“Trust, but Verify”


Klimke_Cover

The Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1971

(Washington, DC/Redwood City, CA: Wilson Center Press/Stanford University Press, 2016)

Edited by Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian Ostermann

 

“In an abundance of  ‘trust talk’  in international relations, finally a scholarly analysis of how and why trust really matters:  how it facilitated cooperation, enabled risk-taking, and helped to establish confidence-building politics, under the highly unlikely auspices of the Cold War.”

— Ute Frevert, Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development

“This book offers an insightful explanation for one of the great puzzles of recent history: how the Cold War, a seemingly indestructible international regime, came to an end. And it will also make waves because the essays take seriously the mission of relating the political, economic, and cultural factors to emotions history.”

— Frank Costigliola, University of Connecticut

Synopsis:

U.S. President Ronald Reagan once famously quipped, “Nations do not mistrust each other because they are armed. They are armed because they mistrust each other.” To transcend this quagmire, Reagan employed the strategy “Trust, but Verify,” one of his signature phrases, during the second half of the Cold War. Presenting this maxim as a translation of a Russian proverb, Reagan predominantly used it when describing U.S.-Soviet relations. In December 1987, for example, the two countries signed the INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), which set forth the destruction of all land-based nuclear missiles with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles, a permanent halt in the production of such missiles, and—crucially for Reagan—mutual inspection rights. When he announced at the subsequent press conference in Washington that the spirit of the agreement was in keeping with his aforementioned motto, his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev only replied with amusement, “You repeat that at every meeting.”

The landmark INF treaty, accompanied by reservations among U.S. and Soviet allies about the increasingly cordial relations between the former opponents, exemplifies the significance of trust and trustworthiness in international relations during the Cold War. Recent historiography of this conflict has begun to explore the crucial role of emotions such as fear and insecurity, which permeated both foreign policy strategy and large segments of society. It has not yet, however, explicitly made trust either an independent analytical category or an object of historical analysis, despite its wide application in the fields of sociology, economics, media studies, and political science.

Yet although Cold War angst (e.g., of nuclear annihilation) shaped the relationship between the ideological blocs, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, the final two decades of the era—from the period of détente starting in the late 1960s to the gradual rapprochement between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1980s—saw Cold War policy grow more flexible and diverse as each side sought to escape the orthodoxy of mutual assured destruction and deterrence. Because these transformations affected relations between the two superpowers and caused uncertainties within both blocs, the second half of the Cold War was characterized by a complex mixture of fear and trust, which manifested itself, among other things, in confidence-building and risk-taking.

This volume uses the categories of trust and confidence to explore and reevaluate the final two decades of the Cold War.

Stanford UP website / Wilson Center Press website / 20 % discount flyer

 

Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION
Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis and Christian Ostermann


I. THE PERSONAL FACTOR

1. Untrusting and Untrusted: Mao’s China at Crossroads, 1969
Sergey Radchenko

2. “No Crowing”: Reagan, Trust, and Human Rights
Sarah Snyder

3. Trust between Adversaries and Allies: President George H.W. Bush, Trust and the End of the Cold War
J. Simon Rofe


II. RISK, COMMITMENT, AND VERIFICATION:
THE BLOCS AT THE NEGOTIATION TABLE

4. Trust and Mistrust and the American Struggle for Verification of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), 1969-1979
Arvid Schors

5. Trust and Transparency at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), 1969-1975
Michael Cotey Morgan

6. ‘Reagan may have had Trust in Gorbachev, but the United States Demanded Verification of the Soviet Union.’ Lessons from the Making of the INF Treaty
Nicholas Wheeler, Laura Considine


III. BETWEEN CONSOLIDATION AND CORROSION:
TRUST INSIDE THE IDEOLOGICAL BLOCS OF EAST AND WEST

7. Whom Did East Germans Trust? Popular Opinion on Threats of War, Confrontation and Détente in the GDR, 1968-89
Jens Gieseke

8. “Brothers in Arms,” but not quite: East Germany and People’s Poland between Mutual Dependency and Mutual Distrust, 1975-1990
Jens Boysen

9. Institutionalizing Trust? The G7 Summits and the European Council Meetings, 1975-1990
Noel Bonhomme and Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol

10. Trust through Familiarity: Transatlantic Relations and Public Diplomacy in the 1980s
Reinhild Kreis


IV. ON THE SIDELINES OR IN THE MIDDLE?
SMALL AND NEUTRAL STATES

13. ‘Footnotes’ as an Expression of Distrust? The US and the NATO ‘Flanks’ in the Last Two Decades of the Cold War
Effie G. H. Pedaliu

14. Switzerland and Détente: A Revised Foreign Policy Characterized by Distrust
Sandra Bott and Janick Marina Schaufelbuehl