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Conversation

New Perspectives on the Cold War

A Conversation with Melvyn Leffler

HUMANITIES, November/December 1998 | Volume 19, Number 6

Endowment Chairman William R. Ferris talked recently with historian Melvyn Leffler about the economic and political realignments after World War II. Leffler is the Stettinius Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the author of A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War and The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953. He is currently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

William Ferris: Your two most recent books, A Preponderance of Power and The Specter of Communism, deal with the origins of the Cold War and how President Truman handled relationships with the Soviets. In The Specter of Communism, you write that the Cold War took shape when a sense of ideological rivalry merged with a fear of Soviet power. Can you explain how that happened?

Melvyn Leffler: The turning point, of course, is World War II itself. With Germany and Japan defeated and with Europe mostly devastated, the relative Soviet military power vis-à-vis other nations in Europe and Asia was much greater then it had ever been before. We now know that actual -- as opposed to potential -- power was tremendously exaggerated by Western estimates. But that was something we would only subsequently find out. At the same time, the popularity of Marxist-Leninist ideology rose enormously. There were several factors that accounted for this. One was the importance of communist insurgents in the resistance movements in Europe. That generated considerable support for the Left, broadly defined, and for the indigenous communist parties -- whether they were indigenous or controlled by Moscow is a separate issue. The point is that the role of communists in the resistance movements added enormously to their popularity.

Second, the success of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany redounded greatly to the influence and prestige of the Kremlin, and thereby attracted support.

Third was the apparent -- and I stress "apparent" -- success of the Soviet Union in industrializing and modernizing enhanced its influence. The Soviet model of a command economy became extremely appealing to various revolutionary and nationalist movements in the Third World.

Those three factors -- the defeat of Germany, the role of communists in the resistance movements, and the apparent model of rapid modernization -- all added enormously to the ideological appeal of communism. The Kremlin's ideological appeal merged with its military potential and created the specter of a huge Soviet communist threat to the Western world, to democratic capitalism, and to the United States.

Ferris: Do you think this rivalry was avoidable? Could it have been prevented, or was it inevitable?

Leffler: The rivalry was inevitable, but I think the magnitude and scope were controllable. Some degree of serious conflict was inherent in the way the international system was configured after World War II and inherent in the potential rivalry of communism and democratic capitalism. But I do not think that it was inevitable to have a worldwide rivalry in the Third World. I do not think the magnitude of the arms race was inevitable. Both the Soviet Union and the United States perceived the potential threat. This was not always, I might stress, from the other country, but frequently from the perception that either side might do things that would create additional potential threats.

Let me explain. The greatest focus of the Cold War was the United States' and the Soviet Union's preoccupation with the future of German power. Truman and his advisors greatly feared the revival of a German threat, and particularly what they feared was the merger of a powerful Germany with the Soviet Union. Alternatively, the Kremlin greatly feared the rebuilding of German power and its reconstitution either as an independent threat to the Soviet Union or as part of an alliance with Western capitalist nations. This preoccupation with rebuilding and co-opting the future of German power, I would say, made the Cold War inevitable in Europe as both sides maneuvered to try to ensure against a revival of the German threat.

Ferris: Along those lines, do you think that ideology became more important than security concerns, or are they inseparable during the Cold War?

Leffler: That's a question that I'm grappling with as I work on a new book about why the Cold War lasted as long as it did. I think that the ideological rivalry assumed more importance in the 1950s and 1960s and took on a momentum of its own. In the immediate postwar years, as a result of the war itself and as a result of the fact that all belligerents in the war were extraordinarily concerned with security issues, there was an overriding preoccupation with security. But, as you intimated, security and ideology were always linked. From the American perspective, the very fact that there were powerful and popular Communist Parties in countries like France and Italy meant that there was always the prospect that they would capture power. Once having assumed power, either legally or illegally, the French and Italian communists would align their countries with the Soviet Union because of their ideological affinities with the Kremlin. The ideological affinities were perceived as prospectively redounding to the actual military strength of the Soviet Union.

From the perspective of American analysts, especially military analysts, what was likely to happen over the long run was that the Soviet Union would greatly benefit from the rise of communist governments around its periphery, not only in Eastern Europe, but in Central and Western Europe. The notion was that the Kremlin would tie these communist governments to the Soviet Union and harness the economic strength of communist countries to bolster the long-term economic and military strength of the Soviet Union. Ideology, economics, and military factors were interwoven.

