Reading 6

Reading 6 - AKA-“nor: $>eplfi Nye “Tl—W L m Coié...

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Unformatted text preview: AKA-“nor: $>eplfi Nye “Tl—W L m Coié ulw‘ , IllllIllIllIllilllalwllllllmllllllllllliill ‘ The COId War 3 1999 00209 6739 ‘ @fi/find éw’sflooijfii Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin at Yalta, 1945 WWW Given its violent first half, a most remarkable feature of the second half of the twentieth century was the absence of World War III. Instead, there was a cold war, a period of intense hostility without actual war. The hostility was so intense that many expected armed conflict between the superpowers. Fighting occurred, but it was on the peripheries and not directly between the United States and the Soviet Union. 115 nr’r 12K 5 The Cold War The Cold War lasted four decades, from 1947 to 1989. The height of the Cold War was from 1947 to 1963, when there were few serious negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union. There were not even any summit meetings between 1945 and 1955. In 1952, George Kennan, the US. ambassador in Moscow, compared his isolation in the American embassy to his experience of being interned during World War II in Berlin. The later phases of the Cold War in the 1970s and 1980s were very different. The Americans and Soviets had many contacts, and they constantly negotiated on arms control treaties. The end of the Cold War occurred quite quickly with the change in Soviet policies after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985. Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989, and the Soviet Union itself disintegrated in 1991. DETERRENCE AND CONTAINMENT What makes the Cold War exceptional is that it was a period of protracted tension that did not end in a war between the two rival superpowers. A variety of explana— tions for why this was the case will be discussed. Because of its unusual trajectory, the Cold War offers a unique perspective on international relations, and it illuminates the dynamics of two foreign policy choices that were made: the choice to deter and the choice to contain. To deter is to discourage through fear, and although frequently associated with the Cold War, deterrence was not a new concept in international politics. Through— out history, countries built armies, formed alliances, and issued threats to deter other countries from attacking. During the Cold War and with the advent of nuclear weapons, the superpowers depended more on discouraging by threat than on denying by defense after an attack occurred. Cold War deterrence was closely tied to the maintenance of large American and Soviet nuclear arsenals, but it was also an extension of balance’of—power logic. Deterrence by nuclear threat was one way each superpower tried to prevent the other from gaining advantage and hence upsetting the balance of power between them. As we shall see, deterrence often aggravated the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, and it is not necessarily easy to demonstrate that deterrence worked. There is always the danger of spurious causation. If a professor said her lectures kept elephants out of the classroom, it would be difficult to disprove her claim if no elephants ever came to class. We can test such claims by using counterfactuals: How likely is it that elephants would come to class? The concept of deterrence was linked to the policy of containment. During the Cold War, containment referred to a specific American policy of containing Soviet communism so as to promote a liberal economic and political world order. But like deterrence, containment did not originate with the Cold War, even if the term did. Containment has been a primary tool of foreign policy for centuries. In the eighteenth century, the conservative monarchical states of Europe attempted to Contain the ide— ology of liberty and equality espoused by the French Revolution, and even earlier, the Catholic Church in the Counter—Reformation attempted to contain the spread of the Three Approaches to the Cold War 1 17 Reformation and the ideals of Martin Luther. There are different forms of contain— ment. It can be offensive or defensive. It can use military power in the form of war or alliances; it can use economic power in the form of trading blocs or sanctions; and it can use soft power in the form of promoting ideas and values. During the Cold War, THREE APPROACHES TO THE COLD WAR Who or what caused the Cold War? Almost since it began, those questions have been the subject of fierce debate among scholars and policy makers. There are three main schools of opinion: traditionalists, revisionists, and post'revisionists. The traditionalists (also known as the orthodox) argue that the answer to the question of who started the Cold War is quite simple: Stalin and the Soviet Union. At the end of World War II, American diplomacy was defensive, while the Soviets were aggressive and expansive. The Americans only slowly awoke to the nature of the Soviet threat. Europe. After the war, the United States demobilized its troops, whereas the Soviet Union left large armies in Eastern Europe. The United States recognized Soviet interests; for example, when Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill met in February 1945 at Yalta, the Americans went out of their way to accommodate Soviet interests. Stalin, however, did not live up to his agreements, particularly by not allowing free events gradually awakened the United States to the threat of Soviet expansionism and launched the Cold War. The revisionists, who wrote primarily in the 1960s and early 19705, believe the Cold War was caused by American rather than Soviet expansionism. Their evi— dence is that at the end of World War II, the world was not really bipolar—the Soviets were much weaker than the United States, which was strengthened by the war and had nuclear weapons while the Soviets did not. The Soviet Union lost up to 30 million people, and industrial production was only half its 1939 level. Stalin told American Ambassador Averell Harriman in October 1945 that the Soviets would turn inward to repair their domestic damage. What is more, say the revision— / tried to restrain Mao Zedong’s communists from taking power; in the he tried to restrain the Greek communists; and he allowed non— ist g0 “vemments to exist in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Finland. comrg‘m- -Onists come in two varieties that stress the first and second levels‘of evm vel one revisionists stress the importance of indiViduals and claim Lc’s death in April 1945 was a critical event because American policy that Roosevgoviet Union became harsher after President Harry S. Truman took toward Chit 1945, the United States so precipitously cut off the lend‘lease pro— office' In affine aid that some ships bound for Soviet ports had to turn around in gt?!“ Of wag: the Potsdam Conference near Berlin in July 1945, Truman tried to ImCIOC-ean. S t lin by mentioning the atomic bomb. In the United States, the Demo! mar-“date t2Igldually shifted from the left and center to the right. In 1948, Truman cram Party grvallace his secretary of agriculture, who urged better relations with the fired. Henry Wine time, James Forrestal, Truman‘s new secretary of defense, was a 80th5‘ A-t toflmunist. These revisionists say these personnel changes help explain Strongharitjfiited States became so antivSoviet. . Why t e 1 two revisionists have a different answer. They see the problem not in . .T-he 16%th in the nature of US. capitalism. Gabriel and Joyce Kolko and mcIlY‘duals’ illiams, for example, argue that the American economy required Wdham and that the United States planned to make the world safe, not for exPansmmsnj: t for capitalism. American economic hegemony could not tolerate democracy, lLat might try to organize an autonomous economic area. American any country; a repeat of the 19305 because without external trade, there would be leaders feare epression. According to level two revisionists. the Marshall Plan of teat ‘ . aggtheg (ripe was simply a way to expand the American economy. The SOViets were at to u t to reject it as a threat to their sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. In correc . - ns alwa s favored an openedoor policy in the intema, Williams’s wordS, America y - b ause they expected to walk through it. t ‘ clonal economy siZfrists of the late 19705 and 19805, as exemplified by Yale historian smavi . Tie p: Gaddis, have yet another explanation that focuses on the structural 11th #3:; argue that the traditionalists and revisionists are both wrong because eve . blame for starting the Cold War. It was inevitable, or nearly so, DObOdY washtobipolar structure of the postwar balance of power. In 1939 there was a becaL-lse 0ft 6 1d with seven major powers, but after the destruction wreaked by multlpOIar “1?: only two superpowers were left: the United States and the Soviet world W'ar 1 , ity plus the postwar weakness of the European states created a power Ufllon. Blpo afhich the United States and the Soviet Union were drawn. They were Ecufiriéitié into conflict and, therefore, say the postrevisionists, it is pointleSS to un 100k for blame. d the Americans had different goals at the end of the war. The SOVie‘S an . . . . . . S :1 ewanted tangible possessions—territory. Americans had intangible or milieu ov1e s h were interested in the general context of world politics. Milieu goals goalsrt ssession goals when the United States promoted the global UN system dashed Wlt p? ts sought to consolidate their sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. ghdehth: minces in style were no reason for Americans to feel sanctimonious, say ut t es China, Stalin Greek civil W at) explanation. Roosevelt's Policies 1 19 the postrevisionists, for the United States benefited from the United Nations and, with a majority of allies voting, was not very constrained by it. The Soviets may have had a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, but the United States also had a sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere and Western Europe. The United States and the Soviet Union were both bound to expand, say the postrevisionists, not because of the economic determinism that the revisionists stress, but because of the age—old security dilemma of states in an anarchic system. Neither the Americans nor the Soviets could allow the other to dominate Europe any more than Athens could afford to let the Corinthians gain control of Corcyra’s navy. As evidence, postrevisionists cite Stalin’s comment to a Yugoslav leader, Milovan Djilas, in 1945: “This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach."1 In other words, in an ideological bipolar world, a state uses its military forces to impose societies similar to its own in order to ensure its security. Roosevelt had said something similar to Stalin in the fall of 1944: “In this global war there is literally no question, political or military, in which the United States is not interested.”2 Given this bipolar structure, say the postrevisionists, a spiral of hostility set in: hard lines in one country bred hard lines in the other. Both began to perceive the enemy as analogous to Hitler in the 19305. As perceptions became more rigid, the Cold War deepened. Since the end of the Cold War, a modest flow of documents from formerly inac— cessible Soviet archives has given new vigor to the debate over which side started the confrontation. Gaddis, for example, has become increasingly convinced that the USSR was primarily responsible for the onset and the nature of the superpower conflict. He cites the ideological rigidity of Stalin and other Soviet leaders, as well as the Kremlin’s equally rigid commitment to maintaining a formal empire in its sphere of influence. Gaddis’s move back toward a traditionalist viewpoint has gar, nered a skeptical reception in some scholarly quarters, guaranteeing that the debate will continue into the foreseeable future. ROOSEVELT‘S POLICIES Franklin Roosevelt wanted to avoid the mistakes of World War I, so instead of a Versailles‘like peace, he demanded Germany’s unconditional surrender. He wanted a liberal trade system to avoid the protectionism that had damaged the world econ- omy in the 19303 and contributed to the onset of war. The United States would avoid its tendency toward isolationism that had been so damaging in the l930s. It would join a new and stronger League of Nations in the form of a United Nations with a powerful Security Council. Cordell Hull, U.S. secretary of state during most of the war, was a committed Wilsonian, and public opinion in the United States was strongly in favor of the United Nations. To promote his great design, Roosevelt needed to maintain bipartisan domestic support for his international position. Externally, he needed to reassure Stalin that his security needs would be met by joining the United Nations. Roosevelt has been 120 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War accused of a naive approach to postwar planning. His design was not naive, but some of his tactics were. He placed too much faith in the United Nations, overesti— mated the likelihood of American isolationism, and, most important, under— estimated Stalin. Roosevelt thought he could treat Stalin the way he would treat a fellow American politician, throwing his arm around him, bonding politician to politician. Roosevelt did not fully realize that Stalin, along with his men, was a totalitarian “who in the name of the people, murdered millions of them; who to defend against Hitler, signs a pact with him, divides the spoils of war with him, and like him, expels, exterminates, or enslaves neighboring peoples; who stands aside and fulmi— nates against the democracies as Germany moves west, and then blames them for not helping enough when Hitler moves east.”4 Roosevelt misinterpreted Stalin, but Roosevelt did not sell out American inter— ests at the Yaita Conference in 1945, as some later claimed. Roosevelt was not naive in all aspects of his policy. He tried to tie economic aid to political concessions by the Soviets, and refused to share the secrets of the atomic bomb with them. He was sim— ply realistic about who would have troops in Eastern Europe at the end of the war, and, therefore, who would have leverage in that region. Roosevelt’s mistakes were in thinking that Stalin saw the world his way, that he understood domestic politics in the United States, and that the same American political skills in which a leader blurred differences and appealed to friendship would work in dealing with Stalin. The President acted as if genuine cooperation as the Americans understood the term were possible both during and after the war. Roosevelt apparently had forgotten, if indeed he ever knew, that in Stalin’s eyes, he was not all that different from Hitler, both of them being heads of