H-Diplo Roundtable XIX, 14 on Dynamic Détente: The United States and Europe, 1964-1975

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Roundtable Review
Volume XIX, No. 14 (2017)
4 December 2017

Roundtable Editors: Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse
Roundtable and Web Production Editor: George Fujii

Introduction by Thomas Schwartz

Stephan Kieninger. Dynamic Détente: The United States and Europe, 1964-1975. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-4985-3241-9 (hardcover, $110.00).

URL: http://www.tiny.cc/Roundtable-XIX-14


© 2017 The Authors.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.


"Détente was born in Europe and realistically, never had meaning or consequence outside of Europe.”[1] I recently came across this quotation from former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and it seemed a fitting way to begin this roundtable about Stephan Kieninger’s impressive and thoroughly well researched book on what the author calls “dynamic détente” in Europe from 1964 to 1975. The reviewers are all extremely positive about Kieninger’s manuscript. This is a noteworthy achievement. In fact, in my years as an academic and a historian, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have read book reviews written by authors of what might be considered ‘rival’ books but who were overwhelmingly favorable toward their competitor. It is a tribute to Kieninger that his book makes it into this select club. The reviewers find much to praise in the scale of Kieninger’s research, his analysis of the issues, and the forceful argument he makes. They make clear that Kieninger’s book is a significant contribution to both Cold War history and the history of the détente process in Europe.

Luke Nichter, author of a book which examined the Nixon Administration and Europe, sees in Kieninger’s approach a much more Eurocentric exploration of this period than the book he wrote.[2] He is particularly impressed with the degree to which Kieninger successfully examines complex and detailed multilateral negotiations. The three he highlights are the MBFR (Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions), negotiations on reducing conventional forces in Europe, the CSCE (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe), the negotiations which led to the famous Helsinki agreements, and the offset negotiations, those NATO discussions which sought to reduce or offset the costs of the stationing of American forces in Europe. Nichter, who has probably spent more time listening to the Nixon tapes than any human being should be required, acknowledges that President Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger had very little interest in the ‘multilateral détente’ which Kieninger describes. His only significant criticism is that Kieninger does not recognize the significance of domestic politics in how Nixon approached Europe. Nichter illustrates that by quoting John Connally, a man who qualified as Europe’s least favorite American before Donald Trump came along. The Texan Treasury Secretary warned about a united Europe as a ‘Frankenstein monster,’ his words a reflection of the skepticism Nixon brought to European matters. 

Werner Lippert’s earlier work explored the economic diplomacy which facilitated Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik, and his review suggests that Kieninger does not adequately explore the economics which facilitated détente, especially trade.[3] However, Lippert praises the book for its careful examination of the “second-level” actors in the State Department and Foreign Ministry who pursued the policy of dynamic detente over successive presidential administrations and changes in government. Lippert also praises the degree to which the book promotes a “profoundly liberal” view of the value of negotiation, diplomacy, and cooperation in resolving international conflict. Certainly this suggests the value in taking from the historical experience of dynamic détente lessons in resolving current historical standoffs, perhaps including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action otherwise known as the Iranian nuclear deal. Along with its other qualities, Lippert is most impressed with the sheer timeliness of Kieninger’s effort.

Kenneth Weisbrode identifies the two central contributions of Dynamic Detente as first, providing greater precision to the history of détente, and second, providing a much deeper understanding of the debates and discussions within American officialdom over the more than decade-long period in which détente was pursued. The emphasis on continuity of policy across presidential administrations earns Weisbrode’s praise, as it is often lost in the tendency of American historians to believe that presidents set the foreign policies of their administrations without regard to what has occurred before their presidencies. Weisbrode, whose first book provided a rich examination of the American diplomats who forged a close connection to Europe over the course of the 20th century, suggests that Kieninger’s concept of “dynamic détente” should be seen as a part of a broader euro-Atlantic vision, less a product of the Cold War and more “an aspirational component of international society.”[4] One of his few reservations about the book is that Kieninger does not pay enough attention to some of the Helsinki review conferences, which served to keep public attention on the issues of compliance with those accords. Weisbrode also raises the uncomfortable question of how many of the achievements of “dynamic détente” now seem challenged, from the building of walls and restrictions on the ‘freer movements’ of peoples to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which brutally violated the concept of the inviolability of borders.

Weisbrode concludes his review by suggesting that those within the diplomatic bureaucracies who made dynamic détente a reality should be recognized and honored. Having highlighted the role played by Deputy National Security Adviser Francis Bator in promoting the policy of bridge building under Lyndon Johnson, I strongly support Weisbrode’s suggestion.[5]



Stephan Kieninger is an independent historian and the author of Dynamic Détente: The United States and Europe, 1964-1975 (Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series, Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). He received his Ph.D. from Mannheim University. He is currently finishing a book manuscript on cooperative security policies and pan-European energy trade. In the academic year 2016/2017, he was a Fellow at the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies. Formerly, he was a Senior Researcher at the Federal German Archives. His research interests include Cold War diplomacy, Europe’s transnational history, and international energy security and trade.

Thomas Alan Schwartz is a Professor of History and Political Science at Vanderbilt University. Most recently, he is the co-editor with Matthias Schulz, The Strained Alliance: US-European Relations in the 1970s (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He is currently working on a study of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger entitled Henry Kissinger and the Dilemmas of American Power.

Werner Lippert, (Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 2005) is an expert on contemporary transatlantic history and United States foreign relations during the Cold War.

His major focus is on diplomatic, economic, and security aspects. In addition to working in these areas of specialization, he participates in the department’s social studies education program by teaching social studies education classes and supervising student teachers. His most recent publication is The Economic Diplomacy of Ostpolitik: Origins of NATO’s Energy Dilemma. (Berghahn, 2010).

Luke A. Nichter is an Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University–Central Texas. His books include Richard Nixon and Europe: The Reshaping of the Postwar Atlantic World (Cambridge University Press, 2015), the New York Times bestseller The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), The Nixon Tapes: 1973 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), and the forthcoming Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. and the Decline of the Eastern Establishment (Yale University Press).

Kenneth Weisbrode teaches history at Bilkent University and is the author of The Year of Indecision, 1946 (Viking, 2016).


