Korea (North) -- Foreign relations -- United States.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Korea (North)
When North Korean forces seized an American intelligence ship, the USS Pueblo, in international waters on 23 January 1968, U.S. officials assumed that the attack had been orchestrated in conjunction with the Soviet Union, Communist China, or both. Based on this assumption, the Johnson administration contacted Soviet leaders and asked them to resolve the matter. But it turned out that Moscow could do little. Newly available documentation shows that North Korea was acting independently in 1968 and did not even inform Soviet or Chinese leaders in advance of the capture of the ship. The U.S. government's failure to recognize that North Korea had been acting on its own meant that a good deal of time was squandered on efforts to prod the Soviet authorities to intervene. The resolution of the prolonged crisis, in December 1968, was feasible only because the Johnson administration managed to accommodate North Korea's rather bizarre demands without yielding on the substance of the matter.
This article discusses how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) overcame the challenged posed by France in the mid- to late 1960s. French President Charles de Gaulle's decision to withdraw France's remaining forces from NATO's integrated military commands, and his visit to Moscow shortly thereafter, exposed the alliance to unprecedented tension. Yet as NATO moved toward a crisis, opportunities arose to define a new vision for the alliance in a time of détente. Trilateral talks among the United States, Britain, and the Federal Republic of Germany forged a consensus on strategy, force levels, burden sharing, and nuclear consultation--a consensus that was endorsed by the other member-states. The Harmel exercise in 1967 restored NATO's political purpose, expanding its political role as an instrument of peace. By 1968 NATO had evolved into a less hierarchical military alliance offourteen and a more political and participatory alliance of fifteen (including France). This successful transformation of NATO moved the process of détente from the bilateral superpower accommodation of 1963 to the multilateral European rapprochement of the 1970s.
Richmond, Yale. Cultural exchange and the Cold War: raising the iron curtain.
United States -- Relations -- Soviet Union.
Public diplomacy in its many forms proved a great asset for the United States during the Cold War. A new book by Yale Richmond, a retired U.S. official who for many years was involved with policy toward the Soviet Union, including U.S.-Soviet exchanges, highlights the importance of the "cultural" dimension of the Cold War. Richmond focuses on the U.S. side of the U.S.- Soviet exchanges, but he also provides interesting comments about Soviet policy, drawing on newly declassified materials from the former Soviet archives. The exchanges, information programs, and other activities undertaken by the U.S. Information Agency and the Department of State played a crucial role in spreading democratic ideas and values within the Soviet bloc. Candid and balanced broadcasts were far more effective than the heavy-handed propaganda that was used initially. The record of public diplomacy during the Cold War provides some important lessons for U.S. foreign policy makers in the post Cold War world.
Hofnung, Thomas. Georges Marchais: l'inconnu du Parti communiste français.
Marchais, Georges, 1920-
Georges Marchais's long tenure as the leader of the French Communist Party (PCF) witnessed a sharp decline in the party's electoral performance. Shortly after Marchais took over, the PCF received more than 20 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections. By the time he left office, the party's share of the vote had dropped to less than 10 percent. A new biography of Marchais, by Thomas Hofnung, provides a nuanced assessment of the French Communist leader, showing why Marchais's political instincts, which once proved so remarkably effective, began to fail him the longer he was in power. Marchais's decision to endorse the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 19791980 symbolized the decline of the PCF, but even then Marchais's colleagues were unwilling to remove him. He remained in office for another decade, as the fortunes of the party continued to ebb. Hofnung's perceptive book takes due account of Marchais's strengths but is especially illuminating in its portrayal of the French Communists in decline--a decline that paralleled the waning of the Cold War.