Rambler's Top100

1242, . ' '.
1980, ,.

Cold War


Cold War  Cold War

                 Ministry of education, science and culture

                           High College of English

                              Graduation Paper

                                  on theme:

                          U.S. - Soviet relations.

                                       Student:      Pavlunina I.V.

                                       Supervisor: Kolpakov A. V.

                                Bishkek 2000

Introduction.                                                       3

Chapter 1: The Historical Background of Cold War.                   5

1.1 The Historical Context.                                         5

1.2 Causes and Interpretations.                                     10
Chapter 2: The Cold War Chronology.                                 17

2.1 The War Years.                                                  17

2.2 The Truman Doctrine.                                            25

2.3 The Marshall Plan.                                              34

Chapter 3: The Role of Cold War in American History and Diplomacy.  37

3.1 Declaration of the Cold War.                                    37

3.2 old War Issues.                                                40

Conclusion.                                                         49

Glossary.                                                           50

The reference list.


      This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet  relations  in  Cold  War
period. Our purpose is to find out the causes of this war, positions of  the
countries which took part in it. We also will discuss the  main  Cold  War's

      The Cold War was  characterized  by  mutual  distrust,  suspicion  and
misunderstanding by both the United  States  and  Soviet  Union,  and  their
allies. At times, these conditions increased the  likelihood  of  the  third
world war.  The  United  States  accused  the  USSR  of  seeking  to  expand
Communism throughout the world. The Soviets, meanwhile, charged  the  United
States   with  practicing  imperialism   and   with   attempting   to   stop
revolutionary activity in other countries. Each block's vision of the  world
contributed to East-West tension.  The  United  States  wanted  a  world  of
independent nations  based  on  democratic  principles.  The  Soviet  Union,
however, tried control areas it considered vital to its  national  interest,
including much of Eastern Europe.

      Through the Cold War did not begin until the end of World War  II,  in
1945, U.S.-Soviet relations had been strained since 1917. In  that  year,  a
revolution in Russia established a Communist dictatorship there. During  the
1920's  and  1930's,  the  Soviets  called  for  world  revolution  and  the
destruction of capitalism, the economic system of United States. The  United
States did not grant diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union until 1933.

      In 1941, during World War II, Germany attacked the Soviet  Union.  The
Soviet Union then joined the Western Allies in fighting Germany. For a  time
early in 1945, it seemed possible that a lasting  friendship  might  develop
between  the  United  States  and  Soviet  Union  based  on  their   wartime
cooperation. However, major differences continued to exist between the  two,
particularly  with  regard  to  Eastern  Europe.  As  a  result   of   these
differences, the United States adopted  a  "get  tough"  policy  toward  the
Soviet Union  after the war ended. The Soviets  responded  by  accusing  the
United States and the other capitalist allies of  the  West  of  seeking  to
encircle the Soviet Union so they could eventually overthrow  its  Communist
form of government.

      The subject of Cold War interests American historicans and journalists
as well as Russian ones. In particular,  famous  journalist  Henryh  Borovik
fraces this topic in his book. He analyzes the events of Cold War  from  the
point of view of  modern  Russian  man.  With  appearing  of  democracy  and
freedom  of  speech  we  could  free  ourselves  from  past  stereotype   in
perception of Cold War's events as well as  America  as  a  whole,  we  also
learnt something new about American people's real life  and  personality.  A
new developing stage of relations with the United States has begun with  the
collapse of the Soviet Union on independent states. And in order  to  direct
these relations in the right way it is necessary to  study  events  of  Cold
War very carefully and try to avoid past mistakes.  Therefore  this  subject
is so much popular in our days.

      This graduation paper consist of three  chapters.  The  first  chapter
maintain the historical documents which comment  the  origins  of  the  Cold

      The second chapter maintain information about the  most  popular  Cold
War's events.

      The third chapter analyze the role of Cold War in World policy and
diplomacy. The chapter also adduce the Cold War issues.
Chapter 1: The Historical Background of Cold War.

    1.1 The Historical Context.
    The animosity of postwar  Soviet-American  relations  drew  on  a  deep
reservoir of mutual distrust. Soviet suspicion of  the  United  States  went
back to America's hostile reaction to the Bolshevik  revolution  itself.  At
the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson  had  sent  more  than  ten
thousand American soldiers as part  of  an  expeditionary  allied  force  to
overthrow the new Soviet regime by force.  When  that  venture  failed,  the
United  States  nevertheless  withheld  its  recognition   of   the   Soviet
government. Back in the  United  States,  meanwhile,  the  fear  of  Marxist
radicalism reached an hysterical  pitch  with  the  Red  Scare  of  1919-20.
Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer  ordered  government  agents  to  arrest
3,000 purported members of  the  Communist  party,  and  then  attempted  to
deport them. American  attitudes  toward  the  seemed  encapsulated  in  the
comments of one minister who called for the removal of communists in  "ships
of stone with sails of lead, with the wrath of God for  a  breeze  and  with
hell for their first port."
    American attitudes toward the Soviet Union, in turn, reflected profound
concern about Soviet violation of human rights, democratic  procedures,  and
international rules of civility.  With  brutal  force,  Soviet  leaders  had
imposed  from  above  a  revolution  of  agricultural  collectivization  and
industrialization. Millions had died as  a  consequence  of  forced  removal
from their lands. Anyone who protested was killed or  sent  to  one  of  the
hundreds  of  prison  camps  which,  in  Alexander   Solzhenitsyn's   words,
stretched across the Soviet Union like a giant  archipelago.  What  kind  of
people were these, one relative of a prisoner asked, "who first decreed  and
then carried out this mass destruction  of  their  own  kind?"  Furthermore,
Soviet foreign policy seemed committed to the spread of revolution to  other
countries, with international coordination of subversive  activities  placed
in the hands of  the  Comintern.  It  was  difficult  to  imagine  two  more
different societies.
    For  a  brief  period  after  the  United  States  granted   diplomatic
recognition to the Soviet  Union  in  1933,  a  new  spirit  of  cooperation
prevailed. But by the end of the 1930s suspicion  and  alienation  had  once
again become dominant. From a Soviet perspective, the United  States  seemed
unwilling to join collectively to oppose the Japanese and German menace.  On
two occasions, the United States had refused to act in concert against  Nazi
Germany. When Britain and France agreed at Munich to appease Adolph  Hitler,
the Soviets gave up on any possibility of allied action against Germany  and
talked of a capitalist effort to encircle and destroy the Soviet regime.
    Yet  from  a  Western  perspective,  there  seemed  little  basis   for
distinguishing between Soviet  tyranny  and  Nazi  totalitarianism.  Between
1936 and 1938 Stalin engaged in his own holocaust, sending up to  6  million
Soviet citizens to  their  deaths  in  massive  purge  trials.  Stalin  "saw
enemies everywhere," his daughter  later  recalled,  and  with  a  vengeance
frightening in its irrationality, sought to destroy them. It  was  an  "orgy
of terror," one historian said. Diplomats saw high officials tapped  on  the
shoulder in public places, removed  from  circulation,  and  then  executed.
Foreigners were subject to constant  surveillance.  It  was  as  if,  George
Kennan noted,  outsiders  were  representatives  of  "the  devil,  evil  and
dangerous, and to be shunned."
    On the basis of such experience, many Westerners concluded that  Hitler
and Stalin were two of a kind, each  reflecting  a  blood-thirsty  obsession
with power no  matter  what  the  cost  to  human  decency.  "Nations,  like
individuals," Kennan said in  1938,  "are  largely  the  products  of  their
environment." As Kennan perceived it, the Soviet personality  was  neurotic,
conspiratorial, and untrustworthy. Such  impressions  were  only  reinforced
when Stalin suddenly announced a nonaggression treaty with Hitler in  August
1939, and later that year invaded the small, neutral state  of  Finland.  It
seemed that Stalin and Hitler deserved each other. Hence, the reluctance  of
some to change their attitudes toward the Soviet  Union  when  suddenly,  in
June 1941, Germany invaded Russia and Stalin became "Uncle Joe."
    Compounding the problem of historical distrust was the different way in
which the two nations viewed foreign policy. Ever since  John  Winthrop  had
spoken of Boston in 1630 as "a city upon a  hill"  that  would  serve  as  a
beacon for the world, Americans had tended to see  themselves  as  a  chosen
people with a distinctive mission to impart their faith and  values  to  the
rest of humankind. Although all countries  attempt  to  put  the  best  face
possible on their military and diplomatic  actions,  Americans  have  seemed
more committed than most to describing their involvement  in  the  world  as
pure and altruistic. Hence, even ventures like the Mexican War of 1846 -  48
- clearly provoked by the United States in an effort  to  secure  huge  land
masses - were defended publicly as the fulfillment of a  divine  mission  to
extend American democracy to those deprived of it.
    Reliance on the rhetoric of moralism was never more present than during
America's involvement in World  War  I.  Despite  its  official  posture  of
neutrality, the United States had  a  vested  interest  in  the  victory  of
England and France over Germany. America's own military security, her  trade
lines with England and France, economic and  political  control  over  Latin
America and South America - all would best  be  preserved  if  Germany  were
defeated.  Moreover,  American  banks  and  munition  makers  had   invested
millions of  dollars  in  the  allied  cause.  Nevertheless,  the  issue  of
national  self-interest  rarely  if  ever  surfaced  in   any   presidential
statement  during  the  war.  Instead,  U.S.  rhetoric  presented  America's
position as totally idealistic in nature.  The  United  States  entered  the
war, President Wilson declared, not for reasons of  economic  self-interest,
but to "make the world safe for democracy." Our purpose was not  to  restore
a balance of power in Europe, but to fight a war that would "end  all  wars"
and produce "a  peace  without  victory."  Rather  than  seek  a  sphere  of
influence for American power, the United States  instead  declared  that  it
sought  to  establish  a  new  form  of  internationalism  based  on   self-
determination for all peoples, freedom of the seas, the end of all  economic
barriers between nations, and  development  of  a  new  international  order
based on the principles of democracy.
    America's historic reluctance to use arguments of  self-interest  as  a
basis  for  foreign  policy  undoubtedly  reflected  a  belief  that,  in  a
democracy, people would  not  support  foreign  ventures  inconsistent  with
their own sense  of  themselves  as  a  noble  and  just  country.  But  the
consequences  were  to  limit  severely  the  flexibility  necessary  to   a
multifaceted and effective diplomacy,  and  to  force  national  leaders  to
invoke moral - even religious - idealism as a basis for actions  that  might
well fall short of the expectations generated by moralistic visions.
    The Soviet Union, by contrast,  operated  with  few  such  constraints.
Although Soviet pronouncements  on  foreign  policy  tediously  invoked  the
rhetoric of capitalist imperialism, abstract principles meant far less  than
national self-interest  in  arriving  at  foreign  policy  positions.  Every
action that the Soviet Union had taken since the Bolshevik revolution,  from
the peace treaty with the Kaiser to the 1939 Nazi-Soviet  pact  and  Russian
occupation of the Baltic states reflected this policy of  self-interest.  As
Stalin told British  Foreign  Minister  Anthony  Eden  during  the  war,  "a
declaration I regard as algebra ... I prefer practical arithmetic."  Or,  as
the Japanese ambassador to Moscow later said, "the  Soviet  authorities  are
extremely realistic and it is most difficult to persuade them with  abstract
arguments." Clearly, both  the  United  States  and  the  Soviet  Union  saw
foreign policy as involving a combination of self-interest  and  ideological
principle. Yet the history of the two  countries  suggested  that  principle
was far more a consideration in the formulation of American foreign  policy,
while self-interest-purely defined-controlled Soviet actions.
    The difference became relevant during the 1930s as  Franklin  Roosevelt
attempted to find some way to move American public opinion back to a  spirit
of internationalism. After World War I, Americans had felt betrayed  by  the
abandonment  of  Wilsonian  principles.  Persuaded  that  the   war   itself
represented a mischievous conspiracy by munitions makers and bankers to  get
America  involved,  Americans  had  preferred  to  opt  for  isolation   and
"normalcy" rather than participate in the ambiguities  of  what  so  clearly
appeared to be a corrupt international order.  Now,  Roosevelt  set  out  to
reverse those perceptions. He  understood  the  dire  consequences  of  Nazi
ambitions for world hegemony. Yet to pose the issue strictly as one of self-
interest offered little chance of  success  given  the  depth  of  America's
revulsion toward internationalism. The task of  education  was  immense.  As
time went on, Roosevelt relied  more  and  more  on  the  traditional  moral
rhetoric of American values as  a  means  of  justifying  the  international
involvement that he knew must inevitably lead to war. Thus,  throughout  the
1930s he repeatedly discussed Nazi aggression as  a  direct  threat  to  the
most cherished American beliefs in freedom of speech, freedom  of  religion,
and freedom of occupational choice. When  German  actions  corroborated  the
president's simple words, the opportunity presented itself for carrying  the
nation toward another great crusade on behalf  of  democracy,  freedom,  and
peace. Roosevelt wished to avoid the errors of Wilsonian overstatement,  but
he understood the necessity of generating moral fervor as a means of  moving
the nation  toward  the  intervention  he  knew  to  be  necessary  if  both
America's self-interest-and her moral principles-were to be preserved.
    The Atlantic Charter represented the embodiment  of  Roosevelt's  quest
for moral justification of American  involvement.  Presented  to  the  world
after the president and Prime  Minister  Churchill  met  off  the  coast  of
Newfoundland in the summer of 1941, the Charter set forth the  common  goals
that would guide America over the next few years. There would be  no  secret
commitments, the President said. Britain and America sought  no  territorial
aggrandizement. They would oppose  any  violation  of  the  right  to  self-
government for all peoples. They stood for  open  trade,  free  exchange  of
ideas,  freedom  of  worship  and  expression,  and  the  creation   of   an
international organization to preserve and protect future peace. This  would
be a war fought for freedomfreedom from fear, freedom  from  want,  freedom
of religion, freedom from the old politics of balance-of-power diplomacy.
    Roosevelt deeply believed in those  ideals  and  saw  no  inconsistency
between the moral principles they represented  and  American  self-interest.
Yet these very  commitments  threatened  to  generate  misunderstanding  and
conflict with the Soviet Union whose own priorities were much more  directly
expressed in terms of "practical arithmetic." Russia  wanted  security.  The
Soviet Union  sought  a  sphere  of  influence  over  which  it  could  have
unrestricted control. It wished territorial boundaries  that  would  reflect
the  concessions  won  through  military  conflict.  All  these  objectives-
potentially-ran counter to the  Atlantic  Charter.  Roosevelt  himself-never
afraid of inconsistency-often  talked  the  same  language.  Frequently,  he
spoke  of  guaranteeing  the  USSR  "measures  of  legitimate  security"  on
territorial questions, and he envisioned a postwar world in which the  "four
policemen"-the superpowers-would manage the world.
    But Roosevelt also understood that the American public would not accept
the public embrace of such positions. A rationale  of  narrow  self-interest
was not acceptable, especially if that self-interest led to  abandoning  the
ideals of the Atlantic Charter. In short, the different ways  in  which  the
Soviet Union and the United States  articulated  their  objectives  for  the
warand  formulated  their  foreign  policythreatened  to  compromise   the
prospect for long-term cooperation. The language  of  universalism  and  the
language  of  balance-of-power  politics  were  incompatible,  at  least  in
theory. Thus, the United  States  and  the  Soviet  Union  entered  the  war
burdened not only by their deep mistrust of  each  other's  motivations  and
systems of government, but also by a  significantly  different  emphasis  on
what should constitute the major rationale for fighting the war.