Akin to Mark Twain’s adage that “History doesn’t repeat itself- but it rhymes,” one could easily make an argument that Russia’s current falling out with the United States is not necessarily a repeat of the Cold War–but that this confrontation has many ‘rhyming’ elements of the international context of the 1960s and 1970s: a pervasive sense of economic stagnation, a reluctance to foster military escalation, and a focus of the American electorate on domestic issues such as race and gender equality. All these aspects left Western statesmen in the 1960s in limbo over how to approach the Soviet Union–a state similar to the haphazard approach towards Russia today. In this sense, Stephan Kieninger’s new book Dynamic Détente, which details differing approaches to détente with an economically flailing but militarily tenacious Soviet Union is as timely as it is relevant.

The question of how to maintain a transatlantic alliance among countries (and statesmen) that identified increasingly divergent foreign policy goals in the 1960s, a decade that saw the Cold War division of Europe becoming more and more entrenched, is one that has vexed many politicians in the past and continues to do so to this day. Hawkish or dovish approaches to opposing states seem to replace each other with every new election and no consistent policy seems to emerge.

In contrast, Kieninger asserts that the American foreign policy establishment pursued a remarkably consistent détente policy from President Dwight Eisenhower to President Gerald Ford, closely aligned and mutually reinforced with the diplomatic core of Western European nations. These bridge-builders on both sides of the Atlantic maintained a vision of a ‘whole and free’ Europe even when confronted with realpolitik from a Nixon/Ford White House. It was these bridge-building strategies, implemented by a loose web of government officials, which created the peaceful resolution to the Cold War, precipitated through the free movement of goods and people within Europe. Institutionalizing this economic and political understanding in the Helsinki Accords of 1975 represented the greatest achievement of these bridge-builders and, ultimately, led to the gradual waning of Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe.

In line with the work of such American historians as Kenneth Weisbrode and German historians like Oliver Bange, Kieninger details the bridge-building contributions of diplomats like George Vest and Arthur Hartman in the policy-making process on both sides of the Atlantic.[6] As such, he beautifully illustrates the inherently differing perspectives between elected officials with their need for instant and far-reaching results as opposed to the government bureaucrats, willing to ride out the waves in favor of a consistent, gradual shift in the right direction.

Kieninger’s deep and detailed analysis of such second-level transatlantic actors in the U.S. State Department/West German Foreign Ministry helps to illuminate ideological beliefs on both sides of the Atlantic. At that, Kieninger manages to transcend the previously pervasive historiographical context of American détente, led by President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, vs. West Germany’s Ostpolitik.[7] At the risk of perhaps over-emphasizing transatlantic unity, between then-West-Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt and U.S. President John F. Kennedy, for example (306), the question of what divided American and West German détente takes second stage to the awareness that the transatlantic diplomatic interplay in a dynamic détente made the successful conclusion of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) possible. Such an analysis offers the possibility of looking more realistically at what strategies actually worked in influencing the Soviet Union: stripping away the state-centered narrative allows Kieninger to make a profoundly liberal case for negotiations, diplomacy, and cooperation as the most effective means of overcoming international divisions. In fact, Kieninger goes so far as to assert “the GDR [German Democratic Republic] negotiated its own demise at the CSCE.” (289) It seems only natural that Kieninger’s most fascinating contribution, then, lies in his analysis of the power dynamics surrounding the emergence and consensus-building on the three baskets of the CSCE and the wavering superpower support in concluding the process.

In highlighting the consistencies and success of the liberal bridge-building approach to the détente process, Kieninger sometimes leaves the reader wanting a wider and perhaps more traditional perspective on détente policies. In detailing the interactions between government bureaucracies and elected leaders, it would have been helpful to touch on the reservations some German Foreign Ministry officials had in engaging the Soviet Union to the extent the Brandt government and its bridge-builders wished. It would have been interesting to learn if groups of such conservative thinkers also engaged in bridge-building approaches of their own–and to what extent they were able to influence transatlantic policy towards the Soviet Union.

Furthermore, approaching this work on transatlantic bridge-builders from a teleological perspective, one wonders about the efficacy of the bridge-building process, in general. A better developed causality between the diplomatic achievements of the CSCE and its ultimate effects in transforming East European societies would have been instructive. Other components, such as economic prosperity and trade, also played a key role in creating resentment among Eastern Europeans toward the Communist regimes, but they find little attention in this work. Considering the prominence of economics in the conservative argument that it was the West’s economic prowess that ultimately broke the East bloc, the reader sometimes wished that Kieninger had cast his argument a bit wider. After all, was it not at least in part economics that drove the U.S. and the Soviet Union to find some resemblance of balance and reconciliation at in their détente strategies?

That said, Kieninger has provided an exciting narrative on the culture of transatlantic ties that were kept alive by government bureaucrats at a time when elected officials seemingly parted ways on how to deal with the Soviet Union. His well-documented research on the distinctions between and similarities of American and European efforts at détente in the 1960s and 1970s offers unique insights into networks and structures that make an alliance work, even in the absence of cooperative leadership from elected officials. His work is not meant to offer a revisionist perspective on Cold War history but to highlight the consistency of liberal foreign policy tropes in the context of dynamic détente policies on both sides of the Atlantic. This, his book does exceedingly well and it certainly will become a standard resource for any historian wishing to delve into the depths of international alliance politics during détente.


William Stubbs, the Oxford don and specialist in the constitutional history of England, was known for consulting medieval manuscripts in search of clues to explain the beginning of ‘modern’ history. In particular, he examined very small changes in human behavior, over the longue durée, focusing on kings, barons, and others. This work led him to one of his central conclusions that even though rulers often have taken liberty away from the ruled, somehow liberty managed to survive.[8] Stephan Kieninger’s book, Dynamic Détente: The United States and Europe, 1964-1975, leaves a similar impression about the survival of détente.

Kieninger argues that “the power of dynamic détente policies transformed Europe in the shadow of the military status quo” (xviii). In addition, since most of the book deals with the Nixon years, “Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger did not subscribe to the ideas that were at the heart of the transformation approach. But their static détente policy left the transformation approach room to coexist” (xvii). In other words, to paraphrase Mark Twain, we learn that the report of détente’s death was exaggerated. Even though the 37th President and his National Security Advisor ultimately acted as détente’s executioners, as opposed to its earlier champions, nonetheless détente managed to survive.

There is much about this book to like. One of the most useful aspects of Kieninger’s work is his frequent and detailed discussion of the historiography throughout. But, for this reviewer, the most impressive detail is the fact that the author so fluently deals with subjects that are highly technical–Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR), the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)/the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), offset negotiations with West Germany, and many others. Those who have immersed themselves in the declassified government records of these subjects know how complicated these negotiations were.[9] Kieninger not only had the courage to tackle them, but to present them with life for non-specialists. That is no small accomplishment.

