A Constructed Peace:
The United States, the NATO Allies, and the Making of the
European Settlement, 1949-1963

How did peace--that is, peace among the great powers--take shape during the Cold War Period? The question is obviously of enormous historical significance, but the story of how the peace took shape also has important theoretical implications, and it even has a certain bearing on contemporary political problems. In this paper, I would like to sketch out an interpretation of the making of the peace that has been taking shape in my mind over the past few years; I want to draw out some of the theoretical implications of this interpretation, and also show how it bears on certain major political issues that the world will be facing over the next decade or two.

The heart of the interpretation is the idea that the peace settlement was "constructed." By this I mean simply that it did not "just happen" as people on both sides of the iron curtain were forced to confront the fact that there was no real way of changing the status quo in Europe, and that instead positive acts of statecraft were necessary to bring it about. A settlement had to be worked out, and in fact was essentially worked out during the Kennedy period. And the heart of this settlement in turn was an arrangement between America and Russia whose central element was this: Soviet acceptance of the status quo in Central Europe, and especially in West Berlin, in exchange for an American promise to keep West Germany non-nuclear. And this understanding was complemented by an arrangement between America and West Germany: in exchange for German acceptance of a non-nuclear status, America would protect the Federal Republic and commit herself to the stationing of troops there on a permanent basis.

I do not mean to imply that arrangements of this sort were worked out as part of a "master plan," but rather that a balanced settlement of this sort was fashioned as people--perhaps as individuals seeing only small parts of the larger picture--in the 1950s and early 1960s tried to deal with the problems relating to the German question and to the defense of western Europe, which is to say essentially the nuclear question. These two sets of problems were tightly bound up with each other; and in fact one of the basic historical insights to be drawn from work in this area is that they were so tightly intertwined that it is really impossible to understand either in isolation from the other. These two questions together shaped the central dynamic of international politics in the high Cold War period; since the settlement really amounted to the resolution of these problems, to understand how the settlement took shape, one has to first understand what that central dynamic was--that is, how the German question and the nuclear question interacted with each other in the 1950s, how that interaction created problems, how those problems were dealt with, and, in short, how the diplomacy of this complex of issues ran its course, especially during the Eisenhower period.

How does such a view--the "constructed peace" interpretation--differ from more traditional ways of interpreting the period? Perhaps the best way to show what I think is new here is to outline how my own views have changed. Five years ago, I wrote a long article on the Berlin Crisis (of 1958-1962), in which I argued that the importance of the crisis was that it forced people to see what the basic structure of the international system was--that it was a system in which American power and Soviet power balanced each other so completely that neither America nor Russia, and certainly no third power like West Germany, had any room to maneuver for basic change in the status quo.(1) But I now think this was fundamentally misleading. It implied that the system was basically stable: the system constrained everyone's behavior and locked everyone into the status quo. People, I assumed, had simply failed to see how stable the system in fact was, and a great crisis had to develop before the system could be tested and people could come to grasp this basic point. But I think now that the system was a good deal less stable; and the proof is that the Berlin Crisis was really much more dangerous than those arguments in that article had implied.

And why was it so dangerous? At this point, the discussion links up with some major theoretical issues, issues relating to the impact of nuclear weapons on international politics. There is a common notion that nuclearization is stabilizing, that nuclear weapons are like a magic wand, bringing stalemate and stability to what otherwise might be a very unstable political relationship. The basic idea is of course quite simple: nuclear weapons deter attack, and mutual deterrence leads to political stalemate. And for some, certain very clear policy prescriptions follow: if Ukraine, for example, has a security problem with respect to Russia, let the Ukrainians keep their nuclear arsenal. One of the historical correlates of this argument is the claim that the highly nuclearized world of the great powers around 1961 was fundamentally stable, despite appearances to the contrary: ultimately there was little risk, since both sides would be deterred from starting anything really serious.

From a theoretical point of view, what is wrong with such arguments? The problem, quite simply, is that they look at only one side of the equation. Each state in a conflict, it is assumed, will be held back by the fear of what a nuclear war would mean. But there is, of course, another side to this coin: the possibility that each side can take a tough stand in the expectation that the other side's fears will force it to give way. Political disputes can thus become a gigantic poker game, with each side hoping the other side will fold before the worst happens, and how far the game is carried would depend on how "vital" the two rivals consider the stakes to be. Such notions have, of course, been a staple of the theoretical literature ever since Thomas Schelling in the mid-1960s developed the idea of crisis bargaining as a "competition in risk taking." But even before Schelling wrote, American strategy in the Berlin crisis had been framed in such poker-like terms, and indeed this sort of thinking had been at the heart of NATO strategy since the end of the Gruenther period in 1956. In fact one of the great fears at the time of the Berlin crisis was that general war could come about as the result of such a poker-like process: each side would calculate that faced with the risk of nuclear war, the opponent was likely to back down, but to bring this about, another turn of the screw, a new demonstration of resolve, would be necessary. Calculations of this sort would drive a process of escalation, a process which might well result in full-scale nuclear war.

Since this argument has not been made widely in the literature, and also since the point that the risk of nuclear war was very real during the Berlin crisis is central to my whole interpretation, let me digress a bit and develop the argument briefly. The basic problem of international politics is simple: countries want different things; sometimes those desires conflict; and the central problem of international politics is to determine how those conflicts run their course. For the pre-nuclear world, it was not too hard to come up with a more or less plausible answer. International politics was the politics of power, and the balance of power therefore played a key role in determining how those conflicts were worked out. The way a conflict was resolved depended in large measure on the relative strength of the different countries involved. If matters were pushed to the limit, the weak would tend to defer to the strong, and issues were often resolved without a shot being fired. And knowing this, governments could always deal with unsatisfactory situations by trying to improve their diplomatic position and by building up their armed forces. If this led to an arms race, the course of the competition would have a great bearing on the outcome of the political dispute. To take the classic example of the Anglo-German naval race before World War I: Britain outbuilds Germany in capital ships, and Britain's diplomatic position improves relative to that of Germany, so Britain remains the world's premier imperial power.

Thus there was a kind of mechanism governing, to a significant degree, how political disputes ran their course. The mechanism clearly did not prevent war; indeed the whole system was based on a general awareness that looming in the background, more overtly in some contexts than in others, was the specter of armed conflict. But it did in an admittedly rough and imperfect way give some indication as to how a dispute would be worked out, and it provided a kind of outlet--something short of war--for the aspirations and resentments that provide the basis for international political life.

