US point of view
  • S.K. and therefore Japan had been saved.
  • Soviets forced into an arms race she could ill afford.
  • Chinese inclined to exercise greater caution regarding confrontation w/ US.
  • UN saved from a death blow.
  • Over-exagerated the Soviet threat
  • N.K had not been ‘liberated´.
For the Soviets/Chinese
  • War had exacerbated Sino-American hostility.
  • Chinese gained in prestige (saving N.K. from MacArthur, inflicted major losses on UN forces, …)
  • China had united under foreign threat.
  • S.K. remained non-communist.
  • Money needed for reconstruction had been diverted to the war.
  • China had been denounced as aggressor.
  • Presence of the 7th Fleet in the Taiwan Straits meant that conquest of Taiwan (which would earlier have been relatively easy) became impossible.
  • China was kept commercially isolated from the West and out of the UN for 22 years.
  • Not the last time that China would be faced w/ an implicit nuclear war threat from America.
  • Korean war had meant that US and Europe reamed and contemplated whether Soviets would risk invasion of West Germany to reunify that country as well. It also drew a new line of the Cold War in Asia, conflict was to continue in the Far East w/ Britain ‘holding that line´ in Malaysia and USA intervening in South-East Asia.


Cold War to Co-Existence

  • 1956: relations btw USSR and USA improved with the introduction of the notion of ‘peaceful co-existence´ / but even before Khrushchev´s famous speech of Feb. 1956 the move towards peaceful co-existence had begun in both the USSR and the USA.


Changes in the USA

  • 1952: victory of Republican Eisenhower
  • With his future Sec. Of State Dulles he began the policy of ‘rolling back´ communism (but in 1953 USA didn´t intervene when the workers of East Germany rose in rebellion and were crushed by Soviet tanks)


Massive Retaliation

  • Any attempt by the USSR to expand its influence in any part of the world would result in a US nuclear strike against the Soviet homeland.

The background of this doctrine

  • Belief in the monolithic nature of communism.
  • The period of the ‘red scare´ in USA.
  • Confidence in the nuclear superiority of the USA based upon the November 1952 explosion of the H-Bomb.

The Domino Theory

  • Made public by Eisenhower in April 1954 à massive US support for the French in Vietnam / failed to prevent victory of the forces of Ho Chi-Minh.
  • March 1955: Domino Theory and Massive Retaliation came together:
    • Chinese communists began to bombard the offshore islands of Matsu and Quemoy help by nationalists.
    • Dulles stated that nuclear weapons would be used against China.
    • This policy of ‘brinkmanship´ forced the Chinese to back down but caused alarm amongst US allies.
  • The policy of ‘massive retaliation´ was ineffective b/c:
    • August 1953: USSR successfully tested the H-bomb.
    • Communism was not monolithic.
  • Eisenhower began to realise that some form of negociation w/ the USSR was necessary if a nuclear disaster was to be avoided.


Changes in the USSR

  • March 1953: Stalin´s death à he predicted that after his death "the imperialistic powers will wring your [Soviet leaders] necks like chickens."
  • The new collective Soviet leadership felt that this was not accurate as issues could be settled peacefully "on the basis of mutual agreement".
  • February 1955: USSR signed a peace treaty w/ Austria granting it independence / Khrushchev visited *Yugoslavia and made peace w/ Tito. The reasons for this were problably:
    • Open the way for improved relations w/ the USA and the West.
    • Improve relations w/ E.E. states.
    • Demonstrate to smaller, non-aligned states of the world that it was not necessary to belong to the *Western block to be safe.
  • Soviet leaders were gaining in confidence as they gained more experience of international relations.


The 1955 Summit Meeting: (July 1955)

  • First meeting between the leaders of the USA and the USSR since Potsdam.
  • Little was concretely achieved at the conference.
  • The conference was most significant in that it marked the tacit acceptance of both sides of the status quo in E.


The Twentieth Congress of the C.P.S.U.