Why did ‘dynamic’ détente ultimately decline after being championed by Nixon and Kissinger early on? They did pursue bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union, which produced both the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty I and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in May 1972. These efforts were arguably the most significant bilateral achievements of the détente era, and arguments for continued détente. But the focus of Kieninger’s work is multilateral détente, a process that was ultimately commandeered by Europeans. We can take away several points from Kieninger’s analysis in terms of why Nixon and Kissinger were not more engaged in this process. First, the concept of multilateral détente was not central to the Nixon Doctrine. Instead, Nixon and Kissinger preferred bilateral negotiations. Second, Nixon and Kissinger not only had mistrust when it came to Europeans, but American public opinion polls at the time showed that mistreating Europeans could be good politics in the run-up to the 1972 elections. Third, Nixon and Kissinger were hesitant to negotiate in multilateral forums where they had no seat at the table, e.g. the European Community (EC), or just one voice among many, OSCE or NATO. Finally, pursing multilateral détente was not consistent with Nixon and Kissinger’s emphasis on secrecy, bilateral negotiations that they led largely by themselves, and prioritizing improvements in relations with adversaries as opposed to allies.[10]  For all of these reasons, the surprise is not that détente survived in spite of these barriers, but, as Kieninger shows, because of them.

In this reviewer’s judgment, the book’s oversights are more errors of omission rather than commission. There are examples of early Nixon-Kissinger policies that contributed to multilateral détente. But, the question is why did they not last? In some cases we know the answer and in some cases we do not. For example, the appointment of Daniel Patrick Moynihan as Counselor to the President for Urban Affairs gave advocates of multilateral détente direct access to the Oval Office. Even after Moynihan returned to academic life after the first two years of the administration, in order to preserve his tenure at Harvard–boy, what a reception he received!–Nixon continued to seek his counsel. Moynihan was one of the few advisors, other than Director of the Office of Public Liaison Charles Colson, who could keep Nixon on the telephone for longer than two minutes, and often fifteen minutes, and even more if face-to-face. Moynihan was the only presidential advisor, the leader of the ‘liberal’ staff members, who had the stature to speak freely to Nixon on these issues. This is why Nixon put him in charge of the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society (CCMS), a NATO committee that Nixon called for in his April 1969 speech in celebration of the alliance’s twentieth anniversary.

The CCMS started meeting later that year, following formal approval by the North Atlantic Council in November, with Moynihan as head of the U.S. representation. At the time, NATO Secretary General Manlio Brosio stated, “The aims of the Committee were seen in the light of Article 2 in the Atlantic Charter and its setting up as an expression of the notion that security depends as much on the vitality of the societies united in the Alliance as on the strength of their armies.”[11] Nixon’s call for the establishment of the CCMS, a non-military focus of NATO that remained part of the alliance’s permanent structure until 2006, was intended to mark a formal entrance of the alliance into the détente era. As military cooperation expanded to include political cooperation, the environment and social policy offered new realms for cooperation and partnership both among Western nations and between the East and West.[12] While Kieninger is correct that Nixon and Kissinger “did not subscribe to the ideas that were at the heart of the transformation approach,” examples like the appointment of Moynihan and the creation of the CCMS reflect something more than a Nixon and Kissinger ‘static’ approach to détente (xvii). For this reviewer, the real question is why this early momentum was lost, but perhaps that is simply explained by the demise of advisors like Moynihan and the retrenchment of the ‘conservative’ advisors, led by Counselor to the President Arthur Burns. Following Moynihan’s departure, it is clear that these polices lost their champion and Oval Office lobbyist.[13]

The author’s fluent engagement with the historiography through the book, which is truly one of the volume’s best features, is uneven at times. He may rely too much on the work of Stephen Ambrose. Certainly Ambrose’s work on Nixon holds up better than his work on Eisenhower. Missing from the text are Melvin Small’s fine work on the Nixon historiography, Richard Moss’s work on détente, linkage, and the backchannels (though his dissertation is cited in chapter 4), and some newer works are included in the bibliography but apparently not engaged in the text, e.g. Daniel Sargent’s recent book.[14] Also, the book does not appear to substantively address the relationship between domestic politics and détente. For example, Secretary of the Treasury John Connally is never mentioned in the book, yet was arguably the Nixon advisor who was most resistant to the ideas of détente and multilateral negotiations. While there are many examples of the tough-talking Texan on the Nixon tapes, the best example is summed up here:

Nixon: “I have come completely around to the view that Connally so eloquently expressed a year ago and which we rejected for what then appeared to be good reasons. The way the Europeans are talking today, European unity will not be in our interest, certainly not from a political viewpoint or from an economic viewpoint…What matters now is what we do and we must act effectively and soon or we will create in Europe, a Frankenstein monster, which could prove to be highly detrimental to our interests in the years ahead.”[15]

The influence of domestic political concerns, and the upcoming presidential election, must be considered when determining why, as Kieninger concludes, Nixon and Kissinger “did not subscribe to the ideas that were at the heart of the transformation approach.” (xvii) This is true for any national political leader, but especially so for one who left scholars 3,451 hours of secret recordings, many of which are still unpublished and which contain numerous insights into Nixon and Kissinger’s thinking on détente.

The publication of Stephan Kieninger’s Dynamic Détente: The United States and Europe, 1964-1975 fills a critical void in our understanding of détente’s rise, fall, and survival, and U.S.-European relations more generally. He shows that while Nixon and Kissinger were eager to throw away détente when it no longer had a domestic political purpose, it was Europeans who acted as keepers of the flame. Kieninger’s mastery of a technical set of subjects, and his lucid presentation of them for a more general audience, mean that transatlantic relations during the 1970s have come more into focus than ever before. Thankfully, Kieninger’s work is a far better guide to explaining détente’s survival than were Stubbs’s medieval manuscripts.


Stephan Kieninger’s study of détente joins the growing literature on the period that culminated in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and its subsequent review conferences. This literature includes a number of familiar works[16] as well as edited volumes.[17] Kieninger’s book makes two significant contributions: it extends and gives greater precision to the history of this policy in the United States; and it deepens an understanding of American officialdom by tracing how extensively this policy was debated, promoted, and resisted within the U.S. government. Of these contributions, it is the second one in particular that is unsurpassed in the historical literature on détente.