In the nuclear age, things are very different. It still makes sense to talk about a structure of power, but its meaning is much less clear than it was, say, before 1914. Nobody had any doubt, before the First World War, that there was a meaningful military balance, and that it could have a real effect on international politics. But today we are much less certain. Even a 5:4 superiority in capital ships, for example, might have resulted at that time in absolute naval predominance, but the value of a 5:4 lead in ICBMs is much more problematic.

But if the military balance mechanism has been weakened by the nuclear revolution, in the sense that the objective military balance cannot play anything like the role it played in the past, then it follows that subjective factors, like will or "resolve," must loom larger in importance. But anything that increases the relative importance of such subjective factors is, in that respect, destabilizing.

The problem is that subjective factors like "resolve" are even more elusive than military power and diplomatic alignments, more subject to conflicting interpretation. Hence the area of indeterminacy, large even in the pre-nuclear world, becomes still greater. It is even less obvious whose will should prevail and who should give way; it is harder to tell who really has the upper hand. Moreover, to the extent that subjective factors like a willingness to take risks come to play the leading role, there will be an increased premium on "resolve," on "risk-taking," and perhaps ultimately on recklessness. In international politics, as in other areas of life, what you reward is what you get: "resolve" will tend to harden, and the parties involved will tend to dig in their heels; a reputation for toughness increases in importance, since future conflicts will also turn on factors of this sort, and this provides yet another incentive to take a tough stand. With each side led by competitive pressure to take on greater risks, the overall risk inherent in the situation will necessarily increase.

I stress this argument here not because I think that a mechanism of this sort is the only way, or even necessarily the predominant way, in which nuclearization has affected the stability of international politics. It is emphasized here to redress the balance--to recreate a sense for how nuclearization in some ways might be destabilizing--and thus to provide some basis for understanding how serious the situation was at the beginning of the 1960s, and thus how important the events and policy initiatives of the Kennedy period were to the stabilization of great power political relations.

The Making of the NATO System

The Berlin crisis, it is quite clear in retrospect, was about the fate of Germany--about whether the status quo in Central Europe would be respected, about whether the West Germans would be able to develop the power to change it, about whether West Germany would be allowed to develop nuclear forces under her own effective control. The issues of the nuclear status of the Federal Republic of Germany played a key role in the diplomacy of the crisis, and the resolution of this issue was a central element in the peace settlement that was essentially worked out by 1963. It also played a predominant role in bringing on the crisis in the first place. This point is based mostly on inference--on the notion that the resurgence of West Germany as an independent military power was bound to touch on a very sensitive Soviet nerve, given both Russia's experience with Germany in the first half of the century and also the fact that the USSR was still in effective occupation of half of Germany's prewar territory--and also on the ruling out of possible alternative explanations. But there is important documentary evidence supporting the point as well, including some from newly opened Soviet and East German archives.

The reason these anxieties had reached the point where the Soviets were willing to provoke a crisis with the West was that the Federal Republic by 1958 was in the process of acquiring a substantial nuclear force under its own effective control. These were American weapons, but the American control was essentially nominal--a fact which is now well known, but which, when it is interpreted at all, is attributed to the laxity of the U.S. military or of the Eisenhower administration. In fact, it was a result of deliberate policy. "Nuclear sharing" with the allies was Eisenhower's goal, but a direct sharing of weapons was not legally possible; the system of absurdly ineffective U.S. "custody" of weapons under allied operational control was Eisenhower's way of doing an end-run about the Atomic Energy Act. This, in his view, was not really illegitimate, because the Act itself was, as he often said, patently unconstitutional.

How did it happen that we went the nuclear sharing route and landed in such hot water at the end of the 1950s? Couldn't a peace settlement with the Russians have been reached earlier that would have stabilized the political order in Europe? The answer is yes, and in fact by the end of 1954 the basic lines of a settlement were in sight.

This was not a settlement based on a simple division of Europe into spheres of influence, with each side giving the other a free hand on its side of the line of demarcation. One of the most basic points to make about the Cold War period is that the Soviets would never accept even a tacit settlement based on a division of Europe pure and simple. Although they, from the very outset, insisted on total control of their side of the line of demarcation, they were unwilling to grant the West a corresponding free hand on its side of the line, and insisted in particular on some say about the status of Germany. This was, for example, the real meaning of the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49; it was the Soviets' way of objecting to their exclusion from western Germany as the western powers went about creating a West German state by themselves. This lack of parallelism, with the Soviets insisting on total domination of the East, but refusing to America and her friends a corresponding right in the West, was one of the key elements underpinning a western sense of Soviet presumptuousness and even aggressiveness, although it was somewhat softened by a recognition of the enormous suffering that the Germans had inflicted on the Russian people, especially in World War II.

Nor was the settlement that was in reach by the early 1950s an arrangement based on "disengagement"--that is, the withdrawal of all four occupying powers, America, Russia, Britain and France, from Central Europe--along with provisions for German reunification and for the neutralization and possibly also governing the military status of that reunified German state. Writers of great authority, such as George Kennan and Adam Ulam, have frequently argued that this was the way to go, and the Soviets even before the death of Stalin seemed to be open to an arrangement of this sort. But such a settlement was never really in the cards. For the western powers and for the Germans themselves, no political settlement was acceptable that did not provide for the security of the new German state; paper promises were seen as relatively worthless; so if the western powers withdrew their forces, only a powerful German army could in theory serve as an effective counterweight to Soviet power. Since it was hardly conceivable that a non-nuclear force could on its own withstand the pressure of a nuclear-armed adversary, this meant that, if the security requirement was to be met and if the western powers pulled out, the new German state would have to become a nuclear power. But it is inconceivable that the Soviets would have accepted a solution of that sort. And even the western powers in the early 1950s were very much opposed to a reunified Germany once again becoming a strong and independent great power.

The sort of settlement that was within reach was a settlement based on general and at least tacit acceptance of the system that had come into being by the end of 1954, what will be called here the "NATO system." This system rested on three main pillars, the first juridical, the second military, and the third having to do with European unification or integration. The juridical arrangements were embodied essentially in the London and Paris accords adopted by the western powers at the end of 1954. Under the terms of these accords, the Federal Republic did not have the power to enter into binding arrangements with the Soviets on the German question if the western powers did not give their consent. Britain, France and America, moreover, had the right to station armed forces on German territory: the Germans did not have the legal power to force the western armies out. And the western military commanders in Germany had the unconditional right to take whatever action was considered necessary for the protection of their forces, if those forces were "imminently menaced." Action could be taken to "remove the danger" whether or not the German government was willing to give its consent. The 1954 arrangements also set limits to German armament, especially in the nuclear area. In other ways as well, West Germany was to be locked into the West; the Federal Republic's ability to navigate its own course in the world was to be narrowly constrained even in legal terms.