powerful capitalist states whose longterm ambitions clashed with those of the Kremlin. —William Taubman, Stalin's American Policy3 ' STALIN’S POLICIES Stalin‘s immediate postwar plans were to tighten domestic control. World War II inflicted tremendous damage on the Soviet Union, not just the terrible losses of life and industry already described, but also to the ideology of communism. Many in the Soviet Union collaborated with the Germans because of their deep resentment over the harshness of communist rule. Germany’s invasion seriously weakened Stalin’s control. Indeed, Stalin had to increase his appeals to Russian nationalism during the war because the weakened communist ideology was insufficient to motivate his people. Stalin’s isolationist policy at the end of the war was designed to cut off external influences from Europe and the United States. Stalin used the United States as an objective enemy, urging the Soviet people to tighten down, to pull in, Phases of the Conflict 121 to mistrust the outsiders. But it does not follow that Stalin wanted the Cold War that actually developed. Stalin preferred some cooperation, especially if it helped him pursue his goals in Eastern Europe and brought him some economic assistance from the United States. As a good communist, he believed the United States would have to give him eco‘ nomic assistance because the capitalist system had to export capital due to insufficient demand at home. Stalin also believed that in 10 or 15 years, the next crisis of the capitalist system would come along, and at that time the Soviet Union would have recovered and be ready to benefit in the inevitable conflict with the capitalists. ln foreign policy terms, Stalin wanted to protect himself at home, as well as maintain the gains the Soviet Union had made in Eastern Europe from the 1939 pact with Hitler. Stalin also wanted to probe soft spots, something better done when there is no crisis. In 1941, Stalin told the British foreign minister Anthony Eden that he preferred arithmetic to algebra; in other words, he wanted a practical rather than a theoretical approach. When Winston Churchill proposed a formula on the postwar division of influence in the Balkans, that is, some countries under British control, some under Soviet control, and others 50—50, Stalin was quite receptive to the idea. Some of Stalin’s early caution in supporting communist governments right away in China, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary fit quite well with this arithmetic rather than algebraic approach to achieving his objectives. Stalin was a committed communist who, although he saw the world within the framework of communism, often used pragmatic tactics. PHASES OF THE CONFLICT The early stages of the Cold War can be divided into three phases: 1945—1947—the gradual onset; 1947—1949—the declaration of the Cold War; and 1950—1962— the height of the Cold War. Neither Stalin nor Truman was looking for a cold war. At the end of World War II, Truman sent Roosevelt’s former aide, Harry Hopkins, to Moscow to see if some arrangements could be worked out. Even after the Potsdam Conference, Truman continued to see Stalin as a moderate. Indeed, as late as 1949, he compared Stalin to his old friend Boss Pendergast in Kansas City. In 1946, George Kennan, writing from Moscow as the US. embassy’s charge d’affaires, was trying to warn American decision makers about Stalin’s true nature and intentions, and Winston Churchill gave a famous speech in Fulton, Missouri, warning that an “iron curtain” was falling across Europe. While Secretary of State James Bymes was still trying to negotiate a postwar treaty with the Soviets, Truman asked his aide Clark Clifford to prepare a report on what the Soviets were really planning. Clifford talked with a variety of people and concluded that Kennan was right: the Soviets were going to expand whenever they found an inexpensive opportunity. When Truman received the report in December 1946, however, he told Clifford he did not want its results widely known, for he was still trying to follow Roosevelt’s great design and had not yet developed a new strategy. 122 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War Six issues contributed to eventual change of American strategy and the onset of the Cold War. One was Soviet actions in Poland and Eastern Europe. Poland, of course, had been one of the precipitating causes of World War II, and Americans believed that Stalin broke a clear commitment to hold free elections in Poland after the war. However, it was not clear what Stalin had agreed to do. When Stalin and Roosevelt met at Tehran in 1943, Roosevelt raised the Polish issue, but he appealed to Stalin in the context of the 1944 American election: He had an election coming up, there were many Polish—American voters, and he needed to tell them there would be elections in Poland after the war. Stalin, who never worried about elections in the Soviet Union, did not take Roosevelt‘s concerns seriously. The February 1945 Yalta agreement was also somewhat ambiguous, and Stalin stretched the meaning as far as he could by setting up a puppet government in Warsaw after Soviet troops had driven out the Germans. The Americans felt cheated, but Stalin felt the Americans would adjust to the reality that Soviet troops had liberated Poland. In May 1945, the lend’lease aid program was abruptly stopped, and the economic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union became strained. The precipitous termination of lend—lease was to some extent a bureaucratic mistake, but the overall situation was not improved when in February 1946 the United States refused Soviet requests for loans. The Soviets interpreted those acts as economic leverage for hostile purposes. Germany was a third problem. At the Yalta meeting, the Americans and the Soviets agreed that Germany should pay $20 billion in reparations, with half going to the Soviet Union. The details of how and when the payments would be made were not worked out at Yalta, although both sides agreed they would be negotiated later. At the Potsdam meeting in July 1945, the Soviets demanded their $10 billion; furthermore, they wanted it from the western zones of Germany that the Americans, British, and French had occupied. Harry Truman, worried about how Germany would be reconstructed, said that if the Soviets wanted to take $10 billion out of Germany, they should take it out of the eastern zone they occupied; if there was anything left over after the reconstruction of the western side of Germany, he would let the Soviets know. Thus began a series of divisions between the Americans and the Soviets about how to reconstruct Germany. The Americans, along with the British and French, created a single currency in the western zones, starting the process of West German integration, which in turn caused the Soviets to tighten control of the eastern zone of Germany. East Asia was also an issue. The Soviets were neutral in the Pacific until the last week of the war. Then the Soviets declared war on Japan, seizing Manchuria and four islands from the north of Japan. At Potsdam, the Soviets asked for an occupa— tion zone in Japan, like the American occupation zone in Germany. Truman's response was, in effect, that the Soviets arrived at the party late, so no zone. From an American point of view, this seemed perfectly reasonable, but the situation reminded the Soviets of Eastern Europe, where the Americans wanted free elections and influence, but the Soviet armies had arrived there first. So the Soviets saw the Far Eastern situation as analogous to Eastern Europe, while the Americans saw it as one more example of the Soviets pressing for their own expansion. Phases of the Conflict 123 A fifth issue was the atomic bomb. Roosevelt had decided not to share the secret of the atomic bomb with the Soviet Union. Most historians now agree that Truman dropped the bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki primarily to bring a quick end to the war with Japan, not to intimidate the Soviet Union, as some revisionists have claimed. But he did expect the bomb to have some political effects. At the Potsdam meeting when Truman told Stalin that America had an atomic bomb, Stalin remained poker faced and seemingly unimpressed. Of course, Stalin already knew about it from his own spies, but his equanimity was a bit of a jolt to the Americans. In 1946, when the United States set forth the Baruch Plan for UN control of nuclear weapons, Stalin rejected it because he wanted to build his own bomb. As he saw it, a bomb under international control would still be an American bomb, for only the Americans knew how to build it. Stalin believed it would be far better for Soviet security to have their own (which they eventually exploded in 1949). The sixth issue concerned countries in the eastern Mediterranean and the Mid— dle East, where the British had been influential before World War 11. After the war, several things occurred. First, the Soviets refused to remove their troops from north- United Nations. The Soviets eventually moved, but not without a good deal of bit— terness over the event. The Soviet Union also began to put pressure on Turkey, its neighbor to the south, at the same time that the communists seemed to be winning the civil war in Greece. Once again, the West believed the Soviets were expanding. These six issues were real, though some misperceptions were involved in almost all of them. Could they have been solved by negotiation and appeasement? Would cause of the tension was “the ideological conception prevailing here that conflict between Communist and capitalist worlds is inevitable.” Concessions would merely lead “to the West’s being faced, after a more or less short time, with the next series of demands.”5 Appeasement probably would not have worked, but harder bargain— ing might have limited some of the events that led to the onset of the Cold War. A tactical appeal to Stalin’s pragmatism from a firmer American position, plus a will— ingness to negotiate, might have worked out better in that early period from 1945—1947. The second phase, the declaration of the Cold War from 1947—1949, followed from the problems in Greece and Turkey (Figure 5.1). Britain, severely weakened by World War II, felt it could no longer provide security in the eastern Mediterranean. The United States had to decide whether to let a vacuum develop or to replace British power by providing assistance to Greece and Turkey. This involved a consid— erable break from traditional American foreign policy. Truman was not sure that American public opinion would support such a move. There was still fear that isola— tionism would be the mainstay of America’s postwar foreign policy. Truman asked Senator Arthur Vandenberg, the Republican leader from Michigan, whether the Senate would go along with aiding Greece and Turkey. Vandenberg said Truman Phases of the Conflict 125 would have to “scare the hell out of them" to get congressional support for this break in traditional American policy. Thus when Truman explained the policy change, he did not talk about the need to maintain a balance of power in the east- ern Mediterranean by providing aid to Greece and Turkey. Instead, he talked about the need to protect free people everywhere. This moralistic, ideological explanation for American assistance became known as the Truman Doctrine. George Kennan, by then back in the State Department, objected to this ideo— logical approach to formulating foreign policy, arguing that it was too open'ended and would get the United States into trouble. Indeed, there were enormous ambigu— ities in the policy of containment that flowed from the Truman Doctrine. Was the United States interested in containing Soviet power or communist ideology? At the beginning, containing Soviet power and containing communist ideology seemed to be the same, but later in the Cold War when the communist movement split, the ambiguities became important. Was Truman wrong to exaggerate the sense of threat and the ideological rationale for the policy change? Some observers feel it is harder to change public opinion in democracies than it is to change policies in totalitarian countries. They argue that exaggeration speeds up the process of change in democracies. It is necessary to tug harder on the reins when trying to turn an unruly team of horses. Regardless of whether the exaggeration was necessary, it helped change the nature of the Cold War. In June 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall announced a plan for eco- nomic aid to Europe. The initial proposal of the Marshall Plan invited the Soviet Union and the Eastern Europeans to join if they wished, but Stalin put strong pres— sure on the Eastern Europeans not to do so. Stalin saw the Marshall Plan not as American generosity, but as an economic battering ram to destroy his security bar- rier in Eastern Europe. When Czechoslovakia indicated it would like US. aid, Stalin tightened the screws in Eastern Europe, and the communists took full power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. Truman heard echoes of the 19305 in these events. He began to worry that Stalin would become another Hitler. The United States advanced plans for West German currency reform; Stalin replied with the Berlin blockade. The United States answered with an airlift and began plans for the North Atlantic Treaty Orga— nization (NATO). Hostility began to escalate in a tit—for—tat fashion. The most rigid phase of the Cold War occurred after two shocks in 1949: the Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb, much sooner than some American leaders thought they could, and the Chinese Communist Party took control of mainland China, forcing the Nationalists to retreat to the island of Taiwan. The alarm in Washington was illustrated by a secret government document, National Security Council Document 68 (NSC—68), which forecast a Soviet attack in four to five years as part of a plan for global domination. NSC—68 called for a vast increase in the US. defense expenditure. Beset by budget problems, President Truman resisted NSCe68 until Iune 1950, when North Korea’s troops crossed the border into South Korea. The effect of the Korean War was like pouring gasoline onto a modest fire. It confirmed all the worst Western suspicions about Stalin’s expansionist ambitions and led to a huge increase in the American defense budget, which Truman had ° Potsdam Summer 1945 Note how the leadership of the West changed. This map shows the meeting in Europe of the superpowers, u 8 fl ":1 s u. in“ v as H .qT a .. 