  • Feb.: ‘peaceful co-existence´ announced officially by Khrushchev along w/ other changes.
  • Khrushchev made two sweeping statements:
    • Denied that war was the inevitable concomitant of capitalism.
    • Accepted the possibility of peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism.
  • What Khrushchev had really down was to bring doctrine into line w/ what had been the reality of Soviet policy for some time.


Notes on Khrushchev´s Speech

  • Khrushchev´s speech "attempted to impress the West (by the theory of peaceful co-existence), E.E. (by the concept of different roads to socialism), and the uncommitted countries (by the theoretical rejection of violent revolution) the Stalinism had been abandoned."
  • Meant that "the main struggle would be economic" b/c thermonuclear weapons ruled out a war btw USSR and USA (risk of mutual destruction was too great)
  • Khrushchev understood the status quo to mean the continued existence of anti-colonial nationalist movements throughout the world which eventually would turn the odds against the West (with its colonial past / and the US enmity towards revolution)
  • "paradoxically, the status quo was revolutionary"
  • ‘the uncovering of Stalin´s mistakes sounded the death knell for his puppets, who in most cases were still in power in E.E. They had risen to the top on the crest of Stalin´s infallibility ; destruction of the myth involved their destruction also"


Poland

  • Riots in June 1956 / people united in hostility to the Stalinist police state which had subordinated Polish interests to the requirements of USSR à Gomulka returns to power and purges the leading Stalinists of the *Communist party / Soviet leaders acquiesced the changes…provided that the new policies did not threaten the safety of the Soviet Union.


Hungary

  • First Secretary agrees to return of Nagy as Premier in October 1956 but asks Russian troops to keep the situation under control à they inflame situation and fighting brakes out à Nagy indicated that Hungary would withdraw from the Warsaw Treaty (made at the Same time as the Suez War broke out therefore *Western concerns were elsewhere) à Red Army ‘restores order´ in Hungary / Hungary seemed to negate all the previous moves towards a détente.
  • Hungarians and other E. E. states learned that there would be no liberation, that they could not look forwards to tying themselves to the West…they would have to make the best deal they could w/ the Soviets.
  • 27 August 1957: Soviet Union announced a successful test of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM)


4 October 1957: Sputnik I was launched

  • recognition that "the Soviet Union was a viable, competing social system, with an advanced technological base" caused "a weakening of American confidence, and initiated the first steps of an agonizing reappraisal of the assumption and the direction of American policies".


The Effects of Khrushchev’s speech at the 20th Congress of the CPSU

  • Contributed to improvements in the USA-USSR relations: seemed to indicate that communists did not seek the eventual overthrow of the capitalist system (although this was not what Khrushchev meant by ‘peaceful co-existence)
  • Marked the beginning of serious differences btw the CPSU and CCP / the result was that:
    • The non-monolithic nature of communism became clear.
    • Soviets lost the undisputed leadership of the communist movement.
    • The Cold War changed in nature: no longer were relations bipolar.
    • Marked the beginning of the end for the old style Stalinists in E.E.
    • Led to an increasing acceptance of national communism.
  • The position of the CPSU was weakened b/c in saying Stalin had been wrong, the party which had supported him was discredited.


Immediate Effect of Soviet Action in Hungary

  • Partial return in the USA to policies favored by Dulles (Sec. Of State)
  • Short lived b/c of the Soviet technical advances which made ‘massive retaliation´ less realistic than ever.
  • Dec. 1957: Khrushchev proposed banning of all nuclear missiles in Poland, .CZ, E. and W. Germany.
  • Jan. 9 1958: Khrushchev proposed summit level talks on:
    • Limiting bomb tests
    • Creating a nuclear free zone in central Europe.
    • E. and W. Germany
  • Proposal rejected by USA.
  • Jan. 26 1958: Khrushchev again suggested top level talks.
  • Mar. 1 1958: Khrushchev proposed a foreign ministers meeting to prepare way for a summit.
  • Mar. 6 1958: Khrushchev offered to fly to the USA.
  • Mar. 31 1958: USSR halts unilaterally the testing of nuclear devices.