The second major pillar was the NATO military system. The mere presence of allied troops on the territory of the Federal Republic was bound, on the one hand, to reassure Germany and tie her to the West (in particular, by showing Germany that the western nations were willing to tie their fate to hers), and on the other hand, to limit her freedom of action--her freedom, that is, to move away from the West, to take a neutralist course, to intervene militarily in East Germany, even her freedom to change her internal political system.

But beyond simply providing a basis for the presence of western troops on German soil, the NATO system constrained German freedom of action in other ways as well. The integrated command structure would prevent the Germans from using their army independently--that is, in support of their own nationalistic goals--and in fact such considerations played a major role in shaping the integrated NATO system in the first place. For example, an extension of the NATO system--a strengthening of SACEUR's powers--was agreed to at the London Conference in 1954. These changes, outlined in the Final Act of that conference, had the explicit function of making possible a relatively risk-free rearmament of, and return of political rights to, the Federal Republic.(2) As Dulles explained the thinking to a Senate committee in 1955: "In relation to the forces of Germany, they will be so integrated into the other forces of Europe under the command of SACEUR that as a practical matter it would be almost impossible to detach them and have them operate as an independent national force in pursuit of purely national objectives. They will be so interlocked that a separation for a separate purpose would, as a practical matter, be impossible. And the attempt would carry with it such advance warning that it would almost surely be frustrated if it should be attempted."(3) And Pierre Mendes France, the French prime minister at the time, developed the point at some length:

To adopt a system in which English and American troops remain in Europe to defend our common security is to tie Germany solidly and durably to the West. How can Germany escape from the West when we have agreements consolidating and stabilizing the military presence of the Anglo-Saxons in Germany itself? How can Germany escape from the West when her troops, without exception, are subjected to the Supreme Allied Command, when the juridical and physical powers of this Command have just been significantly strengthened, when all the logistical arrangements that we have been discussing--transports, motor-fuels, weather forecasting, radar--are under not national but interallied authority, and, in addition--must I say it yet again?--are located in the rear area, that is, on our territory, and not on that of the Federal Republic?(4)

The "unification" of Europe was the third pillar in the system, less important perhaps than the military and juridical arrangements just discussed, but still quite significant. The fundamental goal was to bind the Federal Republic to the West; the problem was to find ways of limiting West German freedom of action without appearing to discriminate too directly against her. The various steps taken toward European integration were inspired largely by such considerations, and indeed the NATO system itself has to be seen in a similar light. But unlike NATO, the European unification policy was to some extent based on a sense that America might someday pull out of Europe, or sacrifice European interests by pursuing either a too tough or a too accommodating policy toward the Soviet Union. For the French especially, and particularly during the Gaullist period from 1958 on, the aim of the "European" policy was to provide something of a safety net for a Germany disillusioned with, or feeling betrayed by, America--an alternative policy that the Germans could turn to, an alternative identity they could embrace, so that in their resentment and anger they would not turn inward, parochial and narrowly nationalistic. America under Truman and especially under Eisenhower for its part strongly backed the "European" movement, in the hope that if it progressed far enough, western Europe could become powerful enough to balance Russia on its own, so that America could in fact then withdraw from the Continent.

These three elements added up to a system: Europe would be defended, but Germany would be kept in line. The basic thinking here was nicely summed up in a famous remark attributed to Lord Ismay, NATO's first Secretary General. The purpose of NATO, Ismay is supposed to have said, was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." Let me just say that before I went through the archival material, my assumption was that the first goal, keeping the Russians out, was of transcendent importance, and that compared to that the German issue was relatively insignificant. Now I assess the relative importance of these goals rather differently. I still think the defense of Europe against Russia was the most important goal, but the aim of keeping Germany under control was not that far behind: this was a very fundamental concern of the political leadership in the West. And indeed, looking back, it is obvious why concerns of this sort would be underrepresented in the then public record, as compared to what the archival sources revealed: no one wanted to offend the Germans unnecessarily. But in going through the newly declassified archival sources on both sides of the Atlantic, one finds concerns of this sort expressed over and over again.

Let me give just one example here, but an extraordinary one, since the views expressed are those of John Foster Dulles, certainly one of the great Cold Warriors, and thus a man who one would expect would analyze the situation overwhelmingly in terms of the Soviet threat and consequently would play down concerns about Germany. But the sort of argument Dulles made really forces one to reconsider basic assumptions of this sort.

Dulles laid out his views in an important NSC discussion of United States policy on Germany in early 1958. He began by pointing out that "with respect to Germany the policies of the United States and of the Soviet Union have something in common--namely, that it was not safe to have a unified Germany in the heart of Europe unless there were some measure of external control which could prevent the Germans from doing a third time what they had done in 1914 and 1939." The United States, in particular, "could not contemplate re-unifying Germany and then turning it loose to exercise its tremendous potentialities in Central Europe." "We could not close our eyes to the fact," Dulles warned, "that this great power must be brought under some kind of external control. The world could not risk another repetition of unlimited power loosed on the world." His fear was that in the absence of foreign control, "the Germans would never stay neutral. They will either go with the West or go with the East or play off the one against the other, which could put us in a very serious situation."(5)

I want to direct your attention to the first part of this quote--to Dulles's point about the common U.S.-Soviet interest in keeping Germany under control--and I want to make a few comments about it. First, this sort of remark (and there are many other examples that could be cited) supports a view of the Cold War very different from the one we all grew up with: this was not a simple two-sided struggle between two great power blocs, but the structure of the core of international politics in this period was a good deal more complex, and its workings were therefore a good deal more subtle than most of us had supposed at the time. (From the historian's standpoint, it is wonderful that this should be so, because it makes the problem of analysis much more intellectually challenging, and the results one is able to develop much more interesting.) Concerns about Germany to a certain extent balanced concerns about Russia, and this meant that the core U.S.-Soviet relationship is not to be seen, even at the height of the Cold War, in purely conflictual terms--there was always the possibility of an arrangement at Germany's expense, and in fact this prospect was one of the main factors that limited German freedom of action and forced the Federal Republic to stay within the American orbit.

What all this boils down to is the conclusion that the basis of an at least tacit understanding between Russia and the three western powers was in place, certainly by the end of 1954. The territorial status quo in Europe would be respected by both sides; the NATO system, providing the forces to offset Soviet military strength, would make a balance of power in central Europe possible; but this very system would also satisfy the Soviets that they need not be worried about the resurgence of a powerful, independent and nationalistic Germany, since the Federal Republic's own allies would do the work of keeping her in line--a particularly easy job, given that the need to defend the Federal Republic provided the basis for a structure that would constrain German power without provoking German resentment.

