Guide In The Shadows Of History: Fifty Years Behind The Scenes Of Cold War Diplomacy

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  2. Chester Cooper, 88, a Player in Diplomacy for Two Decades, Is Dead - The New York Times
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  4. ANZUS After Fifty Years

In the Cabinet quietly decided to withdraw from Africa as soon as it won reelection.

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Macmillan then announced the new policy in Cape Town on Feb. White residents of Southern Rhodesia, however, declared their own independence in defiance of London and the UN. The Republic of South Africa and the surviving Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique made those portions of southern Africa the last refuges of white rule on the continent. Most new African states had little more to support their pretensions to nationhood than a paper constitution , a flag, and a London-backed currency.

The leaderships blamed African underdevelopment on past exploitation rather than on objective conditions, thus rejecting the American and European development theories that saw political stability as possible only within the context of economic growth. Nkrumah himself seized all power in Ghana and made himself a quasi-divine figure until the army overthrew him in In the latter country, Julius Nyerere , much admired in Europe and the United States, declared a one-party dictatorship based on his ideology of ujamaa familyhood and courted aid from Communist China.

Other leaders contrived similar ideologies to justify personal rule. With the exception of Congo Brazzaville , Cold War rivalries were absent from Africa in the s, while the African regimes themselves wisely declared the inviolability of their boundaries lest the artificial lines drawn by the colonial powers provoke endless warfare. When Igbo tribes-people seceded from Nigeria in and formed the rebel state of Biafra , only four African nations supported their cause.

Chester Cooper, 88, a Player in Diplomacy for Two Decades, Is Dead - The New York Times

Nigeria suppressed the secession in a bloody civil war. Decolonization nonetheless had a profound effect on international relations through the medium of the UN. Where Britain was enervated by the advent of the missile age and the Third World, France was invigorated. The weak Fourth Republic had suffered defeat in Indochina and was embroiled in a civil war between French settlers and native Muslims in Algeria. Rather, de Gaulle proclaimed that a France without grandeur was not France at all and set out to reestablish French military, technological, and diplomatic independence.

Only Guinea elected to follow a Marxist leader who sought ties with the U. Therefore, de Gaulle accelerated the quiet development of a nuclear capacity begun under the Fourth Republic, and France exploded its first atomic bomb in He also quintupled French spending on research and development , built independent bomber, missile, and submarine forces—the nuclear force de frappe —and made France the third space power with the launch of an Earth satellite in Like the U. Moreover, de Gaulle viewed European cooperative programs in atomic and space research as ways to tap foreign contributions for the improvement of French national competitiveness, not as ways for France to contribute to European unity.

De Gaulle, however, crushed any lingering hopes for European political integration by boycotting the EEC in —66 rather than allow the federalist commissioner Walter Hallstein to enhance the decision-making power of the EEC Parliament. Finally, de Gaulle delighted in open criticism of American foreign policy and courted closer relations with Moscow which in return seized upon what appeared to be an opportunity to split the alliance , culminating in the pomp of a state visit in In all these ways Gaullist policy was a constant vexation to Washington, but in the long run it was probably a boon to the Western alliance for the technological dynamism, political stability, and military might it restored to France.

The first rebellions against the European imperial system had occurred on the rimlands of Asia at the start of the 20th century: the Russo-Japanese War , the Indian home-rule movement, and the Chinese and Young Turk revolutions. By the s the southern tier of Asian states had given birth to local systems of power and rivalry beyond the control of the Great Powers. Several factors set these nations and their conflicts apart. First, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and Indochina all seethed with ethnic conflicts that had little to do with the Cold War.

Second, eastern and southern Asia continued to undergo a demographic explosion that made China and India by far the most populous states in the world and non-Soviet Asia the home of 55 percent of the human race. Third, the politics of these societies, involved as they were in the awakening of vast peasant masses, the breakdown of traditional village agriculture, religious and dynastic structures, and programs for rapid modernization, did not easily fall into categories familiar to Soviet and American planners of the s.

Fourth, most of the Asian rim was remote from the European Soviet Union and North America , making direct intervention there expensive and risky. Nevertheless, continued Soviet efforts to win influence in the Middle East, Chinese claims to natural leadership of the poor southern half of the globe, and American attempts to preserve a structure of containment of the Communist world necessarily involved the Great Powers in Asian diplomacy. The fate of half of mankind could not, it seemed, be a matter of indifference to countries that claimed universal missions.

Likewise, the presence of 50, Egyptian troops in Yemen failed to overcome the forces supporting the Yemeni imam, who was backed in turn by Saudi Arabia. Also with both eyes on Israel, the conference restored an Arab High Command and elevated the Palestinian refugees scattered among several Arab states since to a status approaching sovereignty , with their own army and headquarters in the Gaza Strip. Syria likewise sponsored a terrorist organization, al-Fatah , whose raids against Jewish settlements provoked Israeli military reprisals inside Jordan and Lebanon.

