The Cold War in Retrospect: The Formative Years

By Roger S. Whitcomb | Go to book overview

RUSSIA'S POLICY RECONSIDERED

Fifty years later it is much easier to see where Russia was coming from and, from its perspective, what had gone wrong after the war. There were certainly certain grundnorms that underlay Russia's approach to the West at the end of and immediately after the war, the first being the primacy of Russian security interests as they were believed to relate to that country's strategic position. Understandable for any country under these circumstances, this concern was especially pronounced in the Russian case as that country's traditional insecurities were magnified by the terrible trauma of the war. Yet, it is crucial to note that security was seen not in absolutist terms of some sort of global hegemony or promotion of world revolution, but one rather limited and realistic in a true Realpolitik sense--reestablishment of the country's 1941 borders, an emasculated Germany and Japan, and friendly regimes along the Russian periphery, especially in the West.

What is impressive about this list is its traditionalism dating back to Tsarist diplomacy. And it was a strategic outlook that was clearly understood at the time by experienced Russian observers in the West. Kennan, for one, in September, 1944 defined the Kremlin's basic goal after the war as one designed "to prevent the formation in Central and Eastern Europe of any power or coalition of powers capable of challenging Russian security." 164

A second grundnorm was Moscow's acceptance of Big Three cooperation as a prerequisite for a stable postwar peace. Only such an arrangement, it was felt, would suffice in support of Russia's national interests. Implicit in this view was a substantive revision of the traditional Bolshevik notion of the Western threat to the point where it was now felt to be manageable if not passé.


NOTES
1.
Memorandum by Raymond E. Murphy on "Possible Resurrection of Communist International, Resumption of Extreme Leftist Activities, Possible Effect on U.S.," June 2, 1945, FRUS, 1945, Potsdam, I, pp. 267-280.
2.
Kennan to Byrnes, July 15, 1945, FRUS, 1945, V, pp. 866-867. Assuming the No. 2 position in the embassy, he had just then returned to Moscow after a hiatus of several years and was shocked to find that little had changed for the better, especially the propensity of the regime to employ terror and lies against the population.
3.
Memo by E. F. Willett on "Dialectical Materialism and Russian Objectives," January 14, 1946, Forrestall Papers, Box 17, "Russia study" folder.
4.
See James Reston, New York Times, September 30 and October 14, 1945.
5.
Beginning with an exchange of messages between Truman and Stalin in late April 1945, until their last "wartime" communication on December 19, the interaction on Eastern Europe between the new American president and the wily Russian leader reads increasingly like a dialogue of the deaf.

-123-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Cold War in Retrospect: The Formative Years
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction: America Meets Russia, 1941-1961 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - The Troubled Partnership: The Bear and Eagle in World War II 7
  • Notes 48
  • 2 - The Postwar Scene (1945-1953): Cold War Triumphant 65
  • Notes 123
  • 3 - The Eisenhower Years: Nothing Fundamental Has Changed 143
  • Notes 184
  • 4 - Babylon Revisited 199
  • Notes 222
  • Selected Bibliography 227
  • Index 253
  • About the Author 261
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 266

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.