Factors influencing Khrushchev´s decisions

  • Internal reforms required forms more readily available in an atmosphere of international détente.
  • Such moves were popular in the USSR w/ the ‘Geneva spirit´.
  • Scientific advances by the USSR meant that Khrushchev could afford to make peace overtures w/out being criticized.
  • Khrushchev realized the impossibility of winning a nuclear conflict.
  • In the USA his proposals caused debate and lack of US response was criticized / On editor commented: "As I see it we have the choice of negiotiating w/ Russia or going to war………Mr. Dulles has become a liability to peace."


Senator Fulbright stated

"…Russian policy is not only what happened in Hungary. If it were only a question of military oppresiion, we would have…a much more easily defeated adversary. But Russian policy is also the military withdrawal from Finland; it is the Soviet signature of the Austrian Peace Treaty and subsequent military withdrawal from that country; it is also Russian acquiescence in the recent modification in Polish Communism; it is political support of the non-Communist nationalist movements in Asia and Africa and economic aid to the countries of these regions. It is, most of all, an almost continuous propaganda refrain calling for action to reduce the danger of nuclear warfare, coupled with proposals for a great variety of approaches to this fundamental international problem."
  • 1958: US troops to Lebanon / British troops to Jordan b/c of fear of the spread of the successful left-wing revolution in Iraq à Khrushchev very moderate in response.
  • Jul. 19 1958: Khrushchev called for a meeting of leaders of USA, USSR, GB, and India.
  • Eisenhower suggested this take place w/in framework of the UN Security council / July 22nd Khrushchev agreed.
  • July 31-Aug 3 1958: Khrushchev returns from Peking and refuses to accept Eisenhower´s proposal.
  • Aug 23 1958: Chinese bombard island of Quemoy
  • Sept. 4 1958: Dulles warns of US intervention / Khrushchev refused to back the Chinese.
  • Oct. 6 1958: bombardment ended.


The Berlin Crisis

Khrushchev announces that he intended handing over control of the city to the E. Germans and that western allies would have to negotiate directly w/ them over access rights.


Why did Khrushchev take this action?

  • Prosperity of W. Berlin heightened problems of E. Germany.
  • 3 million E. Germans had fled through Berlin since 1949.
  • West Berlin was an espionage center behind the ‘iron curtain´.
  • West Berlin was a western propaganda center.
  • More immediate reasons:
    • West Germany to join E.E.C. (integration w/ West)
    • Rapid rearmament of W. Germany.
    • Refusal of the West to recognize E. Germany.
    • To turn aside increasing criticism inside the USSR and from China that he was ‘going soft´.
    • To force the west to the bargaining table.
  • Khrushchev gradually backed down
    • April 1958: Dulles resigned and dies the following month.
      • Removes a ‘cold war warrior´ from control of US foreign policy.
    • 1959: Two Foreign Ministers Meetings were held / Khrushchev visited the USA and w/ Eisenhower stated:
      "…that all outstanding international question should be settled not by the application of force but by peaceful means through negotiation."
  • Khrushchev agreed to attend a summit meeting in Paris in 1960.