The Nuclear Sharing Question

So what happened? Why didn't this system work? And it certainly did not work: in November 1958, with the coming of the Berlin crisis, the world entered another very tense period, perhaps not quite as scary as the 1950-51, but bad enough. What had gone wrong? Did the problem lie in the fact that the Soviets simply failed to grasp where their true interests lay--that is, that they failed to see that they had an interest in the maintenance of the NATO system, that this provided them with a burden-free way of making sure that Germany was kept in line? Perhaps the Soviets were carried away by a doctrinaire belief that NATO as such was their enemy--that they were taken in by their own propaganda; perhaps they took pleasure simply in threatening their Cold War adversaries and trying to maneuver them toward defeat and humiliation. It is not unusual, in conflict situations, for states, like ordinary people, to be carried away by emotion, and to put rational calculation off to the side. And it is certainly the case that in terms of its formal policy, the USSR was exceptionally slow to see how the NATO system could serve her basic security interests--that it was the only way of guaranteeing the fundamental interests of the western powers, and especially their interest in a stable balance of power in central Europe, without at the same time creating the kind of strong (i.e., nuclear) German force that the Soviets saw as a basic threat. Indeed, it was only on her deathbed that the dying Soviet Union accepted the idea that the reunified German state would be a member of NATO.

But it is a mistake to confuse formal policy with the operative principles that guide actual behavior, and despite all the anti-NATO propaganda, it is clear that the Soviets did not view the western alliance as a simple, undifferentiated threat. They knew that as a general rule the NATO countries would never come close to risking war to achieve German national goals; the only possible exception was West Germany itself. For if they did not understand this, it is impossible to explain why the question of German nuclear weapons touched on such a sensitive Soviet nerve.

The reason, in fact, that the NATO system in its 1954 form did not provide the basis for a stable peace had to do mainly with western--especially American--and not Soviet policy. For the key elements in the NATO system--continued U.S. presence in Europe, and the non-nuclear status of the West German army--were under strong attack in the late 1950s. Indeed, by 1958, at about the same time as the Soviets provoked the Berlin crisis, the Europeans, and in particular the Germans, were in the process of being armed with American nuclear weapons, weapons that were in fact under their effective control.

How did this happen? Partly it was "push" from America, and partly it was "pull" from the Europeans; in each case, a series of military and more general political arguments developed into the matrix out of which the nuclear sharing policy emerged. Let me sketch out some of these arguments briefly: the issue is complex, and to do justice to the topic would require a much lengthier discussion than I want to get involved in here.

On the American side, Eisenhower's personal views were of fundamental importance. Europe, he thought, had the technical, economic and human resources to balance Soviet power on her own, even without American support, but the Europeans had to first come together and develop their power. Hence his enthusiasm for European unification. American would provide protection while a "solid power mass" was emerging in western Europe; only after a "third great power mass" emerged there could America "sit back and relax somewhat."(6) The American presence was thus seen as temporary; the ultimate goal was to pull out of Europe, not just to save money, or because Eisenhower's strategic concept stressed mobile forces based on the continental United States. There was also the assumption that an alliance where the U.S. called the tune and the Europeans were totally dependent on American power was unhealthy--that the involvement of the Europeans had to be active and meaningful, for otherwise their value as allies would atrophy.

So Eisenhower wanted America to pull her forces out of Europe in the not-too-distant future. It is hard to give a sense for just how enormously important this goal was in shaping Eisenhower's policy, especially since it is scarcely recognized in the published literature, but in the documents one finds him arguing repeatedly and quite passionately along these lines. And these fundamental views certainly implied that Europe would have to have a force strong enough to withstand Soviet pressure. That could only mean a nuclear-armed force. Eisenhower of course did not want a whole series of disconnected national nuclear weapons programs in Europe. That would be an absurd waste of resources, and the whole idea of his policy was to get the Europeans to come together, to work out a common strategy and coordinate their efforts in a common structure, but cooperation was to be based on trust, and not on tight institutional arrangements that would guard against defection and foreclose the very possibility of independent national programs. And for his part he was willing to trust the Europeans by arming them with American nuclear weapons. It was to his mind absurd to try to prevent them from having weapons the Soviets already had, and it was natural that they should want some control over the only kind of force that could give them some measure of independence vis-a-vis the superpowers. It made more sense to help them acquire nuclear forces by sharing our nuclear and nuclear-related technology with them, and allowing them to buy fissionable material, weapons and delivery systems from us.

Various military arguments also came into play. Eisenhower's belief that any war with the Soviet Union was bound to escalate into general nuclear implied that the West had to be able to strike at Soviet nuclear forces as quickly as possible, and be able to destroy as much of the Soviet nuclear arsenal and striking force as it could before a counter-attack could be mounted. A major war in Europe was thus bound to be nuclear from a very early stage on, and if the Europeans were to make a meaningful military contribution, they would have to have the kind of force structure geared to the fighting of such a war--i.e., a nuclear-armed force. Given the importance of rapid response, moreover, the arrangements worked out in the Eisenhower administration also provided for very loose political control of nuclear weapons--operational readiness was much more important than preventing unauthorized use--and this in turn helped bring into being a system where the Europeans had effective physical control over American nuclear weapons.

With the growth, finally, of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the latter part of the 1950s, there was a need, felt on both sides of the Atlantic, to develop a system that could deal with European anxieties about what America would do if she had to face her "moment of thermonuclear truth." Sometimes the fear was that the Americans would be too quick on the trigger, and Europe would have to pay the price; at other times--and indeed occasionally at the same time--there was the opposite fear that America would hold back from striking, and would acquiesce in Soviet aggression rather than place her own cities at risk. Both America and Europe agreed in the late 1950s that the key to a solution of this problem was to give Europe more control over fundamental decisions of that sort, and that meant some kind of European control over nuclear forces. For the Europeans, the quite understandable goal was to get some real control over their own destiny. And for the Americans, the goal was essentially the same: their aim was to get the Europeans to share some of the enormous political burden involved in the decisions that could lead to a nuclear war; the U.S., as Dulles put it, did not want to be left "holding the bag," while the Europeans felt free to complain from the sidelines. If America had sole political responsibility, the U.S. would be accused either of being too trigger-happy or too ready to sell out Europe. But a real sharing of political responsibility ultimately implied a real sharing of operational control of nuclear forces.

