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

By Jussi M. Hanhimäki | Go to book overview
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5
THE LOOMING DANGER

Helsinki is a relatively quiet post. . . . Of course the big question always is what the dear neighbors to the east are planning and what their stooges in the country are doing to help them.

-- John M. Cabot, March 14, 1951

The United States is not looking after our interests.

-- Urho K. Kekkonen, Prime Minister of Finland, October 17, 1951

[G]rowing trade with the East and declining trade with the West pose a real danger of Finnish economic integration into the [Soviet] bloc.

--NSC Memorandum, November 1, 1952

The shift in the focus of the cold war to Asia during the early 1950s did not mean that during Harry S. Truman's last years as president and the few years preceding Josef Stalin's death in March 1953 Europe was not involved in the East-West confrontation. On the contrary, the continent remained at the very heart of the struggle. Western military buildup could, indeed, be justified more easily by referring to the evidence of Korea and arguing that only a militarily strong West could be a strong enough deterrent against a "European Korea." The decision to send more U.S. troops to Europe, the push toward improving Western Europe's military capabilities, and the choice of Dwight D. Eisenhower as the supreme commander of NATO in December 1950 indicated that the United States took the task of preventing potential Soviet attack on Europe

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