Ferris: You described the response of Truman and his advisers to the Soviet threat in Europe and Asia as partly wise, partly prudent, and partly foolish. What was partly wise?

Leffler: Without any doubt, I think the wisest part of the Truman Administration's policies was the perception in 1947 and 1948 that priority had to be placed on the economic reconstruction of Western Europe and Japan and the promotion of liberal democratic governments. This initial focus on revitalizing the economies of Western Europe and of co-opting and integrating a democratic capitalist Western Germany and Japan into an American-led orbit, I think, were the overriding successes of the Truman Administration.

I should point out, however, that along with these successes came unfortunate consequences. One of the things that we've learned recently from Russian documents is what a lot of us had always suspected: the very success of the United States in launching the Marshall Plan and beginning the economic revitalization of Western Germany intensified tensions with the Soviet Union because the Soviets saw these initiatives as potentially very threatening. Whereas the Americans hoped that German power would be co-opted, controlled, and modulated, the Soviets naturally feared, as did many Western Europeans, that the steps to rebuild German power might in the long term have unfortunate consequences. Germany might recover its autonomous, independent power and once again resume its aggressive tendencies. So the Soviets saw American and British actions in Western Germany as very ominous.

At the same time, the Soviets perceived the Marshall Plan as threatening to undermine their own sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. This was, in fact, the American intent if the Eastern European nations had accepted the American offer to participate. Because of Soviet pressure they did not, but the very offer conjured up a greater perception of threat in the Kremlin.

So what you have here is a complex story whereby the very success of American actions -- the reconstruction of Western Europe and the rebuilding of Western Germany, which I think were positive long-term steps -- nonetheless heightened the Cold War.

Ferris: In addition to what you just described as the wisdom of their position, can you talk about what was foolish and what was prudent?

Leffler: There were a number of things that were foolish. First, I think American officials exaggerated the Soviet military threat. The United States' military plans always assumed that if war broke out, the Soviets would easily overrun all of Europe, much of the Middle East, and very large parts of Northeast Asia. The reason for these assessments was that all the other countries were so weak after the war. This was before the establishment of NATO. There was a relatively small American military presence, except in occupied Germany and Japan, and therefore the Soviets would have an easy job of overrunning much of Europe and Asia.

The problem with this perception was that it simply assumed that war would break out and didn't look very closely at the likelihood of it. When Americans did consider that aspect of the equation, they realized that there was relatively little chance that war would break out. Although the Soviets might be able to overrun much of Western Europe, the very act of doing so would trigger a war with the United States, which both the Americans and the Soviets understood Russia could not win. We do know that Stalin was very wary of doing anything that might actually trigger a war. He might seek opportunities, he might probe, but he clearly and unequivocally wished to avoid a war with the United States. Consequently, to the extent that the Americans focused on Soviet military strength and exaggerated the Soviet military threat, I would say these were flawed aspects of America's Cold War policy.

A second flawed aspect was the degree to which American officials assigned importance to the Third World and therefore were inclined both militarily and politically to intervene. A wonderful example of this relates to the American perception in the late 1940s that Japanese reconstruction could only occur if the Japanese economy was linked to markets and raw materials in Southeast Asia and Indochina. We now know that Japanese economic growth had relatively little to do with this. But the perception played a critical role in orienting the United States to intervene in Indochina.

Correspondingly, the American perception of a general Soviet threat in the Third World was enormously exaggerated. Actually, during the forties and fifties, and certainly while Stalin was alive, he was very wary of intervening in most places in the Third World. He focused very little attention, for example, on Ho Chi Minh and the communists in Indochina and provided virtually no support to them. Yet there was a tendency in American policymaking circles to exaggerate the potential of Soviet influence in the Third World.

A third one, I would say, was the growing tendency of the United States to focus on military issues rather than to sustain the initial commitment toward economic reconstruction and social stabilization. The increasing tendency to militarize the Cold War, which preceded the Korean War but then was greatly escalated by it, was a flawed policy.