1.2 Causes and Interpretations.

     Any historian who studies the Cold War  must  come  to  grips  with  a
 series of questions, which, even if unanswerable in a  definitive  fashion,
 nevertheless compel examination. Was the Cold War inevitable? If  not,  how
 could it have been avoided? What role did personalities  play?  Were  there
 points at which different courses of action might have been followed?  What
 economic factors were central? What ideological  causes?  Which  historical
 forces? At what juncture did alternative possibilities become invalid? When
 was the die cast? Above all, what were the primary reasons for defining the
 world in such a polarized and ideological framework?
      The simplest and easiest response is to conclude that  Soviet-American
 confrontation was so deeply rooted  in  differences  of  values,  economic
 systems, or historical experiences  that  only  extraordinary  action  by
 individuals or groupscould have prevented the conflict.  One  version  of
 the inevitability hypothesis would argue that the Soviet Union, given  its
 commitment to the  ideology  of  communism,  was  dedicated  to  worldwide
 revolution and would use any and  every  means  possible  to  promote  the
 demise of the West. According to this viewbased  in  large  part  on  the
 rhetoric  of  Stalin  and  Leninworld  revolution  constituted  the  sole
 priority of Soviet policy. Even the  appearance  of  accommodation  was  a
 Soviet design to soften up capitalist states for  eventual  confrontation.
 As defined, admittedly in oversimplified fashion, by George Kennan in  his
 famous 1947 article on containment, Russian  diplomacy  "moves  along  the
 prescribed path, like a persistent toy automobile, wound up and headed  in
 a given direction, stopping only when it meets some  unanswerable  force."
 Soviet subservience to a universal, religious creed  ruled  out  even  the
 possibility of mutual  concessions,  since  even  temporary  accommodation
 would be used by the Russians as part of  their  grand  scheme  to  secure
 world domination.
      A second version  of  the  same  hypothesisargued  by  some  American
 revisionist historianscontends that the endless demands of capitalism for
 new markets propelled the United States into a course of intervention  and
 imperialism. According to this argument, a capitalist society can  survive
 only by opening new areas for exploitation.  Without  the  development  of
 multinational corporations, strong ties with German capitalists, and  free
 trade across national boundaries, America would revert to  the  depression
 of the prewar years. Hence, an aggressive internationalism became the only
 means through which the ruling class of the  United  States  could  retain
 hegemony. In support of this argument, historians point to the  number  of
 American policymakers who explicitly articulated  an  economic  motivation
 for U.S. foreign policy. "We cannot expect domestic prosperity  under  our
 system," Assistant Secretary  of  State  Dean  Acheson  said,  "without  a
 constantly expanding trade with other nations." Echoing  the  same  theme,
 the State Department's William  Clayton  declared:  "We  need  marketsbig
 marketsaround the world in which to buy and sell. .  .  .  We've  got  to
 export three times as much as we exported just before the war if  we  want
 to keep our industry running somewhere near capacity." According  to  this
 argument, economic necessity motivated the Truman Doctrine,  the  Marshall
 Plan, and the vigorous efforts of U.S. policymakers  to  open  up  Eastern
 Europe for trade and investment. Within such a frame of reference, it  was
 the  capitalist   economic   systemnot   Soviet   commitment   to   world
 revolutionthat made the Cold War unavoidable.
    Still a third version of the inevitability hypothesispartly  based  on
the first twowould insist  that  historical  differences  between  the  two
superpowers and their systems of government made any efforts toward  postwar
cooperation almost impossible. Russia had always been deeply  suspicious  of
the West, and under Stalin that suspicion had escalated into paranoia,  with
Soviet leaders  fearing  that  any  opening  of  channels  would  ultimately
destroy their own ability to retain total mastery over the  Russian  people.
The West's failure to implement early promises of a  second  front  and  the
subsequent divisions of opinion over how to  treat  occupied  territory  had
profoundly  strained  any  possible  basis  of  trust.  From   an   American
perspective, in turn, it stretched credibility to expect a nation  committed
to human rights to place confidence in  a  ruthless  dictator,  who  in  one
Yugoslav's words, had  single-handedly  been  responsible  for  more  Soviet
deaths  than  all  the  armies  of  Nazi  Germany.   Through   the   purges,
collectivization, and mass imprisonment  of  Russian  citizens,  Stalin  had
presided over the killing of 20 million of his own people.  How  then  could
he be trusted to respect the rights of others? According to  this  argument,
only the presence of a  common  enemy  had  made  possible  even  short-term
solidarity between Russia and the United States; in the absence of a  German
foe, natural antagonisms were bound to surface. America had  one  system  of
politics, Russia another, and as Truman declared in  1948,  "a  totalitarian
state is no different whether you  call  it  Nazi,  fascist,  communist,  or
Franco Spain."
    Yet, in retrospect, these arguments for inevitability tell only part of
the story. Notwithstanding the Soviet Union's rhetorical  commitment  to  an
ideology of  world  revolution,  there  is  abundant  evidence  of  Russia's
willingness to forego ideological purity in the cause of national  interest.
Stalin, after all, had turned  away  from  world  revolution  in  committing
himself to building "socialism in one  country."  Repeatedly,  he  indicated
his readiness to betray the communist movement in China and  to  accept  the
leadership of Chiang Kai-shek. George  Kennan  recalled  the  Soviet  leader
"snorting rather contemptuously . . . because one of our people  asked  them
what they were going to give to China when [the war] was over." "We  have  a
hundred cities of our own to build in  the  Soviet  Far  East,"  Stalin  had
responded. "If anybody is going to give anything to the Far  East,  I  think
it's you." Similarly, Stalin refused to give any support  to  communists  in
Greece during their rebellion against British domination there. As  late  as
1948 he told the vice-premier of Yugoslavia, "What do you think, . . .  that
Great Britain and the United States . . . will permit  you  to  break  their
lines of communication in the Mediterranean? Nonsense . . . the uprising  in
Greece must be stopped, and as quickly as possible."
    Nor are the  other  arguments  for  inevitability  totally  persuasive.
Without question, America's desire for commercial markets played a  role  in
the strategy of the Cold War. As Truman said in 1949,  devotion  to  freedom
of enterprise "is part and parcel of what we  call  America."  Yet  was  the
need for markets sufficient to force a confrontation that  ultimately  would
divert precious resources from other, more productive use?  Throughout  most
of its history, Wall Street has opposed  a  bellicose  position  in  foreign
policy. Similarly, although historical differences are important,  it  makes
no sense to regard  them  as  determinative.  After  all,  the  war  led  to
extraordinary examples of cooperation that  bridged  these  differences;  if
they could be overcome once, then why not again? Thus,  while  each  of  the
arguments for inevitability reflects truths that  contributed  to  the  Cold
War, none offers an explanation sufficient of itself,  for  contending  that
the Cold War was unavoidable.
    A stronger case, it seems, can be made for the position that  the  Cold
War was unnecessary, or at least that conflicts could have been  handled  in
a manner that avoided bipolarization and  the  rhetoric  of  an  ideological
crusade. At no time did Russia constitute a military threat  to  the  United
States. "Economically," U.S.  Naval  Intelligence  reported  in  1946,  "the
Soviet Union is exhausted.... The USSR is not expected to  take  any  action
in the next five  years  which  might  develop  into  hostility  with  Anglo
Americans." Notwithstanding the Truman  administration's  public  statements
about a Soviet threat, Russia had cut its army from 11.5 to  3  million  men
after the war. In 1948, its military budget amounted to only  half  of  that
of the United States. Even militant anticommunists like John  Foster  Dulles
acknowledged that "the  Soviet  leadership  does  not  want  and  would  not
consciously risk"  a  military  confrontation  with  the  West.  Indeed,  so
exaggerated  was  American  rhetoric  about  Russia's  threat  that   Hanson
Baldwin, military expert of the New York Times, compared the claims  of  our
armed forces to the "shepherd who cried wolf, wolf, wolf, when there was  no
wolf." Thus, on purely factual grounds, there existed no military basis  for
the fear that the Soviet Union was about to seize world domination,  despite
the often belligerent pose Russia took on political issues.
    A second,  somewhat  more  problematic,  argument  for  the  thesis  of
avoidability consists of the extent to which Russian leaders appeared  ready
to abide by at least some agreements made during the war. Key, here, is  the
understanding reached by Stalin and Churchill during the  fall  of  1944  on
the division  of  Europe  into  spheres  of  influence.  According  to  that
understanding, Russia was to dominate Romania, have a  powerful  voice  over
Bulgaria, and share influence in other  Eastern  European  countries,  while
Britain  and  America  were  to  control  Greece.  By  most  accounts,  that
understanding was implemented. Russia refused  to  intervene  on  behalf  of
communist insurgency in Greece. While retaining rigid control over  Romania,
she provided at least a "fig-leaf  of  democratic  procedure"sufficient  to
satisfy the British. For two  years  the  USSR  permitted  the  election  of
noncommunist or coalition regimes in both Hungary  and  Czechoslovakia.  The
Finns, meanwhile, were permitted to choose a noncommunist government and  to
practice Western-style democracy as  long  as  their  country  maintained  a
friendly foreign policy toward their neighbor on the east. Indeed,  to  this
day, Finland remains an example of  what  might  have  evolved  had  earlier
wartime understandings on both sides been allowed to continue.
    What then went wrong? First, it seems clear that both  sides  perceived
the other as breaking  agreements  that  they  thought  had  been  made.  By
signing a separate peace settlement with the Lublin Poles,  imprisoning  the
sixteen members of the Polish underground, and imposingwithout  regard  for
democratic appearancestotal hegemony on Poland, the Soviets had broken  the
spirit, if not the letter, of the Yalta accords. Similarly,  they  blatantly
violated the agreement made by both powers to withdraw from  Iran  once  the
war was over,  thus  precipitating  the  first  direct  threat  of  military
confrontation during the Cold War. In their attitude toward Eastern  Europe,
reparations, and peaceful cooperation with the West, the  Soviets  exhibited
increasing rigidity and suspicion after  April  1945.  On  the  other  hand,
Stalin had good reason to accuse the United States of reneging  on  compacts
made during the war. After at least tacitly accepting Russia's  right  to  a
sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, the West seemed  suddenly  to  change
positions and insist on Western-style  democracies  and  economies.  As  the
historian Robert Daliek  has  shown,  Roosevelt  and  Churchill  gave  every
indication at Tehran and Yalta that they acknowledged the Soviet's  need  to
have friendly governments  in  Eastern  Europe.  Roosevelt  seemed  to  care
primarily about securing token or  cosmetic  concessions  toward  democratic
processes while accepting the  substance  of  Russian  domination.  Instead,
misunderstanding developed over the meaning of  the  Yalta  accords,  Truman
confronted Molotov with demands that the Soviets saw  as  inconsistent  with
prior understandings, and mutual suspicion rather than  cooperation  assumed
dominance in relations between the two superpowers.
    It is this area of misperception and misunderstanding  that  historians
have focused on recently as most critical to the emergence of the Cold  War.
Presumably, neither side had a master plan of how to proceed  once  the  war
ended. Stalin's  ambitions,  according  to  recent  scholarship,  were  ill-
defined, or  at  least  amenable  to  modification  depending  on  America's
posture. The United States, in turn,  gave  mixed  signals,  with  Roosevelt
implying to every  group  his  agreement  with  their  point  of  view,  yet
ultimately keeping his personal intentions secret. If, in fact,  both  sides
could  have  agreed  to  a  sphere-of-influence  policyalbeit   with   some
modifications to satisfy  American  political  opinionthere  could  perhaps
have been a foundation for  continued  accommodation.  Clearly,  the  United
States  intended  to  retain  control  over   its   sphere   of   influence,
particularly in Greece, Italy,  and  Turkey.  Moreover,  the  United  States
insisted  on  retaining  total  domination  over  the  Western   hemisphere,
consistent with the philosophy of the Monroe Doctrine. If  the  Soviets  had
been allowed similar control over  their  sphere  of  influence  in  Eastern
Europe, there might have existed a basis  for  compromise.  As  John  McCloy
asked at the time, "[why was it necessary] to have our cake and eat it  too?
. . . To be free  to  operate  under  this  regional  arrangement  in  South
America and at the same time intervene promptly in Europe."  If  the  United
States and Russia had both acknowledged the spheres  of  influence  implicit
in their wartime agreements, perhaps a different  pattern  of  relationships
might have emerged in the postwar world.
    The fact that such a pattern did not emerge raises two issues, at least
from an American perspective. The first  is  whether  different  leaders  or
advisors  might  have  achieved  different  foreign  policy  results.   Some
historians believe that Roosevelt, with his subtlety and skill,  would  have
found a way to promote collaboration  with  the  Russians,  whereas  Truman,
with  his  short  temper,  inexperience,  and  insecurity,  blundered   into
unnecessary and  harmful  confrontations.  Clearly,  Roosevelt  himselfjust
before  his  deathwas  becoming  more  and  more  concerned  about   Soviet
intransigence and aggression. Nevertheless,  he  had  always  believed  that
through personal pressure and influence, he could find  a  way  to  persaude
"uncle Joe." On the basis of what evidence we have, there seems good  reason
to believe that the Russians did place enormous trust in  FDR.  Perhapsjust
perhapsRoosevelt could have found a  way  to  talk  "practical  arithmetic"
with Stalin rather than algebra and discover a common ground. Certainly,  if
recent historians are correct in seeing the  Cold  War  as  caused  by  both
Stalin's  undefined  ambitions  and   America's   failure   to   communicate
effectively and consistently its view on where it would draw the  line  with
the Russians, then Roosevelt's long history of interaction with the  Soviets
would presumably have placed him in a better position to negotiate than  the
inexperienced Truman.
    The second issue is more complicated, speaking to a  political  problem
which beset both Roosevelt and Trumannamely, the  ability  of  an  American
president to formulate and win support for a foreign policy on the basis  of
national self-interest rather than moral purity. At some point in the  past,
an American diplomat wrote in 1967:
       [T]here crept into the ideas of Americans about foreign policy ...  a
   histrionic note, ... a desire to appear as something greater perhaps than
   one actually was. ... It was inconceivable that any war in which we  were
   involved could be less than momentous and  decisive  for  the  future  of
   humanity. ... As each war ended, ... we took  appeal  to  universalistic,
   Utopian ideals, related not to the specifics of national interest but  to
   legalistic and moralistic concepts that seemed better to accord with  the
   pretentious significance we had attached to our war effort.
    As a consequence, the diplomat went on, it became difficult to pursue a
policy not defined by the  language  of  "angels  or  devils,"  "heroes"  or
    Clearly, Roosevelt faced such  a  dilemma  in  proceeding  to  mobilize
American support for intervention in the  war  against  Nazism.  And  Truman
encountered the same difficulty in seeking to define a policy with which  to
meet Soviet postwar objectives. Both presidents, of course, participated  in
and  reflected  the  political  culture  that  constrained  their   options.
Potentially at least, Roosevelt seemed  intent  on  fudging  the  difference
between self-interest and moralism. He perceived one set  of  objectives  as
consistent with reaching an accommodation with the Soviets, and another  set
of goals as consistent with retaining popular support for his  diplomacy  at
home. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion  that  he  plannedin  a  very
Machiavellian wayto use rhetoric and appearances as a means  of  disguising
his true intention: to pursue a strategy of  self-interest.  It  seems  less
clear that Truman had either the subtlety or the wish to follow a  similarly
Machiavellian course. But if he had, the  way  might  have  been  opened  to
quite a differentalbeit politically risky series of policies.