'I: III .E a .9. .. U ii 75‘ I: ‘D O of Churchill. Artiee became Premier. aid to Greece and Turkey, in the hope that communism would not take over these countries and thus give Russia direct access to the Britain and United States sent Mediterranean Sea. 1945, Truman became US. President Stalin was dictator of Russia until his death in 1953. Roosevelt died U.S. Zone Yugoslavia ruled by ito. Though a . communist, he refused to be dictated to by Stalin. “CK Communist take over in French Zo Czechoslovakia 1948. =-—— The Iron Cur-ram Q) Germany “as? INTO EUROPE BY THE END OF 1948 Russian communism imposed Stalin THE AvaNCE OF RUSSIAN COMMUNISM Germany was mostly divided into French, British, U.S., and Russian (marked 1) occupation lanes and V partly annexed by Russia and Poland. ? Russian (marked 2) zones. to gain control of French ‘ and Italian governments. - Russian Occupation Zones ® Austria — Prewar frontiers m Annexed by Russia ‘ Austria was divided into French, British, U.S., and i The communists failed FIGURE 5.1 The Early Days of the Cold War in Europe 124 126 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War The purpose of NSC—68 was to so bludgeon the mass mind of “top government” that not only could the President make a decision but that the decision could be carried out. Even so, it is doubtful whether anything like what happened in the next few years could have been done had not the Russians been stupid enough to have instigated the attack against South Korea and opened the “hate America” campaign. ~Secrerary of State Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation6 resisted up to that point. Why did Stalin permit North Korea to invade South Korea? Khrushchev gives an explanation in his memoirs: Kim Il Sung, the North Korean leader, pressed Stalin for the opportunity to unify the peninsula. The United States had said Korea was outside its defense perimeter; Secretary of State Dean Acheson had articulated this position and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had planned accordingly. To Stalin, Korea looked like a soft spot. But when North Korea actually crossed into South Korea, Truman responded in an axiomatic rather than a calculating way: Truman remembered Hitler moving into the Rhineland and recalled the axiom that aggression must be resisted everywhere. Calculated plans about defense perimeters were overshadowed by the historical analogies triggered by North Korea’s invasion. The United States was able to mobilize the UN Security Council to endorse collective security (which was possible because the Soviet Union was then boycotting the Security Council) and sent troops to Korea under the UN flag to push the communists back above the thirtyveighth parallel that bisected the Korean peninsula. At first, North Korea’s armies swept down the peninsula almost to the tip. In September 1950, however, an American amphibious landing at Inchon, halfway up the peninsula, routed the North Koreans. Had the United States stopped there, it could have claimed victory by restoring the preinvasion status quo, but Truman sucv cumbed to domestic pressures to pursue the retreating communist troops north of the thirtyveighth parallel. As the Americans approached the Yalu River, which divides Korea from China, the Chinese communists intervened, pushing the UN troops back to the middle of the peninsula. There the battle stalemated bloodily for three years until a truce was signed in 1953. The United States had become embroiled with China, and communism appeared to be monolithic. At home, the frustrating war led to domestic division and the rise of McCarthyism, named after the harsh and poorly founded accusations of domestic communist subversion made by Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. The Cold War blocs tightened and communication nearly ceased. IN EVITABI LITY? Was the onset of the Cold War inevitable? The postrevisionists are correct if we relax the interpretation of inevitability to mean “highly probable." The bipolar structure made it likely that both sides would be sucked into a power vacuum in Europe and find it diffi- Inevitability? 127 ’ 0 m mstcont 01 C m Ll 1' ~ Soviet troops Manchufia invade, 1945 UN Forces _ . in Korea urrender ofJapan, 32 countries sent aid ‘ ’ V August 1945 to South Korea during 1950—1953. The first 16 to respond were: _t u_, A Victory . _ American troops of Chinese occupy S. Korea 1 U.S.A. ‘ . communists 2 Australia in 1949 3 Canada 4 S. Africa 5 New Zealand 6 France 7 Colombia 8 Ethiopia 9 Greece 10 Thailand 11 Belgium MAN CHURIA 12 United Kingdom Chinese 5th 13 Turkey Field Army 14 Philippines Chinese 4th Y'aiu River 15 Luxembourg Field Army 16 Holland N. Korean Attack1 June 1950 UN landin , 5°?" ‘95 . War in Korea Oct. l950— l953 "MiG—Alley" to Oct ’ m The Static War, 1951—1953 Area of S. Korea Farthest advance of captured by com- , Chinese communist troops, ) V munists in 1950 “7 -~ ~ 1950—1951 ’ . ‘1 A“ “NC FIGURE 5.2 The Early Days of the Cold War in Asia cult to disengage. The intense ideological climate hampered the working of the United Nations, restricted clear communication, and contributed to the immoderate process of the international system. Under such systemic conditions, conflicts would have arisen over the six issues just identified, or some others, and proven difficult to resolve. 128 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War The postrevisionists rely too heavily, however, on systemic explanation. Perhaps some Cold War was inevitable, but its depth was not. After all, there were different phases of the hostility, and since the bipolarity of the system did not change until tic questions, but they are wrong to focus so strongly on economic determinism. More important was the role of ideology and exaggeration in domestic politics. Stalin used ideology because of Soviet domestic problems after the war, and Truman exaggerated the nature of the communist threat in order to rally support for changing American foreign policy. The use of 1930s analogies helped reinforce rigidity on Ironically, alternative strategies at different times might have alleviated the depths of hostility. For example, if the United States had followed Kennan’s advice and responded more firmly in 1945—1947, and had tried more pragmatic negotiation and communication from 1947—1950, Cold War tensions might not have mounted to the extent they did in the early 19505. LEVELS OF ANALYSIS The origins of the Cold War can be described in terms of the different images or lev— els of analysis as illustrated in Figure 5.3. In the nineteenth century, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805—1859) predicted that Russia and the United States were bound to become two great continental—scale giants in the world. Realists might thus predict that these two would become locked in some form of conflict. And of course, in 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution added an ideological layer to the conflict. When Woodrow Wilson first heard of the Russian Revolution, he congratulated the Russian people for their democratic spirit. But it did not take long before the Americans were accusing the Bolsheviks of regicide, expropriation, and cooperation with Germany in World War I. The United States added a small contingent of troops to an Allied intervention, allegedly to keep the Russians in the war against Germany, but the Soviets saw it as an attempt to strangle communism in its cradle. Despite these differences, the United States and the Soviet Union avoided serious conflict in the interwar period and became allies in the early 1940s. The bipolarity that followed the col— lapse of all the other great powers in World War II and the resulting power vac' uum changed the relationship. Earlier there had been distrust between the two countries, but they distrusted each other at a distance. Before World War II they could avoid each other, but after 1945 they Were face to face, Europe was divided, and deep conflict began after 1947. Some people wonder whether the bipolar structure had to have this effect. After all, the Soviet Union was a land— based power, while the United States was a maritime pOWer; why could there not have been a division of labor between the bear and the whale, each staying in its own domain? Levels of Analysis 129 IMAGE 2 Domestic Soviet Union l weakened by war Indmdual Tighter ideological controls Stalin's paranoia Truman's fear of U.S. isolationism Exaggerated rhetoric Reduced IMAGE 3 . . communication Systemic BIPOIanty Ideological COld war 3 U T: process unlike 1914, no spark of war Small states under close rein FIGURE 5.3 Causes of the Cold War Few alliance shifts and less uncertainty The answer is that the key stakes in world politics, the countries that could tip the balance of power, were located on the peripheries of the Soviet Union, particu— larly Europe and Japan. As George Kennan described the situation after the war, there were four great areas of technological and industrial creativity, which, if they were allied one way or the other, could tip the global balance of pOWer. Those were the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and Japan. The fact that Europe and Japan became allied with the United States against the Soviet Union was of profound importance. Systemic explanations predicted conflict, not how deep it would go (Figure 5 .3). For that we need to go beyond systems explanations to look at the societal and individ— ual levels of analysis and constructivist explanations. At the societal level, the two countries were very different from each other. A thumbnail sketch of the Soviet Union’s political culture and its expression in foreign policy showed two roots: Russian and communist. Constructivists point out that the Russian political culture emphasized absolutism rather than democracy, a desire for a strong leader, fear of anarchy (Russia had been a large unwieldy empire, and the fear that anarchy and dissent could lead to disintegration was very real), fear of invasion (Russia was a geographically vulnerable land—based power that had invaded and been invaded by its neighbors throughout the centuries), a worry or shame about backwardness (ever since Peter the Great, Russians had been trying to prove their vitality in international competition), and secrecy (a desire to hide the seamy side of Russian life). In addition, the communist system treated class rather than individual rights as the basis for justice. The proper role for 130 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War a person or for a society was to lead the proletariat or working class toward dominance because this was supposed to be the course of history. The ideological overlay gave an additional outward thrust to traditional Russian imperialism and resulted in a secret and tightly held foreign policy process. It is inter— esting to note the strengths and weaknesses of that process. The strengths were evident in 1939 when Stalin was able to quickly sign the nonaggression pact with Hitler. Public opinion did not constrain him, and he did not have to worry about a bureaucracy holding him back. He was free to rush into the pact with Hitler while the British and French were still dithering about whether or not to deal with him. The opposite side of the same coin became evident in 1941, however, when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Stalin was unable to believe Hitler would do such a thing and went into a deep depression for more than a week. The result was disastrous for Soviet defenses in the early phases of the war. In contrast, the American political culture emphasized liberal democracy, plu— ralism, and fragmentation of power. Instead of shame of backwardness, the United States took pride in its technology and expanding economy. Instead of a fear of invasion, for much of its history, the United States had been able to isolate itself between two oceans (and behind the British navy) while it invaded its weaker neighbors. In terms of secrecy, the United States was so open that governmental documents often reached the press within a matter of days and weeks. Instead of a class basis for conceptions of justice, there was a strong emphasis on individual justice. The foreign policy that resulted from this political culture was moralistic, public, and tended to oscillate between inward and outward orientation. The result was that the American foreign policy process was often inconsistent and incoher— ent in many of its surface aspects. But there was also an opposite side to this coin. The strengths of openness and pluralism often protected the United States from deeper mistakes. Thus it is not surprising that these two societies, so differently organized and with such different foreign policy processes, would confuse each other. We saw examples of that in the way both Roosevelt and Truman dealt with Stalin in the 1940s. It was difficult for the Americans to understand the Soviet Union during the Cold War because the Soviet Union was like a black box. American leaders could see what went in and what came out of the box, but not what happened inside. The Americans confused the Soviets as well. The Americans were like a white noise machine that produced so much background noise that it was difficult to hear the true signals clearly. There were too many people saying too many things. Thus the Soviets were often confused about what the Americans really wanted. US. AND SOVIET GOALS IN THE COLD WAR The Soviets were often accused of being expansionist, of being a revolutionary power rather than a status quo power. The Soviet Union also tended to want tangi— ble or possession goals such as territory, whereas the Americans tended to want intangible or milieu goals—ways of establishing the general setting of international Containment l3 1 politics. We can see this in the demands that Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt brought to the bargaining table at Yalta. Stalin had very clear objectives at Yalta: Germany and Poland. Churchill wanted the restoration of France to help balance Soviet power in case the Americans went home. Roosevelt wanted the United Nations and an open international economic system. These goals were very differ— ent in their tangibility. In some ways, Stalin’s postwar goals were classic Russian imperialist goals; he wanted to keep the gains he had made in the treaty with Hitler. His wish list would have been familiar to Peter the Great. Some Americans thought the Soviets were as expansionist as Hitler in desiring world domination. Others said the Soviets were basically security oriented; their expansion was defensive. There were at least two ways in which Soviet expansion— ism was not like Hitler’s. First, it was not bellicist; the Soviets did not want war. When Hitler invaded Poland, he worried he would be offered another Munich instead of the war he wanted for the glory of fascism. Another difference was that the Soviet Union was cautiously opportunistic, not recklessly adventuresome. Adventurism was seen as a sin against communism because it might disrupt the pre— dicted course of history. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was never as belli— cist or as reckless as Hitler was. Nonetheless, there are problems in portraying Soviet behavior as purely defen— sive. As we know from the Peloponnesian War, it is very hard in a bipolar world to distinguish offense from defense. Certain actions may have defensive motives but may look very threatening to the other side. Moreover, there is a long tradition of defensive expansion, or imperialism. For example, in the nineteenth century, Britain originally went into Egypt to protect the sea routes to India. After it took Egypt, it thought it had to take the Sudan to protect Egypt, and then it had to take Uganda to protect the Sudan. After it took Uganda, Britain had to take Kenya to build a railway to protect Uganda. The appetite grows with the eating as the secu— rity dilemma is used to justify further and further expansion. Soviet communism added an ideological motive of freeing working classes in all areas of the world, which further legitimized expansion. In short, the Soviet Union was expansionist during the Cold War, but cautiously and opportunistically so. CONTAINMENT What about US. goals? During the Cold War, the US. government wanted to con, tain the Soviet Union. Yet the policy of containment involved two large ambiguir ties. One was the question of the ends: whether to contain Soviet power or to contain communism. The second was a question of means: whether to spend resources to prevent any expansion of Soviet power or just in certain key areas that seemed critical to the balance of power. Those two ambiguities in the ends and means of containment were hotly debated in the period before the Korean War. George Kennan dissented from the rather expansive version of containment that Truman proclaimed. Kennan’s idea of containment was akin to classical diplomacy. It involved fewer military means and was more selective. A good example was l 32 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War It would be an exaggeration to say that American behavior unassisted and alone could exercise a power of life and death over the Communist movement and bring about the early fall of Soviet power in Russia. But the United States has it in its power to increase enormously the strains under which Soviet policy must operate, to force upon the Kremlin a far greater degree of moderation and circumspection than it has had to observe in recent years, and in this way to promote tendencies which must eventually find their outlet in either the break—up or the gradual mellowing of Soviet power. —Geo-rge Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”7 Yugoslavia, which had a communist totalitarian government under Josip Tito. In 1948, Tito split with Stalin over Soviet efforts to control Yugoslavia’s foreign policy, including its support for the Greek communists. According to an ideologically driven containment policy, the United States should not help Yugoslavia because it was communist. But in a containment policy driven by balanceaof—power considera— tions, the United States should help Yugoslavia as a means of weakening Soviet power. That, in fact, is what the United States did. It provided military aid to a totalitarian communist government despite the fact that the Truman Doctrine proclaimed the goal of defending free peoples everywhere. The United States did this for balance—Of-power reasons, and the policy put a big dent in Soviet power in Europe. After the Korean War, however, Kennan’s approach to containment lost ground. Then it looked as though the NSC—68 predictions of Soviet expansionism had been justified. Communism seemed monolithic after the Chinese entered the Korean War, and the rhetoric of containment emphasized the ideological goal of preventing the spread of communism. In this context, the United States made the costly mistake of becoming involved in Vietnam’s civil war. For nearly two decades (1955—1973), the United States tried to prevent communist control of Vietnam, at a cost of 58,000 American lives, more than a million Vietnamese lives, $600 billion, and domestic turmoil that undercut support for the policy of containment itself. In addition to containing communism in South Vietnam, the United States feared that a defeat might weaken the credibility of its global military commitments, and thus containment in other parts of the world. Ironically, after the US. defeat and withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975, nationalist rivalries among the communist coun— tries in Asia proved to be an effective force for maintaining the balance of power in the region. THE REST OF THE COLD WAR In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower was elected president on a campaign pledge to end the Korean War and to roll back communism. The Republican Party argued that con‘ tainment was a cowardly accommodation to communism. The right approach was The Rest of the Cold War 133 to roll back communism. Within six months, however, it became clear that rolling back communism was too risky in terms of precipitating nuclear war. After Stalin died in 1953, the frozen relations of the Cold War thawed slightly. In 1955, there was a U.S.rSoviet summit in Geneva and both sides agreed to the establishment of Austria as a neutral state. In 1956, Khrushchev gave a secret speech exposing Stalin’s crimes to the Twentieth Party Congress of the Soviet Union. The secret leaked out and contributed to a period of disarray in the Soviet sphere in Eastern Europe. Hungary attempted to revolt, but the Soviets intervened militarily to keep it within the communist camp. Khrushchev decided he needed to get the Americans out of Berlin and reach a final settlement of World War II so he could consolidate the Soviet hold on Eastern Europe and begin to take advantage of the decolonization occurring in the Third World. But Khrushchev’s style and efforts to negotiate with the United States were reminiscent of the Kaiser’s style in trying to force the British to bargain before 1914, full of bluster and deception. Efforts to make the United States come to terms had the opposite effect. Khrushchev failed in the Berlin crisis of 195 8—1961 and again in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. As we see later, the Soviet Union and the United States came so close to the nuclear brink during the Cuban Missile Crisis that they scared each other into a new phase in their relationship. From 1963 to 1978, there was a gradual détente, or relaxation of tensions. In the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, arms control negotiations produced the Limited Test Ban Treaty that limited atmospheric nuclear tests in 1963 and the Nuclear Non—Proliferation Treaty in 1968. Trade began to grow gradually, and détente seemed to be expanding. The Vietnam War diverted U.S. attention more to the threat from Chinese communism. From 1969 to 1974, the Nixon administration used détente as a means to pur— sue the goals of containment. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviets launched a major military buildup and gained parity in nuclear weapons. The Vietnam War led to the American public’s disillusionment with Cold War interventions. Nixon’s strategy was (1) to negotiate a strategic arms control treaty with the Soviet Union to cap each nation’s nuclear arsenal at relative parity; (2) to open diplomatic rela— tions with China and thus create a three—way balance of power in Asia (rather than pushing the Soviets and the Chinese together); (3) to increase trade so there would be carrots as well as sticks in the U.S.—Soviet relationship; and (4) to use “linkage” to tie the various parts of policy together. The high point of détente occurred in 1972 and 1973, but it did not last very long. The Middle East War of 1973 and Soviet assistance to anti-Western move— ments in Africa led to bad feelings about who misled whom. American domestic politics contributed to the decline of détente when American legislators such as Senator Henry Jackson tried to link trade with the Soviet Union to human rights issues, such as the treatment of Soviet Jews, rather than to behavior in balance of power terms. In 1975, when Portugal decolonized Angola and Mozambique, the Soviet Union transported Cuban troops to help keep communist—oriented govern; ments in power there. By the 1976 presidential campaign, President Gerald Ford never used the word détente. His successor, Jimmy Carter, tried to continue détente 134 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War with the Soviet Union during his first two years in office, but the Soviet Union and Cuba became involved in the Ethiopian civil war, the Soviets continued their defense buildup, and in December 1979 the Soviet Union delivered the coup de grace to détente by invading Afghanistan. military buildup, in which the Soviets increased their defense spending by nearly 4 percent annually and introduced new heavy missiles that particularly worried American defense planners. Second was the Soviet interventions in Angola, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan. The Soviets thought that these military actions were justified by what they called the changing “correlation of forces" in history, their belief that history was moving in the directions that Marxism—Leninism predicted. Third were changes in American domestic politics, a rightward trend that tore apart the coalition supporting the Democratic Party. The result of the interaction of Soviet acts and US. political trends confirmed the view that the Cold War per— sisted, that détente could not last. However, the renewed hostility in the 1980s was not a return to the Cold War of the 1950s. There was a return to the rhetoric of the 1950s, but actions were quite different. Even though President Ronald Reagan talked about the Soviet Union as an “evil empire," he pursued arms control agree‘ ments. There was increased trade, particularly in grain, and there were constant contacts between Americans and Soviets. The superpowers even evolved certain rules of prudence in their behavior toward each other: no direct wars, no nuclear use, and discussions of arms and the control of nuclear weapons. It was a different kind of Cold War in the 1980s than in the 1950s. THE END OF THE COLD WAR When did the Cold War end? Because the origins of the Cold War were very heave ily related to the division of Europe by the United States and the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War might be dated by when the division ended in 1989. When the Soviet Union did not use force to support the communist government in East Germany and the Berlin Wall was pierced by jubilant crowds in November 1989, the Cold War could be said to be over. But why did it end? One argument is that containment worked. George Kennan argued right after World War II that if the United States could prevent the Soviet Union from expanding, there would be no successes to feed the ideology, and gradu— ally Soviet communism would mellow. New ideas would arise, people would realize that communism was not the wave of the future, that history was not on its side. In some larger respect, Kennan was right. American military power helped deter Soviet expansion while the soft power of American culture, values, and ideas eroded communist ideology. But the puzzle of timing remains: Why 1989? Why did it last four decades? Why did it take so long to mellow? Alternatively, why didn’t it last another ten years? Containment worked, but that does not give the full answer. The End of the Cold War 135 Another explanation is “imperial overstretch.” The Yale historian Paul Kennedy has argued that empires overexpand until that overexpansion saps the empire’s internal strength. With more than a quarter of its economy devoted to defense and foreign affairs (compared to 6 percent for the United States in the 1980s), the Soviet Union was overstretched. But Kennedy went on to say that none of the overexpanded multinational empires in history ever retreated to their own ethnic base until they had been defeated or weakened in a great power war. The Soviet Union, however, was not defeated or weakened in a great power war. A third explanation is that the US military buildup in the 1980s forced the Soviets to sur— render in the Cold War. There is some truth to that insofar as President Ronald Reagan’s policies dramatized the extent to which the Soviets were imperially over’ stretched, but it does not really answer the basic question. After all, earlier periods of American military buildup did not have that effect. Why 1989? We must look for deeper causes, because to think that American rhetoric and policy in the 1980s were the prime cause of the Soviet Union’s decline may be similar to the rooster who thought that his crowing before dawn caused the sun to come up—another example of the fallacy of spurious causation. We can gain more exact insights into the timing of the end of the Cold War by looking at our three types of causes: precipitating, intermediate, and deep. The most important precipitating cause of the end of the Cold War was an individual, Mikhail Gorbachev. He wanted to reform communism, not replace it. However, the reform snowballed into a revolution driven from below rather than controlled from above. In both his domestic and foreign policy, Gorbachev launched a number of actions that accelerated both the existing Soviet decline and the end of the Cold War. When he first came to power in 1985, Gorbachev tried to discipline the Soviet people as a way to overcome the existing economic stagnation. When discipline was not enough to solve the problem, he launched the idea of perestroika, or “restructur— ing," but he was unable to restructure from the top because the Soviet bureaucrats kept thwarting his orders. To light a fire under the bureaucrats, he used a strategy of glasnost, or open discussion and democratization. Gorbachev believed that airing people’s discontent with the way the system was working would put pressure on the bureaucrats and help perestroika work. But once glasnost and democratization let people say what they were thinking, and vote on it, many people said, “We want out. There is no new form of Soviet citizen. This is an imperial dynasty, and we do not belong in this empire.” Gorbachev unleashed the disintegration of the Soviet Union, which became increasingly evident after the failed coup by hard—liners in August 1991. By December 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Gorbachev’s foreign policy, which he called “new thinking,” also contributed to the end of the Cold War. This policy had two very important elements. One was changing ideas that constructivists emphasize, such as the concept of common secu— rity in which the classical security dilemma is escaped by joining together to provide security. Gorbachev and the people around him said that in a world of increasing interdependence, security was