The U-2 Incident

  • May 5: Khrushchev announced that 4 days previously an American plane had been shot down while flying over the Soviet Union.
  • CIA agent Powers held by Soviets
  • Khrushchev´s reponse stresses that it was very likely that Eisenhower had known nothing of the plane´s flight / thus it was w/ studied moderation that he responded to the incident.
  • Eisenhower authorizes Herter (Sec. Of State) to assert that the US had the right to spy on the Soviet Union.
  • May 11: Eisenhower assumes personal responsibility for the flights and did not indicate he was going to stop them (did stop them but did not make the decision public)
  • Khrushchev nevertheless went to Paris / told de Gaulle he could not participate until the U-2 affair was settled.
  • Eisenhower announced that further U-2 flights had been cancelled.
  • Khrushchev does not content himself w/ the mere announcement of the suspension (partly b/c "his position in Moscow and within the Soviet bloc might [then] have been gravely weakened")
  • Khrushchev invited back to meeting in Paris but President Press Secretary issued a statement asserting that Soviet participation at the 3 o´clock meeting would be taken as withdrawal of Khrushchev´s conditions
  • Khrushchev is given a copy of the statement and the conference expires as on the following day he makes a violent attack on Eisenhower.
  • shifts blame for collapse of the summit from the American President to the ranting Russian leader.


By the early 1960s the Cold War situation was ripe for change b/c

Sino-Soviet Split

  • International relations not bipolar.
  • CCP attacked Khrushchev´s policies w/ regard to the West / brought in the open w/ a series of articles published in CCP newspaper ‘Red Flag´ entitled ‘Long Live Leninism´.
  • Reasons for the Split:
    • Inevitable challenge to Soviet supremacy amongst world communist movement by China / Khrushchev announced the sweeping 1956 changes w/out consulting Chinese angered them.
    • The two countries were at very different stages of post-revolution development (Chinese were closer to their revolution and held far more revolutionary fervor than the Soviets)
    • Mao rejected Khrushchev´s argument that war was not inevitable and was opposed to ‘peaceful co-existence´ (seen as betrayal of peoples who were still struggling to be free)
    • Bipolarity was challenged as former European power became independent states (many showed great interest in the non-aligned movement)
    • Revolutionary fervor in the USSR was becoming a thing of the past: more and more Soviet leaders had not experienced the 1917 Revolution.
    • USA was entering its period of greatest prosperity and the consumer society was losing much of the ideological fervor.
    • West Europe was recovered from the devastation of the war and was entering a period of prosperity / feeling that having the future of European continent decided by the USA and USSR was not entirely satisfactory.
  • These factors were to result in the late 1960s in the policy known as détente.


1961, The Berlin Wall

President Kennedy himself visited the city to show solidarity of USA w/ the citizens of W. Berlin and that USA and allies would not allow Berlin to be taken over by E. Germany.

Reasons for

  • End the flow of East German citizens to w. Germany.
  • End the ease of contact btw East and West (which resulted in comparison of East/West Germany)
  • Put pressure on the west to negotiate over the future of Berlin and to try to obtain acceptance of the regime in power in E. Germany.


The Cuban Missile Crisis

  • 1959: Batist overthrown by a rebellion led by Fidel Castro.
  • Feb. 1960: Castro signs a trade agreement w/ the USSR
  • USA — Cuba relations deteriorate / Eisenhower authorizes training of Cuban refugees for an eventual attempt to overthrow Castro.
  • Jan. 1961: Bay of Pigs (landing of Cuban exiles) à fiasco.
  • Dec. 1961: Castro declared himself to be a Marxist à USA organizes expulsion of Cuba from the Organization of American States.
  • June 1962: Cuba begins receiving shipments of arms from the Soviet Union.
  • October 1962: US spy planes flying over Cuba discover a number of missile launching sites capable of firing rockets w/ nuclear warheads.
  • October 22nd 1962: President Kennedy announces blockade of Cuba to prevent missile delivery (several Soviet ships were heading for Cuba)
  • Fear of nuclear conflict escalates
    • October 28th 1962: Khrushchev backs down and orders return of Soviet ships / agreement worked out btw USA and USSR.


The Agreement

  • All Soviet missiles to be withdrawn from Cuba.
  • USA promised not to invade Cuba.


Results

  • Hot-line established btw Kremlin and Washington to avoid the risk of nuclear war through a breakdown in communications.
  • Aug. 1963: USSR and USA signed the first test ban treaty.
  • USSR realized it had been powerless to resist the US navy à determination to increase the strength of the *Soviet navy and obtain bases to allow operation all over the world.
  • Cuba became increasingly dependent upon the USSR / USA cut off all diplomatic and trade relations w/ her.
  • Contributed to the fall of Khrushchev.


