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The Cold War and AfterHistory, Theory, and the Logic of International Politics$
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Marc Trachtenberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152028

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152028.001.0001

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The Structure of Great Power Politics, 1963–75

The Structure of Great Power Politics, 1963–75

(p.154) Chapter Six The Structure of Great Power Politics, 1963–75
The Cold War and After

Marc Trachtenberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter details events that occurred from 1963 to 1975. John F. Kennedy's most fundamental goal as president of the United States was to reach a political understanding with the Soviet Union based on the following principle: America and Russia were both very great powers and therefore needed to respect each other's most fundamental interests. The United States was thus prepared, for its part, to recognize the USSR's special position in eastern Europe. America would also see to it that West Germany would not become a nuclear power. In exchange, the Soviets would have to accept the status quo in central Europe, especially in Berlin. If a settlement of that sort could be worked out, the great problem that lay at the heart of the Cold War would be resolved. However, to reach a settlement based on those principles, Kennedy had to get both the USSR and his own allies in Europe to accept this sort of arrangement.

Keywords:   international relations, John F. Kennedy, USSR, Soviet Union, Cold War, foreign policy

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