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Old April 8th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #1

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What factors led to both Western Europe and Eastern Europe to move away from their respective Cold W


What factors led to both Western Europe and Eastern Europe to move away from their respective Cold War super-patrons?

What do you think?

besides Communism was not appealing for the East, why would they and western countries move away from the US and USSR.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 09:05 AM   #2

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Re: What factors led to both Western Europe and Eastern Europe to move away from their respective Co


I thought about it.

It could be, the lack of intervention of the US in Western Europe which made western countries feel unsafe, and perhaps betrayed that the US would not risk war over them. Thats on reason why they would move away from the US.

The Eastern countries standards of living were low, communism was not appealing in any way, as they were exposed to excerpts of the West. Many wished to have independence and form their own form of COmmunism (Titoism, Alexander Dubcek). Soviet control was aggressive.

And both the west and east did not wish to intermingle in the US Soviet Cold War, as if the fighting began it would begin on European soil. FOr instance, Western Germany and France were heavily against placing missiles, bombs in those countries in fear of a Soviet Attack which would destroy their nation.

I think those are three solid points.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #3

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Re: What factors led to both Western Europe and Eastern Europe to move away from their respective Co


Quote:
Originally Posted by Milad View Post
I thought about it.

It could be, the lack of intervention of the US in Western Europe which made western countries feel unsafe, and perhaps betrayed that the US would not risk war over them. Thats on reason why they would move away from the US.

The Eastern countries standards of living were low, communism was not appealing in any way, as they were exposed to excerpts of the West. Many wished to have independence and form their own form of COmmunism (Titoism, Alexander Dubcek). Soviet control was aggressive.

And both the west and east did not wish to intermingle in the US Soviet Cold War, as if the fighting began it would begin on European soil. FOr instance, Western Germany and France were heavily against placing missiles, bombs in those countries in fear of a Soviet Attack which would destroy their nation.

I think those are three solid points.
Sounds like you got yourself a good, solid start
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Old April 9th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #4

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Re: What factors led to both Western Europe and Eastern Europe to move away from their respective Co


You could also consider the following:

(a) Most Eastern bloc countries had effectively no autonomy, and many were only "USSR clients" because they were forced into it. Hence, their loyalty to the USSR itself was enforced BY the USSR and they would always be looking for a way out of it. The USSR largely ruled these countries- none of which really lost their own national sense of self- as a buffer against the west. No-one likes being a buffer, least of all in the event of a nuclear war. Which leads me to.........

(B) In the west- even in Britain, most staunch (read: pathetically servile) follower of the US, there was an increasing realisation that America's presence, nuclear and otherwise, was almost entirely for it's own ends and its own defence. America preferred that if a war should break out, it was best fought in Europe. Here in Britain, we had several US bases: Greenham Common, home to American nukes which could have been fired without the British government even having a say. (Greenham Common was removed in the '80s, and was the scene of protests and an army of lesbians....). To this day, no more than 10 miles from where I live, Menwith Hill is still an American listening station, and is actually considered American soil.

ICBMs certainly played a role in ending the Cold War and arms race. Apart from Reagan's fanciful "Star Wars" defence programme, (which many saw, quite rightfully, as an escalation of the Cold War), there was a realisation that ICBMs would effectively remove any benefit from America's European buffer, and that America itself would be targeted and not much could stop this. Obviously, the same realisation happened in the USSR.

In Europe, there was an unease that America had no real intention of protecting Europe other than its own interests there, and would be unwilling to go to war on it's behalf. Which is fair enough in a sense.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #5

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Re: What factors led to both Western Europe and Eastern Europe to move away from their respective Co


Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dog View Post
You could also consider the following:

(a) Most Eastern bloc countries had effectively no autonomy, and many were only "USSR clients" because they were forced into it. Hence, their loyalty to the USSR itself was enforced BY the USSR and they would always be looking for a way out of it. The USSR largely ruled these countries- none of which really lost their own national sense of self- as a buffer against the west. No-one likes being a buffer, least of all in the event of a nuclear war. Which leads me to.........

(B) In the west- even in Britain, most staunch (read: pathetically servile) follower of the US, there was an increasing realisation that America's presence, nuclear and otherwise, was almost entirely for it's own ends and its own defence. America preferred that if a war should break out, it was best fought in Europe. Here in Britain, we had several US bases: Greenham Common, home to American nukes which could have been fired without the British government even having a say. (Greenham Common was removed in the '80s, and was the scene of protests and an army of lesbians....). To this day, no more than 10 miles from where I live, Menwith Hill is still an American listening station, and is actually considered American soil.

ICBMs certainly played a role in ending the Cold War and arms race. Apart from Reagan's fanciful "Star Wars" defence programme, (which many saw, quite rightfully, as an escalation of the Cold War), there was a realisation that ICBMs would effectively remove any benefit from America's European buffer, and that America itself would be targeted and not much could stop this. Obviously, the same realisation happened in the USSR.

In Europe, there was an unease that America had no real intention of protecting Europe other than its own interests there, and would be unwilling to go to war on it's behalf. Which is fair enough in a sense.
Well put Black Dog. Thanks.
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