My conclusion in the book is that the overall assessment has to be a positive one. I think that Truman and his advisors and Eisenhower and his advisors acted, on the whole, thoughtfully in meeting what was understandably perceived to be a potentially serious threat from a totalitarian communist regime that was ruthless at home and that might be potentially threatening abroad. Given the possibilities of the growth of Soviet power based on the vacuums that existed elsewhere, it was prudent for American officials to take the steps they did in Western Germany and Western Europe even though those very initiatives heightened tensions.

So in a way, my own position on this is a curious one, which I think often perplexes people. When people ask me, "Do you think the United States caused the Cold War?" I almost always respond, "Yes, the United States played a role." We can argue about how large a role, but that, in and of itself, is not really the right question to ask because there could have been even worse consequences than the Cold War. The question should be not whether the United States played a role in initiating the Cold War, which I think it did, but whether, on the whole, American foreign policies were intelligent. I would not go so far as to say American foreign policies were brilliant because of the flaws that I've mentioned, but I do think that they were prudent given the nature of the international system at the time and the regime that existed in the Soviet Union.

I think there is something of a blot on the American record: One of the interesting things you find when you study the record closely in the early Cold War years of 1945, '46, '47, was that American officials --Truman, Averell Harriman -- were preoccupied with the potential growth of Soviet power rather than focused on the ruthlessness of the Soviet regime. You see American officials stating that they were concerned about the well-being of Stalin because they thought that Stalin was a person they could deal with. Truman certainly felt that way in those early years, and so did most of his advisers. They were quick to overlook the hideousness of Stalin's policies in the middle and late 1930s, and they were more inclined to focus on the possibilities of working with Stalin. It was only when they came to feel that the world situation was so portentous that they should not work with him, that they began to focus on the ruthlessness of the Soviet regime itself and to catalyze American public support for Cold War policies by focusing on its repressive nature. It was Soviet power, not the hideous Soviet regime, that triggered Truman's Cold War policies.

Ferris: Let's talk for a moment about Harry Truman. This is the fiftieth anniversary of the Truman versus Dewey presidential race. It was a tight race, and one classic photo even has Truman holding up a newspaper falsely announcing Dewey the winner. To what extent did partisan politics and the 1948 election affect Truman's approach to the Cold War?

Leffler: Truman realized that taking a tough stand against Soviet Communism could be popular, especially after the defeat of the Democrats in the 1946 congressional elections. Had he not taken a strong stand against Soviet Communism, Republican critics would have lambasted him. Nonetheless, I don't think that the basic motivations came from partisan politics. I think they reinforced Truman's own growing inclination.

Partisan politics did affect certain nitty-gritty aspects of American foreign policy in 1947-48. For example, I would say it had an important influence on Truman's decision to recognize Israel. But if you look at the totality of American Cold War policies in 1947 and '48, I do not think that the impetus stemmed from partisan politics.

During the Berlin Crisis in 1948, when the Soviets blockaded Berlin, the United States launched the famous airlift of supplies. That went on right through the summer of 1948 during the Democratic and Republican conventions, and certainly Truman was aware that taking a tough stand would redound to his benefit.

Though taking a tough stand rhetorically against the Soviets was popular and deflected Republican criticism, the very policies that were necessary to implement containment required economic and financial resources that were quite unpopular politically. To fight the Cold War in 1947 and '48, you needed billions of dollars for economic reconstruction policies in Western Europe and for occupation policies in Germany and Japan. This allocation of American financial aid for reconstruction abroad and for occupation policies abroad was quite unpopular. Republicans condemned the profligacy of the Truman Administration. The Republicans were playing a double game. On the one hand, they criticized Truman when he didn't take a strong stand. When he did take a strong stand and asked for resources to do it, they criticized him for enlarging the government and increasing taxes. Consequently, specific steps that Truman needed to take to implement containment were often politically disadvantageous. It took many months, for example, to get Congress to approve the original Marshall Plan appropriation in 1948. It was really only as a result of the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia that Congress was influenced to pass the Marshall Plan.

Ferris: How has Truman's reputation changed over the years?

Leffler: When he left office he was in terrible disrepute, partly because of some financial scandals within the administration but mostly because of the unpopularity and protracted nature of the Korean War. Over the years, in the late fifties and sixties, his reputation certainly improved as people looked at the larger contours of Truman's record. Then in the late sixties and seventies, there was a decline in Truman's stature, more among scholars than I think amongst the general public. This resulted from the criticisms of a group of historians who came to be known as revisionists and who had a powerful influence on American intellectual life and historiography during that period. In recent years, Truman's reputation has reached new highs with a perception that what he did was not only necessary and courageous, but also responsible for the defeat of the Soviet Union and America's triumph in the Cold War. I think that view overstates by a large degree Truman's role. Nonetheless, his stature amongst historians and the public is probably close to an all-time high right now.