a non-zero—sum game, and all could benefit through cooperation. The existence of the nuclear threat meant all could perish together if the competition got out of hand. Rather than try to build as many nuclear weapons 136 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War Bush, Reagan, and Gorbachev in New York, 1987 as possible, Gorbachev proclaimed a doctrine of “sufficiency,” holding a minimal number for protection. The other dimension of Gorbachev’s foreign policy change was his view that expansionism is usually more costly than beneficial. The Soviet control over an empire in Eastern Europe was costing too much and providing too little benefit, and the invasion of Afghanistan had been a costly disaster. It was no longer necessary to impose a communist social system as a way to ensure security on Soviet borders. Thus by the summer of 1989, the Eastern Europeans were given more degrees of freedom. Hungary allowed East Germans to escape through its territory into Austria. This exodus of East Germans put enormous pressure on the East German government. Additionally, Eastern European governments no longer had the nerve (or Soviet backing) to put down demonstrations. In November, the Berlin Wall was pierced—a dramatic conclusion to a crescendo of events occurring over a very short period. We can argue that these events stemmed from Gorbachev’s miscalculations. He thought communism could be repaired, but in fact, in trying to repair it, he punched a hole in it. And like a hole in a dam, the pent—up pressures began to escape, rapidly increasing the opening and causing the entire system to collapse. That still leaves the question, “Why 1989? Why under this leader?” To some extent, Gorbachev was an accident of history. In the early 1980s, three old Soviet leaders died, one soon after the other. It was not until 1985 that the younger gener— ation, the people who had come up under Khrushchev, the so—called generation of 1956, had their chance. But if the members of the Communist Party Politburo had chosen one of Gorbachev's hard’line competitors in 1985, it is quite plausible that The End of the Cold War 137 the declining Soviet Union could have held on for another decade. It did not have to collapse so quickly. Gorbachev’s personality explains much of the timing. As for the intermediate causes, Kennan and Kennedy are both on target. Two important intermediate causes were soft power of liberal ideas, emphasized in con— structivist explanations, and imperial overstretch, emphasized by realists. The ideas of openness and democracy and new thinking that Gorbachev used were Western ideas that had been adopted by the generation of 1956. One of the key architects of perestroika and glasnost, Aleksandr Yakovlev, had been an exchange student in the United States and was attracted to American theories of pluralism. The growth of transnational communications and contacts pierced the Iron Curtain and helped spread Western popular culture and liberal ideas. The demonstrated effect of West— ern economic success gave them additional appeal. While hard military power deterred Soviet expansionism, soft power ate away the belief in communism behind the Iron Curtain. When the Berlin Wall finally fell in 1989, it did not succumb to an artillery barrage, but to an onslaught of civilian hammers and bulldozers. As for imperial overstretch, the enormous Soviet defense budget began to affect other aspects of Soviet society. Health care declined and the mortality rate in the Soviet Union increased (the only developed country where that occurred). Eventu— ally even the military became aware of the tremendous burden caused by imperial overstretch. In 1984, Marshall Ogarkov, the Soviet Chief of staff, realized the Soviet Union needed a better civilian economic base and more access to Western trade and technology. But during the period of stagnation, the old leaders were unwilling to listen and Ogarkov was removed from his post. Thus the intermediate causes of soft power and imperial overstretch are important, though ultimately we must deal with the deep causes, which were the decline of communist ideology (a constructivist explanation) and the failure of the Soviet economy (a realist explanation). Communism’s loss of legitimacy over the postwar period was quite dramatic. In the early period, immediately after 1945, communism was widely attractive. Many communists had led the resistance against fascism in Europe, and many people believed that communism was the wave of the future. The Soviet Union gained a great deal of soft power from their communist ideology but they squandered it. Soviet soft power was progressively undercut by the deaStalinization in 1956 that exposed his crimes; by the represv sions in Hungary in 1956, in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and in Poland in 1981; and by the growing transnational communication of liberal ideas. Although in theory communism aimed to instill a system of class justice, Lenin’s heirs maintained domestic power through a brutal state security system involving reform camps, gulags, broad censorship, and the use of informants. The net effect of these repres— sive measures on the Russian people was a general loss of faith in the system as voiced in the underground protest literature and the rising tide of dissent advanced by human rights activists. Behind this, there was also decline in the Soviet economy, reflecting the dimin— ished ability of the Soviet central planning system to respond to change in the world economy. Stalin had created a system of centralized economic direction that emphasized heavy metal and smokestack industries. It was very inflexible—all 1 38 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War In contrast to the way most history is written, Cold War historians through the end of the 19805 were working within rather than after the event they were trying to describe. We had no way of knowing the final outcome, and we could determine the motivations of only some—by no means all—of the major players. . . . We know now, to coin a phrase. Or, at least, we know a good deal more than we once did. We will never have the full story: we don’t have that for any historical event, no matter how far back in the past. His, torians can no more reconstruct what actually happened than maps can replicate what is really there. But we can represent the past, just as cartographers approximate terrain. And the end of the Cold War and at least the partial opening of documents from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China, the fit between our representations and the reality they describe has become a lot closer than it once was. —]ohn L. Gaddis, “The New Cold War History "8 thumbs and no fingers—and tended to stockpile labor rather than transfer it to growing service industries. As the economist Joseph Schumpeter pointed out, capitalism is creative destruction, a way of responding flexibly to major waves of technological change. At the end of the twentieth century, the major technological change of the third industrial revolution was the growing role of information as the scarcest resource in an economy. The Soviet system was particularly inept at handling information. The deep secrecy of its political system meant that the flow of information was slow and cumbersome. Soviet goods and services could not keep up to world standards. There was a great deal of turmoil in the world economy at the end of the twentieth century, but the Western economies using market systems were able to transfer labor to services, to reorganize their heavy industries, and to switch to computers. The Soviet Union could not keep up with the changes. For instance, when Gorbachev came to pOWer in 1985, there were 50,000 personal computers in the Soviet Union; in the United States there were 30 million. Four years later, there were about 400,000 personal comv puters in the Soviet Union, and 40 million in the United States. Market—oriented economies and democracies proved more flexible in responding to technological change than the centralized Soviet system that Stalin created for the smokestack era of the 19305. According to one Soviet economist, by the late 19805, only 8 percent of Soviet industry was competitive at world standards. It is difficult to remain a super« power when 92 percent of industry is subpar. The end of the Cold War was one of the great transforming events of the twenr tieth century. It was equivalent to World War II in its effects on the structure of the international system, but it occurred without war. In the next chapters, we turn to what this may mean for international politics in the future. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has undergone a significant transformation. Renouncing the planned economy of the Soviet state, post~Cold War Russia tentatively embarked on a path of democratization and economic liberal» ization. That road has been fraught with peril, however. Following the advice of the International Monetary Fund, the Russian government at first embraced economic The Role of Nuclear Weapons 139 “shock therapy” as a way of making the transition from economic autocracy to liberal democracy. Yet shock therapy so disrupted Russian society that it was quickly shelved in favor of a more gradualist approach. As the economic situation deteriorated, Russian nationalism was rejuvenated. Theorists such as Michael Doyle, hypothesizing that liberal democracies do not fight wars with one another, have concluded that if Russia makes a successful transition to democracy, it will bode well for international peace. It remains to be seen whether Russian foreign policy will fit the model of the democratic peace, or whether a resura gence of Russian authoritarianism and nationalism will challenge the United States and Western Europe. Regardless of what the future holds, one major puzzle remains. Just as important as the question of why the Cold War ended is the question of why it did not turn hot. Why did the Cold War last so long without a “hot war” erupting between the two superpowers. Why did it not turn into World War III? THE ROLE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS Some analysts believe that advanced developed societies leamed from the lessons of World War I and World War II and simply outgrew war. Others believe that the “long peace” in the second half of the twentieth century stemmed from the limited expansionist goals of the superpowers. Still others credit what they consider the inherent stability of pure bipolarity in which two states (not two tight alliances) are dominant. But for most analysts, the largest part of the answer lies in the special nature of nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence. Physics and Politics The enormous destructive power of nuclear weapons is almost beyond compre‘ hension. A megaton nuclear explosion can create temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius—four to five times the temperature in the center of the sun. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was relatively small, about the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT. Today’s missiles can carry 100 times that explosive power or more. In fact, all the explosive power used in World War II could fit in one 3—megaton bomb, and that one bomb could fit in the nose cone of one large inter— continental miSsile. By the 19805, the United States and the Soviet Union together had more than 50,000 nuclear weapons. Some physical effects of nuclear explosions are uncertain. For example, the the— ory of nuclear winter holds that a nuclear war would create so much carbon and dust in the atmosphere that it would block sunlight, preventing plants from conducting photosynthesis and leading to the end of life as we know it. A National Academy of Sciences study reported that nuclear winter is possible, but highly uncertain. Much would depend on whether the weapons were aimed at cities rather than at other weapons. Burning cities would cause smoke with a high carbon content that would block sunlight, but it is uncertain how long the smoke would stay aloft. If the bombs 140 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War exploded in the Northern Hemisphere, would the smoke travel to the Southern Hemisphere? Some skeptics argued the worst result would not be nuclear winter, but nuclear autumn—a faint consolation. The certainty is that a largevscale nuclear war would destroy civilization as we know it, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. In their 1983 report on nuclear weapons, the American Catholic bishops engaged in only slight hyperbole when they said, “We are the first generation since Genesis with the capability of destroying God’s creation.”9 Nuclear weapons changed the nature of warfare, but they did not change the basic way in which the world is organized. The world of anarchic states with no higher government above them continued in the nuclear age. In 1946, when the United States proposed the Baruch Plan to establish international control of nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union viewed it as just another American plot. After this failure, Albert Einstein lamented that everything changed except our thinking. Perhaps apocryphally, he is supposed to have said that “physics is easier than politics.” There are both military and political reasons why nuclear weapons did not have a more dramatic effect right after 1945. For one thing, the early atomic weapon did not do significantly more damage than the most deadly uses of mass conventional weapons. The firebombing of the German city of Dresden in 1945 killed more people than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Though one atomic weapon did the work of a entire air attack using conventional bombs, at first there were not that many nuclear weapons in the US. arsenal. The United States had only 2 in 1947, and 50 in 1948. Many military planners thought atomic bombs were not totally different, just extensions of conventional warfare. The emerging U.S.