Time and Tide Wait for No Man: The Changing European Geopolitical Landscape

Time and Tide Wait for No Man: The Changing European Geopolitical Landscape

Time and Tide Wait for No Man: The Changing European Geopolitical Landscape

Time and Tide Wait for No Man: The Changing European Geopolitical Landscape

Synopsis

The recent upheaval in Europe could never have been predicted, de Gucht and Keukeleire argue, as it was made up of countless small steps and measures that had consequences never intended by their protagonists. It is from these developments, however, that the building blocks of Europe's future can be seen. The book examines a wide variety of topics in detailing the choices the European nations face, including German identity and the German perception of security, doubts about the U.S. and nuclear deterrence, and the growing political role of the EEC.

Excerpt

The recent changes in Central and Eastern Europe represent a great victory for the principles that we have always defended: the values of liberal democracy with a social conscience, and the methods of the market economy.

This victory has been won only because the countries of the free world succeeded in combining their defense efforts and finding an appropriate response to the crises that punctuated the Cold War.

For forty years Western Europe lived in fear of a surprise attack by the Warsaw Pact launched from East Germany. the Atlantic Alliance matched this with NATO's joint military organization, a conventional and nuclear arsenal permitting a flexible response to the various possible contingencies and linking the European military apparatus to the American strategic forces. France made a unique contribution by stationing its First Army in Germany, while retaining control over its deterrent nuclear forces.

It is the firmness and cohesion of the Atlantic Alliance that has enabled the Cold War to be brought to an end. the Guadeloupe summit meeting in 1977, to which I invited President Jimmy Carter, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Prime Minister James Callaghan; NATO's "dual-track" decision in 1979; and the deployment of American Euro-missiles from 1983, showed the ussr that Europe would not surrender to military blackmail and that the insane arms race would ruin the Soviet economy first. It is to Mikhail Gorbachev's credit that he took note of this and adjusted the USSR's foreign and defense policies accordingly.

But while the threat has changed, not all the military risks have vanished. We have entered a period of uncertainty and confusion in Eastern Europe and in the ussr itself. Even after the disarmament agreements currently . . .

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