Nasser took the initiative to prevent a rightist reversal in Syria and reassert his leadership of the Arab cause. Armed with Soviet tanks and planes, Nasser claimed his option under the accord to demand withdrawal of UN peacekeeping forces from the Sinai.

Secretary-General U Thant complied on May 19, Four days later Nasser closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping. When Egyptian and Iraqi troops arrived in Jordan, giving every sign of an imminent pan-Arab attack, the Israeli Cabinet decided on a preemptive strike. The UN Security Council arranged a cease-fire and passed Resolution , calling for a withdrawal from all occupied regions. The Israelis were willing to view their conquests except Jerusalem as bargaining chips but insisted on Arab recognition of the right of Israel to exist and firm guarantees against future attack.

The Indian subcontinent comprised another system of conflict focused on border disputes among India, Pakistan, and China. The United States looked to India as a laboratory of democracy and development in the Third World and a critical foil to Communist China and in consequence had contributed substantial amounts of aid. The Peking regime had brutally suppressed the buffer state of Tibet in and disputed the border with India at several points between the tiny Himalayan states of Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim.

Nehru was humbled, however, when the Chinese suddenly attacked in force across the disputed boundaries, choosing as their moment the height of the Cuban missile crisis. Indian forces were soundly defeated, 7, men having been killed or captured, and the lowlands of Assam lay open to the invaders. The Chinese then halted the offensive and soon afterward withdrew. The Kennedy administration used its newly won leverage to urge Nehru to settle his quarrel with Pakistan, but the negotiations failed to overcome Hindu—Muslim antipathy and the fact that the conflict was a unifying element in the domestic politics of both countries.

Pakistani troops crossed the cease-fire line in Kashmir in August , and India responded by invading Pakistan proper. In India and the U. Pakistan, meanwhile, was in ferment. President Ayub Khan was forced to step down in in favour of Yahya Khan , while elections in polarized the geographically divided country. West Pakistan chose Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as prime minister, but densely populated East Pakistan Bengal voted almost unanimously for a separatist party under Mujibur Rahman.

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When talks between the two leaders broke down, Bhutto gambled on sending in troops and jailing the secessionists. Vicious fighting broke out in Bengal, flooding India with some 10,, refugees and provoking Indian intervention. The Soviets cautioned restraint but clearly favoured India, while U. In two weeks of fighting Dec. Pakistan thus lost well over half its population.

To the south and east of the Asian mainland lay the vast, populous archipelago of Indonesia , where another romantic revolutionary, Sukarno , had played host to the Bandung Conference of Like Nasser, Nehru, and Mao, he ruled his ,, people by vague, hortatory slogans that added up to a personal ideology with nationalist and Communist overtones. Sukarno still turned to Moscow for support and gave himself over to profligate personal behaviour and foreign adventures, most notably an attempted attack on Malaysia in Suharto , however, put down the uprising and exacted a violent revenge in which as many as , Communists and their supporters were killed.

Indonesia subsequently concerned itself with its internal problems, frustrating Soviet, Chinese, and American hopes for a strong ally. The destruction of Indonesian Communism, achieved without the slightest American effort, was a source of great comfort for the United States.

A diametrically opposite course of events had, by , begun to unfold in the last theatre of Asian conflict, Vietnam. As the Vietnam War began to recede into the past, the entire episode, from a neutral perspective, increasingly came to seem incredible. The early Cold War gave rise to U. One or even all of the assumptions under which the United States became involved in Vietnam may have been faulty, but very few in the government and the public questioned them until long after the country was committed.

Their determination to unify Vietnam and conquer all of Indochina was the principal dynamic behind the conflict. The total number of Communist troops in the South grew by recruitment and infiltration from some 7, in to more than , by Most were guerrilla militiamen who served also as local party cadres. Diem instituted a policy of relocating the rural population of South Vietnam in order to isolate the Communists. When Buddhist monks resorted to dramatic self-immolation in front of Western news cameras, Kennedy secretly instructed Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge to approve a military coup.

On Nov. The struggle was thenceforth viewed in Washington as a military effort to buy time for state building and the training of the South Vietnamese army Army of the Republic of Vietnam; ARVN. Johnson held off escalating the war during the electoral campaign but in February ordered sustained bombing of North Vietnam and sent the first U. By June, U. The Soviet Union reacted to American escalation by trying to reconvene the Geneva Conference and bring pressure to bear on the United States to submit to the peaceful reunification of Vietnam.