Vietnam 1964-1975

  • War ended in complete victory for communist forces
  • First major military defeat suffered by the USA
  • Major powers (USA/USSR and China) made sure that there was not direct great power conflict.


The Six Day War 1967

  • Conflict btw Israelis and several Arab states.
  • Opportunity for the USSR to extend its influence in the region à extended conflict btw superpowers to taking place all over the world.


De Gaulle and ‘Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals'

  • 1963-68: signals coming from Western allies were not clear to USSR.
  • Due to differences within the alliance arising from the foreign policy of de Gaulle.
  • De Gaulle worked towards a concept of a Europe united from the Atlantic to the Urals à making the point that the area outlined had common interest sand ought therefore to develop a policy which was not dictated by great power rivalry.


Reasons

  • Long standing suspicions of the USA and GB (saw them as not being truly European power and having different interests from FR and Germany)
  • Past treatment in the hands of the USA and GB (dating back to WWII): not been invited to conference of the ‘Big Three´ / USA had agreed to supply GB with missiles but not France.
  • Desire to free Europe from the constraints of superpower politics.
  • To secure for France a more important say in world affairs.


Actions

  • Refused to accept the Test Ban Treaty (1963)
  • Withdrew France from unified NATO command(1966)
  • Temporarily withdrew France from E.E.C. negotiations.
  • Signed a treaty of friendship w/ W. Germany.
  • Blocked British entry into the E.E.C.
  • Made efforts to improve relations w/ the USSR and the Eastern Bloc.


1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia

  • Aug. 1968: reforming policies of new Czech leader, Dubcek, prompted armed intervention by Warsaw Pact forces.
  • The West went no further than condemning the intervention.
    • Breshnev Doctrine: Breshnev explained the intervention by stating that if counter-revolutionary forces threatened the progress that had been made in any socialist state then it was a concern for all socialist states and not simply an internal matter.
  • Argued that event in 1968 in .CZ contributed to the climate of détente by making clear the positions of the USA and USSR and the limits to what they would accept in areas in which their influence was paramount.


Détente

Definition: ‘relaxation of tension´ / used to describe the policies of the USA and the USSR (and their allies) aimed at normalizing relations in the period beginning 1968.


Reasons for 'détente'

  1. U.S.S.R.
    • Desire to obtain a final settlement of the political situation in Eastern and Central Europe: since there had been no peace treaty w/ Germany at end WWII and western allies never recognized the territorial changes.
    • Deterioration of relations btw USSR and China, meant the USSR wanted to settle its frontiers in the west so it could face the Chinese threat.
    • Improve the standard of living of the citizens of the USSR: two reasons:
    • Allow more funds to be devoted to the production of consumer goods.
    • Facilitate the importation of advanced western technology.
  2. U.S.A.
    • Given situation in Vietnam the USA wanted to improve relations w/ the USSR partly to avoid being overtaxed but also to bring the conflict in Vietnam to an end w/out humiliation.
    • Election of Republican Nixon in 1968: easier to move towards détente b/c he had a strong anti-Communist record and could not be accused of ‘selling out´ the USA.
    • It was recognized (esp. after Prague 1968) that the political situation in Europe could not be changed by force w/out a major nuclear conflict.
      • Both sides were also motivated by a desire to slow down the arms race since real superiority was no longer a viable foreign policy objective in the nuclear weapons arena.
  3. Europe
    • No hope of changing the status quo by any means other than negotiation.
    • Desire to reduce the extent to which their actions were limited by the relations btw the superpowers.
    • Well aware that their countries would form the theatre of any ‘limited´ nuclear conflict btw the superpowers.


