East-West Relations in Europe

Security in Europe depends on more than NATO's military strength. The close ties of friendship in the West and the stability of the military balance set the stage for renewed effort at a broader reconciliation.

East-West conflict in Europe springs from historical and objective causes, not transient moods or personal misunderswdings. For twenty-five years Europe has been divided by opposing national interests and contrary philosophies, which clash over specific issues: the military confrontation of opposing coalitions, the division of Germany, the situation in and around Berlin, the nature of relations between Western and Eastern countries and institutions, and the barriers to travel and cultural and intellectual intercourse.

These issues will not be quickly resolved. To relax tensions means a patient and persistent effort to deal with specific sources and not only with their manifestations. The West will be conciliatory on substance, but we are determined to deal with substance and not simply with atmosphere.

We in the West are convinced by the history of the postwar period that a detente that does not apply equally to Eastern and Western Europe will be inherently unstable. In our view, detente means negotiating the concrete conditions of mutual security that will allow for expanded intra-European contact and cooperation without jeopardizing the security of any country. Soviet policies and doctrine, however, too often interpret detente in terms of Western ratification of the status quo and acknowledgment of continuing Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe. Beyond this, Soviet policy has been tempted to offer a relaxation of tension selectively to some allies but not to others, and only on limited issues of primary interest to the U.S.S.R. In view of this fundamental difference, a major question for the alliance to face is whether we can overcome the East-West stalemate while maintaining unity among ourselves and avoiding internal divisions in our countries.