American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War: An Insider's Account of U.S. Policy in Europe, 1989-1992

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American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War: An Insider's Account of U.S. Policy in Europe, 1989-1992

By Robert L. Hutchings
Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1997
456 pp. $39.95
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This well-written study of the Bush administration's European policy gives a vivid account of the diplomatic strategies and processes that attended the liberation of Eastern Europe, the unification of Germany, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The author, who was director of European affairs at the National Security Council in 1989-92, stresses that the outcome that had once seemed impossible was not, after all, foreordained. The principal American accomplishment -- securing German unification within a Euro- Atlantic security framework -- required a delicate juggling act that propitiated Germany, eased the fears of Britain and France, and reassured Soviet leaders. An important question raised by this grand settlement -- though addressed only obliquely in this account -- is whether current plans to expand NATO are consistent with the reassurances then given. Hutchings shows that the U.S. desire to bring Eastern Europe into Western institutions was present at the outset of the Bush administration, but also records as one of the "nine assurances" given to Soviet leaders in 1990 that no NATO forces would be deployed in the former GDR.