—Soviet rivalry also slowed change in political thinking. The Soviet Union mistrusted the United Nations and saw it as too reliant on the United States. The United States could not coerce the Soviets into cooperation because Europe was a hostage between the Soviets and the Americans. If the United States threatened nuclear attack, the Soviets could threaten to invade Europe with conventional forces. The result was a stalemate. The revolutionary physical effects of nuclear technology were initially not enough to change the ways states behaved in an anarchic system. The second stage of the nuclear revolution occurred in 1952 when the hydrogen bomb was first tested. Hydrogen bombs rely on the fusion energy released when atoms are fused into one, instead of split apart as in the early fission bombs. The H—bomb vastly increased the amount of destruction possible with a single weapon. The largest human—made explosion on the earth’s surface occurred in 1961 when the Soviet Union exploded a 60'megaton hydrogen bomb, 20 times all the explosive power used in World War II. Ironically, the more important change that accompanied the development of the Hvbomb was miniaturization. Fusion made it possible to deliver enormous amounts of destructive power in very small packages. The systems built to deliver the early atomic bombs got bigger and bigger as the bombs increased in size and required more space as the bombs increased in size. The B—36 bomber was a huge eight—engine air— plane with one big cavity to hold one bomb. A hydrogen bomb, on the other hand, could put the same potential destruction in a much smaller package. Once that The Role of Nuclear Weapons 141 destructive power was mounted in the nose cone of a ballistic missile, an intercontii nental nuclear war could occur with only 30 minutes’ warning, compared to the eight hours it took a 536 to fly the same distance. The increased destructiveness of hydrogen bombs also dramatized the conse quences of nuclear war. No longer could warfare be considered merely an extension of politics by other means. Karl von Clausewitz (1780—1831), a nineteenth-century Prussian general and military strategist, said war is a political act, and therefore absolute war is an absurdity. The enormous destructive power of nuclear weapons meant there was now a disproportion between the military means and virtually all the political ends a country might seek. This disjunction between ends and means caused a paralysis in the use of the ultimate force in most situations. Nuclear weapons have not been used since 1945, thus the view that nuclear weaponry is muscle-bound. It is just too powerful, too disproportionate. The H—bomb had five significant political effects, even though it did not reor‘ ganize the anarchic way in which the world goes about its business. First, it revived the concept of limited war. The first half of the twentieth century saw a change from the limited wars of the nineteenth century to the two world wars, which took tens of millions of lives. At midcentury, analysts were referring to the twentieth century as “the century of total war.” But war in the second half of the century was more like the old wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; for instance, though the Korean and Vietnam wars each cost more than 55,000 American deaths, they remained limited in scope and scale. In Vietnam and Afghanistan, the United States and the Soviet Union each accepted defeat rather than use their ultimate weapon. Second, crises replaced central war as the moments of truth. In the past, war was the time when all the cards were face up on the table. But in the nuclear age, war is too devastating and the old moments of truth are too dangerous. During the Cold War, the Berlin crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Middle East crises of the early 1970s played the functional equivalent of war, a time to see the true corre— lation of forces in military power. Third, nuclear weapons made deterrence (discour— agement by fear) the key strategy. It was now critical to organize military might to produce fear in advance so attack would be deterred. In World War II, the United States relied on its ability to mobilize and gradually build a war machine after the war started, but that mobilization approach no longer worked when a nuclear war could be over in a matter of hours. A fourth political effect was the development of a de facto regime of superpower prudence. The two superpowers, despite their bitter ideological differences, developed one key common interest: avoiding nuclear war. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in proxy or indirect peripheral wars, but in no case did the two nations go head to head. In addition, the two sides developed spheres of influence. While the Americans talked about rolling back communism in Eastern Europe in the 1950s, in practice, when the Hungarians revolted against their Soviet rulers in 1956, the United States did not rush in to help them for fear of nuclear war. Similarly, with the exception of Cuba, the Soviets were relatively careful about incur; sions into the Western Hemisphere. Both countries adhered to a developing norm of 142 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War nonuse of nuclear weapons. Finally, the superpowers learned to communicate. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Washington and Moscow deve10ped “hotlines” to allow instant communication between the Soviet and American leaders. Technology made it easier to cooperate in times of crisis by making communication between leaders in the bipolar system more flexible and personal. Simultaneously, the codification of a number of arms control treaties, starting with the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963, and frequent arms control negotiations became a way to discuss stability in the nuclear system. Fifth, nuclear weapons in general and the I-I—bomb in particular were seen by most officials as unusable in time of war. It was not purely a matter of the destructive potential of the H—bomb. There was a stigma attached to the use of nuclear weaponry that simply did not apply to conventional weaponry. By the late 1960s, in fact, engi' neers and scientists had managed to shrink the payload of nuclear weapons so that napalm, incendiary bombs, and assorted conventional weapons. In part, it was feared that using any nuclear weapon, no matter how similar to conventional weapons, would open the window to using all nuclear weapons, and that risk was unaccept— able. There was yet another dimension. Ever since the first bomb was dropped by the United States on Hiroshima, there was a lingering sense that nuclear weapons were immoral, that they went beyond the realm of what was acceptable in war. Though that normative restraint is hard to measure, it clearly suffused the debates over nuclear weapons and was one reason for the unwillingness of states to use them. Balance of Terror Nuclear weapons produced a peculiar form of the balance of power that was some— times called the “balance of terror.” Tests of strength were more psychological than physical. Both sides followed a policy of preventing preponderance by the other, but the result was different from previous systems. Unlike the nineteenth'century balance—of—power system in which five great powers shifted alliances, the Cold War balance was very clearly organized around two very large states, each capable of destroying the other in an instant. The problems raised by the classical security dilemma were not ended by the terror of nuclear weapons, but the superpowers acted prudently despite their ideo— logical differences. Their prudence was similar to the effects of the constant com— munications that occurred in managing the multipolar nineteenth—century balance of power. At the same time, the superpowers tried to calculate balances of force, just as in the days when statesmen compared provinces, infantry, and artillery. The nuclear balance of terror coincided with a period of bipolarity. Some neoreal— ists such as Kenneth Waltz define bipolarity as situations in which two large states have nearly all the power, but that type of pure bipolarity is rare. More often bipolarity has occurred in history when alliances tighten so much that flexibility is lost, as happened The Role of Nuclear Weapons 143 in the Peloponnesian War. Even though they were independent states, the alliances around Athens and around Sparta coalesced tightly into a bipolar situation. Similarly, on the eve of World War I the alliance systems became tightly bound into bipolarity. Waltz argues that bipolarity is a particularly stable type of system because it sim— plifies communication and calculations. On the other hand, bipolar systems lack flexibility and magnify the importance of marginal conflicts such as the Vietnam War. The conventional wisdom in the past was that bipolarity either erodes or explodes. If so, why did bipolarity not explode after World War II? Perhaps the prudence produced by nuclear weapons provided the answer, and the stability that Waltz attrib— uted to pure bipolarity was really the result of the bomb. The very terror of nuclear weapons may have helped produce stability through the “crystal ball effect.” Imagine that in August 1914 the Kaiser, the Czar, and the Emperor of Austria-Hungary looked into a crystal ball and saw a picture of 1918. They would have seen that they had lost their thrones, their empires had been dismembered, and millions of their people had been killed. Would they still have gone to war in 1914? Probably not. Knowledge of the physical effects of nuclear weapons may be similar to the effect of giving leaders in the post—1945 period a crystal ball. Because few political goals would be proportionate to such destruction, they would not want to take great risks. Of course, crystal balls can be shattered by accidents and by miscalculations, but the analogy suggests why the combination of bipolarity and nuclear weapons produced the longest period of peace between the central powers since the beginning of the modern state system. (The previous record was 1871—1914.) Problems of Nuclear Deterrence Nuclear deterrence is a subset of general deterrence, but the peculiar qualities of nuclear weapons changed how the superpowers approached international relations during the Cold War. Nuclear deterrence encourages the reasoning, “If you attack me, I may not be able to prevent your attack, but I can retaliate so powerfully that you will not want to attack in the first place.” Nuclear weapons thus put a new twist on an old concept. When President Kennedy made the first decision to increase significantly the American military presence in 1962—63, . . . he had in mind two things: What would have happened 1 if Khrushchev had not believed him in the Berlin crisis of 1961—62, and what would have happened if Khrushchev did not believe Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962? I think we made a mistake in concluding that the Chinese would probably not intervene in the Korean War in 1950, and that influenced the American decision not to invade North Vietnam. The military said they did not think China would come in, but if it did, it would lead to nuclear war, and that decided that. ——Secretary of State Dean Rusk“) 144 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War One way to assess the efficacy of nuclear deterrence is by counterfactual analy sis. How likely was it that the Cold War would have turned hot in the absence of nuclear weapons? The political scientist John Mueller argues that nuclear weapons were irrelevant, that they were no more than the rooster crowing. He argues that the peoples of Europe had been turning away from war as a policy instrument ever since the horrors of World War I. The cause of peace was the increased recognition of the horror of war, at least in the developed world. According to Mueller, Hitler was an aberration, a rare person who had not learned the lessons of World War I and was still willing to go to war. After World War II, the general revulsion toward war returned more strongly than before. Most analysts, however, believe nuclear weapons had a lot to do with avoiding World War III. Crises over Berlin, Cuba, and perhaps the Middle East might have spiraled out of control without the prudence instilled by the crystal ball effect of nuclear weapons. That raises a number of questions. One is, “What deters?” Effective deterrence requires both the capability to do damage and a credible threat that the weapons will be used. Credibility depends on the stakes involved in a conflict. For example, an American threat to bomb Moscow in retaliation for a nuclear attack was probably credible. But suppose the United States had threatened to bomb Moscow in 1980 if the Soviets did not withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. The United States certainly had the capability, but the threat would not have been credible because the stakes were too low, and the Soviets could easily have threatened in return to bomb Washington. So deterrence is related not just to capability, but also to credibility. That problem of credibility leads to a distinction between deterring threats against one’s homeland and extending deterrence to cover an ally. For example, the United States could not stop the Soviet Union from invading Afghanistan by nuclear deterrence, but for the four decades of the Cold War it threatened to use nuclear weapons if the Soviet Union invaded the NATO countries of Western Europe. Thus to look for the effects of nuclear weapons in extending deterrence and averting war, we must look at major crises in which the stakes are high. Can history answer these questions about the effect of nuclear weapons? Not completely, but it can help. From 1945 to 1949, the United States alone had nuclear weapons, but did not use them. So there was some self'restraint even before mutual nuclear deterrence. Part of the reason was small arsenals, a lack of understanding of these new weapons, and the American fear that the Soviets would capture all of Europe with their massive conventional forces. By the 1950s, both the United States and the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons, and American leaders considered their use in several crises. Nuclear weapons were not used in the Korean War, or in 1954 and 1958 when the Chinese communists mobilized forces to invade the Nationalist—held island of Taiwan. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower vetoed the use of nuclear weapons for several reasons. In the Korean War, it was not clear that dropping a nuclear weapon would stop the Chinese, and the United States was concerned about the Soviet response. There was always the danger that the threats might escalate and the Soviets might use a nuclear weapon to help their Chinese ally. So even though the Americans had superiority in the number of nuclear weapons, there was the danger of heading to a larger war involving more than Korea and China. The Role or Nuclear Weapons 145 In addition, ethics and public opinion played a role. In the 19505, US. govern; ment estimates of the number of citizens who would be killed by a nuclear attack were so high that the idea was put aside. President Eisenhower, when asked about using nuclear weapons, said, “We can’t use those awful things against Asians for the second time in less than ten years. My God!"12 Even though the United States had more nuclear weapons than the Soviet Union in the 1950s, a combination of factors persuaded the Americans not to use them. The Cuban Missile Crisis The key case in nuclear deterrence in the Cold War was the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. This 13—day period was probably the closest call in the nuclear age to a set of events that could have led to nuclear war. If a total outsider, a “man from Mars,” had looked at the situation, he would have seen that the United States had a l7—to—l superiority in nuclear weaponry. We now know the Soviets had only about 20 nuclear weapons on intercontinental missiles that could have reached the United States, but President Kennedy did not know it at the time. Why then didn’t the United States try to preempt a Soviet first strike by attacking Soviet missile sites, which were then relatively vulnerable? The answer was that if even one or two of the Soviet missiles had escaped and been fired at an American city, that risk was enough to deter a US. first strike. In addition, both Kennedy and By mid—October 1962, the Cold War had intensified in unforeseen ways. Cuba, which had long been a virtual colony of the United States, had recently moved into the Soviet orbit. In late September U.S. newspapers had begun reporting shipments of Soviet weapons to Cuba. President John F. Kennedy told the American public that, to the best of his under' standing, these weapons were defensive, not offensive. