Courtesy Reuters

IT has long been clear that the post-blockade arrangements governing the city of Berlin were unstable and provisional. The recent Soviet move in the Berlin situation is a clear signal that, from the standpoint of Moscow's interests, time has now run out.

The reasons are not hard to perceive. The type of obedience and conformity which are required for the successful imposition of the kind of rule favored by Moscow demands that every possibility and hope of an alternative be denied the subject people. So long as a free Berlin exists, this denial cannot be exerted against the people of Eastern Germany, and the effort to impose on them a régime of the Soviet pattern must, accordingly, remain only partially successful. In Moscow's eyes this constitutes a real danger. It weakens throughout Eastern Europe that belief in the unalterable success of Communist purposes which constitutes the center of the

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  • GEORGE F. KENNAN, of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; former U. S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union and head of the Policy Planning Staff in the Department of State; author of "Realities of American Foreign Policy" and "Russia, the Atom and the West"
  • More By George F. Kennan