The main Events

  • 1963 — First W. German move to normalize relations w/ the states of E. Europe.
  • 1966 — President Johnson stated that Europe could only look forward to a secure future if differences btw east and west were negotiated.
  • 1967 — Harmel Report (concerning future of NATO) looks forward to détente: "Military security and a policy of détente are not contradictory but complementary.
  • 1969 — Warsaw Pact calls for a conference on European Security.
  • Sept. 28th 1969 — Brandt became the Chancellor of West Germany and began to implement his ‘Ostpolitik´.


The Main Areas of Progress in Détente to 1975

Military

  • 1967 — Outer Space Treaty.
  • 1968 — Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • 1971 — Seabed Pact
  • 1972 — Biological Warfare Treaty
  • 1972 — S.A.L.T. I (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty)

Economic

  • trading btw USA and USSR increased rapidly
  • Export of high technology from the USA to the USSR
  • Opening of US trade complex in Moscow and vice-versa
  • Mutual access to ports.
  • Also increased trade btw USSR-Europe and W.-E. Europe.

Scientific

  • Co-operation in several areas:
  • Pollution control.
  • Cancer and heart disease research.
  • 1975 — Space (Soyuz and Apollo space crafts docked)

Political

  • Exchanges of visits by the leaders of the USA and USSR.
  • The ‘High Point´ of Détente


European Conference on Security and Co-operation

(Helsinki Agreement — 1975)

  • Recognition of the territorial status quo.
  • Co-operation in humanitarian and other fields / granting of greater freedom of movement for people, ideas and the press.
  • Co-Operation in the field of economics, science and technology, and of the environment.
  • Creation of a ‘review mechanism´ in the form of future conferences to map out new areas for co-operation.


Problems with Détente

Détente was soon in serious trouble b/c of a number of events which exposed difficulties:

  • Groups in the USSR and E. Europe had been set up to monitor human rights progress à by 1980 these groups had been suppressed.
  • Soviet actions in Africa: using Cuban troops the USSR was by 1979 involved in many African states including Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia / Soviet action in the ‘Horn of Africa´ was sensitive b/c it lay so close to the oil supply routs from the Middle East.
  • Moralistic tone of early Carter presidency and the increasing emphasis placed upon ‘linkage´: détente in areas of interest for the USSR should be linked to ‘good behavior´ from the USSR elsewhere in the world.
  • 1977 — NATO countries agree to increase defense contribution by 3% (response to Soviet military buildup)
  • Revolution in Iran (1978/79) à destabilized a vital region.
  • Action of Vietnam (i.e.: invasion and occupation of Cambodia)
  • Sept. 1979 — Carter protests at presence of 3,000 Soviet combat troops in Cuba.
  • Dec. 1979 — USSR invaded Afghanistan: condemnation of USSR in UN General assembly and worldwide protests
  • Grain embargo on the USSR + boycott of 1980 olympics.
  • Election of Ronald Reagan (determined to respond to ‘a growing Soviet threat´)


What reasons lay behind the collapse of détente?

  • The main partners each hoped to gain something different.
  • Political and socio-economic characteristics of both USA and USSR remained unchanged: the potential for conflict had only been obscured by détente but not really reduced.
  • Changes within the USA (setback in Iran / hostage crisis) à mood moved away from a desire to compromise (manifest in victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980)
  • USSR had not given up its desire to progress towards an eventual ‘universal, stateless, classless society´: i.e.: détente seemed to be restricted to Europe.

The View of the USA

  • Soviets were exploiting détente: getting access to western markes and yet they refused to accord human rights and carried out a massive military buildup.
  • Further détente must involve ‘linkage´.
  • USA had fallen dangerously bhind the USSR in both nuclear and conventional forces.
  • Afghanistan was seen as proof of the Soviet world domination plan.

The View of the USSR

  • Détente broke down as a consequence of growing economic depression in the west.
  • There was interference in the internal affairs of the USSR(i.e.: over human rights issues)
  • Failure of USA to ratify S.A.L.T. II (after Carter had signed in 1979)


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