So with regard to the nuclear sharing issue in the late 1950s, there was no radical conflict of interest between the Eisenhower administration and the NATO allies. America was not trying to maintain a monopoly of nuclear power in the West, with the Europeans either developing their forces defiantly or succumbing to the enormous pressure the U.S. was able to exert. Instead, there was a confluence of interest: the American government looked with favor on the development of a European nuclear capability.

So in the late 1950s, the Europeans moved toward developing nuclear forces, and even nuclear production facilities, under their own control; the famous FIG (France-Italy-Germany) agreements of 1957 for joint nuclear production offer the most striking example. And contrary to accepted opinion, the top level of the American government actually favored developments of this sort, although this fact was not well understood, even in official circles in Europe. This was partly because the Eisenhower administration could not directly admit that it was breaking the law, partly because lower-level U.S. officials, especially in the State Department, were not in sympathy with the policy and gave off conflicting signals, and partly because some of the European leaders did not really take the trouble to sort out what was really going on, but rather proceeded on the basis of deeply held assumptions about how any great power was bound to behave.

The basic point, however, was, as Eisenhower himself pointed out in June 1959, "that we are willing to give, to all intents and purposes, control of the weapons. We retain titular possession only."(7) And in fact a number of documents from American, British and French sources make it clear that the U.S. custody arrangements, required by the need to claim formal compliance with the law, were designed to provide for only nominal American control.

The effect of these developments was of course to undermine the chance of getting a peace settlement in Europe on the basis of the 1954 system. Instead, Germany was moving toward getting a finger on the nuclear trigger. This situation was obviously well known to the Soviets; Soviet intelligence had penetrated some of the NATO delegations (a fact known to the U.S. government, which later used this situation as a means of manipulating Soviet perceptions), and probably understood what was going on better than many political figures in the West. Having tried unsuccessfully to head off the nuclearization of the Bundeswehr through diplomacy in the mid-1950s--this was the meaning of the Rapacki Plan and Soviet support for "disengagement" schemes--the Soviets now opted for harsher tactics, and provoked the Berlin crisis as a way of dramatizing their concerns.

The Berlin Crisis and the Making of the Settlement

The Berlin crisis was a kind of diplomatic hothouse. Ideas about the German question, about the nuclear question, about the structure of the peace in Europe, could not be allowed to grow slowly in the normal way, but had to be developed quickly. The situation was pressing; war was a distinct possibility if the problem was mismanaged; painful choices might have to be made. Under Eisenhower, there was no radical shift in policy, although there was a certain tendency to move away from a policy based on full consultation with the allies and toward dealing with the Soviets directly on a more or less bilateral basis.
Under Kennedy, however, the change was dramatic. In the nuclear area especially, there was an extraordinary shift in policy. I am not referring here to a supposed shift from "massive retaliation" to "flexible response." There had been an inexorable retreat from the rapid escalation posture formally adopted in late 1954 and outlined in the important NATO document MC 48 of December of that year. That document truly represented the high water mark of the nuclear-based strategy. But as the military authorities in the late 1950s grappled with the implications of growing Soviet nuclear capabilities, they tended to think increasingly in poker-like, controlled-escalation terms; this was in fact the basis for US thinking about how to deal with the Berlin crisis, if it were in fact to move into a phase of military confrontation, both under Eisenhower and under Kennedy. Under Kennedy, of course, increased emphasis was placed on conventional forces, but not to the point where the American government felt that formal NATO strategy had to be changed. The aim still was to use ground forces as chips in the poker game of controlled escalation, not to provide a force strong enough to hold off a full-scale Soviet conventional onslaught by itself. And one should also note that for Kennedy himself, nuclear escalation was by no means out of the question as an ultimate option; even strategic preemption was not ruled out until late 1963.(8) So the increased conventional emphasis at the beginning of the Kennedy period represented more a fleshing out than a radical shift in policy.

The really important changes came in the crucial area of nuclear sharing. There were a whole series of measures taken to increase the ability of the political authorities in Washington to control the course of a war in Europe. There was a big investment in hardware that would permit tighter command and control arrangements. Permissive Action Links (PALs) were installed not on all American nuclear weapons but only on American nuclear weapons in Europe, thus physically preventing the Europeans from using them without American consent. The plans to deploy mobile land-based strategic missiles in Europe, called for in the NATO document MC 70, were cancelled--not for technical reasons, but out of the fear that this deployment would bring European, and especially German, fingers too close to the nuclear trigger. Moreover, the Eisenhower administration's plans for a sea-based missile force, the famous Multilateral Force (MLF), were changed, so that the use of these weapons would be subject to an American veto, thus depriving them of real strategic meaning, and, as the French loved to say, transforming the Multilateral Force into a Multilateral Farce. Finally, there was the "clipping of SACEUR's wings," the removal of the heart of his independent authority and his transformation into just another American general; this effort was linked to the great conflict between the Kennedy administration and General Norstad, culminating in what was effectively his dismissal from office. This again reflected the same basic shift in American thinking about the nuclear defense of Europe and the need for concentrated authority over nuclear escalation, views that were also laid out in such formal statements of strategy as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's famous Athens and Ann Arbor speeches in 1962.

This great shift in policy was rooted primarily in a sense among the major figures in the Kennedy Administration that nuclear weapons were so awesome and the decision to order their use was so momentous that control absolutely had to be centralized. The Eisenhower system, in their eyes, had been much too loose, although this was attributed more to laxity than to deliberate intent. The reins had to be drawn in, the mess had to be cleaned up. Tied to this was a general concern about where proliferation would lead, and the idea of reasserting centralized control was also supported by important theoretical arguments about controlled nuclear war, developed mainly at Rand, and propagated by important Rand alumni who had been named by the new administration to major positions in the Defense Department. Those theoretical arguments had a certain importance at the outset, but as time went on, and for a variety of reasons, the whole idea of controlled nuclear war came to seem increasingly problematic, and the theory came increasingly to serve an essentially instrumental purpose: to serve as a bludgeon for getting the Europeans to accept American ideas on centralized (i.e., American) control of nuclear forces--a policy that was increasingly rooted in political concerns, and especially concerns about the political implications of German nuclear forces.
The main people in the Kennedy administration did not understand what the Eisenhower strategy had been, and they certainly never took the trouble to find out. Their assumption was that of course no American government would ever encourage the development of European nuclear forces not subject to effective American control--although Britain, for special historical reasons, might, they thought, be at least a partial exception to this general rule. State Department officials who knew better certainly had no interest in disabusing them of these misconceptions, since they intensely disliked the sharing policy and had no interest in obstructing the new policy by pointing how the problems that a radical break with past practice would cause. So the Kennedy administration, not realizing how fundamental a shift in policy it was implementing, plunged ahead quickly.

