The West European Allies, the Third World, and U.S. Foreign Policy: Post-Cold War Challenges

The West European Allies, the Third World, and U.S. Foreign Policy: Post-Cold War Challenges

The West European Allies, the Third World, and U.S. Foreign Policy: Post-Cold War Challenges

The West European Allies, the Third World, and U.S. Foreign Policy: Post-Cold War Challenges

Synopsis

The recent and ongoing crises in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, Central America, and southern Africa have been and continue to be approached in very different ways by the United States and its West European allies. Payne provides a comprehensive analysis of the underlying tensions, as well as cooperation, between the U.S. and NATO countries in out-of-area conflicts. The book maintains that the U.S. must adapt its foreign policy to a new international order, rather than continuing its old political and ideological confrontationalism in the Third World.

Excerpt

Revolutionary changes in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990 and the end of the Cold War--symbolized by the reunification of East and West Germany as well as U.S.-Soviet cooperation in the Persian Gulf--radically altered the post-World War II strategic environment and posed significant new challenges for American and Soviet foreign policymakers. While both superpowers squandered their resources on a rapid military build-up in the 1980s and were preoccupied with conflicts in the Middle East, Nicaragua, southern Africa, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Third World, Europeans were confident enough to pursue foreign and domestic policies that were largely independent of the superpowers' policies. By 1990 both the United States and the Soviet Union were committed to a new "architecture" for Europe, centered around a unified Germany.

Although neither the United States nor the Soviet Union favored the push toward German reunification, they were essentially powerless to stop the inexorable march toward a single German state. Similarly, Moscow and Washington could do little more than reluctantly adjust to the emerging East European nationalism and West European assertiveness. the combination of superpower involvement in Third World conflicts, the relative economic decline of the United States, and Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and "new thinking"--prompted by Soviet economic decline, political disintegration, and severe military setbacks in Afghanistan--eventually led to the emergence of new international realities that were radically different from those of the Cold War period. Clearly, the major changes in Europe were directly influenced by developments in the Third World, especially the escalating U.S.-Soviet rivalry during the renewed Cold War, as well as serious differences between the United States and its European allies on ap-

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