    None of this, of course, would have guaranteed the absence of  conflict
in Eastern Europe, Iran, or Turkey. Nor could  any  action  of  an  American
presidenthowever much rooted in self-interesthave  obviated  the  personal
and  political  threat  posed  by  Stalinist   tyranny   and   ruthlessness,
particularly if Stalin himself had chosen, for whatever reason, to  act  out
his most aggressive and paranoid instincts.  But  if  a  sphere-of-influence
agreement had been possible, there is  some  reason  to  thinkin  light  of
initial  Soviet  acceptance  of  Western-style   governments   in   Hungary,
Czechoslovakia, and Finlandthat the iron curtain might not  have  descended
in the way that it did. In all historical sequences, one  action  builds  on
another. Thus, steps toward  cooperation  rather  than  confrontation  might
have created a momentum, a frame of reference and a basis of  mutual  trust,
that could have made unnecessary the total ideological  bipolarization  that
evolved by 1948. In short, if the primary goals of each superpower had  been
acknowledged and implementedsecurity for  the  Russians,  some  measure  of
pluralism in Eastern European countries for the United States, and  economic
interchange between the two blocsit seems conceivable that the world  might
have avoided the stupidity, the fear, and the hysteria of the Cold War.
    As it was, of course, very little of the above scenario did take place.
After the confrontation in Iran,  the  Soviet  declaration  of  a  five-year
plan,  Churchill's  Fulton,  Missouri,  speech,   and   the   breakdown   of
negotiations on an American loan, confrontation between the two  superpowers
seemed irrevocable. It is difficult to imagine that  the  momentum  building
toward the Cold War could have been reversed after the winter and spring  of
1946. Thereafter, events assumed an almost inexorable  momentum,  with  both
sides using moralistic rhetoric and ideological denunciation to pillory  the
other. In the United States it became incumbent on  the  presidentin  order
to secure domestic political supportto defend the Truman Doctrine  and  the
Marshall Plan in universalistic, moral terms. Thus, we became  engaged,  not
in an effort to assure jobs and security, but in a holy  war  against  evil.
Stalin, in turn, gave full vent to his crusade to eliminate any  vestige  of
free thought or national independence in Eastern  Europe.  Reinhold  Niebuhr
might have been speaking for both sides when he said  in  1948,  "we  cannot
afford any more compromises. We will have to stand at  every  point  in  our
far flung lines."
    The tragedy, of course, was that such a  policy  offered  no  room  for
intelligence or flexibility. If the battle in the  world  was  between  good
and evil, believers and nonbelievers, anyone who questioned  the  wisdom  of
established policy risked dismissal as a traitor or  worse.  In  the  Soviet
Union the Gulag Archipelago of concentration camps and  executions  was  the
price of failing to conform to the party line. But the United States paid  a
price as well. An ideological frame of reference had emerged  through  which
all other information was filtered. The mentality of  the  Cold  War  shaped
everything, defining issues according to moralistic assumptions,  regardless
of objective reality. It had been George Kennan's telegram in February  1946
that helped to provide the intellectual basis for this  frame  of  reference
by portraying the Soviet Union as "a political force committed  fanatically"
to confrontation with the United States and domination of the world. It  was
also George Kennan twenty years later who so  searchingly  criticized  those
who insisted on seeing foreign policy as a  battle  of  angels  and  devils,
heroes and  blackguards.  And  ironically,  it  was  Kennan  yet  again  who
declared in the 1970s that "the image of  a  Stalinist  Russia,  poised  and
yearning to attack the west, . . . was largely  a  product  of  the  western
    But for more than a generation, that image would  shape  American  life
and world politics. The price was astronomicaland perhaps avoidable.
Chapter 2: The Cold War Chronology.
    2.1 The War Years.

    Whatever tensions existed before the war, conflicts over  military  and
diplomatic  issues  during  the  war  proved  sufficiently  grave  to  cause
additional mistrust. Two countries that in the past  had  shared  almost  no
common ground now found themselves  intimately  tied  to  each  other,  with
little foundation of mutual confidence on which to build. The problems  that
resulted clustered in two areas: (1) how much aid the West would provide  to
alleviate the disproportionate burden borne by the Soviet Union in  fighting
the war; and (2) how to resolve the  dilemmas  of  making  peace,  occupying
conquered territory,  and  defining  postwar  responsibilities.  Inevitably,
each issue became inextricably bound  to  the  others,  posing  problems  of
statecraft and good faith that perhaps  went  beyond  the  capacity  of  any
mortal to solve.
    The central issue dividing the allies involved  how  much  support  the
United States and  Britain  would  offer  to  mitigate,  then  relieve,  the
devastation being sustained  by  the  Soviet  people.  Stated  bluntly,  the
Soviet Union bore the massive  share  of  Nazi  aggression.  The  statistics
alone are overwhelming. Soviet deaths totaled more than  18  million  during
the warsixty times the three hundred thousand  lives  lost  by  the  United
States. Seventy  thousand  Soviet  villages  were  destroyed,  $128  billion
dollars worth of property leveled to the ground. Leningrad, the crown  jewel
of Russia's cities, symbolized the suffering experienced  at  the  hands  of
the Nazis. Filled with art and beautiful architecture,  the  former  capital
of Russia came under siege by German armies  almost  immediately  after  the
invasion of the Soviet Union. When the attack  began,  the  city  boasted  a
population of 3 million citizens. At the end, only 600,000  remained.  There
was no food, no fuel, no  hope.  More  than  a  million  starved,  and  some
survived by resorting to cannibalism. Yet the city endured, the  Nazis  were
repelled, and  the  victory  that  came  with  survival  helped  launch  the
campaign that would ultimately crush Hitler's tyranny.
    Such suffering provided the backdrop  for  a  bitter  controversy  over
whether the United States and Britain were doing enough to assume their  own
just share of the fight.  Roosevelt  understood  that  Russia's  battle  was
America's.  "The  Russian  armies  are  killing  more  Axis  personnel   and
destroying more Axis materiel," he wrote General Douglas MacArthur in  1942,
"than all the other twenty-five United Nations put  together."  As  soon  as
the Germans invaded Russia, the president ordered that  lend-lease  material
be made immediately available to the Soviet Union, instructing his  personal
aide to get $22 million worth of supplies on their way by July 25one  month
after the German invasion. Roosevelt knew  that,  unless  the  Soviets  were
helped quickly, they would be forced out of  the  war,  leaving  the  United
States in an untenable position. "If [only]  the  Russians  could  hold  the
Germans until October 1," the president said. At a Cabinet meeting early  in
August, Roosevelt declared himself "sick and tired of hearing  .  .  .  what
was on order"; he wanted to hear only "what was on the  water."  Roosevelt's
commitment to lend-lease reflected his  deep  conviction  that  aid  to  the
Soviets was both the most effective way of combating German  aggression  and
the strongest means of building a basis of trust with  Stalin  in  order  to
facilitate postwar cooperation. "I do not want to be in  the  same  position
as the English," Roosevelt told his Secretary of the Treasury in 1942.  "The
English promised the Russians two  divisions.  They  failed.  They  promised
them to help in the Caucasus. They failed. Every promise  the  English  have
made to the Russians, they have fallen down on. . . .  The  only  reason  we
stand so well ... is that up to date we have kept our  promises."  Over  and
over again Roosevelt intervened directly  and  personally  to  expedite  the
shipment of supplies. "Please get out the list  and  please,  with  my  full
authority, use a heavy hand," he told one assistant. "Act as  a  burr  under
the saddle and get things moving!"
    But even Roosevelt's personal involvement could not  end  the  problems
that  kept   developing   around   the   lend-lease   program.   Inevitably,
bureaucratic tangles delayed shipment of  necessary  supplies.  Furthermore,
German submarine assaults sank thousands of tons of weaponry.  In  just  one
month in 1942, twenty-three of thirty-seven merchant vessels  on  their  way
to the Soviet Union were destroyed, forcing a cancellation of  shipments  to
Murmansk. Indeed, until late summer of 1942, the Allies lost more  ships  in
submarine attacks than they were able to build.
    Above all, old suspicions continued to creep into the  ongoing  process
of negotiating and  distributing  lend-lease  supplies.  Americans  who  had
learned during the purges to regard Stalin as "a sort  of  unwashed  Genghis
Khan with blood dripping from his fingertips" could not believe that he  had
changed his colors overnight and was now to be viewed as  a  gentle  friend.
Many Americans believed that they were saving the Soviet  Union  with  their
supplies,  without  recognizing  the   extent   of   Soviet   suffering   or
appreciating the fact that the Russians were helping to save American  lives
by their sacrifice on the battlefield. Soviet officials, in  turn,  believed
that  their  American  counterparts  overseeing  the  shipments   were   not
necessarily doing all that they might to implement the promises made by  the
president. Americans expected gratitude. Russians  expected  supplies.  Both
expectations were justified, yet the conflict reflected the extent to  which
underlying  distrust  continued  to  poison  the  prospect  of  cooperation.
"Frankly," FDR told one subordinate, "if I was a Russian, I would feel  that
I had been given the  runaround  in  the  United  States."  Yet  with  equal
justification,  Americans  resented   Soviet   ingratitude.   "The   Russian
authorities seem to want to cover  up  the  fact  that  they  are  receiving
outside help," American Ambassador Standley told a Moscow  press  conference
in March 1943. "Apparently they want their people to believe  that  the  Red
Army is fighting this war alone." Clearly, the battle against  Nazi  Germany
was not the only conflict taking place.
    Yet the disputes over lend-lease proved minor compared to the issue  of
a second frontwhat one historian  has  called  "the  acid  test  of  Anglo-
American intentions." However much help the United States could  provide  in
the way of war materiel, the decisive form of relief that Stalin sought  was
the actual involvement of American and British soldiers in  Western  Europe.
Only such an invasion could significantly relieve the  pressure  of  massive
German divisions on the eastern front. During the years 1941-44, fewer  than
10 percent of Germany's troops were in the west, while nearly three  hundred
divisions were committed to conquering Russia. If the Soviet  Union  was  to
survive, and the Allies to secure victory, it was imperative  that  American
and British troops force a diversion of German troops to the west  and  help
make possible the pincer movement from east and west that  would  eventually
annihilate the fascist foe.
    Roosevelt understood this all too well.  Indeed,  he  appears  to  have
wished nothing more than the most rapid possible development of  the  second
front. In part, he saw such action as the only means  to  deflect  a  Soviet
push for acceptance of Russia's pre-World War II  territorial  acquisitions,
particularly in the Baltic states and Finland. Such acquisitions  would  not
only be contrary to the Atlantic Charter and America's commitment  to  self-
determination; they would also undermine the prospect of securing  political
support in America for international postwar cooperation.  Hence,  Roosevelt
hoped to postpone, until  victory  was  achieved,  any  final  decisions  on
issues of territory. Shrewdly, the president understood that meeting  Soviet
demands for direct military assistance through a second  front  would  offer
the most effective answer to Russia's territorial aspirations.
    Roosevelt had read the  Soviet  attitude  correctly.  In  1942,  Soviet
foreign minister Molotov readily agreed to withdraw his territorial  demands
in deference to U.S. concerns because the second  front  was  so  much  more
decisive an issue. When Molotov asked whether the Allies could  undertake  a
second front operation that would draw off forty German divisions  from  the
eastern front, the president replied  that  it  could  and  that  it  would.
Roosevelt cabled Churchill that he was "more anxious than ever" for a cross-
channel attack in August 1942 so that Molotov would be able to  "carry  back
some real results of his mission and give a favorable report to Stalin."  At
the end of their 1942 meeting, Roosevelt pledged to Molotov-and through  him
to Stalin-that a second front would be established that year. The  president
then proceeded to mobilize his own military advisors to  develop  plans  for
such an attack.
    But Roosevelt could not  deliver.  Massive  logistical  and  production
problems obstructed any  possibility  of  invading  Western  Europe  on  the
timetable Roosevelt had promised. As a result, despite Roosevelt's own  best
intentions and the commitment of his military staff, he could not  implement
his  desire  to  proceed.  In  addition,  Roosevelt  repeatedly  encountered
objections from Churchill and  the  British  military  establishment,  still
traumatized by the memory of the  bloodletting  that  had  occurred  in  the
trench fighting of World War I. For Churchill, engagement of  the  Nazis  in
North Africa and then through the "soft  underbelly"  of  Europe-Sicily  and
Italy-offered a better prospect for success. Hence, after  promising  Stalin
a second front in August 1942, Roosevelt had to withdraw the pledge and  ask
for delay of the second front until the  spring  of  1943.  When  that  date
arrived, he was forced to pull back yet again for political  and  logistical
reasons. By the time D-Day finally dawned  on  June  6,  1944,  the  Western
Allies had broken their promise on the single most critical  military  issue
of the war three times. On each occasion, there had been  ample  reason  for
the delay, but given the continued heavy burden placed on the Soviet  Union,
it was perhaps understandable that some  Russian  leaders  viewed  America's
delay on the second front question with suspicion, sarcasm, and anger.  When
D-Day arrived, Stalin acknowledged the operation to be one of  the  greatest
military ventures of human history. Still, the squabbles  that  preceded  D-
Day contributed substantially to the suspicions  and  tension  that  already
existed between the two nations.
    Another broad area of conflict emerged over who would control  occupied
areas once the war ended? How would peace be negotiated? The  principles  of
the Atlantic Charter presumed establishment of democratic,  freely  elected,
and representative governments in every area won back  from  the  Nazis.  If
universalism were to prevail, each  country  liberated  from  Germany  would
have the opportunity  to  determine  its  own  political  structure  through
democratic means that would ensure representation of  all  factions  of  the
body politic.  If  "sphere  of  influence"  policies  were  implemented,  by
contrast, the  major  powers  would  dictate  such  decisions  in  a  manner
consistent with  their  own  self-interest.  Ultimately,  this  issue  would
become the decisive point of confrontation during the Cold  War,  reflecting
the different  state  systems  and  political  values  of  the  Soviets  and
Americans; but  even  in  the  midst  of  the  fighting,  the  Allies  found
themselves in major disagreement, sowing seeds of distrust  that  boded  ill
for the future. Since no plans were established in advance on  how  to  deal
with these issues, they were handled on  a  case  by  case  basis,  in  each
instance reinforcing the  suspicions  already  present  between  the  Soviet
Union and the West.
    Notwithstanding the Atlantic Charter, Britain  and  the  United  States
proceeded on a de  facto  basis  to  implement  policies  at  variance  with
universalism. Thus, for example, General Dwight  Eisenhower  was  authorized
to reach an accommodation with Admiral Darlan in North Africa as a means  of
avoiding an extended military campaign  to  defeat  the  Vichy,  pro-fascist
collaborators who controlled that area. From  the  perspective  of  military
necessity and the preservation of life, it made sense  to  compromise  one's
ideals in such a situation. Yet the  precedent  inevitably  raised  problems
with regard to allied efforts to secure self-determination elsewhere.
    The issue arose again during the Allied invasion of Italy. There,  too,
concern with expediting military victory and  securing  political  stability
caused Britain and the United States to negotiate with the fascist  Badoglio
regime. "We cannot be put into a position," Churchill said, "where  our  two
armies are doing all the fighting but Russians  have  a  veto."  Yet  Stalin
bitterly  resented  being  excluded  from  participation  in   the   Italian
negotiations.  The  Soviet  Union  protested  vigorously  the   failure   to
establish a tripartite commission to conduct  all  occupation  negotiations.
It was time, Stalin said,  to  stop  viewing  Russia  as  "a  passive  third
observer. ... It is impossible to tolerate such a situation any longer."  In
the end, Britain and the United  States  offered  the  token  concession  of
giving the Soviets an innocuous role  on  the  advisory  commission  dealing
with Italy, but  the  primary  result  of  the  Italian  experience  was  to
reemphasize a crucial political reality: when push came to shove, those  who
exercised military control in an immediate  situation  would  also  exercise
political control over any occupation regime.
    The shoe was on the other foot when it came to Western desires to  have
a voice over Soviet actions in the Balkan states, particularly  Romania.  By
not giving Russia an opportunity to participate in  the  Italian  surrender,
the  West-in   effect-helped   legitimize   Russia's   desire   to   proceed
unilaterally in Eastern Europe. Although both Churchill and  Roosevelt  were
"acutely conscious of the great importance  of  the  Balkan  situation"  and
wished to "take advantage of" any opportunity to exercise influence in  that
area, the simple fact was that Soviet troops were in control.  Churchill-and
privately  Roosevelt  as  well-accepted  the  consequences.  "The  occupying
forces had the power in the area where their arms were  present,"  Roosevelt
noted, "and each knew that the other could not force things  to  an  issue."
But the contradiction between the stated idealistic aims of the  war  effort
and such realpolitik would come back  to  haunt  the  prospect  for  postwar
collaboration, particularly in the areas of Poland and other  east  European
    Moments of conflict, of course, took place within the context of day-to-
day  cooperation  in  meeting  immediate  wartime  needs.  Sometimes,   such
cooperation  seemed  deep  and  genuine  enough  to  provide  a  basis   for
overcoming suspicion  and  conflict  of  interest.  At  the  Moscow  foreign
ministers conference in the fall of 1943, the Soviets proved  responsive  to
U.S. concerns. Reassured that there  would  indeed  be  a  second  front  in
Europe in 1944, the  Russians  strongly  endorsed  a  postwar  international
organization to preserve the peace.  More  important,  they  indicated  they
would join the war against Japan  as  soon  as  Germany  was  defeated,  and
appeared willing to accept the Chiang  Kaishek  government  in  China  as  a
major participant in world politics. In some ways, these were  a  series  of
quid  pro  quos.  In  exchange  for  the  second  front,  Russia  had   made
concessions on issues of critical  importance  to  Britain  and  the  United
States. Nevertheless, the results were encouraging. FDR  reported  that  the
conference had created "a psychology of ... excellent feeling."  Instead  of
being "cluttered  with  suspicion,"  the  discussions  had  occurred  in  an
atmosphere that "was amazingly good."
    The same spirit continued at the first meeting  of  Stalin,  Churchill,
and Roosevelt in Tehran during November and early December  1943.  Committed
to winning Stalin as a  friend,  FDR  stayed  at  the  Soviet  Embassy,  met
privately with Stalin,  aligned  himself  with  the  Soviet  leader  against
Churchill on a number of issues, and even went so far as to taunt  Churchill
"about his Britishness, about John Bull," in an effort to forge an  informal
"anti-imperial" alliance between the United States and the Soviet  Union.  A
spirit of cooperation prevailed, with the wartime leaders agreeing that  the
Big Four would have the power to police  any  postwar  settlements  (clearly
consistent with Stalin's commitment to a "sphere  of  influence"  approach),
reaffirming plans for a joint military effort against Japan, and  evenafter
much difficultyappearing to find a common approach to the  difficulties  of
Poland and Eastern Europe. When it was  all  over,  FDR  told  the  American
people: "I got along fine with Marshall Stalin ... I  believe  he  is  truly
representative of the heart and soul of Russia; and I believe  that  we  are
going to get along very well with  him  and  the  Russian  peoplevery  well
indeed." When pressed on what kind  of  a  person  the  Soviet  leader  was,
Roosevelt responded:
    "I would call him something like me, ... a realist."
    The final conference of Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt  at  Yalta  in
February 1945 appeared  at  the  time  to  carry  forward  the  partnership,
although in retrospect it would become clear that the facade  of  unity  was
built on a foundation of misperceptions  rooted  in  the  different  values,
priorities, and political ground rules of the two societies.  Stalin  seemed
to  recognize  Roosevelt's  need  to  present  postwar  plansfor   domestic
political reasonsas consistent with democratic, universalistic  principles.
Roosevelt, in turn, appreciated Stalin's need for  friendly  governments  on
his  borders.  The  three  leaders  agreed  on  concrete  plans  for  Soviet
participation in the Japanese war, and Stalin reiterated his support  for  a
coalition government in China with Chiang Kaishek  assuming  a  position  of
leadership. Although  some  of  Roosevelt's  aides  were  skeptical  of  the
agreements made, most came back confident that they had succeeded in  laying
a basis for continued partnership. As  Harry  Hopkins  later  recalled,  "we
really believed in our hearts that this was the dawn of the new day  we  had
all been praying for. The Russians have proved that they can  be  reasonable
and far-seeing and there wasn't any doubt in the minds of the  president  or
any of us that we could live with them and get along  with  them  peacefully
for as far into the future as any of us could imagine."
    In fact, two disquietingly different perceptions of  the  Soviet  Union
existed as the war drew to an end. Some Washington officials  believed  that
the mystery of Russia was no mystery  at  all,  simply  a  reflection  of  a
national  history  in  which  suspicion  of  outsiders  was  natural,  given
repeated  invasions  from  Western  Europe  and  rampant  hostility   toward
communism on the part of Western powers. Former Ambassador to Moscow  Joseph
Davies believed that the way to cut through  that  suspicion  was  to  adopt
"the simple approach of assuming that what they  say,  they  mean."  On  the
basis of his personal negotiations  with  the  Russians,  presidential  aide
Harry Hopkins shared the same confidence.
    The majority of well-informed Americans, however, endorsed the opposite
position. It was folly, one  newspaper  correspondent  wrote,  "to  prettify
Stalin, whose internal  homicide  record  is  even  longer  than  Hitler's."
Hitler and Stalin were two of the same breed, former  Ambassador  to  Russia
William Bullitt insisted. Each wanted to spread his power "to  the  ends  of
the earth. Stalin, like Hitler, will not stop.  He  can  only  be  stopped."
According to Bullitt, any alternative view implied "a conversion  of  Stalin
as striking as the conversion of Saul on  the  road  to  Damascus."  Senator
Robert Taft agreed. It made no sense,  he  insisted,  to  base  U.S.  policy
toward the Soviet Union "on the delightful theory that  Mr.  Stalin  in  the
end will turn out to have an angelic  nature."  Drawing  on  the  historical
precedents of  the  purge  trials  and  traditional  American  hostility  to
communism, totalitarianism, and Stalin, those who held this  point  of  view
saw little hope of  compromise.  "There  is  as  little  difference  between
communism and fascism,"  Monsignor  Fulton  J.  Sheen  said,  "as  there  is
between burglary and larceny." The  only  appropriate  response  was  force.
Instead of "leaning over backward to be nice to the descendents  of  Genghis
Khan," General George Patton suggested, "[we] should dictate to them and  do
it now and in no uncertain terms." Within such a  frame  of  reference,  the
lessons of history and of ideological incompatibility seemed  to  permit  no
possibility of compromise.
    But Roosevelt clearly felt that there was a third way, a path of mutual
accommodation that would  sustain  and  nourish  the  prospects  of  postwar
partnership without ignoring the realities of  geopolitics.  The  choice  in
his mind was clear. "We shall have to  take  the  responsibility  for  world
collaboration,"  he  told  Congress,  "or  we  shall  have   to   bear   the
responsibility for another world conflict." President Roosevelt was  neither
politically  naive  nor  stupid.  Even  though  committed  to  the  Atlantic
Charter's  ideals  of  self-determination  and  territorial  integrity,   he
recognized the legitimate need of the Soviet Union  for  national  security.
For him, the process of politicsinformed by thirty-five  years  of  skilled
practiceinvolved  striking  a  deal  that  both  sides  could  live   with.
Roosevelt acknowledged the brutality, the callousness, the  tyranny  of  the
Soviet  system.  Indeed,  in  1940  he  had  called  Russia  as  absolute  a
dictatorship as existed anywhere. But that  did  not  mean  a  solution  was
impossible, or that one should withdraw from the struggle to  find  a  basis
for world peace. As he was fond of saying about  negotiations  with  Russia,
"it is permitted to walk with the devil until the bridge is crossed."
    The problem was that, as Roosevelt defined the task of finding  a  path
of  accommodation,  it  rested  solely  on  his  shoulders.  The   president
possessed an almost  mystical  confidence  in  his  own  capacity  to  break
through policy  differences  based  on  economic  structures  and  political
systems, and  to  develop  a  personal  relationship  of  trust  that  would
transcend impersonal forces of division. "I know you will not mind my  being
brutally frank when I tell you," he  wrote  Churchill  in  1942,  "[that]  I
think I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign  Office
or my State Department. Stalin hates the guts of all  your  top  people.  He
thinks he likes  me  better,  and  I  hope  he  will  continue  to  do  so."
Notwithstanding the seeming naivete of such statements,  Roosevelt  appeared
right, in at least this one regard. The Soviets  did  seem  to  place  their
faith in him, perhaps thinking that American foreign policy was  as  much  a
product of one man's decisions as their  own.  Roosevelt  evidently  thought
the same way,  telling  Bullitt,  in  one  of  their  early  foreign  policy
discussions, "it's my responsibility and not yours; and I'm  going  to  play
my hunch."
    The tragedy, of course, was that the man who perceived  that  fostering
world peace was his own personal responsibility never  lived  to  carry  out
his  vision.   Long   in   declining   health,   suffering   from   advanced
arteriosclerosis and  a  serious  cardiac  problem,  he  had  gone  to  Warm
Springs, Georgia, to recover from the ordeal of Yalta and the  congressional
session. On April 12, Roosevelt suffered a massive cerebral  hemorrhage  and
died. As word spread across the  country,  the  stricken  look  on  people's
faces told those who had not yet heard the  news  the  awful  dimensions  of
what had happened. "He was the only president I ever knew," one woman  said.
In London, Churchill declared that he felt as if he had suffered a  physical
blow. Stalin greeted the American ambassador in silence,  holding  his  hand
for thirty seconds. The leader of the world's greatest democracy  would  not
live to see the victory he had striven so hard to achieve.