A glance at Kieninger’s book might suggest a traditional diplomatic history. It is more than that. In showing that “dynamic détente” (a term borrowed from Jacques Andréani, the French diplomat) extended from the early 1950s into the 1970s, Kieninger challenges the standard periodization of the Cold War, or at least the American side of it, with regard to Europe. This periodization is a legacy of John Lewis Gaddis’ Strategies of Containment,[18] which paired successive American administrations with approaches to containment, and relayed the latter as a theme with variations, each in contradistinction to its predecessors and at times appearing divorced from whatever else may have been happening around the world. “Dynamic détente,” however, was crafted in league with other governments, and was arguably more consonant and conversant with their actual aims and interests. It also outlasted the efforts of some Americans to bury or reinvent it. From the Eisenhower administration to the Ford administration, every president came around to seeing the value of the policy; and, although all may not have backed it with the passion of the converted, they nevertheless continued to advance it.

This was true for no one more than President Richard Nixon, whose administration dominates Kieninger’s book. Kieninger reminds us how important and controversial Europe was to U.S. foreign policy during the 1970s when so much of public attention was directed elsewhere. He demonstrates convincingly that Nixon and his celebrated aide, Henry Kissinger, were not only misguided about ‘détente’—their signature policy—but also outmaneuvered by the proponents of a different type of détente—dynamic détente—within their own administration.

How and why did it happen?

The book offers three answers. First, the Nixon-Kissinger version of détente, which Kieninger calls “static” (86 et seq.) but which resembled more an entente or condominium with the Soviet Union, may have made some sense for parts of Asia and other areas of the world, but was poorly suited to a liberalizing Europe, especially Western Europe, in the early 1970s. Second, dynamic détente, which had been bolstered by the “bridge building” and “peaceful engagement” initiatives of the Johnson administration, had by now acquired a committed and well-placed group of adherents on both sides of the Atlantic who were determined to see it succeed. Third, these adherents, by their skillful and persistent mastery of institutions, networks, and negotiations, manipulated their political bosses into carrying out this policy.

Kieninger gives a useful corrective, and not only from an American point of view. It suggests, for example, that future historians may ask less often how wise or wicked Henry Kissinger was, and instead how much he really mattered, at least in this case. In Kieninger’s account, Kissinger appears less an Otto von Bismarck or a Klemens von Metternich than a Friedrich von Gentz—something that would come as little surprise to the officials who worked most closely with Kissinger during this period and to whom he dedicated his best-selling primer, Diplomacy.[19] Not all were so critical of him—indeed, some admired him—but many also tended to dismiss him as an academician or theorist. Many, too, were quite happy to have Kissinger there, for in addition to the attention he drew to himself and to his desire to promote the diplomatic arts, he was sufficiently abstract-minded to allow space for the professionals to get on with their jobs, that is, what they saw as their craft. Kissinger depicted this bias the other way around, and was happy to give bureaucrats ‘busy work’ to do while he got on with statecraft. The real story is more complex: each made use of the other as various ‘backchannels’ alternately provoked and cancelled out one another’s influence on policy, or at least multiplied the potential costs and benefits of cooptation within the bureaucracy. In spite of copious references to works that feature Kissinger front and center, Kieninger’s book is written from a bureaucratic—specifically the State Department’s—perspective.[20]

At this point I must disclose a bias: one of the bureaucrats whose work Kieninger describes at length is the foreign service officer, James Goodby, with whom I have collaborated on a number of articles. I have been influenced strongly by his thinking and by his rendition of the negotiations leading up to the Helsinki Final Act, in which he and his colleagues at the U.S. NATO mission played a significant role at nearly every stage. Thus my view at times goes against that of some of the standard literature on Helsinki and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), best summarized in Sarah Snyder’s monograph, which, despite her diligent use of U.S. sources, asserts, “… the United States was less focused on developing the form and substance of the conference, and the European allies ultimately led the efforts to protect Western interests in the conference preparations.” Snyder has singled out Goodby’s account as one that “may overemphasize the influence of American diplomats on Western European CSCE policy.”[21] Kieninger reports the views of allies for the most part directly from their own sources, yet his account is more consistent with Goodby’s (194-98).

Ascribing credit here matters because, according to Kieninger, dynamic détente in the United States succeeded insofar as it was sustained in the main not from above but from below. He has written that some of the people behind this effort were opportunists, citing a footnote in my book Atlantic Century[22] where I make the distinction between opportunism and the approach he had previously described elsewhere[23] and which he extends here: a contending strategy of détente. This may well be a distinction without difference, because Kieninger’s use of the term opportunism, like my own, does not refer to bureaucratic advantage per se, but to the opportunities taken from within the bureaucracy for broader goals that may or may not be termed strategic.[24] Yet there remains in Kieninger’s study some ambiguity, perhaps even some confusion, between policy, however deliberate, and broader strategy. This depiction, again, of the Cold War is seen in the work of Gaddis and others, like that of Gaddis’s pupil, Jeremi Suri, who has written specifically on Kieninger’s period.[25] Their variations are labeled strategies, and these strategies, in turn, presumably determined operational and tactical policies. But then what was ‘containment’? Gaddis has called it a ‘grand strategy’ but to many people, especially those working in government, containment was simply a policy or at most a doctrine. This, too, may have been their understanding of dynamic détente.

Bureaucrats are not usually known for their mastery of ‘grand strategy.’ They implement policies. They also design and shape those policies by advising leaders, crafting messages, and managing initiatives. Their opportunism, to the extent that they are conscious of it, is ideally in the service of a policy for which there is already a political consensus in place and which has, in their judgment, some likelihood of success. The promotion of ‘freer movement’ in the CSCE negotiations was one such policy. It arose in response to a Soviet initiative (the Budapest Appeal of March 1969) and a set of proposals—in other words, as a concession to demand by reciprocity. It now may appear to have been a rather masterful means to cause strain and ultimately crisis across the Soviet bloc, and even in the Soviet Union itself. But the evidence for such mastery, though suggested at times, even by some of Kieninger’s bureaucratic actors, is not causally definitive. If the policy had been understood and made explicit in this way, it would have recalled the dogma of “rollback,” which was rejected as far back as 1953 by supporters of dynamic détente, including President Dwight Eisenhower (5-11; cf. 274 n.113). It was also the reason that Francis Bator, the main author of Lyndon Johnson’s October 1966 speech (49-54) was so livid that Zbigniew Brzezinski, then working in the bowels of the State Department, took credit for writing the speech after having contributed only a couple of lines; when word of this got out, Soviet propagandists were able to denounce it as a devious bit of rollback—precisely the thing for which Brzezinski was then and later much better known.

