The Establishment of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe, 1944-1949

By Norman Naimark; Leonid Gibianskii | Go to book overview

None of this should be taken to suggest, of course, that the Marshall Plan itself "caused" the division of Europe. The unstable international conditions in Europe which presented both the Western powers and the Soviet Union with a security dilemma were the underlying cause of this division, while the Marshall Plan itself was simply the event that triggered it. It was those conditions which constrained the Truman administration and its British and French counterparts to design the Marshall Plan as they did -- making it appear open to Soviet and East European participation when in fact this appearance hardly had any substance behind it. And it was this ambiguity that led Stalin to draw the conclusion that the plan was an offensive move against Soviet interests, making the Soviet response more intense and aggressive than it might otherwise have been. The Marshall Plan, then, crucially affected the timing and the form of the division of Europe and served as the trigger for the intensification of the nascent Soviet-American conflict that would become known as the Cold War.


Notes
1.
Robert Jervis, "Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma", World Politics 30 ( January 1978), 167-214.
2.
John Herz, "Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma", World Politics 2 ( January 1950), 157-180.
3.
Jervis, "Cooperation under the Security Dilemma,"38.
4.
Jervis, "Cooperation under the Security Dilemma,"49-50.
5.
Jervis, "Cooperation under the Security Dilemma,"60-61. For further elaboration of the implications of offense-dominance for state behavior, see Stephen Van Evera, "Causes of War," (PhD Dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, 1984), 80-105, Tom Christensen and Jack Snyder, "Chain Gangs and Passed Bucks: Predicting Alliance Patterns in Multipolarity", International Organization 44 (Spring 1990), 137-168, and Scott Parrish, "The USSR and the Security Dilemma: Explaining Soviet Self-Encirclement, 1945-1985," (PhD Dissertation, Columbia University, 1993), ch. 2.
6.
See William Taubman, Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to Detente, to Cold War ( New York: Norton & Norton, 1982), ch. 6.
7.
Melvyn Leffler, "The United States and the Strategic Dimensions of the Marshall Plan", Diplomatic History 12 (Summer 1988), 279. See also Melvyn Leffler , A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War ( Stanford University Press, 1992), 190-92.
8.
German reparations were offered to the Soviet leaders, but only under extremely restrictive conditions which made it unlikely the USSR would actually receive any substantial payments. See Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, 1947, vol. 2, ( Washington, DC: USGPO, 1979), 298-99; 301-03. Volumes from this series will hereafter be referred to as FRUS, followed by the year and volume number.
9.
Quoted in Taubman, Stalin's American Policy, 157.

-287-

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