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Journal of Cold War Studies 6.1 (2004) 1-2

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Editor's Note

To stay within our current annual page guidelines, this issue and the next issue (Spring 2004) are somewhat shorter than usual to make up for the previous (Fall 2003) issue, which went well over the normal page limit to accommodate the second of our three segments on "The Collapse of the Soviet Union." To conserve space in this issue, I decided to defer publication of Part 2 of my article ("The Collapse of East European Communism and the Repercussions within the Soviet Union") until the Summer 2004 issue. I also decided to defer the publication of two other long articles until the Summer 2004 issue. Despite the need to shift things around, this issue does allow us to publish some of the articles and book reviews that I was anxious to have appear.

The first article in this issue, by Mitchell Lerner, draws on newly declassified materials from Central and Eastern Europe to reassess the Pueblo crisis of 1968. The crisis began on 23 January 1968 when North Korean forces seized a U.S. intelligence ship, the USS Pueblo, that was on patrol in international waters near the North Korean port of Wonsan. U.S. officials assumed that North Korea had taken this step in collusion with the Soviet Union or possibly China. The Johnson administration privately urged the Soviet Union to compel North Korea to release the boat and its crew, but Soviet officials responded that North Korea had acted on its own and that there was little they could do. The newly available documents bear out Moscow's denials of responsibility. They indicate that North Korea captured the Pueblo without consulting or even informing the other Communist states beforehand, and that some Soviet leaders were worried that North Korea's provocative behavior might lead to reprisals by Western countries against Soviet intelligence ships. Because U.S. officials had wrongly believed that North Korea was merely acting as a stalking horse for the Soviet Union, they squandered several months trying to work out a solution through channels in Moscow. When the crisis finally was resolved in December 1968, the peculiar nature of the settlement indirectly confirmed that North Korea from the outset had been acting independently.

The second article, by Andreas Wenger, discusses the evolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the latter half of the 1960s, a period that was marked by severe tensions within the alliance. The decision by French President Charles de Gaulle to pull French forces out of NATO's integrated military commands led to major adjustments by the fourteen other members of the alliance. Amid conflicting domestic and international pressures, the United States, Great Britain, and West Germany had to devise some way of balancing their military, economic, and political concerns. The reconfiguration of NATO, as Wenger shows, required extensive and often nettlesome discussions among the allied states as well as prolonged debates [End Page 1] within the U.S., British, and West German governments. Tensions stemming from the escalation of U.S. military operations in Vietnam significantly complicated the situation, as did the collapse of Ludwig Erhard's government in Bonn and the emergence of a "grand coalition" government under Kurt Kiesinger. At any number of points the U.S.-led attempts to restructure NATO were nearly derailed. Nonetheless, through sustained consultations and vigorous efforts by the allied leaders to cope with their domestic constituencies, NATO managed to overcome the Gaullist challenge. The fourteen member-states other than France reaffirmed the military role of the alliance by endorsing more equitable burden-sharing, joint nuclear planning (instead of a joint nuclear force), the maintenance of adequate levels of conventional forces, and a new military strategy of "flexible response." The political role of NATO, for all fifteen members (including France), was expanded by the Harmel Report, a document that guided the alliance's political strategy vis-à-vis the Soviet bloc through the rest of the Cold War.

The third article in this issue, a review essay by James Critchlow, discusses the role of public diplomacy...