overview of U.S-European relations
- mid 1980's - main issue whether Atlantic Alliance still intact. Some historians say it was.
- many American commentators believe U.S had key economic and strategic role in Europe
- some say alliance was slowly collapsing. Europe had increased in power and was in direct competition with U.S
- Europe's economy not as strong as U.S, but had huge potential toe xpand
- Europe's defence system not fully developed and little foreign policy between member states of EU
- by 1980's Europe's dependency on U.S was diminishing
- neither scenario fully developed
- Europe could not become fully integrated because of conflicting national interests
- this was a factor in ensuring that some form of working relationship wbetween Europe and U.S would remain in place in 1980's
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Reagan and U.S militarism during 1980's
- June 1982, Reagan at British parliament - "Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root." - "The emergency is upon us, Let us be shy no longer. Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable."
- set the tone for his relationship with S.U...
- Reagan was determined to pursue aggressive policies
- he blamed previous admins for allowing U.S to be taken advantage of and thereby allowinging America's power globally to be eroded
- March 1983 - Reagan referred to Soviet leaders as "the focus of evil in the modern world" and "the Soviet Union underlies all the unrest that is going on"
- he believed way to address S.U was to abandon detente and resolution of conflicts. reagan believed U.S needed to return to unilateralism and restore military strength
- wanted to revitalise U.S pride in itself. Feared communism still expansionist and U.S needed to contain it.
- abandoned detente and returned to aggressive containment
- some historians say Reagan contributed to what was termed a second cold war.
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Soviet reactions up to 1985
- S.U wanted return to detente. Initially thought reagan would support
- 1981-82 S.U leadership emphasised need for dialogue with u.S
- Reagan interested in confrontation - Soviets realised
- November 1982 Brezhnev died. Yuri Andropov followed - committed to reviving detente, but realised U.S was not.
- June 1983 - after Reagan's evil empire speech - Andropov described U.S-S.U relations as being "marked by confrontation, unprecidented in the entire post-war period by its intensity and sharpness, of two diametrically opposite world outlooks, the two political courses, socialism and imperialism"
- 1st September - huge blow to U.S-S.U relations when Korean airliner KAL-007 was shot down by Soviets. 269 dead - S.U said it was a U.S intelligience plane.
- 28th September - Andropov -(describing Reagan regime) - "a militaristic course that represents a serious threat to peace"
- for the S.U, the U.S had abandoned detente and was aiming to become militarily superior to the S.U
- Reagan admin was seeking to undermine the S.U and challenge national liberation movements globally
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militarism and arms control up to 1985
- Reagan foreign policy focused on rebuilding U.S military power
- Carter's defence budget was $17.4billion, by 1989 Reagan's proposed $300billion
- heart of his aim = build up of nuclear + conventional power to move U.S from defensive to offensive
- approved development of stealth aircraft - restores development programmes cancelled by Carter - B1 bomber and neutron bomb programmes
- Reagan decided U.S would not ratify SALT II Treaty agreed by Carter in June 1979
- showed no intention to negotiate with S.U. Partly due to after effects of S.U invasion of Afghanistan, and continueing martial law imposed on Poland as response to solidarity movement.
- Throughout 1981 Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin tried to restart SALT II, but no success
- Reagan admin accepted need for cooperation by end of 1981 - mainly because of pressure from Europe and 'nuclear freeze' movement growing in U.S
- strategic arms talks were named as the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks(START)
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- establishing agreements over intermediate-range nuclear forces(INF)
- Reagan admin proposed the 'zero option' - U.S would not deploy cruise and Pershing II missiles if S.U removed its SS-20 missiles from Europe. Was heavily against S.U interests - U.S made a deal the S.U had to decline
- only dealt with land based missiles and not sea-based or aircraft - would have allowed U.S to undertake unlimited expansion in these areas and strengthen its advantage over S.U
- agreement was only for U.S and S.U weapons, British+Frenchcould continue growth
- Final guarantee plans would be rejected was that restrictions would be imposed on all Soviet intermediate range land missiles wherever they were deployed - would have removed missiles in far East, not only Europe.
