The United States has no strategic or economic interest in Eastern and central Europe other than an ideological commitment to promote democracy. Historically, great power interest in this area was associated with either a German or a Soviet threat. From the American perspective, Eastern and central Europe should be viewed not in isolation but in the context of developments in the Soviet Union and Europe west of the Oder-Neisse border. Bipartisan U.S. policy, pursued by a variety of economic and political measures, contributed greatly to the nonviolent movement from a communist totalitarian system toward democracy.
The end of the Cold War created an entirely new strategic situation. The old world order has collapsed; the new one has not yet emerged. It is uncertain who will be in control of Soviet military potential and nuclear arsenal two or three years from now. Will the Soviet Union disintegrate into independent national states, or will