2.2 The Truman Doctrine.

    Few people were less prepared for the challenge of becoming  president.
Although well-read in history, Truman's experience  in  foreign  policy  was
minimal. His most famous comment on diplomacy had  been  a  statement  to  a
reporter in 1941 that "if we see that Germany is winning [the war] we  ought
to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany  and  that
way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't want to  see  Hitler
victorious under any circumstances."  As  vice-president,  Truman  had  been
excluded from all foreign policy discussions.  He  knew  nothing  about  the
Manhattan Project. The new president, Henry  Stimson  noted,  labored  under
the "terrific handicap of coming into... an  office  where  the  threads  of
information were so multitudinous that only long previous familiarity  could
allow him to control them." More to the point were  Truman's  own  comments:
"They didn't tell me anything about what was  going  on.  .  .  .  Everybody
around here that should know anything about foreign affairs is  out."  Faced
with burdens sufficiently awesome to intimidate any individual,  Truman  had
to act quickly on a succession of national security  questions,  aided  only
by his native intelligence and a no-nonsense attitude reflected in the  now-
famous slogan that adorned his desk: "The Buck Stops Here."
    Truman's dilemma was compounded by the extent to  which  Roosevelt  had
acted" as his own secretary of state, sharing with almost no one  his  plans
for  the  postwar  period.  Roosevelt  placed  little  trust  in  the  State
Department's bureaucracy, disagreed  with  the  suspicion  exhibited  toward
Russia by most foreign service officers, and for the most part  appeared  to
believe that he alone held the secret formula  for  accommodation  with  the
Soviets. Ultimately that formula presumed the  willingness  of  the  Russian
leadership "to give the Government of Poland  [and  other  Eastern  European
countries] an external appearance of independence [italics added],"  in  the
words of Roosevelt's aide Admiral William Leahy. In  the  month  before  his
death, FDR had  evidently  begun  to  question  that  presumption,  becoming
increasingly concerned about Soviet behavior. Had  he  lived,  he  may  well
have adopted a significantly tougher position  toward  Stalin  than  he  had
taken previously. Yet in his last communication  with  Churchill,  Roosevelt
was still urging the British prime minister to "minimize the Soviet  problem
as much as possible . . . because these problems, in one  form  or  another,
seem to arrive everyday and  most  of  them  straighten  out."  If  Stalin's
intentions still remained difficult to fathom so too  did  Roosevelt's.  And
now Truman was in charge, with  neither  Roosevelt's  experience  to  inform
him, nor a clear sense of Roosevelt's perceptions to offer him direction.
    Without being able to analyze at leisure all  the  complex  information
that was relevant, Truman solicited the best advice he could from those  who
were most knowledgeable about foreign relations. Hurrying back from  Moscow,
Averell Harriman sought  the  president's  ear,  lobbying  intensively  with
White  House  and  State  Department  officials  for   his   position   that
"irreconcilable differences" separated  the  Soviet  Union  and  the  United
States, with the Russians seeking "the extension of the Soviet  system  with
secret police, [and]  extinction  of  freedom  of  speech"  everywhere  they
could.  Earlier,  Harriman  had  been  well  disposed  toward   the   Soviet
leadership, enthusiastically endorsing Russian interest in  a  postwar  loan
and advocating cooperation wherever possible. But now Harriman  perceived  a
hardening of Soviet attitudes and a more aggressive posture  toward  control
over Eastern Europe. The Russians had just signed a  separate  peace  treaty
with the Lublin (pro-Soviet) Poles,  and  after  offering  safe  passage  to
sixteen pro-Western representatives of  the  Polish  resistance  to  conduct
discussions about a government of national unity, had suddenly arrested  the
sixteen  and  held  them  incommunicado.  America's   previous   policy   of
generosity toward the Soviets had been "misinterpreted in Moscow,"  Harriman
believed, leading the Russians to think they had carte  blanche  to  proceed
as  they  wished.  In  Harriman's  view,  the  Soviets  were  engaged  in  a
"barbarian  invasion  of  Europe."  Whether  or  not  Roosevelt  would  have
accepted Harriman's analysis, to Truman the ambassador's words made  eminent
sense. The international situation was like a poker game,  Truman  told  one
friend, and he was not going to let Stalin beat him.
    Just ten days after taking office, Truman had the opportunity  to  play
his own hand with Molotov. The Soviet foreign  minister  had  been  sent  by
Stalin to attend the first U.N.  conference  in  San  Francisco  both  as  a
gesture to  Roosevelt's  memory  and  as  a  means  of  sizing  up  the  new
president. In a  private  conversation  with  former  Ambassador  to  Moscow
Joseph Davies, Molotov expressed his concern that "full  information"  about
Russian-U.S. relations might have died with FDR  and  that  "differences  of
interpretation and possible complications  [might]  arise  which  would  not
occur if Roosevelt lived." Himself worried  that  Truman  might  make  "snap
judgments," Davies urged Molotov to explain fully Soviet policies  vis-a-vis
Poland and Eastern Europe in order to avoid future conflict.
     Truman implemented the  same  no-nonsense  approach  when  it  came  to
decisions about the atomic bomb. Astonishingly, it was not  until  the  day
after Truman's meeting with Molotov that he was  first  briefed  about  the
bomb. By that time, $2 billion had  already  been  spent  on  what  Stimson
called "the most terrible weapon ever known in human history." Immediately,
Truman grasped the significance of the information. "I can't tell you  what
this is," he told his secretary, "but if it works, and pray God it does, it
will save many American lives." Here was a weapon that might not only bring
the war to a swift  conclusion,  but  also  provide  a  critical  lever  of
influence in all postwar relations. As James Byrnes told the president, the
bomb would "put us in a position to dictate our own terms at the end of the
     In the years subsequent to  Hiroshima  and  Nagasaki,  historians  have
debated the wisdom of America's being  the  first  nation  to  use  such  a
horrible weapon of destruction and have questioned the  motivation  leading
up to that decision.  Those  who  defend  the  action  point  to  ferocious
Japanese resistance at Okinawa and Iwo Jima, and  the  likelihood  of  even
greater loss of life if an invasion of Japan became necessary. Support  for
such a position comes even from some Japanese. "If  the  military  had  its
way," one military expert in Japan has said, "we would  have  fought  until
all 80 million Japanese were dead. Only the atomic bomb saved  me.  Not  me
alone, but many Japanese. . . ." Those morally repulsed by the incineration
of human flesh that resulted from the A-bomb, on the other hand, doubt  the
necessity of dropping it, citing  later  U.S.  intelligence  surveys  which
concluded that "Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic  bombs  had
not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and  even  if  no
invasion had been planned or contemplated." Distinguished military  leaders
such as Dwight Eisenhower later  opposed  use  of  the  bomb.  "First,  the
Japanese were ready to surrender, and it wasn't necessary to hit them  with
that awful thing," Eisenhower noted. "Second, I hated to see our country be
the first to use such a weapon." In light of  such  statements,  some  have
asked why there was no effort to communicate the  horror  of  the  bomb  to
America's adversaries  either  through  a  demonstration  explosion  or  an
ultimatum. Others have questioned whether the bomb would have been used  on
non-Asians, although the fire-bombing of Dresden claimed more victims  than
Hiroshima. Perhaps most seriously, some have charged that the bomb was used
primarily to intimidate the Soviet Union rather than to secure victory over
    Although  revulsion  at  America's  deployment  of  atomic  weapons  is
understandable, it now appears that no one in the inner circles of  American
military and political power ever seriously entertained the  possibility  of
not using the bomb. As Henry Stimson later  recalled,  "it  was  our  common
objective, throughout the war, to be the first to produce an  atomic  weapon
and use it. ... At no time, from 1941 to 1945, did I ever hear it  suggested
by the president, or by any other  responsible  member  of  the  government,
that atomic energy should not be used in  the  war."  As  historians  Martin
Sherwin and Barton Bernstein have shown, the momentum behind  the  Manhattan
Project was such that no one ever debated the  underlying  assumption  that,
once perfected, nuclear weapons would be used. General George Marshall  told
the British, as well as Truman and Stimson, that a land  invasion  of  Japan
would cause casualties ranging from five hundred thousand  to  more  than  a
million American troops. Any president who refused to use atomic weapons  in
the face of such  projections  could  logically  be  accused  of  needlessly
sacrificing American lives. Moreover, the enemy was  the  same  nation  that
had unleashed a wanton and brutal attack on Pearl Harbor.  As  Truman  later
explained to a journalist, "When you deal with a beast, you  have  to  treat
him as a beast." Although many of the scientists  who  had  seen  the  first
explosion of the  bomb  in  New  Mexico  were  in  awe  of  its  destructive
potential and hoped to find some way to avoid its use in war, the idea of  a
demonstration met with skepticism. Only one or two bombs existed.  What  if,
in a demonstration, they failed to detonate? Thus, as  horrible  as  it  may
seem in retrospect, no one ever seriously doubted the necessity of  dropping
the bomb on Japan once the weapon was perfected.
    On the Russian issue,  however,  there  now  seems  little  doubt  that
administration officials thought long and hard about the  bomb's  impact  on
postwar relations with the Soviet Union. Faced with what seemed  to  be  the
growing intransigence of the  Soviet  Union  toward  virtually  all  postwar
questions, Truman and his advisors concluded that possession of  the  weapon
would give the United States unprecedented leverage to push Russia toward  a
more accommodating position.  Senator  Edwin  Johnson  stated  the  equation
crassly, but clearly. "God Almighty in his  infinite  wisdom,"  the  Senator
said, "[has] dropped the atomic bomb in our lap ... [now]  with  vision  and
guts and plenty of atomic bombs, . . . [the  U.S.  can]  compel  mankind  to
adopt a policy of lasting peace ... or be burned to a  crisp."  Stating  the
same argument with more sophistication  prior  to  Hiroshima,  Stimson  told
Truman that the bomb might well "force a  favorable  settlement  of  Eastern
European questions with the Russians." Truman agreed. If the weapon  worked,
he noted, "I'll certainly have a hammer on those boys."
    Use of the bomb as a diplomatic lever played a pivotal role in Truman's
preparation for his first meeting with Stalin at  Potsdam.  Not  only  would
the conference address such critical questions as Eastern  Europe,  Germany,
and Russia's involvement in the war against Japan;
    It would also provide a crucial opportunity for America to  drive  home
with forcefulness its foreign  policy  beliefs  about  future  relationships
with Russia. Stimson and other advisors urged the president to hold  off  on
any confrontation with Stalin until the  bomb  was  ready.  "Over  any  such
tangled wave of  problems,"  Stimson  noted,  "the  bomb's  secret  will  be
dominant. ... It seems a terrible thing to gamble with such big  stakes  and
diplomacy without having your master card in  your  hand."  Although  Truman
could not delay the meeting because of a prior  commitment  to  hold  it  in
July, the president was well  aware  of  the  bomb's  significance.  Already
noted for his brusque and assertive manner,  Truman  suddenly  took  on  new
confidence in the midst of the Potsdam negotiations when word  arrived  that
the bomb had successfully been tested. "He was  a  changed  man,"  Churchill
noted. "He told the Russians just where they got on and  off  and  generally
bossed the whole meeting." Now, the agenda was changed. Russian  involvement
in the Japanese war no longer seemed  so  important.  Moreover,  the  United
States had as a bargaining chip the most  powerful  weapon  ever  unleashed.
Three days later, Truman walked up to Stalin and casually told him that  the
United States had "perfected a very powerful explosive,  which  we're  going
to use against the Japanese." No mention was  made  of  sharing  information
about the bomb, or of future cooperation to avoid an arms race.
     Yet the very nature of the new weapon proved a mixed  blessing,  making
it as much a source of provocation as  of  diplomatic  leverage.  Strategic
bombing surveys throughout the war had shown that mass bombings,  far  from
demoralizing the enemy,  often  redoubled  his  commitment  to  resist.  An
American monopoly on atomic weapons would, in all likelihood, have the same
effect on the Russians, a proud people. As Stalin told an American diplomat
later, "the nuclear weapon is something with which you frighten people [who
have] weak nerves." Yet if the war had proven anything, it was that Russian
nerves were remarkably strong. Rather than  intimidate  the  Soviets,  Dean
Acheson pointed out, it was more likely  that  evidence  of  Anglo-American
cooperation in the Manhattan  Project  would  seem  to  them  "unanswerable
evidence of ... a combination against them. ... It  is  impossible  that  a
government as powerful and power conscious as the Soviet  government  could
fail to react vigorously to the situation. It must  and  will  exert  every
energy to restore the loss of power which the situation has produced."
     In fact, news of the bomb's development simply widened the gulf further
between the superpowers, highlighting the  mistrust  that  existed  between
them, with sources of antagonism increasing  far  faster  than  efforts  at
cooperation. On May 11, two days after Germany  surrenderedand  two  weeks
after the Truman-Molotov confrontationAmerica had abruptly terminated  all
lend-lease shipments to the Soviet Union that were not directly related  to
the war against Japan. Washington even ordered ships in the mid-Atlantic to
turn around. The action  had  been  taken  largely  in  rigid  bureaucratic
compliance with a new law governing lend-lease just  enacted  by  Congress,
but Truman had been warned of the need to handle the matter in a  way  that
was sensitive to Soviet pride. Instead, he  signed  the  termination  order
without even reading it. Although eventually some shipments  were  resumed,
the damage had been done. The action was "brutal," Stalin later told  Harry
Hopkins, implemented in a "scornful and  abrupt  manner."  Had  the  United
States consulted Russia about  the  issue  "frankly"  and  on  "a  friendly
basis," the Soviet dictator said, "much could have been done"; but  if  the
action "was designed as pressure on the Russians in order  to  soften  them
up, then it was a fundamental mistake."
    Russian behavior through these  months,  on  the  other  hand,  offered
little encouragement for the belief that friendship and  cooperation  ranked
high on the Soviet agenda. In addition to violating the spirit of the  Yalta
accords by jailing  the  sixteen  members  of  the  Polish  underground  and
signing a separate peace treaty with the Lublin Poles,  Stalin  seemed  more
intent on reviving and validating his reputation as architect of the  purges
than as one who wished to collaborate  in  spreading  democracy.  He  jailed
thousands of Russian POWs returning from German prison camps,  as  if  their
very presence on foreign soil had made them enemies of  the  Russian  state.
One veteran was imprisoned because he had accepted a present from a  British
comrade in arms, another for making a critical comment  about  Stalin  in  a
letter. Even Molotov's wife was sent to Siberia. In the  meantime,  hundreds
of thousands of minority nationalities in  the  Soviet  Union  were  removed
forcibly  from  their  homelands   when   they   protested   the   attempted
obliteration of their ancient identities. Some  Westerners  speculated  that
Stalin was clinically psychotic,  so  paranoid  about  the  erosion  of  his
control over the Russian people that he would do anything  to  close  Soviet
borders and prevent the Russian people from getting a taste of what life  in
a more open society would be like. Winston Churchill, for example,  wondered
whether Stalin might not be more  fearful  of  Western  friendship  than  of
Western hostility, since greater cooperation  with  the  noncommunist  world
could well lead to a  dismantling  of  the  rigid  totalitarian  control  he
previously had exerted. For those American diplomats who  were  veterans  of
service in Moscow before the war, Soviet actions and  attitudes  seemed  all
too reminiscent of the viselike terror they remembered from the  worst  days
of the 1930s.
    When Truman, Stalin, and Churchill met in Potsdam in July  1945,  these
suspicions were temporarily papered  over,  but  no  progress  was  made  on
