Tales of the New Cold War: The Silence of the Doves. Stephen F. Cohen, @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com. PART 1 of 2.

Sep 20, 2017, 03:43 AM

09-19-2017 (Photo: Vienna Summit 1961) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow

Tales of the New Cold War: The Silence of the Doves. Stephen F. Cohen, @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com. PART 1 of 2.

President John F. Kennedy met the Soviet Premier, Nikita S. Khrushchev, at the Vienna Summit in June 1961. Prior to meeting face-to-face, their contact began when Khrushchev sent Kennedy a message on November 9, 1960. In the message, Khrushchev congratulated Kennedy on his presidential election and stated his hope that “relations between [the U.S. and USSR] would again follow the line along which they were developing in Franklin Roosevelt’s time.”[1] He also told Kennedy that the USSR desired to negotiate with the U.S. on issues relating to, “disarmament… a German peace treaty…and other questions which could bring about an easing and improvement of the entire international situation.”[2] In a reply message, Kennedy thanked Khrushchev and similar niceties continued until 1961. On February 22, 1961, President Kennedy sent Premier Khrushchev a letter stating, “I hope it will be possible, before too long, for us to meet personally for an informal exchange of views.”[3] This was the first time either man suggested a diplomatic meeting. Kennedy felt “that if he could just sit down with Khrushchev” the two leaders could work out their inter-state conflicts.[4] Yet, Kennedy’s advisors told him not to meet with Khrushchev so soon after Kennedy’s election. The American Ambassador to Moscow, Llewellyn E. Thompson, feared that Kennedy misjudged Khrushchev’s personality and intentions. Likewise, Charles Bohlen, a U.S. diplomat, “worried that JFK underrated Khrushchev’s determination to expand world communism.”[5] Nevertheless, Khrushchev accepted Kennedy’s summit proposal and the leaders began to make plans for their official meeting. Meanwhile, Cold War rivalries between the two powers escalated in Germany, Laos, and Cuba. The regional conflicts became major items on the Vienna Summit agenda. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_summit

Brent Scowcroft and other members of the US administration were initially concerned that the proposed Malta Summit would be "premature" and that it would generate high expectations but result in little more than Soviet grandstanding. However, French President François Mitterrand, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, other European leaders and key members of the US Congress prevailed upon President Bush to meet with Chairman Gorbachev.[1] No agreements were signed at the Malta Summit. Its main purpose was to provide the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, with an opportunity to discuss the rapid changes taking place in Europe with the lifting of the Iron Curtain, which had separated the Eastern Bloc from Western Europe for four decades. The summit is viewed by some observers as the official end of the Cold War. At a minimum, it marked the lessening of tensions that were the hallmark of that era and signaled a major turning point in East-West relations. During the summit, President Bush expressed his support for Gorbachev's perestroika initiative and other reforms in the Communist bloc. At the summit, as a token, US President George Bush presented all participants of the conference a piece of the Berlin Wall. It was gathered on a presidential mission in which two pilots and four soldiers with sledgehammers were sent to Berlin where 400 lb were collected; 200 lb were given to the President and 200 lb given to members of the 207th Aviation Company.