Cover

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Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

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Preface

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pp. vii-xi

I first became interested in international politics almost half a century ago, during my freshman year in college at Berkeley in 1963. From the start I knew that this was the field I wanted to go into, and in fact I have spent practically my whole life working in this area; my particular focus has been the history of great power politics in the twentieth century. One of my main goals at this point in my life is to pass on what I have learned over...

Part I: Theory

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Chapter One The Question of Realism: An Historian’s View

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pp. 3-43

Different countries want different things; sometimes those desires conflict; how then do those conflicts get worked out? The basic insight that lies at the heart of the realist approach to international politics is that the way those conflicts run their course is heavily conditioned by power realities. In a world where war cannot be ruled out if conflicts are not settled peacefully, rational states are bound to be concerned with the structure of power in the sense not just of the distribution of military capabilities...

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Chapter Two The Problem of International Order and How to Think about It

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pp. 44-66

What do we mean when we talk about order in international politics? The term might refer to the idea that international political life is not totally chaotic and that there is instead a certain logic to how things work in this area. From that point of view, to grapple with the problem of order is to study how politics works in a world of sovereign states— that is, in what is by convention called an “anarchic” world, a world characterized...

Part II: History

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Chapter Three The United States and Eastern Europe in 1945: A Reassessment

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pp. 69-109

There was a time when it all seemed so simple. The Soviet Union, it was said, sought to communize eastern Europe at the end of World War II; the western powers, and especially the United States, were deeply opposed to that policy; and the clash that developed played the key role in triggering the Cold War. But historians in recent years have been moving away from that sort of interpretation. It is not that there has been a fundamental...

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Chapter Four America, Europe, and German Rearmament, August– September 1950: A Critique of a Myth

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pp. 110-141

In September 1950 U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson met in New York with the British foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, and the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman. Acheson had an important announcement to make. The United States, he declared, was prepared to “take a step never before taken in history.” The American government was willing to send “substantial forces” to Europe. The American combat force would be part...

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Chapter Five The Making of the Western Defense System: France, the United States, and MC 48

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pp. 142-153

In December 1954 the NATO Council formally adopted a document called MC 48, a report by the Alliance’s Military Committee on “The Most Effective Pattern of NATO Military Strength for the Next Few Years.” In approving this document, the Council authorized the military authorities of the Alliance to “plan and make preparations on the assumption that atomic and thermonuclear weapons will be used in defense from...

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Chapter Six The Structure of Great Power Politics, 1963–75

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pp. 154-182

John F. Kennedy’s most fundamental goal as president of the United States was to reach a political understanding with the Soviet Union. That understanding would be based on a simple principle: America and Russia were both very great powers and therefore needed to respect each other’s most fundamental interests. The United States was thus prepared, for its part, to recognize the USSR’s special position in eastern Europe....

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Chapter Seven The French Factor in U.S. Foreign Policy during the Nixon-Pompidou Period

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pp. 183-244

When Richard Nixon took office as president of the United States in early 1969, he and his national security advisor Henry Kissinger wanted to put America’s relationship with France on an entirely new footing. Relations between the two countries in the 1960s, and especially from early 1963 on, had been far from ideal, and U.S. governments at the time blamed French President Charles de Gaulle for the fact that the United States was on such poor terms with its old ally. But Nixon and Kissinger took a rather...

Part III: Policy

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Chapter Eight Preventive War and U.S. Foreign Policy

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pp. 247-280

On September 11, 2001, the United States suddenly found itself in what seemed to be a new world, a perplexing world, a world where the old guideposts no longer seemed adequate. How was the nation to deal with the enormous problems it now faced? Above all, what could it do to make sure that “weapons of mass destruction,” and above all nuclear and biological weapons weapons, would not be used against it? President George...

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Chapter Nine The Iraq Crisis and the Future of the Western Alliance

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pp. 281-312

In January 1963, Konrad Adenauer, the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, came to Paris to sign a treaty of friendship with France. This was an event of considerable political importance. The German government, it seemed, had decided to form a kind of bloc with the France of President Charles de Gaulle, a country that for some time had been pursuing a policy with a distinct anti-American edge. Indeed, just one week..

Index

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pp. 313-317