The early U.S. embrace of freer movement, and of the CSCE itself, may well suggest that the Cold War was brought to an end through the deployment of dynamic détente. I would not disagree on principle. But for me it goes too far to say that this was the result of a clever strategy on the part of one or more of the Western governments. For that would only play into the idea that one side clearly won the Cold War and another clearly lost it, or even, that it ended peacefully after one side forfeited and liquidated itself under pressure. This may all be true, or may be seen to be true, as more evidence comes to light. But at the time of writing, the Cold War—its prolongation and/or its end—is not the whole story, or even the central theme, of this book.

Rather, dynamic détente was a means to a related, perhaps higher, end: peace in Europe, and by extension, peace between America and Europe. This was an end that predated the Cold War and was once hoped to transcend it. It was important not only for Europeans who saw it as a necessary step for moving beyond the logic of perpetual warfare, but also for Americans, who perceived it as a means toward the redefinition of their country’s world role and reputation—a redefinition which would not take place mainly by a destiny to fulfill in Asia, as some had said during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (and as some still do today), but instead by joining with Europeans to supersede what had been a long series of rivalries that extended from Europe to the rest of the world. Instead, they would assert in progressive collaboration what came to be called Western power and, with that, the development of Western leadership based on multilateral institutions and norms, alongside growing economic interdependence, within and beyond the West.

Over time, this version of the West came to be called Euro-Atlantic, and was portrayed less as a product or protagonist of the Cold War than as an aspirational component of international society. Note here how some of Kieninger’s characters—the public servants Arthur Hartman and Henry Owen, for example—had long been close to the reputed father of the European movement, Jean Monnet, and were fervent proponents of Monnet’s integrationist approach to regional peace. The CSCE, then, suggested such a harmonization of interests and worldviews: the agreement by all the members of the Euro-Atlantic region upon a single map and a single set of standards that could, in theory, lead to their forming a single peaceful and prosperous community. To the extent that there was one, this was the strategic aim, not mobilizing civil society to tear apart the Soviet Empire, however much some people on both sides of the Iron Curtain may have suspected a more devious rationale at play.

There were some important side effects to dynamic détente. During the CSCE negotiations, for example, the member-states of the European Community came to develop and promote a common external role.[26] Dynamic détente also succeeded in making formal an interdependence between ‘hard’ subjects—military arsenals and deployments—and ‘soft’ political, cultural, and social integration, as the Helsinki Final Act had stipulated.[27] Interdependence thus extended to the four diplomatic components of détente in Europe: the Berlin Quadripartite negotiations, CSCE, the two Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties [SALT], and the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction talks [MBFR] (84, 86-87). These were indeed interrelated but their manner of interrelation was the opposite to the one Nixon and Kissinger (and, arguably, their Soviet counterparts) had intended by the use of ‘linkage’; the latter two negotiations became conditioned by—and arguably in the case of the first, dependent upon—the former two, but not the other way around. As interrelatedness gave way to interdependence, the four came to resemble a policy counterpart to the West German politician Egon Bahr’s well-known slogan, Wandel durch Annäherung, change through rapprochement. Kissinger himself liked to speak this way, referring, usually in retrospect, to pieces or elements of a policy converging. He would present it not as a theme with variations but rather as a coda superimposed upon the main body of a composition. That convergences or conjunctions were later shown to have been more fortunate than intended, or even to have been inadvertent, as Daniel Sargent’s book[28] illustrates on several subjects, need not mean that Nixon and Kissinger were any less strategic-minded or even brilliant; merely that their preferred strategies were not well aligned with actual policies, at least initially.

In the case of the CSCE, this resulted in a complicated—and, at least to historians, practically undetectable—game of signaling whereby the Nixon administration and their Soviet interlocutors would set out with one set of priorities, and some West Europeans, taking a cue from the quiet encouragement of American bureaucrats, would set out with another, politicians then would protest the confusion, and the caravan would move on. Kieninger has summarized this process well:

Time and again, the West Europeans resisted Nixon’s and Kissinger’s efforts to tone down the substance of NATO’s CSCE agenda. The intransigence of the West Europeans gave the bridge builders the cover to continue their policy…. Kissinger could not bring his European partners to trim their ambitious objectives to the CSCE. Therefore, the Soviets were not prepared to deliver concessions in MBFR. In the autumn of 1974, Kissinger’s status quo détente was stuck: SALT was stalemated, MBFR was deadlocked, and the prospects for the expansion of U.S. trade with the Soviet Union were gloomy… Eventually, Kissinger came to support the dynamic détente that he had almost been killing during the previous years. The Bureau of European Affairs gained more leverage. Finally, Kissinger followed the advice of the bridge builders in his own department (313).

Snyder also has partly acknowledged this point: “Although the United States was less involved in the planning than its allies, its position was of particular importance given attempts to maintain harmony within the Atlantic Alliance.”[29] Kieninger has shown exactly how this worked, or ‘functioned,’ as bureaucrats, especially Monnet-inspired ones, like to say.

In addition to this, there was the extension of the continuous mode of diplomacy to civil society through the Helsinki review conferences and watch groups. My only criticism of Kieninger’s book is that it appears to take Kissinger’s side here in dismissing the value of these efforts and the authority of the U.S. Helsinki Commission (294-295). The work of the Commission gave both concrete support and an important morale boost to those involved in the implementation of the Final Act, which Kieninger later concedes in a footnote (303n133). Morale boosts mattered to Helsinki Watch Groups in the U.S. and elsewhere, and Snyder’s and Sargent’s books show this particuarly well. It was understandable that Kissinger would treat this sort of interference as a scolding exercise unworthy of his attention, even as it sells short the work of Millicent Fenwick, Dante Fascell, and the other members of the Commission and its staff who kept public attention focused on the humanitarian provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, namely freer movement.

