The Post Cold War World
The Implosion of Eastern Europe
- Jan 1989, when Bush was asked, after seeing Gorbachev reforms, whether there
was an end to the Cold war:
- he said actually he doesn’t think so, or at least not yet
- why? Look at Europe: in Europe, the tension remained very much the same.
The confrontation remained the same, and the division of Europe remained
the same as established in late 40s.
- even after Gorbachev came to power, a month after (late April 1985), the
Warsaw Pact was renewed for another 20 years
1. Gorbachev never thought Cold War would end there
2. indication from Soviet Union, Europe would remain divided
- Cold War tension existed was based on the division of Europe, it was a central part
to the Cold War
- as long as there were two opposing military alliances, the Cold War would still be
- Gorbachev and Soviet Union did not think the Cold War would come to an end,
even the West did not foresee such a change.
- historians, politicians, etc. recognize change inevitable in Soviet Union
system, but none foresee the rapid collapse of communism and Soviet Union
- all of them thought the Soviet Union would fight for piece of land, its
security zone, tooth and nail as before – preventing a change in the
communist system and in the satellite states
- however, change did come
- Scowcroft: even though change soothed the Americans, validating their opposition
to the Soviet system, it had nothing to do with the American system
- Gorbachev’s restricting with Peresroika included the Soviet system, especially
relationship with Eastern Europe.
- unlike the Third World, where he wanted to reduce tensions between the super
powers, Eastern Europe never bothered Gorbachev as much
- ironic, Eastern Europe was important to Soviet Union security
- he was highly critical of the Soviet support to Poland in 1980s for independence.
- capital wasted on Poland
- by 1988, Gorbachev’s Press Security stated the Brezhnev doctrine is dead.
- Sinatra “doctrine”: up to Eastern European states to decide their fates and how to
- different from Khrushchev
- Eastern European states had power to decide their own political and
- rationale: Eastern Europeans come from same culture so no one state has
power to decide the fate over another – “common European home”