Ferris: There is another fifty-year anniversary, that of the Marshall Plan. Using more than $12 billion in American aid, it helped rebuild Europe, including our former enemies, Germany and Italy. By the end of 1950, European industrial production had risen 64 percent, and Europe was on the road to economic recovery. That is an amazing transformation considering that five years earlier Europe was devastated. Instead of a punitive peace, the victors delivered the Marshall Plan. Who came up with the idea of the Marshall Plan, and what was the basic premise behind it?

Leffler: The basic premise was a belief that the principal threat in Europe was communism, and that the most likely vehicle for the rise of communist power in much of Europe related to the prospects of communists capitalizing on economic distress and social instability. George Kennan continually emphasized to Secretary of State George Marshall, Dean Acheson, and Robert Lovett that the real threat was economic contraction, social instability, and the potential political popularity of communism in Italy, France, and even the western parts of Germany. That was the key thinking behind the Marshall Plan, and it was, in my view, totally perceptive. American officials were also extraordinarily shrewd in realizing that to make the Marshall Plan successful, they could not simply impose the technical aspects of the plan on the participant nations, but that they had to secure those nations' and those governments' commitment and enthusiastic endorsement of the overall objectives. We now know from very detailed studies of the Marshall Plan in different countries that American officials on all levels worked very thoughtfully and responsibly with their European counterparts to design policies in each nation that were usually responsive to the individual needs of that nation. The United States did not simply impose its will, but responded to the individual concerns, so there was a synergy between the United States and the host governments in Western Europe.

Ferris: Why was the plan named for Marshall rather than Truman?

Leffler: In 1947, Truman was very unpopular. Linking a European recovery program to Truman would heighten the partisan nature of the plan itself and perhaps dash the possibility of its passage through Congress. George Marshall, on the other hand, was one of the great heroes of World War II -- the master strategist, you might say, and the chief of staff of the U.S. Army during World War II -- and he had the image of a statesmanlike leader who would be doing and championing the best thing for the United States regardless of party. Marshall's nonpartisan aura was critical to the passage of the Marshall Plan through Congress.

One of the great public relations campaigns of the postwar era was launched to mobilize public opinion and legislative sentiment. Various committees were formed within the United States government whose purpose was to establish local committees in various parts of the country in favor of the Marshall Plan. These local committees would generate pressure on congressmen and senators to support the Marshall Plan. There was also a tendency to magnify the menace emanating from the Kremlin, thereby justifying the appropriation of these resources.

Ferris: What type of opposition did the Marshall Plan encounter at home, and was it a hard sell to the American public?

Leffler: It was an extremely hard sell. The political culture of the United States in 1945 and '46 and '47 was to contract the nature of the American state -- reduce governmental interference in the economy, and, most of all, reduce taxes, balance the budget, and control inflation. There was a widespread feeling that launching the Marshall Plan would contradict all those tendencies. Critics charged that the Marshall Plan would foster a new bureaucracy or enlarge the American government. There was a fear that it would be costly and mean an increase in government expenditures and perhaps an inability to reduce taxes or maybe even hike taxes. There was also a tremendous fear that the plan itself would contribute to inflation. Remember that inflation was one of the hottest political issues of the postwar years because of the enormous increase in prices. Many people believed that if the government was using its resources, indirectly at least, to procure foodstuffs and raw materials to ship to Europe, it would simply augment demand, escalate prices, and contribute to inflation inside the United States.

Ferris: I gather that the Marshall Plan complicated relations with the Soviets.

Leffler: The Marshall Plan complicated relations with the Soviets enormously. We actually are learning a lot more about how the Marshall Plan was perceived inside the Kremlin as more and more Russian documents become available.

