Introduction and Overview
THIS STUDY analyzes the attitudes, interests, and policies of the major Western countries toward Eastern Europe, reviews problems of conflict or convergence among those policies, and assesses their influence on broader East-West relationships. It should help to clarify policy choices for governments on both sides of the Atlantic and to enhance public understanding of the issues involved. "Eastern Europe" here refers to the six Warsaw Pact member countries other than the Soviet Union: East Germany (GDR), Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.1
Since the close of World War II, Eastern Europe has been a uniquely important region in global geopolitics. The largest revisions of national boundaries took place there. The cold war originated in disputes over East European political regimes. With the consolidation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Warsaw Pact, this area became the East's front line in the European military standoff. In the 1970s it was the centerpiece of the high détente marked by the Berlin settlement and the Helsinki accords.
Today, more than forty years after the wartime conferences at____________________