untying the Gordian knots that plagued the wartime alliance.  Truman  sought
to improve the Allies' postwar settlement with Italy, hoping to  align  that
country more closely with the West. Stalin  agreed  on  the  condition  that
changes  favorable  to  the  Soviets  be  approved  for  Romania,   Hungary,
Bulgaria, and Finland. When Truman replied  that  there  had  been  no  free
elections in those countries, Stalin retorted that there had  been  none  in
Italy either. On the issue of general reparations the  three  powers  agreed
to treat each occupation zone separately.  As  a  result,  one  problem  was
solved, but in the  process  the  future  division  of  Germany  was  almost
assured. The tone of  the  discussions  was  clearly  not  friendly.  Truman
raised the issue of the infamous Katyn massacre, where Soviet troops  killed
thousands of Polish soldiers and bulldozed them into a  common  grave.  When
Truman asked Stalin directly what had happened to the Polish  officers,  the
Soviet dictator responded: "they went away." After Churchill  insisted  that
an iron fence had come  down  around  British  representatives  in  Romania,
Stalin dismissed the charges as "all fairy tales." No major  conflicts  were
resolved, and the key problems of  reparation  amounts,  four-power  control
over Germany, the future  of  Eastern  Europe,  and  the  structure  of  any
permanent peace settlement were simply referred to the  Council  of  Foreign
Ministers. There, not surprisingly, they festered,  while  the  pace  toward
confrontation accelerated.
    The first six months of 1946 represented a staccato series of Cold  War
events,  accompanied  by  increasingly  inflammatory  rhetoric.  In   direct
violation of a wartime agreement that all allied  forces  would  leave  Iran
within  six  months  of  the  war's  end,  Russia  continued  its   military
occupation of the oil-rich region of Azerbaijan. Responding to  the  Iranian
threat, the United  States  demanded  a  U.N.  condemnation  of  the  Soviet
presence in Azerbaijan and, when Russian tanks were seen entering the  area,
prepared for a direct confrontation. "Now we will give it to them with  both
barrels," James Byrnes declared. Unless the United States  stood  firm,  one
State Department official warned,  "Azerbaijan  [will]  prove  to  [be]  the
first shot fired  in  the  Third  World  War."  Faced  with  such  clear-cut
determination, the Soviets ultimately withdrew from Iran.
    Yet the tensions between the two powers continued to  mount.  In  early
February, Stalin issued what Supreme Court Justice  William  Douglas  called
the "Declaration of World War III," insisting that  war  was  inevitable  as
long as capitalism survived and calling for massive  sacrifice  at  home.  A
month later Winston Churchillwith Truman at his sideresponded  at  Fulton,
Missouri, declaring that "from Stetting in the  Baltic  to  Trieste  in  the
Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across  the  [European]  continent."
Claiming that "God has willed" the United  States  and  Britain  to  hold  a
monopoly over atomic weapons, Churchill called for a "fraternal  association
of the English speaking people" against their common foes.  Although  Truman
made no public statement, privately he had  told  Byrnes  in  January:  "I'm
tired of babying the Soviets. They [must be] faced with  an  iron  fist  and
strong language. . .  .  Only  one  language  do  they  understandhow  many
divisions have you?" Stalin,  meanwhile,  charged  Britain  and  the  United
States with repressing democratic insurgents in Greece,  declaring  that  it
was the western Allies, not the Soviet Union, that endangered  world  peace.
"When Mr. Churchill calls for a new war," Molotov told a foreign  ministers'
meeting  in  May,  "and  makes  militant  speeches  on  two  continents,  he
represents the worst of twentieth-century imperialism."
    During the spring and summer, clashes occurred  on  virtually  all  the
major issues of the Cold War. After having told the Soviet  Union  that  the
State Department had "lost" its $6 billion  loan  request  made  in  January
1945, the United States offered a $1 billion loan in the spring of  1946  as
long as the Soviet Union agreed to  join  the  World  Bank  and  accept  the
credit procedures and controls of that body. Not surprisingly, the  Russians
refused,  announcing  instead  a  new  five-year  plan  that  would  promote
economic self-sufficiency. Almost paranoid about keeping Westerners  out  of
Russia, Stalin had evidently concluded that participation in  a  Western-run
financial consortium was too serious a threat to his  own  total  authority.
"Control of their border areas," the historian  Walter  LaFeber  has  noted,
"was worth more to  the  Russians  than  a  billion,  or  even  ten  billion
dollars." A year earlier the response might have been  different.  But  1946
was  a  "year  of  cement,"  with  little  if  any  willingness  to   accept
flexibility.  In  Germany,  meanwhile,  the  Russians  rejected  a   Western
proposal for unifying the country and instead determined to build  up  their
own zone. The United States reciprocated by declaring  it  would  no  longer
cooperate with Russia by removing reparations from the  west  to  the  east.
The actions guaranteed a permanent  split  of  Germany  and  coincided  with
American plans to rebuild the West German economy.
    The culminating  breakdown  of  U.S.-Soviet  relations  came  over  the
failure to secure agreement on the international control of  atomic  energy.
After Potsdam, some American policymakers had urged the president to take  a
new approach on sharing such control with the Soviet Union. The  atom  bomb,
Henry Stimson warned Truman in the fall of 1945,  would  dominate  America's
relations with Russia. "If we fail to approach  them  now  and  continue  to
negotiate with . . . this weapon rather ostentatiously  on  our  hip,  their
suspicions and their distrust of our purposes and  motives  will  increase."
Echoing the same them, Dr. Harold Urey, a  leading  atomic  scientist,  told
the Senate that by making and storing atomic  weapons,  "we  are  guilty  of
beginning the arms race." Furthermore, there was an  inherent  problem  with
the "gun on our hip" approach. As the scientist Vannevar Bush noted,  "there
is no powder in the gun, [nor] could  [it]  be  drawn,"  unless  the  United
States were willing to deploy the  A-bomb  to  settle  diplomatic  disputes.
Recognizing this, Truman set Dean Acheson and David Lilienthal  to  work  in
the winter of 194546 to prepare a plan for international control.
    But by the time the American proposal had been completed, much  of  the
damage in Soviet-American relations seemed irreparable. Although the  Truman
plan envisioned ultimate sharing  of  international  control,  it  left  the
United States with an atomic monopolyand in a dominant  positionuntil  the
very last stage. The Soviets would have no veto power  over  inspections  or
sanctions, and even at the end of  the  process,  the  United  States  would
control the majority of votes within the  body  responsible  for  developing
peaceful uses of atomic energy inside the Soviet Union.  When  the  Russians
asked to negotiate about the specifics of the  plan,  they  were  told  they
must either accept the entire package or nothing at all. In the  context  of
Soviet-American relations in 1946, the result was predictablethe  genie  of
the atomic arms race would remain outside the bottle.
    Not  all  influential  Americans   were   "pleased   by   the   growing
polarization.  Averell  Harriman,  who  a  year  earlier  had  been  in  the
forefront of those demanding a hard-line position from  Truman,  now  pulled
back somewhat. "We must recognize that we occupy  the  same  planet  as  the
Russians," he said, "and whether we like it or  not,  disagreeable  as  they
may be, we have to find some method of getting along." The columnist  Walter
Lippmann, deeply concerned about the direction of events,  wondered  whether
the  inexperience  and  personal  predilections   of   some   of   America's
negotiators might not be part  of  the  problem.  Nor  were  all  the  signs
negative. After his initial confrontation with Molotov, Truman  appeared  to
have second thoughts, sending Harry Hopkins to Moscow  to  attempt  to  find
some common ground with Stalin on Poland and Eastern Europe.  The  Russians,
in turn, had not been totally aggressive. They withdrew from  Hungary  after
free  elections  in  that  country  had  led  to  the  establishment  of   a
noncommunist  regime.  Czechoslovakia  was  also  governed  by  a  coalition
government  with  a  Western-style  parliament.  The  British,   at   least,
announced themselves satisfied with the election process in  Bulgaria.  Even
in Romania, some concessions were made to include  elements  more  favorably
disposed to the  West.  The  Russians  finally  backed  down  in  Iranunder
considerable pressureand would do so again in a dispute  over  the  Turkish
straits in the late summer of 1946.
    Still, the events of 1946 had the cumulative effect of creating an aura
of  inevitability  about   bipolar   confrontation   in   the   world.   The
preponderance of energy in each country seemed  committed  to  the  side  of
suspicion and  hostility  rather  than  mutual  accommodation.  If  Stalin's
February prediction of  inevitable  war  between  capitalism  and  communism
embodied in its purest  form  Russia's  jaundiced  perception  of  relations
between the two  countries,  an  eight-thousand-word  telegram  from  George
Kennan to the State Department articulated the dominant frame  of  reference
within which Soviet actions would be perceived by  U.S.  officials.  Perhaps
the preeminent expert on the Soviets, and a veteran of service in Moscow  in
the thirties as well as the forties, Kennan had been  asked  to  prepare  an
analysis of  Stalin's  speech.  Responding  in  words  intended  to  command
attention  to  Washington,  Kennan  declared  that  the  United  States  was
confronted with a "political force committed fanatically to the belief  that
[with the] United States there can be no permanent modus  vivendi,  that  it
is desirable and necessary that the  internal  harmony  of  our  society  be
broken if Soviet power is to be secure." According' to Kennan, the  Russians
truly believed the world to  be  divided  permanently  into  capitalist  and
socialist camps, with the Soviet Union dedicated to  "ever  new  heights  of
military power" even  as  it  sought  to  subvert  its  enemies  through  an
"underground operating directorate of world  communism."  The  analysis  was
frightening, confirming the fears of those  most  disturbed  by  the  Soviet
system's denial of human rights and hardline posture toward Western  demands
for free elections and open borders in occupied Europe.
    Almost immediately, the Kennan telegram became required reading for the
entire diplomatic and military establishment in Washington.
2.3 The Marshall Plan.
    The chief virtue of the plan Marshall and his aides were  Grafting  was
its fusion of these political  and  economic  concerns.  As  Truman  told  a
Baylor University audience in March 1947, "peace, freedom, and  world  trade
are indivisible. . . . We must not go through the '3os  again."  Since  free
enterprise was seen as the foundation for democracy and prosperity,  helping
European  economies  would  both  assure  friendly  governments  abroad  and
additional jobs at home. To accomplish that  ^  goal,  however,  the  United
States would need to give economic aid  directly  rather  than  through  the
United Nations, since only under those circumstances would American  control
be assured. Ideally, the Marshall Plan would provide an economic arm to  the
political strategy embodied in the Truman Doctrine. Moreover, if  presented
as a program in which even Eastern European countries could participate,  it
would  provide,  at  last  potentially,  a  means  of  including  pro-Soviet
countries and breaking  Stalin's  political  and  economic  domination  over
Eastern Europe.
    On that basis, Marshall dramatically announced his proposal at  Harvard
University's commencement on June 5,  1947.  "Our  policy  is  directed  not
against any country  or  doctrine,"  Marshall  said,  "but  against  hunger,
poverty, desperation, and chaos. Its purpose should be revival of a  working
economy. Any government that is willing to assist in the  task  of  recovery
will  find  full  cooperation  ...  on  the  part  of  the   United   States
government." Responding, French  Foreign  Minister  George  Bidault  invited
officials throughout  Europe,  including  the  Soviet  Union,  to  attend  a
conference in Paris to draw up a plan of action. Poland  and  Czechoslovakia
expressed interest, and Molotov  himself  came  to  Paris  with  eighty-nine
    Rather than inaugurate a new era of cooperation, however, the next  few
days simply reaffirmed how far polarization had  already  extended.  Molotov
urged that each country present its own needs independently  to  the  United
States. Western European countries, on the other  hand,  insisted  that  all
the countries cooperate in a  joint  proposal  for  American  consideration.
Since the entire concept presumed extensive  sharing  of  economic  data  on
each country's resources and liabilities, as well as  Western  control  over
how the aid would be  expended,  the  Soviets  angrily  walked  out  of  the
deliberations. In fact, the United States never believed that  the  Russians
would participate in the project, knowing that it was a violation  of  every
Soviet precept to open their economic records to examination and control  by
capitalist outsiders. Furthermore, U.S. strategy was  premised  on  a  major
rebuilding  of  German  industrysomething  profoundly  threatening  to  the
Russians. Ideally, Americans viewed a thriving  Germany  as  the  foundation
for revitalizing the  economies  of  all  Western  European  countries,  and
providing the key to  prosperity  on  both  sides  of  the  Atlantic.  To  a
remarkable extent, that was precisely  the  result  of  the  Marshall  Plan.
Understandably, such a prospect frightened the Soviets, but the  consequence
was to further the split between  East  and  West,  and  in  particular,  to
undercut the possibility of promoting  further  cooperation  with  countries
like Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
    In the weeks and months after the Russians left Paris, the final pieces
of the Cold War were set in place. Shortly after the Soviet  departure  from
Paris the Russians announced the creation of a  series  of  bilateral  trade
agreements  called  the  "Molotov  Plan,"  designed  to  link  Eastern  bloc
countries and provide a Soviet answer to the Marshall Plan. Within the  same
week the Russians created a new Communist  Information  Bureau  (Cominform),
including  representatives  from  the  major  Western   European   communist
parties, to serve as a vehicle for imposing Stalinist control on anyone  who
might consider deviating from the party  line.  Speaking  at  the  Cominform
meeting in August, Andre Zhdanov issued the Soviet Union's rebuttal  to  the
Truman  Doctrine.  The  United  States,  he  charged,  was  organizing   the
countries of the Near East,  Western  Europe,  and  South  America  into  an
alliance committed to the destruction of communism. Now, he said,  the  "new
democracies"   of   Eastern   Europeplus   their   allies   in   developing
countriesmust form a counter bloc. The world would thus be made up of  "two
camps,"  each  ideologically,  politically,  and,  to  a   growing   extent,
militarily defined by its opposition to the other.
    To assure that no one misunderstood, Russia moved quickly to  impose  a
steel-like grip on Eastern Europe. In August 1947  the  Soviets  purged  all
left-wing, anticommunist leaders from Hungary and then rigged  elections  to
assure a pro-Soviet regime  there.  Six  months  later,  in  February  1948,
Stalin moved on Czechoslovakia  as  well,  insisting  on  the  abolition  of
independent parties and sending Soviet troops to the Czech  border  to  back
up Soviet demands  for  an  all  new  communist  government.  After  Foreign
Minister Jan Masaryk either jumped or was pushed from a  window  in  Prague,
the last vestige of resistance faded. "We are [now] faced with  exactly  the
same situation . . . Britain and  France  faced  in  1938-39  with  Hitler,"
Truman wrote. The Czech coup coincided with  overwhelming  approval  of  the
Marshall Plan by the  American  Congress.  Two  weeks  later,  on  March  5,
General Lucius Clay sent his telegram from Germany warning of  imminent  war
with Russia. Shortly thereafter, Truman  called  on  Congress  to  implement
Universal Military Training for all Americans. (The plan was  never  put  in
place.) By the end of the month Russia had instituted a  year-long  blockade
of all supplies to Berlin in protest against the West's  decision  to  unify
her occupation zones in Germany and institute currency  reform.  Before  the
end of spring, the Brussels Pact had brought together the  major  powers  of
Western Europe in a mutual defense pact that a year later would provide  the
basis for NATO. If the Truman Doctrine, in Bernard Baruch's words, had  been
"a declaration of ideological or religious  war,"  the  Marshall  Plan,  the
Molotov Plan, and subsequent developments in Eastern Europe represented  the
economic,  political,  and  military  demarcations  that  would  define  the
terrain on which the war would be fought. The Cold War had begun.