We now know from Soviet documents that the Marshall Plan engendered Soviet perceptions of threat. The Truman Administration ostensibly invited Soviet Russia and the Eastern European governments to participate in the Marshall Plan. In fact, American officials did not really want those nations to participate because policymakers in Washington understood very well that the willingness of Russia and Eastern Europe to participate might make it impossible to get the plan through Congress. On the other hand, not to ask them to participate would make the Marshall Plan harder and harder to sell throughout all of Europe. So it was a very tough decision to ask the Russians and the Eastern Europeans to participate.

The Soviets, in turn, initially thought maybe they should participate. We know from Soviet records that there was a real discussion and analysis. Very quickly the Soviets came to perceive that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages. In Moscow, there was a widespread perception that the requirements of the Marshall Plan would require that the Soviets open up their country and disseminate information about their economy, which, in turn, would illustrate their fundamental weakness, which, of course, they didn't want to have revealed.

The Marshall Plan also would have required that Eastern European raw materials and resources be used to help revive Western European industrial growth -- for example, using Polish coal for the revival of Western Europe's industries. It would have reversed the flow of Eastern European raw materials to the Soviet Union and, therefore, infringed on Soviet control of Eastern Europe. The very opening of Eastern Europe was perceived by the Kremlin as facilitating the penetration of Western, and particularly American, capital into Eastern Europe, thereby endangering the Soviet geopolitical position in Eastern Europe.

But most of all, the Soviets understood that the Marshall Plan required the revival of West German industry, particularly coal production. The specter of German revival contributed to Stalin's decision not to participate. He then forbade the participation of Eastern European governments.

Ferris: Before the fall of the Soviet Union, scholars could only write about the Cold War with documents from Western archives. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there's been an outpouring of documents from Soviet archives. How are we rewriting history as we learn more about the Soviet Union from these archives?

Leffler: There's tremendous controversy right now about the meaning of the Russian and Chinese documents. Many commentators and scholars are saying that the new documents illuminate the traditional view of the Cold War: that it could not have been avoided, the Soviets were responsible for it, and Stalin was intent on promoting revolution and expanding the Kremlin's power wherever possible. They believe that the new documents illuminate the overwhelmingly ideological orientation of the Soviet Union and of the communist Chinese. Therefore, they claim that the Soviet Union was solely responsible for the Cold War and that the United States reacted belatedly, and ultimately courageously.

The person who has presented this view most cogently and thoughtfully is the renowned scholar of the Cold War, John Lewis Gaddis, in his new book, We Now Know. What is so conspicuous about the book is its return to the most traditional view of the Cold War, much as you might get from reading the original memoirs of American officials like Truman and Acheson.

Just because this scholarship returns to a traditional view, by the way, does not mean that it's inappropriate or wrong. The traditional view obviously could be right. The issue is whether this is an accurate summation of what the new documents mean.

There are other scholars who believe that the new documents illuminate aspects of the Kremlin's policies that Gaddis overlooks. Many writers believe that ideology did not play a key role in Stalin's policies. In writing about Stalin and the bomb, the well-known historian David Holloway says that Stalin's policies were motivated by Realpolitik -- by his desire to control the future of German power, to consolidate his territorial gains from World War II, and to preserve a sphere of influence -- not by a desire to promote communist revolution.

In writing about Soviet policies in Germany, Norman Naimark, a historian at Stanford, has emphasized that he cannot find in the new Russian documents any indication that the major preoccupation of Stalin was to impose a communist government on Eastern Germany or on all of Germany. In fact, what Naimark demonstrates in his remarkable book is the degree to which Soviet policy was improvised by the many competing bureaucracies, which had a role in the occupation of Eastern Europe. Naimark has a hard time finding an overriding rationale that framed the Kremlin's policies toward Germany.

In writing about Soviet policies toward China, a variety of scholars have seen a tremendous vacillation in Stalin's policies. Norwegian scholar Odd Arne Westad says that Stalin's policies made no sense whatsoever because when you look at them closely, they vacillated back and forth. Other writers say that there was more consistency to Soviet policies, but it's a matter of tremendous controversy.

In looking at overall Soviet policies, historian Vojtech Mastny blames the Cold War unequivocally on Stalin, but at the same time says there is no evidence at all that Stalin was seeking to impose communist governments on his periphery or on any other place. His view is that Stalin was motivated by his own basic insecurity and obsessive desire to preserve power rather than by any principled commitment to spread communist ideology.