At Helsinki, President Gerald Ford made the noble statement: “History will judge this Conference not by what we say here today, but by what we do tomorrow—not by the promises we make, but by the promises we keep.”[30] The tenor of his statement may be what Kieninger means by his emphasis on dynamic détente’s ‘durability.’ To historians, the point is related to policy continuity, which can be overlooked by so much emphasis on change, transformation, and other ruptures in most histories of this period. With dynamic détente, it was a case of transformation by continuity, as the adjective ‘dynamic’ suggests. Kieninger’s detailed reconstruction of East-West diplomacy, especially that involving Americans and Germans, demonstrates that durability as well as continuity succeeded through the tenacity of its advocates, by the pragmatism and even the opportunism of those at the highest levels of government, and, finally, by the aptness of the policy’s central axiom, combining security with freedom, to the European reality of the 1970s.

So neat a conclusion risks sounding self-fulfilling. Was this really the case? An answer to that question may come down to whether one endorses the view, following Suri, that détente was designed to oversee a necessary and salutary period of international stability, or whether détente understood as Ostpolitik—a loosening of tensions amid changes in the condition that brought them about—could result in greater progress. Kieninger ultimately uses an optimal tool here to square the circle between security and freedom, and between static and dynamic détente: the former made possible the latter, the latter underwrote acceptance of the former, and it was probably all for the best. He may be correct, but one cannot support that conclusion fully without a parallel history of the 1980s. There was then another fortunate historical convergence—between a fervent proponent of both formulae, General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, and a fervent opponent, President Ronald Reagan: “I don’t want a tête-à-tête—the next thing will be détente!”[31] Had Reagan and Gorbachev not come along and done all that they did to end the Cold War, would dynamic détente today be seen in a different light? Probably. History, as we know, does not neatly pose one set of aims against all others, nor does it allow for the reconstruction of motivation as fact. Historians will continue to argue over such things, as well they should, as more distance is put between the time of argument and the late twentieth century. For now there is still no consensus on how or why the Cold War ended so peacefully, just as there were and remain multiple definitions of the ‘West.’

On the subject of less fortunate conjunctions, it is worth noting a rather different reality today. Although there is in place a successor to the SALT treaties, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is no longer being fully enforced, nor is the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, the successor to the MBFR.[32] The Helsinki Final Act has been violated many times, most blatantly and brutally in Ukraine. There are walls going up across Europe, and freer movement seems every day more like a relic of another era. Have the principles and norms that made détente dynamic just stalled, or have they begun to recede? Future historians will almost certainly argue over when and why Europe again became a breeding ground of geopolitical and ideological rivalry. One place they could look for answers, following Kieninger, is among the attitudes and influence of particular actors at the middle level of bureaucracies.

Not everyone will be content with so modest an emphasis. Many pages, for instance, continue to be written by and about Henry Kissinger; yet on the CSCE, which must rate alongside the formidable work in Asia as an important diplomatic victory of Kissinger’s tenure but for a continent he considered partly his home turf, he was often wrong, dismissive, short-sighted, over-confident, and self-defeating, until his belated conversion. By contrast, it has taken many decades for the public servants one meets in Kieninger’s pages—Stan Resor, Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, Marty Hillenbrand, George Vest, Jacques Andréani, Jock Dean, Crispin Tickell, Francis Bator, and many others—to receive serious historical attention. They were usually right. Will their successors someday be so recognized?


I should like to begin by thanking Tom Maddux of H-Diplo for setting up and preparing the roundtable and the three reviewers for the insightful commentary on my book. I am glad that Thomas Schwartz agreed to write the introduction, and I am delighted to receive feedback from Kenneth Weisbrode, Werner Lippert, and Luke Nichter, particularly as it is so positive. I greatly appreciate their constructive reviews and the opportunity to reflect on their comments.

My basic aim in writing the book was to shed new light on the interdependence between power and mission in U.S. foreign policy, and my main argument is that dynamic détente policies made it possible to square the circle and to foster both security and liberalizing changes. Détente did not freeze the division of Europe: The power of dynamic détente policies transformed Europe in the shadow of the military status quo. Moreover, I argue that the transformative effects of the Helsinki Final Act were clearly intended by the proponents of dynamic détente policies.[33] Kenneth Weisbrode touches a particularly important point with regards to the existence of a coordinated Western transformation scheme pertaining to the provisions on the freer movement of people, information, and ideas under Basket III of the Helsinki Final Act. Weisbrode writes that this “would play into the idea that one side clearly won the Cold War and another clearly lost, or even, that it ended peacefully after one side forfeited and liquidated itself under pressure”. I believe that dynamic détente was conceived as a win-win situation: Policymakers in the U.S. Department of State and in Western Europe envisaged the stability enabled by détente as a precondition for change, as Communist regimes saw a sense of security as a prerequisite for opening up their societies to Western influence over time. Change needed time and international order. Thus, President Lyndon Johnson conceived arms control, trade, and non-proliferation as gate openers for détente entailing crucial benefits for the Soviet Union. Moreover, as Weisbrode notes, the masterminds of Lyndon Johnson’s peaceful engagement were keen to camouflage the potentially subversive aspects of their policies. As Weisbrode puts it: “If the policy had been understood and made explicit this way, it would have recalled the dogma of ‘rollback’.”

All three reviewers comment on the compatibility between static and dynamic détente policies emphasizing that President Richard Nixon’s and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s static approach left the transformation strategy room to co-exist. Both Nixon and the bridge builders needed the stabilization of East-West relations. In Nixon’s and Kissinger’s balance of power policy, stability was essential to cement the allegedly endangered status quo in Europe. The bridge builders were more self-confident in their aims: They envisaged stability in international relations as a precondition to perforate the Iron Curtain and to multiply contacts, communication, and cooperation on all societal levels. I am glad that all three reviewers provided in depth-comments on the evolution of dynamic détente policies and their relevance for the negotiations on the road to the Helsinki Final Act in 1975 and beyond. 

