As Europe Stands By
As A EUROPEAN, whenever I read that “the West” ought to understand this-or-that aspect of Soviet policy, or be aware of this-or- that danger, or be ready to seize such-and-such an opportunity, I wonder who exactly is being exhorted. If it is the United States, that is one thing. For the United States is an autonomous great power, fully able to engage in the “contest of will,” or “competitive coexistence,” or the “balance of terror” -in short, capable of meeting any Soviet “challenge.” But if by “the West” is meant the totality of the countries joined in the Atlantic alliance (and some democracies outside the alliance, such as Sweden and Switzerland) then I am not so sure that I understand how this collective entity should go about acting in accordance with its ideals, or its interests, or even its will to live. For three very relevant and difficult questions immediately come to mind: (1) the European democracies and German reunification; (2) Western Europe’s contribution to its own defense; and (3) the special problems of anti-Communism in Europe. I can of course deal only summarily with these questions here.
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