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had given him absolute assurances that this was the case. “Were it to be otherwise,” Kennedy said, “the gravest issues would arise.” Shortly before 9:00 AM. on Tuesday, October 16, Kennedy's Assistant for National Security Affairs, McGeorge Bundy, brought to his bedroom photographs showing that the ugravest issues" had indeed arisen. Taken from very high altitude by a U—Z reconnaissance plane, these photographs showed the Soviets in Cuba setting up nuclear—armed ballistic missiles targeted on cities in the continental United States. For Kennedy, the presence of these missiles was intolerable. So was the fact that Khrushchev had lied to him. For the next 13 days, Kennedy and a circle of advisers debated how to cope with the challenge. They knew that one possible outcome was nuclear war, and during their discussions Kennedy’s civil defense expert offered the chill, ing information that the US. population was frighteningly vulnerable. ——Emest May and Philip Zelikow, The Kennedy Tapes“ 140 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War Khrushchev feared that rational strategies and careful calculations might spin out of their control. Khrushchev came up with a nice metaphor for this in one of his letters to Kennedy: “Be careful as we both tug at the ends of the rope in which we have tied the knot of war.”13 At a conference in Florida 25 years after the event, Americans who had been involved in President Kennedy’s Executive Committee of the National Security Council met with scholars to try to reconstruct the Cuban Missile Crisis. One of the most striking differences among the participants was how much each individ’ ual had been willing to take risks. That in turn depended on how likely each thought were the prospects of nuclear war. Robert McNamara, Kennedy’s secrer tary of defense, became more cautious as the crisis unfolded. At the time, he thought the probability of nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crisis might be one chance out of fifty (though later he rated the risks much higher after he learned in the 19905 that the Soviets had already delivered nuclear weapons to Cuba). Douglas Dillon, who was the secretary of the treasury, said he thought the risks of nuclear war were about zero. He did not see how the situation could possibly progress to nuclear war and as a result was willing to push the Soviets harder and to take more risks than McNamara was. General Maxwell Taylor, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also thought the risk of nuclear war was low, and he com— plained that the United States let the Soviet Union off too easily in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He argued that Kennedy could have pushed much harder and should have demanded the removal of Cuba’s president, Fidel Castro. General Taylor said, “I was so sure we had ’em over a barrel, 1 never worried much about the final outcome.”14 But the risks of losing control weighed heavily on President Kennedy, who took a very cautious position, indeed, more prudent than some of his advisers would have liked. The moral of the story is that a little nuclear deter— rence goes a long way. It is clear that nuclear deterrence made a difference in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nonetheless, there are still ambiguities about the missile crisis that make it diffi— cult to attribute the whole outcome to the nuclear component. The public consensus was that the United States won. But the question of how much the United States won and why it won is overdetermined. There are at least three possible explanations. One View is that because the United States had more nuclear weapons than the Soviet Union, the Soviets gave in. A second explanation adds the importance of the relative stakes of the two superpowers in the crisis. Cuba was in America’s backyard, but a distant gamble for the Soviets. Therefore, Americans not only had a higher stake in Cuba than the Soviets, but could also bring a third factor to bear: conventional forces. An American naval blockade and the possibility of an American invasion of Cuba also played a role. The psychological burden was on the Soviets because higher stakes and readily available conventional forces gave the Americans more credibility in their deterrent position. Finally, although the Cuban Missile Crisis is called an American victory, it was also a compromise. The Americans had three options in the Cuban Missile Crisis. One was a shoot—out, that is, to bomb the missile sites; the second was a squeeze! out by blockading Cuba to persuade the Soviets to take the missiles out; the third The Role or Nuclear Weapons 147 Kennedy and Khruschev meeting in Vienna in 1961 was a buyout by offering to trade something the Soviets wanted, such as removal of American missiles from Turkey. For a long time, the participants did not say much about the buyout aspects of the solution, but subsequent evidence suggests that a quiet American promise to remove its obsolete missiles from Turkey was probably more important than was thought at the time. We can conclude that nuclear deterrence mattered in the crisis and that the nuclear dimension certainly figured in Kennedy’s thinking. On the other hand, the number of weapons was less impor tant. It was not the ratio of nuclear weapons that mattered so much as the fear that even a few nuclear weapons could wreak such devastation. Il'le COIG War Moral Issues After the Cuban Missile Crisis there was a relative easing of the tension in the Cold War—almost as if the United States and the Soviet Union had stumbled to the brink of a cliff, looked over, and pulled back. In 1963, a hotline allowing direct communica— tion between Washington and Moscow was installed, an arms control treaty limiting atmospheric nuclear tests was signed, Kennedy announced the United States would be willing to trade more with the Soviet Union, and there was some relaxation of ten— sion. Through the late 1960s, the United States was preoccupied with the Vietnam War, yet there were still arms control efforts. Intense fear of nuclear war returned after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. During “the little cold war” from 1980 to 1985, strategic arms limitation talks stalled, rhetoric became particularly harsh, and military budgets and the number of nuclear weapons increased on both sides. President Ronald Reagan talked about nuclear war fighting, and peace groups pressed for a freeze and ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons. In the climate of heightened anxiety, many people asked a basic question: “Is nuclear deterrence moral ?” As we saw earlier, just war theory argues that certain conditions must be met in making moral judgments. Selfvdefense is usually regarded as a just cause, but the means and consequences by which a war is fought are equally important. In terms of the means, civilians must be distinguished from combatants; in terms of consequences, there has to be some proportionality, some relationship of the ends and the means. Could nuclear war possibly fit the just war model? Technically, it could. Low— yield nuclear weapons such as artillery shells and depth charges might be used against radar systems, submarines, ships at sea, or deep underground command bunkers. In that case, we could discriminate between combatants and noncombat— ants and keep the effects relatively limited. If the fighting stopped there, we could fit nuclear weapons within just war theory. But would fighting stop there or would it In 1962 President Kennedy insisted that each member of the National Security Council read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August. The book is the story of how the nations of Europe inadvertently blundered into World War I. The author begins by quoting Bismarck’s comment that “some damned foolish thing in the Balkans” would ignite the next war. She then related the series of steps—following the assassination on June 28, 1914, of the Austrian heir apparent, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by Serbian nationalists—each small and insignificant in itself, that led to the most appalling military conflict in the history of the world. Time and again, at the brink of hostilities, the chiefs of state tried to pull back, but the momentum of events dragged them fonavard. President Kennedy reminded us of the 1914 conversation between two German Chancellors on the origins of that war. One asked, “How did it happen?" and his successor replied, “Ah, if we only knew." It was Kennedy’s way of stressing the constant danger of miscalculation. —Robe'rt McNamara, 3114an into Disaster1 5 The Role of Nuclear Weapons 149 escalate? Escalation is the great risk, for what could be worth a hundred million lives or the fate of the earth? During the Cold War, some people answered, “It’s better to be Red than dead." But that may have been the wrong way to pose the question. Alternatively, we might ask: Is it ever justifiable to run a small risk of a large calamity? During the Cuban Missile Crisis, John Kennedy was reputed to have said he thought the chances of conventional fighting were perhaps one in three. And there was some smaller risk of nuclear escalation. Was he justified in taking such a risk? We can ask the counterfactual: if Kennedy had not been willing to take the risk in Cuba, would Khrushchev have tried something even more dangerous? What if a Soviet success had led to a later nuclear crisis or an even larger conventional war, for example, over Berlin or the Panama Canal? Nuclear weapons probably played a significant role in preventing the Cold War from turning hot. During the 19805, the American Association of Catholic Bishops said that nuclear deterrence could be justified on a conditional basis as a tolerable interim measure until something better was developed. But how long is the interim? So long as nuclear knowledge exists, some degree of nuclear deterrence will exist. Although the weapons produced prudence during the Cold War, complacency is a danger. It took the United States and the Soviet Union some time to learn how to control nuclear weapons, and it is far from clear that such control systems will exist among new aspirants to nuclear status such as North Korea and Iran. Moreover, terrorist groups might have no use for controls. Concern about the proliferation of nuclear weapons continues. While 189 states have signed the Nuclear Non—Proliferation Treaty, India and Pakistan exploded weapons in 1998, and countries such as Iraq, Iran, Libya, and North Korea pursued nuclear weapons despite having signed the treaty. Also of concern is the spread of unconventional arsenals such as biological and chemical weapons; Libya and Iraq, for example, constructed chemical weapons facilities, and Iraq used them in its war with Iran (1980—1988). After the Gulf War in 1991, UN inspectors uncovered and destroyed major Iraqi nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons pro— grams. The fear that such programs could be reconstituted was one of the causes of the Iraq War in 2003. Newspaper accounts of nuclear material making its way out of the former Soviet Union and into the international black market demonstrate that these weapons can still cause tension and bring nations to the brink of war. In 2004, it was disclosed that a Pakistani nuclear scientist, A. Q. Khan, had sold nuclear secrets to a number of countries, including Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Moreover, the reports that terrorist groups such as the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo cult and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network were investigating the production of nuclear and biological weapons indicate that they may someday become available to nonstate actors as well. The continued international worry about weapons of mass destruction has both a moral and a realist dimension. The moral opprobrium against nuclear weapons is shared not just by states that do not have the capacity or desire to make such weapons, but even by states that continue to have them, such as the United States, France, and Russia. Chemical and biological weapons have been condemned since 150 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War World War I, when the use of mustard gas led to widespread outcries in both Allied and Axis countries. The realist dimension is simple: Weapons of mass destruction carry great risk of escalation and enormous potential for devastation. Whenever these weapons are present, the dynamics of conflict change. Weak states with nuclear or unconventional weapons are better able to threaten strong states, while strong states with these weapons can more effectively threaten and deter advera saries. At the same time, the risk that these devices will be used if a crisis spins out of control raises the level of tension, whether it is between the United States and North Korea or between India and Pakistan. And the threat of use by terrorists adds a chilling dimension in which deterrence is not a sufficient response. The Cold War may be over, but the era of nuclear and unconventional weapons is not. CHRONOLOGY: THE COLD WAR YEARS 1943 Tehran meeting between Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt 1 944 July Bretton Woods Conference: Creation of International Monetary Fund and World Bank August Dumbarton Oaks Conference: Creation of United Nations October Moscow meeting between Churchill and Stalin: Spheres of influence plan for the Balkans 1 945 February Yalta Conference between Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt April Roosevelt dies May Germany surrenders April—June San Francisco Conference—UN