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- U.S was only interested in deploying missiles in Europe - proceeded in November 1983 - deployment of 1st cruise and Pershing II missiles led to S.U abandoning talks
- for first time in 10+ years S.U and U.S were no longer in talks
- START began mid 1982 - complete failure
- proposed limit of 5,000 missile warheads - meant a cut of 1/3 for each side - problem lay with proposal to set limits on ICBM's. Demanded a cut of 1/2 S.U ICBM warheads and 2/3 S.U SS-18 and 19 warheads
- all U.S strategy programmes would have continued. proposals aimed to increase vulnerability of S.U land based missiles
- 1983 - Soviet General - "you(The USA) want to solve your vulnerability problem by making our forces vulnerable"
- admin thought that only when U.S had expanded military power would the S.U have incentive to negotiate seriously
- S.U thought U.S were not interested in beneficial agreements and by ending negotiations the Western powers would apply pressure on U.S to adopt a cooperative stance
- Reagan's response was to simply blame the S.U for breakdown, as they abandoned the talks.
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- 23rd March 1983 - 'National Security Adress To the Nation' - Reagan added additional element to arms race
- 1972 ABM Treaty acknowledged there could be no defence against nukes nukes/nukes from space. By 1980 was clear 'missile vulnerability' was issue. If one side attacke first, it could then stop any retalliation
- Reagan moved from assured defence to assured retaliation as his form of defence.
- Known as the Strategic Defence Initiative or Star Wars. Coined by those against war in space, completely false association
- He believed in a system of defence against nukes rather than mass retaliation - defence against ICBM's would act as an incentive for S.U to reduce their stocks
- If SDI made a first strike impossible then there would be no need for ICBM's
- U.S launched a 5 year $26 billion scheme - reagan believed it was a way of ending arms race. MAD would be replaced with Mutually Assured Survival(MAS)
- SDI challenged the concept of Mutual deterrence. If each side had nukes of equal power deterrence would be in place. SDI meant U.S interested in ABM which ended guarantee of mutual deterrence
- SDI was incompatible with ABM treaty
- "Each party undertakes not to develop, test, or deploy ABM systems or components"
- Soviets, like many Americans were convinced the idea would not go ahead
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- SDI seen as American plan to develop first strike capability
- SDI seen as a dangerous alternative to arms control.
- undermined the process of arms limitation
- S.U feared SDI would trigger another arms race
- In reality there was no means of developing an inpenitrable missile defence system
- was, however, possible to eliminate a number of hostile missiles so that enemy could not plan a first strike
- SDI was an impossible dream that had a huge impact on East-West relations and U.S-European relations.
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relations between U.S and Europe, 1980-6
- Western Alliance had been in place since 1945
- by 1980's U.S-S.U detente had collapsed but European detente was flourishing
- Europe did not abandon detente when S.U invaded Afghanistan
- lack of uniformity and coordination between U.S and Europe
- lack of coordination developed over decades and came to head in 1980's
- problems arose as Europe became major economic organisation - one that could threaten U.S economic power globally
- As Europe became more economically propserous, U.S began to question their commitment to it
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The U.S, Europe and arms control
- Europe doubtful Reagans commitment to arms control
- Europe viewed SDI as a direct threat to ABM treaty
- Geoffrey Howe, Brit foreign sec, ABM Treaty "keystone in the arch of security"
- any threat to ABM Treaty would lead to nuclear escalation
- Europe saw SDI as a part of plan of U.S isolationism - U.S detatching itself from long term commitment to defence Europe
- U.S thought Europe too committed to detente and arms control
- U.S remained tightly connected to Europe through NATO
- May 1981 NATO meeting, U.S pushed to have all references to detente removed. Strongly opposed by European allies
- u.S reluctantly accepted a commitment to 'more constructive East-West relationship'
- agreement also accepted that NATO allies would 'maintain a dialogue with the Soviet Union and work together for genuine detente and the development of East-West relations, whenever the Soviet behaviour makes this possible'
