Robert F. Byrnes

Essay
Jul
1971
Robert F. Byrnes

Even in an age of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles, the states of Eastern Europe now dominated by the Soviet Union constitute an important element of Soviet national security, a kind of cordon Stalinaire. The one hundred million people, and the resources their governments command, contribute a significant increment to Soviet economic, technological and military power. Soviet control of these areas provides forward military bases and possession of the traditional invasion routes into Western Europe, especially across the northern plains. The Soviet position, in fact, constitutes a threat to the security of Western Europe, a pistol held at its head.