This shift in policy led to major tension between the U.S. and its main European allies. People spoke commonly at this time of a "crisis" in the alliance, and the tension revolved around the nuclear issue. Was there any way to deal with those European nuclear concerns? Could America ease up on its opposition to European control of nuclear forces? As the Kennedy administration grappled with these questions, it became apparent that there was one core reason ultimately for refusing to accommodate the Europeans, and this had to do with the problem of Germany. For how could one say "yes" to Britain, but "no" to France? But if one said "yes" to France, how could one then say "no" to Germany? Germany could under no circumstances be allowed to developed what was in effect in the final analysis an independent nuclear force: it was too risky to allow Germany to once again become a great power--too risky, both in itself and because of the Soviet reaction. So it was better to adopt a consistent policy against sharing from the outset, to try and get even the British out of the nuclear business by refusing to help them acquire survivable forces--that is, submarine based missiles; and it should be noted that there were important elements in the British government who were more than willing to cooperate with such a policy because of its ultimate goal of making sure Germany was non-nuclear. And German acquisition of effectively independent nuclear forces was opposed not just by America now and by Britain, but also by France--a central fact which made Gaullist opposition to American nuclear policy utterly incomprehensible to the top people in the U.S. government.

This basic shift in American policy meant that a real settlement with the Soviets was once again possible. The U.S. would keep Germany non-nuclear, and in exchange the Soviets would respect the status quo in Berlin. The Germans would accept their non-nuclear status; in exchange they would get U.S. protection, which meant a quasi-permanent presence of a large American force in their country, and they would also be relieved of having to fact the prospect of war over Berlin. The presence of U.S. troops, combined with Germany's non-nuclear status, would keep Germany in line politically, and the balance of power in Europe would be maintained.

This was not all that different from the sort of settlement one might have imagined in 1954 could serve as the basis of peace between Russia and the West. And in fact this was the sort of settlement that did take shape, for the most part by 1963. Of course, this was just the heart of the settlement; a whole series of related considerations also came into play. To give a sense for the complexity of what was going on, let me outline some of them here. The settlement also involved questions relating to the de facto recognition of East Germany and recognition of the Oder-Neisse line as the eastern border of both East Germany and of some future reunified German state. There was in addition the whole issue of the maintenance of some remnants of the occupation regime, because of their value in anchoring the status quo in West Berlin (where the rights of the western powers as occupiers provided a firm legal basis for their presence), because of the role of some element of the occupation regime in providing a basis for outside control of both parts of Germany, and finally because of the way these vestiges of the occupation regime symbolized the supposedly "provisional" status of the postwar settlement in Central Europe and thus satisfied the Germans' interest in defending the principle that the division of their country was not final, and that the four World War II allies, and not the Germans themselves, had to bear responsibility for eventually working out a solution that would reunite their nation.
Formal military strategy was also part of the package. Flexible response rhetoric, rationalizing as it did both the centralization of nuclear control in the hands of the Americans, and the deployment of large conventional forces in Germany, would be a major element in this sort of settlement, even though flexible response, at least at the nuclear level, was coming to make less and less sense in purely military terms. And the arrangements would also have a financial dimension, having to do with the Germans in effect picking up the tab for the very expensive American military presence in Europe by agreeing not to cash in the dollars they were piling up with their trade surpluses, thus effectively financing a very large portion of America's recurrent balance of payments deficit. The whole question of China was also tied in: the division of China paralleled that of Germany, and the Chinese nuclear question was a central concern for both Soviet and American policy.

But although there were a whole series of issues that were linked up with the question of a settlement, the key issue had to do with the nuclear status of Germany and Soviet pressure on Berlin. And this means in turn that one has to somehow confront the basic problem of explaining why a settlement in this specific area was not reached in 1961--why the world had to go through a period of very tense period of crisis before an arrangement could be reached--when it was clear to the whole world that the new Kennedy administration felt very strongly about tightening control over nuclear weapons. The answer would turn essentially on an analysis of Soviet policy. One can speculate about how the China angle must have affected Soviet calculations; one can talk about how in a conflict situation a desire to put one's adversary in an uncomfortable position and score points at his expense becomes a kind of end in itself; and one can explain Russia's behavior as that of a semi-Asiatic nation, and compare Russia to an oriental rug merchant trying to squeeze every last ounce of profit out of a situation where the other side is seen as weak, in bargaining terms. Nobody will know for sure until the Soviet archives for the 1961-63 period are analyzed.
Soviet policy may have fundamental in this regard, but American policy also played a certain role. I want to try to sketch out what it was by telling the story of how the arrangements described above were worked out in the context of the Berlin crisis during the 1961-63 period.

As I say, Soviet policy in 1961 and 1962 is something of a puzzle. During the period after the U.S. presidential election, but before Kennedy's inauguration, the Russians took a very conciliatory line on the Berlin question and related issues. But then suddenly, even before the Bay of Pigs, their line hardened, and this tough line climaxed at the Vienna summit in June. The American response in July was tough, and the Soviets backed down. This in fact was the meaning of the Berlin wall in August: it represented their acceptance of the status quo in Berlin. But the construction of the wall was misinterpreted in Washington. It was seen as an example of Soviet aggressiveness, probably foreshadowing further unilateral aggressive acts around Berlin. The American government, seeking to head off a showdown, pushed hard for negotiations, something which was viewed as a real weakening of policy by the Germans, especially by the French, and almost certainly also by the Soviets as well, who now began to toughen their position.

The U.S.-Soviet talks continued through 1962; newly released documents allow us to follow them in some detail.(9) Basically, the Americans were as reasonable as could be; they were willing to accommodate the most fundamental Soviet concerns about Germany, and especially those that related to German acquisition of a nuclear capability. The Soviets, on the other hand, while willing to pocket these concessions, continued to insist on terms that would compromise the freedom of West Berlin. This was partly because the American concessions were not initially presented as concessions, but to avoid the appearance of anything like a U.S. capitulation were represented as conforming to long standing American policy, which was neither entirely true nor entirely false. But since the Americans, by their own account, were not making concessions, why should the Soviets voluntarily propose counter-concessions of their own? It is also likely that their experience in 1961 influenced Soviet policy in 1962: faced with the risk of war, America, the Soviets probably reasoned, would once again give way. And since they could control the risks around Berlin relatively easily, why not see just how far they could go with the Americans, and how much they could get out of them, before they liquidated the crisis?