Another aim of my book was to shed new light on the interconnection between hard and soft factors. Thus, I looked into several dimensions of détente. Arms control had crucial relevance for the flaws of military détente. Technical aspects such as the invention of hydra-headed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles had bold political ramifications for the overall process. It’s encouraging that the reviewers appreciated the technical aspects of my book. It was worth the trouble to write it and to inquire into these issues. One of my major conclusion pertains to the lack of a meaningful military détente during the 1970s – it only emerged in the mid-1980s. Why then did détente survive, how could it be protected from the global Cold War, and why did it blossom again during the Ronald Reagan/Mikhail Gorbachev years? Currently, I’m finishing a book manuscript trying to offer some new explanations arguing that the crisis in U.S.-Soviet relations was compensated by policy initiatives from small- and medium-sized European countries.[34] The expansion of pan-European trade and the multiple dimensions of the Helsinki process were key factors for the longevity of cooperative security policies. My research ties with Oliver Bange’s and Poul Villaume’s book on the “Long Détente” and their findings on the roots, relevance and persistence of détente in Europe.[35] These questions will also be addressed in two forthcoming volumes by Sarah Snyder/Nicolas Badalassi and Jussi Hanhimäki/Barbara Zanchetta/Bernhard Blumenau.[36]

All the reviewers elaborated on the limits of détente. After all, détente did not remove the fundamental dissent over values, ideology and the global order. Détente was limited to the emergence of cooperative security policies in Europe and its transatlantic and Eurasian frameworks. The U.S. objective was to enmesh the Soviet Union in a matrix of relations with the West that would restrain the further extension its global influence. The Soviet leadership rejected the idea of restraint. Détente brought the Soviet Union nuclear parity and the recognition of equality as the legitimate second global power. The Soviet leaders saw peaceful coexistence as a means to accelerate the revolutionary class struggle and the global Cold War. Actually, the limits of détente were an integral part of its concept. As Gottfried Niedhart put it: “The controversy over détente was essentially about the meaning of détente”.[37] The differing interpretations of the Helsinki Final Act underlined the problem that the leaders in Washington and Moscow understood détente in entirely different ways. The Soviet Union and its allies highlighted its static elements – the inviolability of frontiers and the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states. The West focused on Helsinki’s dynamic potential insisting on the human rights and human contacts provisions as well as on the possibility of a peaceful changes of frontiers.

Last but not least, I would like to address Werner Lippert’s important point that “it would have been interesting to learn if groups of […] conservative thinkers [in Germany] also engaged in bridge-building approaches of their own – and to what extent they were able to influence transatlantic policy towards the Soviet Union”. First of all, during the Grand Coalition Government, particularly Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger and his foreign policy adviser Günter Diehl made decisive contributions to the emergence of the blueprint for Ostpolitik. Diehl was Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Foreign Office, and the brain-storming sessions at the trilateral planning meetings between the U.S., British and German planners were key for the evolution of the transformation strategy behind Ostpolitik. It was a fascinating experience for me to use the rich papers of the State Department’ Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. National Archives and to investigate the birth-pangs of dynamic détente policies as well as the transatlantic transfer of ideas behind it (see chapters two and three in the book). In response to Chancellor Willy Brandt’s détente policy, the German conservatives adopted a course of all-out opposition against the Ostpolitik of the Brandt/Scheel Administration. In 1975, there were only three parties in Europe rejecting the Helsinki Final Act: The Communist Party of Albania and the German Conservatives of Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU). Conservative opposition to Ostpolitik only began to wane over time. CDU Chairman Helmut Kohl represented the party’s progressive wing, and he had his adviser Walther Leisler Kiep establish secret talks with East German authorities. In 1978, even Bavaria’s Governor Franz Josef Strauß sent confidential signals to the East German leadership signaling his willingness to accept the premises of Ostpolitik and to continue the policy once CDU and CSU would be in government again. His key role in the billion-dollar loan for the East German regime in 1983 underpinned his readiness to continue the policy he had been criticizing for many years.[38]

In the second half of the 1970s, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt advised Soviet Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev to meet the leaders of CDU and CSU as well. Schmidt’s rationale was to portray Brezhnev’s meeting with Kohl and Strauß as a way to take the emotional steam out of Ostpolitik. The first meeting between Strauß and Brezhnev emerged on the occasion of the Schmidt-Brezhnev summit in May 1978. Sitting next to Schmidt on the car ride to the Federal Republic’s guest house in Gynmich Castle, Brezhnev confessed that he did not feel like he wanted to see Strauß: “What can I tell him?”, Brezhnev asked. Schmidt’s response was that Brezhnev should better see Strauß: The meeting was planned, and its cancellation would imply “considerable discord” as Schmidt put it. Schmidt’s advice was: “Tell him the same things you told me. But do it in a shorter way on account of the fact there was less time for the talks”.[39]


[1] Robert M. Gates, From the Shadows: the Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 39.

[2] Luke A. Nichter, Richard Nixon and Europe: The Reshaping of the Postwar Atlantic World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

[3] Werner Lippert, The Economics of Ostpolitik: Origins of NATO’s Energy Dilemma (New York: Berghahn, 2010).

[4] Kenneth Weisbrode, The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats who forged America’s Vital Alliance with Europe (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2009).

[5] Thomas Schwartz, Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003).

[6] Oliver Bange and Gottfried Niedhart, Helsinki 1975 and the Transformation of Europe (New York: Berghahn Books, 2008); Bange and Poul Villaume, The Long Détente: Changing Concepts of Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1950s–1980s (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2017); Kenneth Weisbrode, The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats Who Forged America's Vital Alliance with Europe (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2009).

[7] Timothy Garton Ash, In Europe’s Name: Germany and the Divided Continent, 1st ed. (New York: Random House, 1993); John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (New York: Penguin Press, 2005); Jussi M. Hanhimaki, Flawed Architect Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). These are all example that place the leading statesmen, Nixon, Kissinger, Brandt, and Bahr at the center of transatlantic diplomacy.

[8] See William Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England in its Origin and Development, which was originally published in three volumes between 1873 and 1878.

[9] When I researched what became Richard Nixon and Europe: The Reshaping of the Postwar World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015) I felt somewhat overwhelmed at the range of subjects that were important to documenting transatlantic relations during the Nixon era. Methodologically, I felt the inclusion of the subjects contained in Kieninger’s book did not hold together in a–on balanced, more U.S.-centric–book that was primarily about Nixon’s relations with NATO, the collapse of Bretton Woods, the Year of Europe, and the American reaction to British renegotiation of membership in the European Community–what we might now call the first ‘Brexit.’ Interestingly, Kieninger’s more Europe-centric book contains the precise subjects that mine left out, and excluded the subjects I included.

[10] The working habits of Nixon and Kissinger described here are basically what helped me to determine which subjects belonged in Richard Nixon and Europe, and which should be left to another book. The more a subject occupied Nixon and Kissinger’s time personally, the more bilateral, and the more secret–these were the criteria I used to determine the scope of my book. These were the subjects I heard Nixon and Kissinger speak about frequently on the Nixon tapes, in a way in which the subjects were linked in their minds. They also spoke about the subjects contained in Kieninger’s book, but they were on the periphery of their attention, rightly or wrongly, or were subjects that could be, in their view, more safely delegated to others.

