FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: The Essays of Zbigniew Brzezinski

The Framework of East-West Reconciliation

Joseph Stalin, Lenin, and Mikhail Kalinin were all members of the Bolshevik Party before the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Europe is increasingly restless with the division imposed on it more than twenty years ago. To end that division, and thereby to take a step toward a larger community of the developed nations, is a task requiring the often conflicting virtues of perseverance and imagination. It also requires asking explicitly: What can be done in the next twenty years to change this condition-and to change it in a way that is compatible with historical trends and more immediate requirements of political reality?


Several concepts currently purport to provide an answer to the above questions. Three among them particularly stand out and deserve closer attention: The Atlantic conception, the "European Europe" Gaullist vision and the Soviet idea of a European security arrangement. Let it be said immediately that each, though in different ways, is inadequate or only partially satisfactory. One, rooted in the transitional setting of the cold war, even if generally in tune with the wider sweep of history, fails to respond to the growing political concerns of Europe; the second reflects current political moods but ignores historical trends; the third fails on both scores.

Usually, the Atlantic concept is employed to express not only an existing reality-that America and Europe have a special affinity-but a desire for a particular kind of relationship between them. The spectrum ranges from the notion of an intimate and integrated Atlantic community, with the United States and individual European states merging into one, to the famous concept of partnership between America and a more united Western Europe. Such a partnership, it is asserted, would generate an irresistible magnetic attraction to the East, and eventually the European problem-particularly the division of Germany-would somehow be resolved. Such a Europe would also share with America certain global responsibilities-a hope voiced more frequently by American than European spokesmen.

The nature of the eventual European settlement, and the ways and means of reaching it, are rarely spelled out in any detail by the

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