Galbraith, JK.



Nitze, Paul H

Tucker, R.


Interview with Prof. R Tucker


Q: Did you feel at the time of the Cuban missile crisis that maybe civilisation as we knew it could conceivably disappear?

A: I did feel that there was that possibility, yes. That nuclear war could result.

Q: How did you deal with that intellectually?

A: I dealt with the sense of the danger intellectually hardly at all. I really was simply conscious that this was an enormously dangerous moment in world history and that depending on the outcome there might or might not be the first nuclear war.

Q: In the end Professor Tucker, what did the Cold War achieve?

A: The Cold War in very many ways transformed the world through the forty years if we think of it as having lasted until Gorbachev came to power in 1985 after which is rapidly wound down. It transformed America in very many ways. Our political culture. We lived with the idea of an enemy that we had to contri - combat. It affected our economy, the development of our military industrial complex. It affected our educational system. Many different aspects of our society. It also has a huge and even greater effect upon Soviet Russia. Its economy, its society, the whole generation that grew up during the Cold War and during the Stalinist period of the Cold War in particular. And the outcome of the Cold War in a sense was the end of the Soviet Union. That is to say, the enormous sacrifices that were made by the population of the country in the successive conflicts that came out, culminating in the war in Afghanistan in the 1970s, in the early 1980s rather. These in a way prepared the ground for the collapse that occurred later on. Had there not been a Stalin in power at the end of the war; had the rulers of Soviet Russia at the end of the war in his absence opted in favour of a security zone around their borders, a zone of Finland's, in which they would have been perfectly secure and safe and there would have been friendly relations between those small countries in themselves, but without imposing a Soviet order on those countries, the Cold War as such would not have comabout. But since it did, and since it came about the way it did, all of the events of the l20th century, culminating in the collapse of Communism at the end of 1991, were products of the Cold War.

(End of interview)