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Superpower Cooperation in Western Europe

  • Edward A. Kolodziej

Abstract

The Cold War in Western Europe began as cooperation. The superpower conflict in Europe was an extension of the flawed wartime alliance between the Western powers and the Soviet Union to defeat Germany and to destroy Hitler’s Nazi regime. From the outset, as a matter of national survival, the Western democracies had to choose between one of two anti-democratic partners, both committed to their overthrow. The inevitable result was a peace compromised even before it was won.1 As for the emerging superpowers, neither relished wartime alliance with the other. The German invasion of the Soviet Union in the spring of 1941 destroyed the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement of 1939 designed to deflect German might from the Soviet Union to the Western democracies and to divide Polish and Balkan territories between these anti-democratic states as part of the agreed upon price for their temporary truce.

Keywords

Nuclear Weapon German Democratic Republic Marshall Plan German Unification Cruise Missile 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    For a discussion of the Grand Alliance and a review of selected original documents, consult Norman A. Graebner, Ideas and Diplomacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), pp. 631–710.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    The tension between announced US rejection of balance of power and spheres of influence politics and the gradual adjustment of the Roosevelt and Truman administration to these imperatives is traced in a vast and contentious literature over the origins of the Cold War. These historiographic controversies can in no way be recounted here. For a brief and balanced discussion of Roosevelt’s thinking, see John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), especially pp. 3–24.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Anton DePorte’s Europe between the Superpowers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979)Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Jonathan Dean, ‘Berlin in a Divided Germany: An Evolving International Regime’, in Alexander George et al. (eds), US-Soviet Security Cooperation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 86.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    The Berlin crisis of the summer of 1961 is discussed at length in Robert M. Slusser, The Berlin Crisis of 1961 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    See, for example, Philip Windsor, Germany and the Management of Détente (New York: Praeger, 1971).Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    A useful summary of the Helsinki process is found in John J. Maresca, To Helsinki: The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1973–1975 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1985)Google Scholar
  8. Vojtech Mastny, Helsinki, Human Rights, and European Security: Analysis and Documentation (Durham: Duke University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    For a brief overview of alliance politics and the MLF controversy, see Richard Neustadt, Alliance Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970).Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    Quoted in Strobe Talbott, Deadly Gambits (New York: Vintage, 1985), p. 28.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation (New York: New American Library, 1969).Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    For an overview of the Grand Design by a participant-observer, see Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, A Thousand Days (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1965)Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    These differences are detailed in Robert Lieber, The Oil Decade: Conflict and Cooperation in the West (New York: Praeger, 1983).Google Scholar
  14. 20.
    The superpower nuclear struggle to 1985 is detailed in Strobe Talbott, Endgame (New York: Harper, 1980)Google Scholar
  15. Edward A. Kolodziej and Roger E. Kanet, The Limits of Soviet Power in the Developing World: Thermidor in the Revolutionary Struggle (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  16. 21.
    De Gaulle’s conception of Europe is sketched in Edward A. Kolodziej, French International Policy under De Gaulle and Pompidou: The Politics of Grandeur (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roger E. Kanet and Edward A. Kolodziej 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward A. Kolodziej

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