The Kremlin, Germany and the Bomb

The Kremlin, Germany and the Bomb

The Kremlin’s actions are impelled not by an ideology but by an objective: to extend the area of its control and to maximize the degree to which it can manipulate and disintegrate those parts of the world not yet under its control. To a totalitarian regime anything not yet “coordinated” is of necessity threatening, the outer world is evil because uncontrolled, hence only total dominion can give ultimate reassurance.

But ultimate objectives do not necessarily govern political moves at any point in time. Hence it is senseless to deduce from the Russian urge toward world control that one cannot negotiate with the Kremlin about any particular, immediate problem. The Russian policy makers, knowing that there is no chance at the present time to achieve a monopoly of world power, are quite willing to settle for a duopoly. They are ready to come to terms with the only other world power, the United States, for a partition of the world into agreed-upon zones of influence. In fact, the approximate balance of atomic power between the Big Two has led in the last few years to just such a duopoly of power. But, and this fact must be underlined, this state of affairs is rapidly coming to an end. That is why, or so I believe, the Russian policy makers are now willing to enter serious negotiations with the West. That is why there now exist increased chances for an escape from the balance of terror under which the world has chafed for the last few years.

There is only one situation which might allow for a halt in the all-out atomic arms race: the wish of the participants to keep others from entering it. From the moment that other powers, especially Germany, enter the atomic club the world duopoly of power would be upset, and upset in an unpredictable way. There is nothing more perturbing to totalitarian planners than an unpredictable situation. The Russian policy makers may now be ready to enter into serious negotiations with the West because they fear that the military bi-polarity of the recent past is about to be upset by the imminent possibility that several NATO nations—and some neutrals—will acquire atomic weapons in the near future. This accounts, I believe, for the apparent readiness of the Russian policy makers to negotiate more seriously on inspected atomic test suspension and also on other matters.