China bluntly refused to encourage a negotiated settlement and insisted that the U.

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Meanwhile, the United States slid ineluctably into the quagmire predicted by de Gaulle. Australia, New Zealand , Thailand, and the Philippines also sent small contingents , and South Korea contributed 50, men. But stalemate suited Hanoi , which could afford to wait, while it was anathema to the Americans. Most Americans favoured more vigorous prosecution to end the war, but a growing number advocated withdrawal. Antiwar dissent grew and spread and overlapped with sweeping and violent demands for social change. The American foreign policy consensus that had sustained containment since the s was shattered by Vietnam.

He and his advisers had no clear notion of what the application of American force was supposed to achieve. It was merely assumed to be invincible. Hanoi understood that the classic Maoist strategy of isolating cities by revolutionizing the countryside was inapplicable to Vietnam because the cities could still hold out with foreign support. Accordingly, in mid the North Vietnamese Politburo approved a plan for urban attacks throughout South Vietnam.

The expectation was that direct attacks on cities would undercut American claims of pacification and magnify domestic American dissent. On Jan. The Tet Offensive was carried out at a terrible cost to Communist strength, but American press reports turned the offensive into a psychological defeat for the United States.

Instead of ordering a counterattack, Johnson removed himself from the presidential campaign, ordered a bombing halt, and pledged to devote the rest of his administration to the quest for peace. Negotiations began in Paris, but the rest of the year was spent bickering over procedural issues.

For more than 25 years after the United States had maintained an unprecedented depth of involvement in world affairs. In Vietnam finally forced Americans to face the limits of their resources and will. Whoever succeeded Johnson would have little choice but to find a way to escape from Vietnam and reduce American global responsibilities. After eight years in the shadow of Eisenhower and eight more years out of office, Richard Nixon brought to the presidency in rich experience as an observer of foreign affairs and shrewd notions about how to prevent the American retreat from global commitments from turning into a rout.

ANZUS After Fifty Years

In a period of just four years, —72, the United States abandoned once-unshakable Cold War attitudes toward the Communist nations, while scaling back its own exposure in response to the Sino-Soviet split, imminent Soviet strategic parity, and the economic and psychological constraints on U. Rather, it was meant to be a less confrontational method of containing Communist power through diplomatic accords and a flexible system of rewards and punishments by which Washington might moderate Soviet behaviour.

Nixon had no illusions that U. Pulling the Soviets into a network of agreements, and thus giving them a stake in the status quo, would create a stable structure of peace. Finally, expanding economic and cultural ties might even serve to open up Soviet society. By , Leonid Brezhnev , now established as the new Soviet leader, was ready to welcome American overtures for a variety of reasons.

Needless to say, the Chinese were fearful that the Brezhnev Doctrine might be applied to them. In they accused the U. Soviet forces arrayed against China, already raised from 12 weak divisions in to 25 full ones, now grew to 55 divisions backed by SS nuclear missiles. In August a Soviet diplomat had carefully inquired about the likely American reaction to a Soviet nuclear strike against China. From the Marxist point of view, however, this was merely another reflection of objective reality: Now that nuclear balance was a fact, greater weight accrued to conventional military strength and popular political action, each of which strongly favoured the Socialist bloc.

The contrasting U. From to , however, those differences were not yet apparent, while the immediate incentives for a relaxation of tensions were irresistible. The first indications of a new American sense of limits in foreign policy were in the economic sphere. Since World War II the global market economy had rested on the Bretton Woods monetary system, based on a strong American dollar tied to gold.

Beginning in the United States began to run annual foreign-exchange deficits, resulting partly from the costs of maintaining U. For this reason, and because their own exports benefitted from an artificially strong dollar, the Europeans and Japanese tolerated the U. By the American economic situation warranted emergency measures. Nixon imposed wage and price controls to stem inflation, and Secretary of the Treasury John Connally abruptly suspended the convertibility of dollars to gold.

The dollar was allowed to float against undervalued currencies like the deutsche mark and yen, in consequence of which foreign holders of dollars took sharp losses and foreign exporters faced stiffer competition from American goods. New agreements in December stabilized the dollar at a rate 12 percent below Bretton Woods, but the United States had sorely tried allied loyalty. The American retreat from an overextended financial position and insistence that its allies share the burden of stabilizing the U. The new president enunciated this doctrine in an impromptu news conference on Guam during his July trip to welcome home the Apollo 11 astronauts from the Moon.

In March he outlined a policy of Vietnamization , comprising a phased withdrawal of American ground troops and additional material and advisory support to make the ARVN self-sufficient. Nixon also hoped to enlist the Soviets in the cause of peace, but Moscow had less influence over Hanoi than he imagined and could not afford to be seen as appeasing the United States. Nixon then shifted to a subtler approach—long-term pressure on Hanoi combined with better relations with both Communist giants.