- May 1982 - NATO allies recognised need for 'arms control and disarmament, together with deterrence and defence'
- for the U.S, INF deployment was seen as means of reinforcing alliance
- Europe believed these deployments were driven by U.S desire to influence European security and control European independence from U.S
- Nov 1983 - U.S confirms plans to deploy cruise & Pershing II missiles in Europe. S.U pulls out of IMF talks
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Poland and the Solidarity movement
- possibility of Soviet intervention in Poland in response to solidarity movement were decreasing by December 1980
- political crisis in Poland continued to intensify
- December 1981 - Martial Law imposed. Western states announced some economic controls in response
- U.S was much harder. All shipments of agricultural products were banned. Polish fishing in U.S waters stopped, landing of Polish airlines on U.S soil banned
- Late 1981 - U.S withdrew most-favoured-nation(MFN) trade status from Poland
- blocked Poland from recieving aid from IMF. U.S went much further than West Europe in applying economic sanctions
- In respond to Poland, U.S suspended sales of oil and gas technology to the S.U
- hardliners in Reagan admin had been pushing for policy to put S.U economy under pressure
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The Soviet Gas Pipeline, 1982
- June 1982 U.S actions against S.U intensifies
- Sales of equipment for S.U gas piepline into Europe were banned
- ban also included equipment from Western Europe produced under U.S license
- angered Europe as seen as restriction of trade - futher angered by U.S agreement to sell grain to S.U
- Europe felt as if it was paying economic cost for U.S policy while U.S was benefitting
- Soviet pipeline intended to deliver 20% of Europe's energy needs. Generated employment when it was needed - 8% unemployment in germany
- u.S claimed Europe would become dependent on S.U oil and thus would expose it to Soviet threats of stopping supply
- many Europeans thought it was an attempt to undermine European detente
- pipeline major link between east and west - U.S feared its influence over West European policy toward S.U would be undermined if link intact
- European states rejected what they regarded U.S attempts to control them
- U.S announced it would place snactions on any EU business defying its embargo against S.U
- U.S was forced to back down
- late 1982 trade sanctions withdrawn in return for agreement that no new gas contracts would be agreed with S.U
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- 1986 - U.S bombed military targets in Libya. Libyan leader, Colonel Quaddafi, also targetted
- Reagan said defeating terrorism major aim of his admin
- evidence mounting since '81 that Libya major source of terrorism
- all political+economic ties between U.S and Libya severed in 1981
- Libya linked to 1985 Rome and Vienna airport bombings - Berlin night club bombing 1986 triggered u.S bombing of Libya
- attacks facilitated by Britain. british airforce bases used by U.S to launch attacks
- widespread opposition across Europe. France and Spain refused U.S planes to fly through their airspace en route to Libya.
- Europeans believed attacks would lead to more retaliation and most of it inflicted on Europe, especially against those that supported U.S
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The Reagan-Thatcher relationship
- Feb 1981 - thatcher visits reagan - honeymoon period in Anglo-American relations
- June 1982 - reagan visits Britain. In a speech in front of parliament he called for a 'crusade for freedom' and his target was the S.U
- Thatcher agreed Cold War had dragged on for too long
- for Thatcher, Regan had put 'freedom on the offensive'
- Friction between Britain and U.S regarding Poland and Soviet gas pipeline
- Thatcher agreed to allow U.S to launch F-11 bombers against Libya in 1986
- Britain's reward for this support came when U.S agreed to extradite suspected IRA terrorists living in U.S for trial.
- Britain deviated from West Europe on the Libyan issue, but were less willing to back reagan's SDI program
- Thatcher repeatedly voiced concern that West Europe would be defenceless without U.S nukes
- SDI project threatened to bring this
- ridding the world of nukes would create a massive imbalance between the conventional force of East and West
- thatcher letter to Reagan - "we must continue to make the case for deterrence based on nuclear weapons for several years to come"
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