Chapter 3: The Role of Cold War in American History and Diplomacy.

    3.1 Declaration of the Cold War.

    In late February 1947,  a  British  official  journeyed  to  the  State
Department to inform Dean Acheson that  the  crushing  burden  of  Britain's
economic crisis prevented her from any longer accepting  responsibility  for
the economic and military stability  of  Greece  and  Turkey.  The  message,
Secretary of  State  George  Marshall  noted,  "was  tantamount  to  British
abdication from the Middle East,  with  obvious  implications  as  to  their
successor." Conceivably, America could have  responded  quietly,  continuing
the steady stream of financial support already going into the area.  Despite
aid to the insurgents from Yugoslavia and Bulgaria,  the  war  going  on  in
Greece was primarily a civil struggle, with the British side viewed by  many
as  reactionary  in  its  politics.  But  instead,   Truman   administration
officials seized the moment as the occasion for a  dramatic  new  commitment
to fight communism. In their view, Greece and Turkey  could  well  hold  the
key to the future of Europe itself. Hence they decided to ask  Congress  for
$400  million  in  military  and  economic  aid.   In   the   process,   the
administration publicly defined postwar diplomacy, for the first time, as  a
universal conflict between the forces of good and the forces of evil.
    Truman portrayed the issue as he did, at least  in  part,  because  his
aides had failed to convince Congressmen about the merits  of  the  case  on
grounds of self-interest alone. Americans were concerned  about  the  Middle
East for many reasonspreservation  of  political  stability,  guarantee  of
access to mineral resources, a  need  to  assure  a  prosperous  market  for
American  goods.  Early  drafts  of  speeches  on  the  issue  had   focused
specifically on economic questions. America could not  afford,  one  advisor
noted, to allow Greece and similar areas to "spiral downward  into  economic
anarchy." But such arguments, another advisor noted, "made the  whole  thing
sound like an  investment  prospectus."  Indeed,  when  Secretary  of  State
Marshall used such arguments of self-interest with  Congressmen,  his  words
fell on deaf ears, particularly given the commitment of Republicans  to  cut
government spending to the  bone.  It  was  at  that  moment.  Dean  Acheson
recalled, that "in desperation  I  whispered  to  [Marshall]  a  request  to
speak. This was my crisis. For a week I had nurtured it."
    When Acheson took the floor, he transformed the atmosphere in the room.
The issue, he declared,  was  the  effort  by  Russian  communism  to  seize
dominance over three continents, and encircle and  capture  Western  Europe.
"Like apples in a barrel infected by the corruption of one rotten  one,  the
corruption of Greece would infect Iran and alter  the  Middle  East  .  .  .
Africa .  .  .  Italy  and  France."  The  struggle  was  ultimate,  Acheson
concluded. "Not since Rome and Carthage has there been such  a  polarization
of power on this earth. . . . We and we alone are in  a  position  to  break
up" the Soviet quest for world domination. Suddenly, the Congressmen sat  up
and  took  notice.  That  argument,  Senator  Arthur  Vandenberg  told   the
president, would be successful. If Truman wanted his program of  aid  to  be
approved, he wouldlike Achesonhave to "scare hell"  out  of  the  American
    By the time Truman came before Congress on March 12, the issue  was  no
longer whether the United States should extend economic aid  to  Greece  and
Turkey on a basis of self-interest, but rather whether America  was  willing
to sanction the spread of tyrannical  communism  everywhere  in  the  world.
Facing the same dilemma Roosevelt had confronted during  the  1930S  in  his
effort to get Americans ready for  war,  Truman  sensed  that  only  if  the
issues were posed as directly related  to  the  nation's  fundamental  moral
concernnot just self-interest would there  be  a  possibility  of  winning
political support. Hence, as Truman defined the question, the world  had  to
choose "between alternative ways of life." One option was "free,"  based  on
"representative  government,  free  elections,  guarantees   of   individual
liberty,  and  freedom  of  speech  and  religion."  The  other  option  was
"tyranny," based on "terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio,  .
. . and a suppression of personal freedoms." Given a choice between  freedom
and totalitarianism, Truman concluded, "it must be the policy of the  United
States to support free peoples who are resisting  attempted  subjugation  by
armed minorities."
      Drawing on the "worst case" scenario implicit  in  Kennan's  telegram,
 Truman, in effect, had presented the issue of American-Soviet relations as
 one of pure ideological and moral conflict. There were some who criticized
 him. Senator Robert Taft, for example, wondered  whether,  if  the  United
 States took responsibility for Greece and Turkey, Americans  could  object
 to the Russians continuing their domination over Eastern Europe. Secretary
 of State Marshall was disturbed at "the extent to which the  anticommunist
 element of the speech was stressed." And George Kennan, concerned over how
 his views had been used, protested against the president's strident  tone.
 But Truman and Acheson had understood the importance of defining the issue
 on grounds of patriotism and moral principle. If the heart of the question
 was the universal struggle of freedom against tryannynot taking sides  in
 a civil war who could object to what the  government  proposed?  It  was,
 Senator Arthur Vandenberg noted, "almost like a presidential request for a
 declaration of war. . . . There is precious little we can  do  except  say
 yes." By mid-May, Truman's aid package had passed Congress overwhelmingly.
    On the same day the Truman Doctrine  received  final  approval,  George
Marshall and his aides at  the  State  Department  were  busy  shaping  what
Truman would call the second half of the same walnut the Marshall  Plan  of
massive  economic  support  to  rebuild  Western  Europe.  Britain,  France,
Germany, Italy, Belgiumall were devastated by the war, their  cities  lying
in rubble, their industrial base gutted. It was difficult to  know  if  they
could survive, yet the lessons of  World  War  I  suggested  that  political
democracy and stability depended on the presence of a healthy  and  thriving
economic order. Already American officials  were  concerned  that  Italyand
perhaps Francewould succumb to the political appeal  of  native  communists
and become victims of what William  Bullitt  had  called  the  "red  amoeba"
spreading  all  across  Europe.  Furthermore,  America's  selfish   economic
interests demanded strong trading partners in Western Europe. "No nation  in
modern times," Assistant Secretary of State  Will  Clayton  had  said,  "can
long expect to enjoy a rising standard of living without  increased  foreign
trade." America imported from Europe only half  of  what  it  exported,  and
Western Europe was quickly running  out  of  dollars  to  pay  for  American
goods. If some form of massive support to reconstruct Europe's economy  were
not developed, economic decay there would spread,  unemployment  in  America
would increase, and political  instability  could  well  lead  to  communist
takeovers of hitherto "friendly" counties.
3.2 Cold War Issues.