Organization Charter July First test of A—bomb; Potsdam Conference: Truman, Churchill/Attlee, Stalin August Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed by A—bombs; USSR enters war in Asia; Japan surrenders 1946 Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech; resumption of Greek civil war 1947 March Truman Doctrine announced June Marshall Plan announced October Creation of Cominform by Moscow 1948 February Coup by Czech Communist Party March Partial blockade of Berlin begins June Berlin airlift begins; Yugoslavia ousted from Cominform November Truman reelected president 1949 April North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington May End of the Berlin blockade August September October 1 950 February April June 1952 1953 March June July August September 1 954 1 955 1956 February June October November 1 95 7 August October 1 958 February August 1 959 January September 1 960 February May 1 961 April June August October 1 962 USSR explodes first A-bomb Chronology: The Cold War Years Federal Republic of Germany created Peeple’s Republic of China proclaimed; German People’s Republic proclaimed Sino’Soviet pact signed in Moscow NSC—68 drafted Beginning of Korean War 151 First US. H—bomb exploded; Eisenhower elected president; Dulles becomes secretary of state Death of Stalin East Berlin uprising Armistice in Korea First Soviet H-bomb test Khrushchev becomes first secretary of Soviet Communist Party Chinese bombardment of Quemoy and Matsu West Germany admitted to NATO; Warsaw Pact signed; Austrian State Treaty signed; Austria neutralized Khrushchev denounces Stalin at Twentieth Party Congress Poznan uprising in Poland Start of Hungarian uprising USSR intervenes in Budapest Launching of first Soviet ICBM Sputnik satellite launched Launching of first US. satellite China threatens Taiwan Victory of Fidel Castro in Cuba Khrushchev visits United States First French Avbomb test American U—Z shot down over USSR; Paris summit fails Failure of Bay of Pigs landing in Cuba Khrushchev and Kennedy meet in Vienna Building of the Berlin Wall Incidents at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin; tensions increase Cuban Missile Crisis 152 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War 1963 June October November 1964 August October November 1966 March April 1967 January June 1968 January J ulV August November December 1969 1970 February April 1971 1972 February May 1973 January May September October 1974 Kennedy visits Berlin, declares “Ich bin ein Berliner" (“I am a Berliner") as a gesture of solidarity Kennedy signs Limited Test Ban Treaty; USSR, United States, and United Kingdom outlaw tests in the atmosphere, underwater, and in space Kennedy assassinated; Johnson sworn into office Tonkin Gulf Act passes Congress, escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam Khrushchev ousted, replaced by Brezhnev and Kosygin China detonates first atomic bomb Anti—Vietnam War rallies held in United States and Europe Beginning of Chinese Cultural Revolution United States, USSR, and 60 other nations agree to Outer Space Treaty limiting military uses of space China explodes first H-bomb Prague Spring reforms begin in Czechoslovakia; Tet Offensive in Vietnam Treaty on the Non—proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) by United States, USSR, and 58 other countries Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia Nixon elected president US. forces reach peak of535,000 in Vietnam Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) begin between United States and USSR Paris Peace Talks begin between United States and North Vietnam US. troops invade Cambodia; Four US. college students killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University at antiwar rally People’s Republic of China joins United Nations Nixon visits China SALT I signed, freezing number of lCBMs and SLBMs in place for five years Paris Accords establish ceasefire and political settlement of Vietnam War East and West Germany establish formal diplomatic relations Chilean socialist government of Salvador Allende overthrown in U.S.—backed military coup Yom Kippur War between Israel and Arab states; United States and USSR nearly drawn into conflict; Arab oil embargo against the United States that lasts until March 1974 Nixon resigns over Watergate; Gerald Ford sworn in as president 1975 April July 1976 1979 January June J ulv December 1980 1981 January December 1982 1983 March November 1985 1986 October November 1987 1 988 April June August November 1989 June November Chronology: The Cold War Years 153 United States leaves Vietnam after fall of Saigon US. and Soviet astronauts link up in space; United States and USSR sign Helsinki Accords, pledging acceptance of European borders and protection for human rights Jimmy Carter elected president United States and People’s Republic of China establish full diplomatic relations SALT Il agreement limiting long-range missiles and bombers signed by Carter and Brezhnev Sandinista forces overthrow Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua USSR invades Afghanistan; United States imposes sanctions and intention to boycott Moscow Olympics Carter Doctrine states that Persian Gulf is a vital US. interest Lech Walesa leads Polish Solidarity union in illegal strike; Ronald Reagan inaugurated; U.S. hostages released from Iran Martial law imposed in Poland Reagan outlines Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) to reduce lCBMs and number of strategic nuclear weapons on both sides Reagan proposes Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), popularly called “Star Wars," to develop missile defense technology United States begins deployment of INF Pershing II missiles in West Germany Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet General Secretary; Nuclear and Space Talks (NST) open in Geneva, based on START model At Reykjavik Summit Reagan refuses Gorbachev’s proposal to make significant arms reductions if United States gives up SDI Secret funding of Nicaraguan contras through arms sales to Iran becomes public At Washington Summit Reagan and Gorbachev agree to eliminate INF and work toward completing a START agreement USSR agrees to withdraw from Afghanistan by February 1989 Gorbachev tells Communist Party leaders that elements of communist doctrine must change Cuba withdraws troops from Angola George H.W. Bush elected president Chinese army assaults prodemocracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square Berlin Wall falls; thousands of East Germans cross to Western side 154 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War 1990 May—June Washington Summit between Bush and Gorbachev October Germany reunifies into one nation November Treaty of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe cuts size of land armies December Lech Walesa elected president of Poland 1991 July Bush and Gorbachev sign START, pledge to destroy thousands of nuclear weapons August Coup against Gorbachev fails, but power flows to Russian President Boris Yeltsin September All SAC bombers, tankers, and Minuteman II ICBMs taken off alert December Soviet Union dissolves; United States recognizes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine STUDY QUESTIONS 1. When did the Cold War begin? When did it end? Why? What do realist, liberal, and con— structivist approaches contribute to your answers? 2. Was the Cold War inevitable? If so, why and when? If not, when and how could it have been avoided? 3. Why were leaders unable to restore a concert system after World War II? What sort of sys— tem evolved? 4. How important were first and second image considerations in the development of the Cold War? What were the views of American and European leaders on the Soviet Union and its intema- tional ambitions? What were Soviet views of the United States and the rest of the West? 5. Some historians argue that the real question is not why the Cold War occurred, but why it did not escalate into a “hot” war. Do you agree? Why didn’t a hot war begin? 6. What is containment? How did this American policy emerge, and how was it implemented? What were Soviet responses? 7. How are nuclear weapons different from conventional weapons? Has the advent of nuclear weapons fundamentally changed the way nations behave? 8. Is Mueller correct that nuclear weapons are not the cause of the obsolescence of major wars among developed states? What other factors does he consider? 9. Is nuclear deterrence morally defensible? Or, in the words of one theorist, is it morally analv ogous to tying infants to the front bumpers of automobiles to prevent traffic accidents on Memorial Day? Might some strategies of deterrence be more ethical than others? 10. What is the relation of nuclear weapons to international relations apart from nuclear deterr rence? How useful are they? 11. Why did the Cold War end? What roles did hard and soft power play? NOTES 1. Milovan Djilas, Conversations With Stalin, trans. Michael B. Petrovich (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1962), p. 114. 2. Ralph B. Levering, The Cold War, 1945—1972 (Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1982). p. 15. 3. William Taubman, Stalin's American Policy (New York: Norton, 1982), p. 36. Further Readings 155 . Levering, The Cold War, p. 37. . Ibid., p. 131. Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation (New York: Norton, 1969), p. 375. George Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” Foreign Affairs 25:4 (July 1947), p. 581. John L. Gaddis, “The New Cold War History,” Foreign Policy Research Institute Footnotes 5:5 (June 1998). 9. United States Catholic Conference, “The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response," Origins 13:1 (May 19, 1983), p. 1. 10. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, The New York Times, April 30, 1985, p. 6. 11. Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow, eds., The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis (Cambridge MA: Belknap & Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 1. 12. Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), p. 184. 13. Ronald R. Hope, ed., Soviet Views on the Cuban Missile Crisis: Myth and Reality in Foreign Policy Analysis (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1982), p. 48. 14. James Blight and David Welch, On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Hill & Wang, 1989), p. 80. 15. Robert McNamara, Blundering into Disaster: Surviving the First Century of the Nuclear Age (New York: Pantheon, 1986), p. 14. @NP‘VI-F- SELECTED READINGS 1. Kennan, George F., “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” Foreign Affairs 25:4 (July 1947), pp. 566—582. 2. Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr., “The Origins of the Cold War,” Foreign Affairs 46:1 (October 1967), Pp. 22—53. 3. Yergin, Daniel, The Shattered Peace (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977), pp. 69—86. 4. Gaddis, John L., Russia, the Soviet Union, and the United States (New York: Wiley, 1978), chaps. 6 and 7. 5. Mueller, John, “The Essential Irrelevance of Nuclear Weapons,” and Jervis, Robert, “The Political Effects of Nuclear Weapons,” International Security 13:2 (Fall 1988), pp. 80—90. 6. Khong, Yuen F., “The Lessons of Korea and the Vietnam Decision of 1965," in George W. Breslauer and Philip E. Tetlock, eds., Learning in U .S . and Soviet Foreign Policy (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1991), pp. 302—349. 7. Gaddis, John Lewis, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). FURTHER READINGS Allan, Charles T., “Extended Conventional Deterrence: In from the Cold and out of the Nuclear Fire ?" Washington Quarterly 17:3 (Summer 1994), pp. 203—233. Allison, Graham, and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd ed. (New York: Longman, 1999). Beschloss, Michael, The Conquerors (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002). 156 CHAPTER 5 The Cold War Blight, James G., and David A. Welch, On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Hill & Wang, 1989). Bundy, McGeorge, Danger and Survival (New York: Random, 1988). Dallek, Robert, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917—1963 (Boston: Little, Brown, 2003). Fursenko, Aleksandr, and Timothy Naftali, “One Hell of a Gamble”: Khrushchev, Castro 6? Kennedy, 1958—1964 (New York: Norton, 1997). Gaddis, John, The Cold War: A New History (New York: Penguin, 2006). , Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982). Gray, Colin S., Weapons Don’t Make War: Policy, Strategy, and Military Technology (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993). Herring, George C., America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950—75, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw—Hill, 1996). Kagan, Donald, On the Origins of War (New York: Doubleday, 1995). Kennan, George F., Memoirs (1925—1950) (Boston: Little, Brown, 1967). Kennedy, Robert, Thirteen Days (New York: Norton, 1968). Kolko, Gabriel, and Joyce Kolko, The Limits of Power: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1945—1954 (New York: Harper 5L Row, 1972). Lafeber, Walter, America, Russia, and the Cold War 1945—1996 (New York: McGraw—Hill, 1997). Larson, Deborah W., Origins of Containment: A Psychological Explanation (Princeton, NJ: Prince— ton University Press, 1985). Lebow, Richard Ned, and Thomas Risse—Kappen, eds., lntemational Relations Theory and the End of the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995). Legvold, Robert, “Soviet Learning in the 19805,” in George W. Breslauer and Philip E. Tetlock, eds., Learning in U .S . and Soviet Foreign Policy (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1991), pp. 684—732. Mandelbaum, Michael, The Nuclear Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986). Mastny, Vojtech, Russia’s Road to the Cold War: Diplomacy, Warfare, and the Politics of Commu— nism, 1941—1945 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979). May, Ernest R., and Philip D. Zelikow, eds., The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis (Cambridge, MA: Belknap & Harvard University Press, 1997). Nye, J. S., “Nuclear Learning and U.S.—Soviet Security Regimes,” International Organization 41:3 (Summer 1987). Remnick, David, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (New York: Random, 1993). Taubman, William, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: Norton, 2003). , Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to De’tente to Cold War (New York: Norton, 1982). Williams, William, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (Cleveland: World, 195 9). Wohlforth, William C., ed., Witnesses to the End of the Cold War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996). Yergin, Daniel, Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977). ...
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