Containing Coexistence: America, Russia, and the "Finnish Solution"

By Jussi M. Hanhimäki | Go to book overview

3
THE POLITICS OF UNCERTAINTY

Washington does not always seem to be sure about the policy it is supposed to conduct.

-- K. G. Idman, March 10, 1949

The Soviet Union's positive and compromising attitude [toward Finland] can only be explained as the most convenient way to avoid an embarrassing situation.

-- Warren M. Chase, March 11, 1949

Finland is one of the few regions remaining in Europe where a Soviet military operation could be carried out without inevitably precipitating a war with the West.

-- CIA, "Review of the World Situation," March 16, 1949

The Soviet Union will not risk a general war by resorting to military aggression in Scandinavia or Finland . . . [but will] continue to play on Swedish fears of a Soviet invasion of Finland.

-- CIA, Internal Memorandum, March 29,1949

Although Finland had fared seemingly well throughout the crises of 1948, its future appeared less than certain to many American observers. Two major issues exemplify this uncertainty. First, Finland presented somewhat of a strategic dilemma. As the talks that eventually led to the

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