    Although historians have debated for years the cause of the  Cold  War,
virtually everyone agrees that it developed around five major issues:
    Poland,  the  structure  of  governments  in  other  Eastern   European
countries, the future of Germany, economic  reconstruction  of  Europe,  and
international policies toward the atomic bomb  and  atomic  energy.  All  of
these intersected, so that within a few months, it became almost  impossible
to separate one from the other as they interacted to shape the emergence  of
a bipolar world. Each issue in its own way  also  reflected  the  underlying
confusion   and   conflict   surrounding   the   competing   doctrines    of
"universalist" versus "sphere-of-influence" diplomacy. Examination of  these
fundamental questions is essential if we are to comprehend how and  why  the
tragedy of the Cold War evolved  during  the  three  years  after  Germany's
    Poland constituted the most intractable  and  profound  dilemma  facing
Soviet-U.S. relations. As Secretary of State Edward Stettinius  observed  in
1945, Poland was "the big apple  in  the  barrel."  Unfortunately,  it  also
symbolized, for both sides, everything that the war  had  been  fought  for.
From a Soviet perspective, Poland represented the quintessence  of  Russia's
national security needs. On  three  occasions,  Poland  had  served  as  the
avenue for devastating invasions of Russian territory.  It  was  imperative,
given Russian history, that Poland be governed by  a  regime  supportive  of
the Soviet Union. But Poland also represented, both in fact and  in  symbol,
everything for which the Western Allies had fought. Britain and  France  had
declared war on Germany in September 1939 when Hitler invaded  Poland,  thus
honoring their mutual defense pact with that victimized country.  It  seemed
unthinkable that one could wage war for six years and end  up  with  another
totalitarian country in control of Poland. Surely if  the  Atlantic  Charter
signified anything, it required defending the right of the Polish people  to
determine their own destiny.  The  presence  of  7  million  Polish-American
voters offered a constant, if unnecessary,  reminder  that  such  issues  of
self-determination could not be dismissed lightly.  Thus,  the  first  issue
confronting the Allies in building a postwar world  would  also  be  one  on
which compromise was  virtually  impossible,  at  least  without  incredible
diplomatic delicacy, political subtlety, and profound appreciation, by  each
ally, of the other's needs and priorities.
    Roosevelt appears to have understood the tortuous path he would have to
travel in order to find a peaceful resolution of  the  conflict.  Given  his
own commitment to the Atlantic Charter, rooted in  both  domestic  political
reasons and personal conviction, he  recognized  the  need  to  advocate  an
independent and democratic government for the Polish  people.  "Poland  must
be reconstituted a great nation,"  he  told  the  country  during  the  1944
election. Yet the president also repeatedly acknowledged that  the  Russians
must have a "friendly" government in Warsaw.  Somehow,  Roosevelt  hoped  to
find a way to subordinate these two  conflicting  positions  to  the  higher
priority of postwar peace. "The President,"  Harry  Hopkins  said  in  1943,
"did not intend to go to the Peace Conference and  bargain  with  Poland  or
the other small states; as far as Poland is concerned, the  important  thing
[was] to set it up in a way that [would] help  maintain  the  peace  of  the
    The issue was first joined at the Tehran conference.  There,  Churchill
and Roosevelt endorsed Stalin's position that Poland's eastern  border,  for
security reasons, should be moved to the  west.  As  Roosevelt  had  earlier
explained to the ambassador from the Polish government-in-exile  in  London,
it was folly to expect the United States and Britain "to declare war on  Joe
Stalin over a boundary dispute." On the other hand, Roosevelt  urged  Stalin
to be flexible, citing his  own  need  for  the  Polish  vote  in  the  1944
presidential  election  and  the  importance  of  establishing   cooperation
between the London Poles and  the  Lublin  government-in-exile  situated  in
Moscow. Roosevelt had been willing to make a major  concession  to  Russia's
security  needs  by  accepting  the  Soviet  definition  of   Poland's   new
boundaries. But he also expected some consideration  of  his  own  political
dilemma and of the principles of the Atlantic Charter.
    Such consideration appeared to be forthcoming in  the  summer  of  1944
when  Stalin  agreed  to  meet  the  prime  minister  of  the  London-Polish
government and "to mediate" between the two  opposing  governments-in-exile.
But hopes for such a  compromise  were  quickly  crushed  as  Soviet  troops
failed to  aid  the  Warsaw  Polish  resistance  when  it  rose  in  massive
rebellion against German occupation forces  in  hopes  of  linking  up  with
advancing Soviet forces. The Warsaw Poles  generally  supported  the  London
government-in-exile. As Red Army troops moved to just six miles  outside  of
Warsaw, the Warsaw Poles rose en masse against their  Nazi  oppressors.  Yet
when they did so, the Soviets callously rejected all  pleas  for  help.  For
eight weeks they even refused to permit American planes to  land  on  Soviet
soil after airlifting supplies to the  beleaguered  Warsaw  rebels.  By  the
time the rebellion ended, 250,000 people had  become  casualties,  with  the
backbone of the pro-London resistance movement  brutally  crushed.  Although
some Americans, then and  later,  accepted  Soviet  claims  that  logistical
problems  had  prevented  any  assistance  being  offered,  most   Americans
endorsed the more cynical conclusion that Stalin had found a convenient  way
to  annihilate  a  large  part  of  his  Polish  opposition  and  facilitate
acquisition of a pro-Soviet regime. As Ambassador  Averell  Harriman  cabled
at  the  time,  Russian  actions   were   based   on   "ruthless   political
    By the time of the Yalta conference,  the  Red  Army  occupied  Poland,
leaving Roosevelt little room to maneuver. When one American diplomat  urged
the president to force Russia to agree  to  Polish  independence,  Roosevelt
responded: "Do you want me to go to war with  Russia?"  With  Stalin  having
already granted diplomatic  recognition  to  the  Lublin  regime,  Roosevelt
could only hope that the Soviets would accept  enough  modification  of  the
status quo to provide the appearance of  representative  democracy.  Spheres
of  influence  were  a  reality,  FDR  told  seven  senators,  because  "the
occupying forces [have]  the  power  in  the  areas  where  their  arms  are
present." All America could do was to use her influence "to  ameliorate  the
    Nevertheless, Roosevelt played what cards  he  had  with  skill.  "Most
Poles," he told Stalin, "want to save face. ... It would make it easier  for
me at home if the Soviet government  could  give  something  to  Poland."  A
government of national unity, Roosevelt declared,  would  facilitate  public
acceptance in the United States of full American  participation  in  postwar
arrangements. "Our people at home look with a  critical  eye  on  what  they
consider a disagreement between us. ... They, in  effect,  say  that  if  we
cannot get a meeting of minds now . . . how can we get an  understanding  on
even more vital things in the future?" Although Stalin's immediate  response
was to declare that Poland was "not only a question  of  honor  for  Russia,
but one of life and death," he finally agreed that  some  reorganization  of
the Lublin regime could take place to ensure broader representation  of  all
    In the end, the Big Three papered over their differences  at  Yalta  by
agreeing to a Declaration on Liberated Europe that committed the  Allies  to
help liberated peoples resolve their problems through democratic  means  and
advocated the holding of free elections. Although Roosevelt's  aide  Admiral
William Leahy told him that the report on Poland was "so  elastic  that  the
Russians can stretch it all the way from Yalta to  Washington  without  ever
technically breaking it," Roosevelt believed that he had done  the  best  he
could  under  the  circumstances.  From   the   beginning,   Roosevelt   had
recognized, on a de facto basis at least, that Poland was part  of  Russia's
sphere of influence and must remain so.  He  could  only  hope  that  Stalin
would now show equal recognition of the U.S. need to have  concessions  that
would give the appearance, at least, of implementing the Atlantic Charter.
     The same basic  dilemmas,  of  course,  occurred  with  regard  to  the
structure of postwar governments in all of  Eastern  Europe.  As  early  as
1943, Roosevelt had made clear to Stalin at Tehran that he was  willing  to
have the Baltic states controlled by the Soviets.  His  only  request,  the
president told Stalin, was for some public commitment to  future  elections
in order to satisfy his constituents at home for whom "the big issues . . .
would be the question of referendum and the right  of  self-determination."
The exchange with Stalin accurately  reflected  Roosevelt's  position  over
     Significantly, Roosevelt even sanctioned Churchill's efforts to  divide
Europe into spheres of  influence.  With  Roosevelt's  approval,  Churchill
journeyed to Moscow in the fall of 1944.  Sitting  across  the  table  from
Stalin, Churchill proposed that Russia exercise 90 percent predominance  in
Romania, 75 percent in Bulgaria, and  50  percent  control,  together  with
Britain, in Yugoslavia and Hungary,  while  the  United  States  and  Great
Britain would exercise 90 percent predominance in  Greece.  After  extended
discussion and some hard bargaining, the deal was  made.  (Poland  was  not
even  included  in  Churchill's  percentages,  suggesting   that   he   was
acknowledging Soviet control there.) At the time, Churchill suggested  that
the arrangements be expressed "in diplomatic terms  [without  use  of]  the
phrase 'dividing into spheres,' because the Americans  might  be  shocked."
But in fact, as Robert Daliek has shown in his superb study of  Roosevelt's
diplomacy, the American president accepted  the  arrangement.  "I  am  most
pleased to know," FDR wrote Churchill, "you are reaching a meeting of  your
two minds as to international policies." To Harriman he cabled: "My  active
interest at the present time in the Balkan area is that such steps  as  are
practicable should be taken to insure against the Balkans getting us into a
future international war." At no time did Roosevelt  protest  the  British-
Soviet agreement.
     In the case of Eastern Europe generally, even more so than  in  Poland,
it seemed clear that Roosevelt, on a de facto basis, was prepared  to  live
with spheres-of-influence diplomacy. Nevertheless, he  remained  constantly
sensitive to the political  peril  he  faced  at  home  on  the  issue.  As
Congressman John Dingell stated in a public warning  in  August  1943,  "We
Americans are not sacrificing, fighting, and dying to  make  permanent  and
more powerful the communistic government  of  Russia  and  to  make  Joseph
Stalin a dictator over the liberated countries of Europe." Such  sentiments
were widespread. Indeed,  it  was  concern  over  such  opinions  that  led
Roosevelt to urge the  Russians  to  be  sensitive  to  American  political
concerns. In Eastern Europe for the  most  part,  as  in  Poland,  the  key
question was whether  the  United  States  could  somehow  find  a  way  to
acknowledge spheres of influence, but  within  a  context  of  universalist
principles, so that the American people would not feel  that  the  Atlantic
Charter had been betrayed.
    The future of Germany represented a third critical point  of  conflict.
For emotional as well as political reasons, it was imperative that steps  be
taken to prevent Germany from ever again waging war.  In  FDR's  words,  "We
have got to be tough with Germany, and I mean the  German  people  not  just
the Nazis. We either have to castrate the German people or you have  got  to
treat them in such a manner so they can't just go on reproducing people  who
want to continue the way they  have  in  the  past."  Consistent  with  that
position, Roosevelt had agreed  with  Stalin  at  Tehran  on  the  need  for
destroying a strong Germany by dividing the country  into  several  sectors,
"as small and weak as possible."
    Still operating on that premise, Roosevelt endorsed  Secretary  of  the
Treasury Henry Morgenthau's plan to eliminate all industry from Germany  and
convert the country into a pastoral  landscape  of  small  farms.  Not  only
would such a plan  destroy  any  future  war-making  power,  it  would  also
reassure the Soviet Union of its own security. "Russia  feared  we  and  the
British were going to try to make a soft peace with Germany  and  build  her
up as a possible future counter-weight  against  Russia,"  Morgenthau  said.
His  plan  would  avoid  that,  and  simultaneously  implement   Roosevelt's
insistence that "every person in  Germany  should  realize  that  this  time
Germany is a defeated nation."  Hence,  in  September  1944,  Churchill  and
Roosevelt approved the broad  outlines  of  the  Morgenthau  plan  as  their
policy for Germany.
    Within  weeks,  however,  the  harsh  policy  of  pastoralization  came
unglued. From a Soviet perspective, there was  the  problem  of  how  Russia
could exact the reparations she needed from a  country  with  no  industrial
base. American policymakers,  in  turn,  objected  that  a  Germany  without
industrial capacity would prove  unable  to  support  herself,  placing  the
entire burden for maintaining the populace  on  the  Allies.  Rumors  spread
that the Morgenthau plan was stiffening German  resistance  on  the  western
front. American business interests, moreover, suggested  the  importance  of
retaining German industry as a key to postwar commerce and trade.
    As a result, Allied policy toward Germany became a  shambles.  "No  one
wants to  make  Germany  a  wholly  agricultural  nation  again,"  Roosevelt
insisted.  "No  one  wants  'complete  eradication  of   German   industrial
production capacity in the Ruhr and the  Saar.'  "  Confused  about  how  to
proceed, Rooseveltin effectadopted a  policy  of  no  policy.  "I  dislike
making detailed plans for a country which we do not yet  occupy,"  he  said.
When Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt met for the last time in  Yalta,  this
failure to  plan  prevented  a  decisive  course  of  action.  The  Russians
insisted on German reparations of $20 billion, half of  which  would  go  to
the Soviet Union. Although FDR accepted  Stalin's  figure  as  a  basis  for
discussion, the British and Americans deferred any settlement of the  issue,
fearing that they would be left with the  sole  responsibility  for  feeding
and housing the German people. The only agreement that could be reached  was
to refer the issue to a new tripartite commission. Thus, at just the  moment
when consensus on a policy to deal with their common enemy was most  urgent,
the  Allies  found  themselves   empty   handed,   allowing   conflict   and
misunderstanding over another central question to join the already  existing
problems over Eastern Europe.
    Directly related to each  of  these  issues,  particularly  the  German
question, was the problem of  postwar  economic  reconstruction.  The  issue
seemed  particularly  important  to  those  Americans  concerned  about  the
postwar economy in the United States. Almost every  business  and  political
leader feared resumption of mass unemployment once the war ended.  Only  the
development  of  new  markets,  extensive  trade,  and  worldwide   economic
cooperation could prevent such an eventuality. "The capitalistic  system  is
essentially an international system," one official declared. "If  it  cannot
function internationally, it  will  break  down  completely."  The  Atlantic
Charter had taken such a viewpoint into account when it  declared  that  all
states should enjoy access, on equal terms, to "the  raw  materials  of  the
world which are needed for their economic prosperity."
    To promote these objectives, the United States took the  initiative  at
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944  by  creating  a  World  Bank  with  a
capitalization of $7.6 billion and the International Monetary  Fund  with  a
capitalization of $7.3 billion. The two organizations  would  provide  funds
for rebuilding Europe, as well as for stabilizing world currency. Since  the
United States was the major contributor, it would exercise decisive  control
over how the money was spent. The premise underlying both organizations  was
that a stable world required healthy economies based on free trade.
    Attitudes toward economic reconstruction had direct import for  postwar
policies toward Germany and Eastern Europe. It would be difficult to have  a
stable European economy without a significant industrial  base  in  Germany.
Pastoral countries of  small  farms  rarely  possessed  the  wherewithal  to
become customers of large capitalist  enterprises.  On  the  other  hand,  a
prosperous German economy, coupled with access to  markets  in  Eastern  and
Western Europe, offered the prospect of avoiding a recurrence of  depression
and guaranteed a significant  American  presence  in  European  politics  as
well. Beyond this, of course, it  was  thought  that  if  democracy  was  to
survive, as it had not after 1918, countries needed a thriving economy.
     Significantly, economic aid also  offered  the  opportunity  either  to
enhance or diminish America's ties to the Soviet Union.  Averell  Harriman,
the American ambassador to  Moscow  after  October  1943,  had  engaged  in
extensive business dealings with the Soviet  Union  during  the  1920S  and
believed firmly in the policy of providing American assistance  to  rebuild
the Soviet economy. Such aid, Harriman  argued,  "would  be  in  the  self-
interest of the United States" because it would help keep Americans at work
producing goods needed by the Russians. Just as important, it would provide
"one of the most effective weapons to avoid the development of a sphere  of
influence of the Soviet Union over eastern Europe and the Balkans."
     Proceeding on these assumptions, Harriman urged the Russians  to  apply
for American aid. They did so, initially, in December 1943 with  a  request
for a $1 billion loan at an interest rate of one-half of  1  percent,  then
again in January 1945 with a request for a $6 billion loan at  an  interest
rate of 2.25 percent. Throughout this period, American  officials  appeared
to encourage the Soviet initiative. Secretary of  the  Treasury  Morgenthau
had come up with his own plan for a $10 billion loan at 2 percent interest.
When Chamber of Commerce head Eric Johnson visited Moscow, Stalin told him:
"I like to do business with American businessmen. You fellows know what you
want. Your word is good, and, best of  all,  you  stay  in  office  a  long
timejust like we do over here." So enthusiastic were some State Department
officials about postwar economic arrangements that they  predicted  exports
of as much as $1 billion a year to Russia. Molotov and  Mikoyan  encouraged
such optimism, with the Soviets promising "a voluminous and  stable  market
such as no other customer would ever [offer]."
     As the European war drew to a close,  however,  the  American  attitude
shifted from one of eager encouragement to skeptical  detachment.  Harriman
and his aides in Moscow perceived a toughening of the  Soviet  position  on
numerous issues, including Poland and Eastern Europe. Hence, they urged the
United States to clamp down on lend-lease and  exact  specific  concessions
from the Russians in return for  any  ongoing  aid.  Only  if  the  Soviets
"played the international game with us in accordance with  our  standards,"
Harriman declared, should the United  States  offer  assistance.  By  April
1945, Harriman had moved to an  even  more  hard-line  position.  "We  must
clearly recognize," he said, "that the Soviet program is the  establishment
of totalitarianism, ending personal liberty and democracy." A week later he
urged the State Department to view  the  Soviet  loan  request  with  great
suspicion. "Our basic interest," he cabled,  "might  better  be  served  by
increasing our trade with other parts  of  the  world  rather  than  giving
preference to the Soviet Union as a source of supply."
     Congress and the American  people,  meanwhile,  seemed  to  be  turning
against postwar economic aid. A public opinion poll in December 1944 showed
that 70 percent of the American people believed  the  Allies  should  repay
their lend-lease debt in full. Taking up  the  cry  for  fiscal  restraint,
Senator Arthur Vandenberg told a friend: "We have a rich country, but it is
not rich enough to permit us to support the world." Fearful  about  postwar
recession and the  possibility  that  American  funds  would  be  used  for
purposes  it  did  not  approve,  Congress  placed  severe  constraints  on
continuation of any lend-lease support once the war was over and  indicated
that any request for a postwar loan would encounter profound skepticism.
    Roosevelt's response, in the face of such attitudes, was once again  to
procrastinate.  Throughout  the  entire  war  he  had  ardently  espoused  a
generous and flexible lend-lease policy toward the  Soviet  Union.  For  the
most part, FDR appeared to endorse Secretary Morgenthau's attitude that  "to
get the Russians to do something [we] should ... do it nice.  .  .  .  Don't
drive such a hard bargain that when you  come  through  it  does  not  taste
good." Consistent with that attitude, he had rejected Harriman's  advice  to
demand quid pro quos for American lend-lease.  Economic  aid,  he  declared,
did not "constitute a  bargaining  weapon  of  any  strength,"  particularly
since curtailing lend-lease would harm the  United  States  as  much  as  it
would injure the Russians. Nevertheless,  Roosevelt  accepted  a  policy  of
postponement on any discussion of postwar economic  arrangements.  "I  think
it's very important," the president declared, "that we hold back  and  don't
give [Stalin] any promise until we get what we want."  Clearly,  the  amount
of American aid to the Soviet Unionand the attitude which accompanied  that
aid could be decisive to the future of American-Soviet  relations.  Yet  in
thisas in so many other issuesRoosevelt gave little hint of  the  ultimate
direction he would take, creating one more dimension of  uncertainty  amidst
the gathering confusion that surrounded postwar international arrangements.
    The final issue around which the Cold War  revolved  was  that  of  the
atomic bomb. Development of nuclear weapons not only placed in  human  hands
the power to destroy all civilization, but presented as  well  the  critical
question of how such weapons would be used,  who  would  control  them,  and
what possibilities existed for harnessing the  incalculable  energy  of  the
atom for the purpose of international  peace  and  cooperation  rather  than
destruction. No  issue,  ultimately,  would  be  more  important  for  human
survival. On the other hand, the very nature of having to build  the  A-bomb
in a world threatened by Hitler's madness mandated a secrecy that  seriously
impeded,  from  the   beginning,   the   prospects   for   cooperation   and
international control.
    The divisive potential of the bomb became evident  as  soon  as  Albert
Einstein disclosed to Roosevelt the frightening information that  physicists
had the capacity to split the atom.  Knowing  that  German  scientists  were
also pursuing the same quest, Roosevelt immediately ordered a crash  program
of research  and  development  on  the  bomb,  soon  dubbed  the  "Manhattan
Project." British scientists embarked on  a  similar  effort,  collaborating
with their American  colleagues.  The  bomb,  one  British  official  noted,
"would be a terrific factor in the postwar world . . .  giving  an  absolute
control  to  whatever  country  possessed  the  secret."  Although  American
advisors  urged  "restricted  interchange"  of  atomic  energy  information,
Churchill demanded  and  got  full  cooperation.  If  the  British  and  the
Americans worked together, however, what of the Soviet Union once it  became
an ally?
    In a decision fraught with significance for the future,  Roosevelt  and
Churchill  agreed  in  Quebec  in  August  1943  to  a  "full  exchange   of
information" about the bomb with  "[neither]  of  us  [to]  communicate  any
information about [the bomb] to third parties  except  by  mutual  consent."
The decision ensured  Britain's  future  interests  as  a  world  power  and
guaranteed maximum secrecy; but it did so in  a  manner  that  would  almost
inevitably provoke Russian suspicion about the intentions of her  two  major
    The implications of the decision were challenged just one  month  later
when Neils Bohr, a nuclear physicist  who  had  escaped  from  Nazi-occupied
Denmark, approached Roosevelt (indirectly through  Felix  Frankfurter)  with
the proposal that the British and Americans include Russia in  their  plans.
Adopting a typically Rooseveltian  stance,  the  president  both  encouraged
Bohr to believe that he was "most  eager  to  explore"  the  possibility  of
cooperation and  almost  simultaneously  reaffirmed  his  commitment  to  an
exclusive  British-American  monopoly  over  atomic   information.   Meeting
personally with Bohr on August 26,  1944,  Roosevelt  agreed  that  "contact
with the Soviet Union should be  tried  along  the  lines  that  [you  have]
suggested." Yet in the meantime, Roosevelt and Churchill had  signed  a  new
agreement to control  available  supplies  of  uranium  and  had  authorized
surveillance of Bohr "to insure that he is responsible  for  no  leakage  of
information, particularly to the Russians." Evidently,  Roosevelt  hoped  to
keep open the possibility of  cooperating  with  the  Sovietsassuming  that
Bohr would somehow communicate this to the Russianswhile  retaining,  until
the moment was right, an exclusive relationship with  Britain.  Implicit  in
Roosevelt's posture was the notion that sharing atomic information might  be
a quid pro quo for future  Soviet  concessions.  On  the  surface,  such  an
argument made sense. Yet it presumed that the two sides  were  operating  on
the same  set  of  assumptions  and  perceptionsclearly  not  a  very  safe
presumption. In this, as in so many  other  matters,  Roosevelt  appears  to
have wanted to retain all options  until  the  end.  Indeed,  a  meeting  to
discuss the sharing of atomic information was scheduled for the day FDR  was
to return from Warm Springs, Georgia. The meeting never took place,  leaving
one more pivotal issue of contention unresolved as the war drew to a close.