[11] Quoted in Richard Nixon and Europe, 14.

[12] In 2006, the CCMS was merged with another NATO committee and was renamed the Science for Peace and Security Committee. For more information, see http://archives.nato.int/committee-on-challenges-of-modern-society-ccms-2. Also, see Richard Nixon and Europe, 16.

[13] For a good description of the Moynihan-Burns rivalry, and the liberal-conservative tug-of-war in the first two years of the Nixon administration, see Stephen Hess, The Professor and the President: Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Nixon White House (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2014).

[14] See Melvin Small, A Companion to Richard M. Nixon (Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), Richard A. Moss, Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow: Confidential Diplomacy and Detente (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2016), and Daniel Sargent, A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).

[15] Quoted in Richard Nixon and Europe, 86.

[16] William Korey, The Promises We Keep: Human Rights, the Helsinki Process, and American Foreign Policy (New York: St. Martin’s, 1993); John J. Maresca, To Helsinki: The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1973-1975 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1985); Daniel C. Thomas, The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise of Communism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001); Jacques Andréani, Le Piège: Helsinki et la chute du communisme (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2005); Thomas Fischer, Neutral Power in the CSCE: The N+N States and the Making of the Helsinki Accords 1975 (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2009); Benjamin Gilde, Österreich im KSZE-Prozess 1969-1983: Neutraler Vermittler in humanitärer Mission (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2013); Petri Hakkarainen, A State of Peace in Europe: West Germany and the CSCE, 1966-1975 (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2011); Anja Hanisch, Die DDR im KSZE-Prozess 1972-1985: Zwischen Ostabhängigkeit, Westabgrenzung und Ausreisebewegung (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2012); Luke Nichter, Richard Nixon and Europe: The Reshaping of the Postwar Atlantic World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015); Michael Morgan, Helsinki 1975: Détente, Human Rights, and the Transformation of the Cold War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, forthcoming); Matthias Peter, Die Bundesrepublik im KSZE-Prozess 1975-1983: Die Umkehrung der Diplomatie (Munich: De Gruyter, 2015); Luca Ratti, Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, and the CSCE, 1955-1975 (Bern: Peter Lang, 2008); Angela Romano, From Détente in Europe to European Détente: How the West Shaped the Helsinki CSCE (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2009); Philip Rosin, Die Schweiz im KSZE-Prozess 1972-1983: Einfluss durch Neutralität (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2014); Daniel J. Sargent, A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Sarah B. Snyder, Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

[17] Matthias Peter and Hermann Wentker, eds., Die KSZE im Ost-West-Konflikt: Internationale Politik und gesellschaftliche Transformation 1975-1990 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2012); Andreas Wenger, Vojtech Mastny and Christian Nünlist (eds.), Origins of the European Security System: The Helsinki Process Revisited, 1965-1975 (London: Routledge, 2008); Carol Fink and Bernd Schäfer, eds., Ostpolitik 1969-1974: European and Global Responses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Poul Villaume, Rasmus Mariager, and Helle Porsdam, eds., The ‘Long 1970s’: Human Rights, East-West Détente, and Transnational Relations (Abington: Routledge, 2016); Oliver Bange, and Gottfried Niedhart, eds., Helsinki 1975 and the Transformation of Europe (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2008).

[18] John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982).

[19] Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994).

[20] Another study about dynamic détente from the main perspective of the Defense Department, and specifically the US military, would be welcome.

[21] Snyder, 20-21.

[22] Kenneth Weisbrode, The Atlantic Century (Cambridge: Da Capo, 2009), 398n96.

[23] “Transformation or Status Quo: The Conflict of Stratagems in Washington over the Meaning and Purpose of the CSCE and MBFR, 1969-1973,” in Bange and Niedhart, eds., 67-82.

[24] Kieninger also uses the term “stratagems” in the title of the abovementioned chapter and in this book, e.g., pp. xii, xix, 4, which may have a more operational, and opportunistic, connotation as part of an overall strategy.

[25] Jeremi Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Détente (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003).

[26] See Romano, From Détente in Europe to European Détente: How the West Shaped the Helsinki CSCE.

[27] This also included East-West talks on military-to-military contacts and related confidence building measures (233-234, 286-287).

[28] Sargent, A Superpower Transformed.

[29] Snyder, 21.

[30] Cited in Korey, xxii.

[31] Quoted by the diplomat Rozanne Ridgway in a conversation with the author, 16 December 2005.

[32] SALT II was never ratified by the U.S, Senate and the MBFR languished for a long time without an agreement, but both sets of negotiations prepared valuable groundwork, not least in experience and familiarity among the arms control negotiators who participated in them. The INF treaty was signed in 1987, and although beyond the scope of this book, could be said to have been, along with the CFE signed in 1990 and the START treaties negotiated in 1991 and 1993, additional examples of détente’s durability, here in military affairs.

[33] See H-Diplo Article Review Forum 701 on “CSCE, the German Question, and the Eastern Bloc” in the Journal of Cold War Studies 18:3 (Summer 2016): 3-180, available at https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/ar701_0.pdf.

[35] See Oliver Bange and Poul Villaume, eds., The Long Détente. Changing Concepts of Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1950s-1980s (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2017).

[36] See Sarah Snyder and Nicolas Badalassi, eds., Helsinki 40 Years After. International Reordering and Societal Change, 1975-1990 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018); Jussi Hanhimäki, Barbara Zanchetta, and Bernhard Blumenau, eds., The Great Transformation? Reassessing the Causes and Consequences of the End of the Cold War (London: Routledge, 2018).

[37] See Gottfried Niedhart, East-West Conflict: Short Cold War and Long Détente. An Essay on Terminology and Periodization, in Bange and Villaume, eds., The Long Détente, 27.

[38] See Stephan Kieninger, Freer Movement in Return for Cash. Franz Josef Strauß, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski and the Milliardenkredite for the GDR, 1983-1984, in: Hanhimäki, Zanchetta, Blumenau, eds., The Great Transformation?

[39] Handwritten Notes by Schmidt, no date, in: Archiv Helmut Schmidt Hamburg, Soviet Union, Vol. 3, 1977-78, Document No. 17, 1.