The result was that the U.S. became increasingly exasperated. The American line toughened, and President Kennedy and his chief advisors reluctantly came to the conclusion that a test of strength was probably necessary. This was the background of the Cuban missile crisis, and considerations of this sort go a long way toward explaining why the U.S. accepted a confrontation over the missiles in Cuba.

The missile crisis marked a watershed: the change in the tone of the American documents after the resolution of the crisis is striking. The fear initially was that the Soviets were made of steel, but the outcome of the crisis showed that this was all facade, and that the Americans were effectively in the driver's seat. Moreover, the crisis had been resolved by the Americans dealing directly with the Soviets behind the backs of the allies, and American policy after the crisis became more assertive and even nationalistic--less willing to defer to the views of Adenauer and de Gaulle, and less willing to accommodate Khrushchev.
So after the crisis some of the old assumptions about the need to keep nuclear weapons out of European hands no longer seemed so compelling. Russian interests no longer needed to be accommodated to the same degree; there was little point to taking a dogmatic line on this issue ultimately because of Soviet concerns about Germany, especially if that American position was messing up our relations with our own allies. So there was a softening of opposition to a policy of helping the British deterrent move into the missile age--this was reflected in the Nassau agreements in December--and the President fully intended to apply the same principle to France, a policy sabotaged, however, by Undersecretary of State George Ball. This shift of policy on the President's part did not represent an abandonment of the Kennedy administration's opposition to German nuclear weapons; the goal evidently was to bring Germany into line by isolating her within the alliance, by building a bloc (based on a more lenient nuclear sharing policy) with Britain and France--a tactic, incidentally, which had been employed in a softer form by Eisenhower at the Fontainebleau meetings in December 1959.

The Soviets, however, were alarmed at this shift in the American position. One can imagine the reaction in the Soviet policy making elite: they had come so close in 1962 to getting the Americans to accept a settlement which met their basic security needs, but Khrushchev had overplayed the Soviet hand, and now it looked as though everything they really wanted was about to just slip through their fingers. So Khrushchev's overbearing tactics had backfired; he had to move quickly to settle things with the Americans, lest he be blamed by his colleagues for ruining the chance for an acceptable European settlement. And in fact the Soviets now pressed the Americans for a settlement of the sort that had seemed within reach in 1962.

The key development to focus on here is the process leading up to the nuclear test ban treaty of 1963. Arms control is very commonly viewed in apolitical terms; the assumption is that arms races lead to war, that the control of the arms race is therefore a basic interest of both sides, and that this perception drives the arms control process. But in reality, although rhetoric of this sort is often used as a form of window-dressing, the real goal of arms control policy is often political as its core. In this case, the fundamental aim of the test ban treaty was not to control the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms competition. The basic aim was non-proliferation, and not just as a general goal: the policy underlying the treaty was directed above all at two specific countries, the Federal Republic of Germany and the People's Republic of China--that is, it was aimed at preventing those two powers from developing a nuclear capability. And the Americans made it clear that the condition for such a policy was that the Soviets would agree to lay off West Berlin.

But to bring this policy to fruition, the U.S. government needed to bring not just the Soviets, but also the West Germans, into line. Adenauer intensely disliked the idea of a special nuclear status for Germany, and wanted to hold open the possibility of Germany, or possibly Europe, developing nuclear forces free of American control. Adenauer's relations even with the Eisenhower administration had not been all that great, but it was only during the Kennedy period that the conflict really came to a head. In January 1963, the month of de Gaulle's veto of Britain's admission to the Common Market, Adenauer aligned himself with the French; in effect, he was embracing the Gaullist view that Europe was too subservient to the U.S., and could not afford to be so absolutely dependent on America for nuclear protection--and that implicitly Europe needed nuclear forces not subject to an American veto. For the U.S., these were acts of defiance, and the great drama of U.S.-German relations in 1963 is the way the line was drawn in the dust for the Germans (over the question of the preamble to the Franco-German treaty, most notably), and the way the Germans in the final analysis chose to accept the deal the Americans offered, a deal involving acceptance of a permanent non-nuclear status.

It was the internal evolution of German politics that had made it possible for the Americans to take such a tough line with Adenauer, and ironically the great chancellor was to be the victim of his own astonishing political success. In the early years of the Federal Republic, Adenauer's diplomatic strength was his domestic political weakness: the allies had to support him, had to give him what he needed, lest he fall and be replaced by his rivals in Germany, who were much less committed to the western alliance than he was. But the obvious preference of the West for Adenauer, and the way western leaders made it clear (especially in the 1953 elections) that Germany's defense depended on Adenauer remaining in power, shaped the evolution of the main opposition party, the Social Democrats. To have any chance of gaining power, they had to embrace the western alliance; but their old anti-nuclear feelings and their old interest from the 1950s in a "disengagement" solution--that is, in a settlement with Russia based on a special status for Germany--still had their echoes in the early 1960s. The result was that just as Adenauer was coming to seem as unduly rigid (a rigidity that was artificial in any case, had been adopted initially for domestic political purposes and was being continued mainly out of sheer inertia), the SPD was taking a position that must have seemed to the Americans as close to ideal: committed both to Berlin (with Brandt as Chancellor-designate) and to NATO, but flexible on the key issues relating to the settlement with Russia, and especially with regard to Germany's nuclear status.
What this meant was that by 1963 the Americans could move ahead and work out bilateral arrangements with Russia without any great fear for what the political consequences would be in Germany. The Germans did in fact agree to accept the terms the Americans wanted. But Germany, and indeed Europe as a whole, had to get something in exchange for accepting this non-nuclear status, and that something had two basic parts: (a) an American promise to deploy a significant force in Germany on a permanent basis, and (b) participation of the NATO allies in the American strategic planning process. The promise was given in Secretary of State Rusk's Frankfurt speech in late 1963; this commitment had been considered carefully and indeed had been approved at the presidential level. And arrangements for including European officers in the work of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, the group at SAC Headquarters that develops the SIOP, the main U.S. plan for general nuclear war, were also worked out that same year.

The upshot was that the basic lines of the peace settlement had taken shape by the end of the Kennedy period. This was not because some master plan had been systemically implemented: Kennedy, Macmillan, Selwyn Lloyd, de Gaulle and Khrushchev were all said, either by themselves or by others, to have had "grand designs," but this was not one of them. And indeed (as anyone who reads the extraordinarily interesting Neustadt Report on the Skybolt affair, now fully declassified, can confirm) it came into being at times in a rather unmethodical way. But still, the different elements in the settlement were not worked out in total isolation from each other; the connections were understood, in varying degrees, by different people at different times. And although a full European settlement had not been reached by this time, one has the sense that by late 1963, one was most of the way there, and that much of the rest--what went on, for example, during the later Brandt period--was essentially icing on the cake.