    Given the nature of the personalities and the nations involved, it  was
perhaps not surprising that, as the war drew to an end,  virtually  none  of
the critical  issues  on  the  agenda  of  postwar  relationships  had  been
resolved. Preferring to postpone decisions rather than to confront the  full
dimension of the conflicts that existed, FDR evidently hoped  that  his  own
political genius, plus the exigencies of postwar conditions, would pave  the
way for a mutual accommodation that would  somehow  satisfy  both  America's
commitment to a world of free trade and  democratic  rule,  and  the  Soviet
Union's obsession with national  security  and  safely  defined  spheres  of
influence. The Russians, in turn, also appeared  content  to  wait,  in  the
meantime working militarily to secure maximum leverage for  achieving  their
sphere-of-influence  goals.  What  neither  leader  nor   nation   realized,
perhaps, was that in their delay and scheming they were adding fuel  to  the
fire of suspicion that clearly existed between  them  and  possibly  missing
the only opportunity  that  might  occur  to  forge  the  basis  for  mutual
accommodation and coexistence.

    For nearly  half  a  century,  the  country  had  functioned  within  a
political world shaped by the  Cold  War  and  controlled  by  a  passionate
anticommunism that used the Kremlin as its primary foil. Not  only  did  the
Cold War define America's stance in  the  world,  dictating  foreign  policy
choices from Southeast Asia to Latin-America; it  defined  the  contours  of
domestic politics  as  well.  No  group  could  secure  legitimacy  for  its
political  ideas  if  they  were  critical  of  American   foreign   policy,
sympathetic in any way to "socialism," or vulnerable to being  dismissed  as
"leftist" or as "soft on communism." From national health insurance  to  day
care centers for children, domestic policies  suffered  from  the  crippling
paralysis created by a national fixation with the Soviet Union.
     Now, it seemed likely that the Cold War would no longer  exist  as  the
pivot around which all American politics revolved. However much politicians
were unaccustomed to talking about anything  without  anti-communism  as  a
reference point, it now seemed that they  would  have  to  look  afresh  at
problems long since put aside because they could not be  dealt  with  in  a
world controlled by Cold War alliances.
     In some ways, America seemed to face the greatest moment of possibility
in all of postwar history as  the  decade  of  the  1990s  began.  So  much
positive change had already occurred in the years since  World  War  IIthe
material progress, the victories against discrimination, the  new  horizons
that had opened for education and creativity. But so much  remained  to  be
done as well in a country where homelessness, poverty, and  drug  addiction
reflected the abiding strength that barriers of  race,  class,  and  gender
retained in blocking people's quest for a decent life.
    Cold War    -      is the term used to  describe  the  intense  rivalry
                       that developed after  World War II between groups of
                       Communist  and non-Communist nations/  On  one  side
                       were the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics  (USSR)
                       and its Communist allies, often referred to  as  the
                       Eastern bloc. On the  other  side  were  the  United
                       States and its democratic allies,  usually  referred
                       to as the Western bloc. The struggle was called  the
                       Cold  War  because  it  did  not  actually  lead  to
                       fighting, or "hot" war, on a wide scale.
    Iron Curtain -     was the popular  phrase,  which  Churchill  made  to
                       refer to Soviet barriers against  the  West.  Behind
                       these  barriers,  the  USSR  steadily  expanded  its
    Marshall Plan -    encouraged European nations  to  work  together  for
                       economic recovery after World War II  (1939-1945)  /
                       In June 1947, the United States agreed to administer
                       aid to Europe in the countries would meet to  decide
                       what they needed/ The official name of the plane was
                       the European Recovery  Program.  It  is  called  the
                       Marshall Plane because Secretary of the State George
                       C. Marshall first suggested it.
    Potsdam Conference -was the last meeting among  the  Leaders  of  Great
                       Britain, the Soviet Union  and  the  United  States,
                       during World War II.  The  conference  was  held  at
                       Potsdam, Germany, near Berlin. It opened in July 17,
                       1945, about two months after Germany's defeat in the
                       war. Present at  the  opening  were  U.S.  President
                       Harry S.  Truman,  British  Prime  Minister  Winston
                       Churchill, and the Soviet Premier Josef Stalin.
    Yalta Conference -  was one of  the  most  important  meetings  of  key
                       Allied Leaders during World War  II.  These  Leaders
                       were President Franklin D. Roosevelt of  the  United
                       States, Prime Minister Winston  Churchill  of  Great
                       Britain, and Premier  Josef  Stalin  of  the  Soviet
                       Union. Their countries  became  known  as  the  "Big
                       Three". The conference took place at Yalta, a famous
                       Black Sea resort in the Crimea, from Feb. 4  to  11,
                       1945.  Through  the  years  decisions   made   there
                       regarding divisions in Europe  have  stirred  bitter
The reference list.
1. William H. Chafe
"The Unfinished Journey: America  since  World  War  II"  New  York  Oxford,
Oxford University press, 1991.
2. David Caute "The Great Fear", 1978
3. Michael Belknap "Cold War Political Justice", 1977
4. Allen D. Harper "The politics of Loyalty", 1959
5. Robert Griffin "The politics of Fear", 1970
6. James Wechler "The Age Suspicion" 1980
7. Alistair Cooke "A Generation on Trial", 1950
8. An outline of American History
9. World Book
10. Henry Borovik "Cold War", 1997
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