Cold War security experiences of Eastern European states
in Defending Eastern Europe
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The chapter examines the communist period of Eastern European states’ political history, with a special focus on late communism. Institutional factors of divergence and convergence are scrutinized with an emphasis on paradoxes of communism as an ideology leading to both unity and conflict. The countries in the region are divided into members of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO), subjugated by the Soviet Union, and “independent” communist countries, Yugoslavia and Albania. Among WTO members distinction is made between northern tier countries of East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, and the Balkan countries of Bulgaria and Romania. While the Soviet position in the north was basically stable, even though nationalist uprisings had to be put down in all member states in WTO, the Soviets were weak in the Balkans, where only one country, Bulgaria, was a faithful Soviet ally. Finally, different factors and histories of extrication from communism are examined, emphasizing factors leading to different outcomes in different countries. The erosion of the Soviet position in the northern tier countries was decisive in the destruction of the Soviet empire and WTO.

Defending Eastern Europe

The defense policies of new NATO and EU member states

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