How Not to Aid Eastern Europe
As the West’s long battle with Soviet Communism draws to a close, practical men in America and elsewhere ponder a novel question: how to bring forth a lawful, prosperous, and secure order from the rubble of the former Soviet Union. For many statesmen, diplomats, and captains of industry, the answer is already clear: we should rely upon foreign-aid policies, skillfully designed and massively financed. Through existing agencies or new ones, it is argued, such transfers will speed the transition from Communism to market democracies for hundreds of millions of people.
Yet the ongoing dramas in Moscow, and the attention these have commanded, have obscured the fact that America and other Western states are already experimenting with a series of aid programs for ex-Communist countries. The recipients in question are the societies of Central and Eastern Europe. The population of those five former members of the Warsaw pact—Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria—totals nearly 100 million (and will be larger still if Yugoslavia and Albania are added to their ranks), and while the sums involved are not historic, neither are they trifling. The United States, for example, has already authorized over $1.5 billion in grants for Eastern Europe and has guaranteed several times that amount in subsidized loans through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the new European Bank.
About the Author