As you can see, there is a lot of disagreement among the scholars who are now investigating the new Russian and Chinese material about the meaning and implications of those materials. None of this should be surprising. After all, we've had Western European, British, and American documents for years, and historians and scholars argue incessantly about the meaning of those documents. We're just going to have more complexity in the overall view, and a cacophony of additional voices and nuanced interpretations.

Ferris: What piece of new information has surprised you most?

Leffler: One of the most surprising things is the very complicated Soviet-East German relationship in the 1950s. We can see that the East Germans were often able to exert quite significant pressure on the Kremlin and Khrushchev to support policies that were perceived as necessary for the East Germans rather than beneficial for the Kremlin. One of the really interesting things is the degree to which clients of the Soviet Union were sometimes able to manipulate the Kremlin, just as our clients were sometimes able to manipulate us.

Another aspect that has captured my attention is the relationship between Mao Tse-tung and Stalin. One of the great clichés that emerged in the scholarly community in the 1970s and 1980s was the importance of understanding the inherent nationalist aspects of Chinese communism in order to understand the ultimate split between Beijing and Moscow in the late 1950s.

But one of the interesting aspects of the new materials is the degree to which Mao Tse-tung deferred to Stalin's leadership during the late 1930s and 1940s. Stalin's commitment to Mao, I think, was much less steady and much more ambiguous than was Mao's deference to and ultimate reliance on Stalin, although this is open to enormous controversy. Extraordinarily thoughtful scholarship has emerged on the Sino-Soviet relationship from the 1930s to the early 1950s, especially through the Korean War. It's one of the most richly researched and most interesting aspects of what's emerged from Russian and Chinese documents.

Ferris: What are the questions that still need to be answered about the early Cold War?

Leffler: We still need to learn a lot about the basic motivations of Soviet policy. Many of the documents and studies that have emerged are based on a skewed sample of Russian archival collections. Whether they're representative, we just don't know. We don't really have access yet to the most important documents illuminating Stalin's policies. There's some talk that the Cold War History Project, the National Security Archive, and some of the institutes in the Soviet Union have a collaborative project under way that may generate more of the highest level Soviet policymaking documents.

Right now, a lot of the best history and a lot of the best scholarship is based on military materials, for example, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany, and on diplomatic correspondence, especially the correspondence with regard to Korea. These materials are very revealing about what was happening, and therefore we can focus on what the Soviets were doing. We see complexity of actions and diversity of initiatives. The overriding motivations behind those policies are not nearly as clear. Historians and scholars of international relations engage in unrelenting controversy about the relative importance of ideology or geopolitics or security or economics because it is still hard to discern basic motives. We may never be able to get the appropriate documents, and we may wind up arguing forever about some of these issues.

Ferris: On a different track, over the last twenty years I've been able to work with Soviet colleagues -- Russian colleagues now -- who have a deep interest in American literature and folklore. Figures like Twain and Faulkner have an enormous readership there, and I was struck by what the deep love for American cultural and literary worlds. Do you have a sense of how one would explain that love for our great writers and traditions?

Leffler: There was often a stated feeling by some of the people who knew Russia and the Russians best, that there was residual goodwill for Americans and for the United States, both during the origins of the Cold War and sometimes even during the most intense periods of crisis. A real distinction was made between the views of the ordinary Russian and the views of the Soviet leadership. In general, I believe that throughout the Cold War most Russians were much more concerned about the threat emanating from the rebirth of German power than they were really worried about the United States.

I was in Moscow in 1990 with an influential group including Walt Rostow and Arthur Schlesinger and Richard Pipes. We had a meeting with Foreign Minister Edward Shevardnadze at that critical period and there was a lot of debate -- intense debate, obviously -- about the future of Germany and whether the Soviets would agree to a unified Germany, especially a unified Germany within NATO. One of the things that Shevardnadze said in the course of this informal discussion really resonated with me. In explaining Soviet reluctance to agree to a unified Germany within NATO, he said to us, "You know, we've been fighting the Cold War with you," meaning with the United States, "for almost forty years. But when grandchildren play war games, they're still playing them against the Germans." I think it illustrates what the Cold War was about. It wasn't simply about antipathy to the United States. It was about the control of German and, to a lesser extent, Japanese power as well as the ideological competition between communism and capitalism.

Ferris: Well, this has really been a wonderful visit, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking time to talk and share ideas.