INT: So he regarded the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe as an illegitimate and temporary...
AG: Yes, and he... he felt that er that would be bound to break down. Er I... I... my guess is that he thought that it would happen sooner than it did, but he did think it would happen.
INT: The United States at that time was very much against... a struggle against Communism world-wide. How important was Eastern Europe in Eisenhower's thinking on that, Eastern Europe per se?
AG: We were er quite concerned about it. When Stalin died there were er proposals that this was a time to take er psychological warfare initiatives against the Soviet Union. It was out of that that Eisenhower set up a very thorough going study in the summer of 1953 er to er decide what our policy should be. And he had three lines of policy evaluated, each team charged with making the best case possible from their line of policy. One was containment, one was drawing a line with the threat of retaliation if er the sphere of influence were breached, and the last was roll back, that had been talked about during the campaign. At the end of it, er Eisenhower drew out of this that er roll back, any idea of er use of military forces for roll back was er out of the question, er that our effort would be to keep the hope of freedom alive in these er countries and that we would really pursue a policy of er... of containment, backed by the threat of massive retaliation if there should be er any egregious er violation of the er... of the safety of our allies.
INT: So, he hoped one day to get what is now called Central Europe and Eastern Europe, to get it back, but wasn't prepared to enter any dangerous military activity?
AG: That's correct. We excluded the military, any military er option as a result of that study.
INT: Right. Eisenhower... you mentioned psychological warfare, Eisenhower was very, after his wartime experience, was very keen on covert operations. How much did he use covert activities in Eastern Europe?
AG: He... he allowed er for the conduct of covert activities to try to support er dissident groups, try to support groups committed to er the freedom of their... of their countries, er while recognising the limits that er such er covert action would have in... under a totalitarian regime, as had been established in most of these countries and in the Soviet Union.
INT: What kind of activities are we talking about?
AG: Er, support for er these dissident groups, financial support, er publications, providing publications, er also the er... broadcasting, Radio Free Europe, er to broadcasting into these countries, providing er short-wave radios er surreptitiously, by which er they could er keep informed of... of what was happening, and as he said, keep the spirit of freedom alive.
INT: What was the scale of this support in Eastern Europe?
AG: I really am not prepared to... to talk about specifics or details.
INT: When there were these crises, such as the East German crisis and the Hungarian uprising, it's said that the CIA was ill-informed about these events until afterwards. The CIA hadn't predicted what would happen. How did Eisenhower deal with this, because the CIA was getting a lot of money?
AG: He er... I think Eisenhower out of his military experience, had a very er mature, sophisticated appreciation of what you can get from intelligence and what you can't get. Er you're always going to be subject to final... some degree of final surprise, but it was clear that there was a restiveness, there was a... er an undertone of disorder in er East Germany certainly, and we saw er rising in er... in Hungary before the Hungarian uprising.
INT: Finally, did you when (unintelligible) came to talk to you, did he ask you about whether the Cold War was necessary?
AG: Er, I missed the first part of your question.
INT: There was an interview that you conducted with a colleague some months ago and I wonder if he asked you then whether... Perhaps I'll ask you again anyway. Looking... I mean you've been around for most of the Cold War , what's your assessment, was the Cold War a necessary event?
AG: I think it was i, er given the experience, the trauma that the Soviet Union had been through. Er given also their determination to maintain control, so that they would not be subject to threat from the outside again. And there was er running through it the thread of er the Communist ideology, the... the er missionary aspect of that, that they wanted to extend it er throughout the world. Er, they were er committed to a doctrine of struggle and er it was bound to happen. And we saw that... we saw initially, contrary to their agreements about control in Romania and Bulgaria and er Hungary and in Czechoslovakia, we saw that they were determined to try to um exert totalitarian control under a Communist er system in each of those countries. Er, our feeling was that Germany, if they attempted to keep Germany down, as was attempted after World War One, er this would be fatal. That er we would er soon be confronted with er a condition for utter hostility and so their line of policy and our policy interests were in conflict and er they would er back theirs with a very er very strong military force. Er, but Eisenhower's feeling was always that they would er stop short of er actual attack against the United States. So our task was er to contain er their outward trust, in a way that would maintain the... the freedom of our allies and over a period of time, he thought er the er demand, the desire for freedom would assert itself in Central and Eastern Europe to the extent that they too would become free.
INT: What would you say was the most dangerous point in the Cold War... Cold War period?
AG: I think the most dangerous point of the Cold War came after Eisenhower's time, at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, er because the Soviets had to back away from something that was er extremely volatile and extremely er dangerous.
INT: What are the take home lessons of the Cold War, now it's over?
AG: My lesson is we didn't do too badly. To have come through a situation with that much danger, I think er a... a lot of people can be given a lot of credit er and er I think the leadership in the West deserves a great deal of credit that we got through that without... without er it er flaring up into actual hostilities, which would have been destructive beyond anybody's power of imagination.
INT: General Goodpaster, thank you very much.
END OF INTERVIEW WITH GENERAL ANDREW GOODPASTER