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  • Editor’s Note

This issue begins with the second part of my three-part article on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the repercussions within the Soviet Union. The first part of the article appeared in the Fall 2003 issue of the journal, and the second part initially was going to appear in the Winter 2003-2004 issue. However, space constraints (which have since been eased) forced us to postpone publication of the rest of the article until our longer page-limit per issue took effect. Although I originally was going to make this a two-part article, the length of the second part induced me to break it into two. (Fortunately, there was a logical dividing point in the middle.) The second part therefore appears in this issue, and the final (i.e., third) part will appear in the next issue. The article as a whole is one of the essays in our three special issues on "The Collapse of the Soviet Union." The first of those issues appeared in Winter 2003, and the second appeared in Fall 2003. The final special issue on this theme will be published in Summer 2005.

The second article in the current issue, by Valur Ingimundarson of the University of Iceland, uses a little-known aspect of the Cold War (the U.S.-Icelandic military relationship) to shed broader light on Cold War themes. The bilateral Defense Agreement signed by the United States and Iceland in 1951 provided for a U.S. military base at Keflavik, but Ingimundarson shows that the Icelandic government rather than the American authorities determined how that base was used. Despite Iceland's small land area and even smaller population, and despite its lack of any military forces of its own, Icelandic leaders enjoyed a great deal of leverage in their relations with the United States. The Icelandic government severely limited where U.S. soldiers could go and what they could do. Although U.S. personnel chafed under these constraints, they had to abide by them. Among the terms set by the Icelandic authorities was a secret ban on the stationing of black U.S. soldiers in Iceland. The U.S. government upheld this racist policy with great reluctance and tried frequently to persuade Icelandic leaders to end it, but to no avail. Not until the mid-1960s was the racial ban gradually eased, and not until the 1970s and 1980s was it eliminated altogether. Ingimundarson shows that the Icelandic government's policies on both of these matters—the restrictions on U.S. troops' leisure activities and the racial ban—were driven by a patriarchal desire to "protect" Icelandic women from foreign "contamination."

The third article in this issue, by three scholars based in the Netherlands, provides a detailed critique of Andrew Moravcsik's revisionist interpretation of French President Charles de Gaulle's policy vis-à-vis Europe during the Cold War. Moravcsik originally presented his "commercial" interpretation of French policy in a chapter ofhis book The Choice for Europe:Social Purpose & State Power from Messina to Maastricht (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998), pp.176-197, and he refined and [End Page 1] greatly expanded it in a lengthy, two-part article in the Summer 2000 and Fall 2000 issues of the Journal of Cold War Studies. The concluding part of his article was accompanied by a forum with responses to the article from six distinguished scholars and a rejoinder by Moravcsik. The article in the current issue by Robert H. Lieshout, Mathieu L. L. Segers, and Anna M. van der Vleuten sharply challenges Moravcsik's interpretation and his use of evidence. The authors claim that Moravcsik's "method leaves a lot to be desired" and that he "fails to establish his revisionist claims." In detailed appendices, the authors seek to document that "the quality of the sources" used by Moravcsik and his handling of them "do not meet the expectations [that he himself] raised." Their article, like all articles we publish, went through our strict peer- review process, and, on that basis, we did not hesitate in deciding to publish it. But in the interests of full disclosure, I should confess that I initially felt misgivings. I...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-3298
Print ISSN
1520-3972
Pages
pp. 1-2
Launched on MUSE
2004-11-05
Open Access
No
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