At the same time, however, Nixon stepped up pressure on the North. He was known as a firm supporter of the Nationalist regime on Taiwan, but he had softened his stance against mainland China before taking office. Direct contacts, conducted through the Chinese embassy in Warsaw, were broken off after the U.

The Cultural Revolution ended in a serious power struggle in the Chinese leadership. Army commander Lin Biao opposed relations with the United States but died when his plane crashed in unclear circumstances. Zhou Enlai and Mao presumably contemplated the value of an American counterweight to the Soviets, concessions on the status of Taiwan, and technology transfers. The Nixon Doctrine also promised to remove the obnoxious U. The Pakistani channel bore fruit in December , when Yahya Khan returned from Peking with an invitation for an American envoy to discuss Taiwan.

The following April the Chinese made the surprising public gesture of inviting an American table tennis team to the championship tournament in Peking. The Chinese also agreed to a presidential visit in February Brandt also recognized the East German government December and expanded commercial relations with other eastern European regimes. Both German states were admitted to the UN in The Soviets made what they considered a major concession by agreeing to retain their responsibility under the Potsdam Accords for access to West Berlin and achieved in return Western recognition of the status quo in eastern Europe and access to West German technology and credits.

The centrepiece of a bilateral U. After a decade of determined research and deployment the Soviet Union had pulled ahead of the United States in long-range missiles and was catching up in submarine-launched missiles and in long-range bombers. Indeed, it had been American policy since the mids to permit the Soviets to achieve parity in order to stabilize the regime of mutual deterrence. Stability was threatened, however, from the technological quarter with the development of multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles MIRV s , by which several warheads, each aimed at a different target, could be carried on one missile, and antiballistic missiles ABMs , which might allow one side to strike first while shielding itself from retaliation.

In the arcane province of strategic theory, therefore, offense long-range missiles became defense, and defense ABM offense. He intended, however, to use the program as a bargaining chip.

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The American opening to China made the Soviets increasingly eager for a prompt agreement and summit meeting, while the Americans hoped that Moscow would encourage North Vietnam to be forthcoming in the peace talks. In March they committed 10 of their 13 divisions to a massive offensive. The offensive stalled. Most important were the SALT accords: an Interim Agreement limiting ballistic-missile deployment for five years and the ABM Treaty limiting each side to two ABM sites, one protecting the national capital, the other a long-range missile site.

The preliminary SALT agreement appeared to be a significant achievement, but there was in some ways less to it than met the eye. The treaty mandated controlled increases, not decreases, in the Soviet arsenal, while failing to ban development of cruise missiles, space-based weapons, or the MIRVing of existing launchers by the United States or the U. Thus the superpowers sacrificed the right to defend their attack missiles with ABMs while failing to ensure the stability of mutual deterrence.

In sum, the limitation of one sort of nuclear launcher long-range missiles did not preclude a continuing arms race in other sorts of launchers or in technological upgrades. To be sure, the mere fact of a U. Hence the practical value, or danger, of SALT would be revealed only by superpower behaviour in years to come.

In October the secret talks in Paris between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho finally produced an agreement on a cease-fire, the release of prisoners of war, evacuation of remaining U. Nixon ordered 11 days of intensive bombing over Hanoi itself December 18—28 while sending Thieu an ultimatum threatening a separate peace and cessation of U. A Vietnam cease-fire went into effect on Jan. Estimates of Vietnamese dead North and South totaled more than 2,, soldiers and civilians. In its proportional impact on Vietnamese society, the Vietnam War, —75, was the fourth most severe in the world since The end of U.

Likewise, they appeared to have escaped from Vietnam and implemented the Nixon Doctrine. New crises and reversals were in the offing, however, that would prove that the American decline had not yet been arrested. Rather, with the United States less able to cope, that very equality opened up new opportunities for Soviet expansion. He has been near the center of power during many of the crises of our nation's recent history. In this engrossing memoir, he offers an insider's glimpse into the memorable events and important decisions in which he personally participated - from the conflict over the Suez Canal in and the Cuban missile crisis of to the difficult peace negotiations of the Viet Nam War, dealing with Soviet officials during the Reagan years, and today addressing the problems of global climate change.

Cooper notes that policy-making does not emerge, like Venus, wholly formed from a half shell. Rather, it is fashioned, or cobbled up, from day to day, month to month out of vexations, arguments, failures, and triumphs of hard-pressed, over-stressed officials and civil servants.

As one of those over-stressed civil servants, Cooper has unique, behind-the-scenes insights into the personalities of many now historic individuals, including Presidents John F.