The basic point of the story is that statecraft matters. But I want to end here by showing how an accurate understanding of the story can help to deflate a few myths which one comes across all the time in western Europe--myths which I think will have enormous political importance in the years ahead. In Europe today, the NATO system is commonly portrayed as a kind of American empire: the U.S.--in de Gaulle's very telling phrase, "a country whose very power draws it toward domination"--was a state that sought to impose its hegemony on Europe; the integrated NATO military command structure was the principal instrument of American control; and the fact that America was very much against the allies developing nuclear forces not subject to American control was the proof that the U.S. wanted a monopoly of power in the alliance.

This set of contentions is complemented by another series of claims, which in the scholarly literature turns on an interpretation of U.S. policy in the Berlin crisis. The total dependence of Europe in the final analysis on American nuclear protection is said to be dangerous, because in the moment of truth, the Americans would sacrifice European interests rather than see their homeland destroyed: in the Berlin crisis, the Americans and the British were supposedly the weak sisters, while the French and the Germans were tough.

The political implications of such views are clear: if the choice in the future is between the maintenance of the system which evolved with such difficulty during the Cold War period, a system based on a permanent American presence in Europe and a non-nuclear status for Germany, and a radically different system, characterized by the reemergence of Germany as a fully independent great power (and thus a nuclear power) and by a complete American withdrawal from Europe--and I think this is what the choice will be--the set of myths will tend to load the dice a bit in favor of the second alternative.

But on every major point, these assumptions, broadly accepted practically as articles of faith in France and Germany, are at best misleading and are often simply wrong. The NATO system was not imposed on Europe as a means of assuring American hegemony. The Europeans were much keener than the Americans to develop it, because of the way it solved at one blow the double problem of Russia and Germany. The French, during the formative period under the Fourth Republic, were particularly keen on developing the system of integrated military commands, and on keeping the Americans in. And the Americans, under both Truman and Eisenhower, did not want to stay in forever; and Eisenhower in particular looked forward to the day when SACEUR would be a European. When U.S. policy on staying in did change under Kennedy, it was not because of a desire to impose U.S. control on the Europeans as a kind of end in itself, but rather because the U.S. presence was seen as an integral part of a set of arrangements which would stabilize the situation in Europe, the natural counterpart to the denuclearization of the Bundeswehr.

As for the point about American hostility to European nuclear weapons, this simply does not apply to the Eisenhower period. Eisenhower of course disliked a wasteful duplication of effort, and certainly did not want totally independent and uncoordinated forces. But for a variety of reasons, his policy implied the arming of the European allies with American nuclear weapons, weapons which would, in the final analysis, be under their effective physical control. And he wanted to move toward a system which game them much greater formal political control as well. Under Kennedy there was a radical shift away from this strategy, but ultimately not because Kennedy was against European nuclear forces in principle. No one would have cared about British or even French nuclear forces if it were not for the effect on Germany; and the German angle was as much a British or French concern as an American one.

Finally, on the question of Berlin, it is highly misleading to present the "Anglo-Saxons" as weak and the continentals as tough. On the ultimate question of whether one would be willing to go nuclear if the alternative were complete political defeat in Europe, the Americans, even in late 1961 and throughout 1962, were always "tougher" than the Europeans. The difference was essentially over tactics: the Americans, hard-liners like de Gaulle (and Acheson) felt, were, from late 1961 on, projecting an image of weakness, of being desperate for negotiations, and were thus encouraging the worst tendencies of Soviet policy. This criticism was correct enough, but there was a point beyond which the Americans were never willing to go, and that had to do with the freedom and defense of West Berlin. It is a gross distortion to refer to the Kennedy policy in 1962 as an "amerikanische Appeasement-politik"--as an "American appeasement policy"--as Hans-Peter Schwarz, one of the main German authorities on the subject, does in his most recent book. For the sorts of concessions the U.S. had in mind are not to be seen as craven capitulations to the Soviets, but rather corresponded in large measure to a central thrust of American, and indeed of allied policy: to lock Germany into the West, to make Germany dependent on the West, to prevent Germany from reemerging as an independent great power. By the same token, it is a mistake to portray Adenauer (as Schwarz does) as the "saviour" of Berlin. It was not his toughness, but rather the Kennedy policy, which led to the settlement that secured Berlin's status.

So there are myths which have to be cleared up, and that is one reason why this historical work is worth doing. But the main reason for doing this work has to do with laying out the story itself. For years diplomatic historians have tried to get some insight into the great problem of war and peace by focusing on the causes of international conflict--by studying the origins of the First World War, the failure of the peace after World War I, the coming of the Second World War in Europe and in Asia, and the origins of the Cold War, to mention only the most central problems that have dominated this field of historiography. But now it is possible to learn something about the larger problem of what makes for war or for international stability by studying in some detail the making of peace among the great powers in the contemporary world.


(1) Marc Trachtenberg, History and Strategy (Princeton, 1991), pp. 232-234.

(2) Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-54, vol. 5, 1352; 1199-1201, 1207, 1219, 1228, 1381.

(3) Protocol on the Termination of the Occupation Regime in the Federal Republic of Germany and Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Federal Republic of Germany. Hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, 84th Congress, 1st session, March 20-21, 1955 (Washington: GPO, 1955), p. 14.

(4) Pierre Mendes France, Gouverner, c'est choisir (Paris, 1986), p. 613.

(5) Discussion at the 354th Meeting of the National Security Council, February 6, 1958, pp. 7-9, Ann Whitman File, NSC Series, Box 9, Eisenhower Library.

(6) Notes of NSC Meeting of November 21, 1955, p. 10, Ann Whitman File, NSC Series, Box 7, Eisenhower Library, Abilene.

(7) John Eisenhower, Memorandum of Conference with the President, June 9, 1959, Office of the Staff Secretary Collection, International Trips and Meetings Series, Box 5, Eisenhower Library.

(8) This conclusion is based on the record of the discussion following the briefing of the President and his top advisors by the Net Evaluation Subcommittee: Summary Record of National Security Council Meeting, September 12, 1963, National Security Files, Box 314, JFK Library Boston. This is certainly one of the most important documents to be released recently. (It was declassified last summer.)

(9) They were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act campaign a few of us put together under the aegis of the National Security Archive in Washington, which actually did all the work of filing the requests and handling appeals. The campaign began in early 1988, but the documents only became available last year. They can all be consulted in the Berlin file at the National Security Archive.