Moscow's Aims Have Not Changed:
Khrushchev's “Peace Offensive” Imperils NATO
ALL but ten years have now passed since the commencement of the Soviet blockade of West Berlin. That was a crisis which involved the Soviet Union and the Western powers in a more direct and nearly belligerent conflict than anything that has happened since. Looking back on it with the hindsight we have in 1958, we can appreciate by how narrow a margin the West then succeeded in holding its ground and how disastrous would have been the consequences of yielding.
The political trend in London and Washington during the first phase of the blockade was towards surrender. It was generally considered unlikely that West Berlin could be supplied for long by means of an air lift, and if it could not be, the only choice was between handing over the city to the Russians or trying to break through by force from West Germany-a course which found no majority support among Western statesmen at that time. In the event, as we all know, the air lift was successful, and the Russians flinched from the final step of shooting down the transports; thus the West gained a defensive victory, and in the following year the resistance to Soviet political pressure in Central Europe was consolidated by the conclusion of the North Atlantic alliance. Since then, in spite of all the discords of the cold war, there has been no serious violation of the boundaries either of what has now become the German Federal Republic or of the Western occupation sectors of Berlin.
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