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POL208Y1 (499)

Contemporary Conflicts

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Political Science
John Haines

International Relations: Week 9 J November 16 , 2010 End of Cold War: - Emergence of Gorbachev as new leader of Soviet Union key moment o Relatively young leader, willingness to reform the Soviet system o Domestically he launched a series of reforms aimed at economic efficiency, the fight against corruption, to make the Soviet Union a more efficient power o Two pillars of reform: 1. Restructuring of Soviet economy starting with more freedom for a corporation to decide what to produce and how to produce 2. Transparency o Most dramatic aspect was linked to external relations Foreign affairs agenda was revolutionary Assumption was the Soviet Union was spending far too much money on defence Objective was to negotiate with the US a new series of arms control treaties so as to cap expenses linked to the military At the same time, as early as 86-87, Gorbachev founded the Sinatra doctrine N Countries under Soviet interests responsible for their own destiny N Red Army would not intervene anymore in Soviet satellites o Western Europe reacted extremely enthusiastic to reforms o KLZ ]ooZ]oo]L2}K } Z[Z}Z o o In the US, the boss of the CIA, Robert Gates, was extremely doubtful that Gorbachev would succeed in reforming the Soviet Union Likely scenario, the more reform Gorbachev wanted to implement, the more likely he would be ousted by a coup, conservatives would prevail Not enthusiastic in negotiating with Gorbachev, very cautious dealing with him Took Gorbachev seriously when Berlin wall fell, 1989 Cautiousness linked to detente of the 70s, when first arms control treaties were negotiated N Soviet Union cheated on treaties, expanded their influence notably in Afghanistan N Detante was a huge failure, Soviet Union benefited from it, not the US o Bush team wanted to win the Cold War, not negotiate the end Imposed largely American terms on the end of the Cold War Condition of united Germany inside NATO N Nobody expected Moscow would accept that option o Key element was end of the Cold War was largely peaceful o Consequences for Europe: united again, no Iron Curtain anymore, one European aspect in which Moscow was not considered the enemy Landscape was paradoxical as NATO was kept as the tool of victory for US, no strictly European framework for security
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