Lessons in Global Security – Part 2

May 11, 2015

SSI_logoAbout this blog post series: In this two-part blog post, we review new publications from the U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute (SSI). As in “Lessons in Global Security – Part 1,” in this post, we continue our focus on SSI publications covering U.S. national security, public policy, and international relations topics. (Permission granted for use of Strategic Studies Institute-United States Army War College logo)

 The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security

008-000-01076-5This monograph reviews the outlook of the Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. Of these, Iran and Saudi Arabia are becoming the two behemoth forces in the Middle East. While Saudi Arabia has most control over Gulf-area Arab states and is a close ally with the United States, Iran’s closest Arab allies are Syria and the Palestinian territories that support Hamas and Hezbollah. The author presents several conclusions and recommendations for the U.S. policymakers to consider, emphasizing strategic interests as a way to bolster peaceful negotiations with Middle Eastern states, rather than persistent conflict over reform and democracy.

Recent newsworthy events relating to U.S. and Saudi relationship can be found in this article here:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/kerry-hopes-win-pause-yemen-war-heads-talks-30839695

(Image is copyright-free from Yalibnan.com)

(Image is copyright-free from Yalibnan.com)

With the current events tie-in, these titles may be appropriate for high school global history classes as well as for university students with coursework relating to international relations and foreign policy arms control.

Legality in Cyberspace: An Adversary View

008-000-01108-7This Letort Papers series title highlights the differences in interpretation between the Euro-Atlantic nations compared to China and Russia’s views of international law in relation to cyberspace activity, including cybersecurity attacks, cyber warfare, and cyber weapons. The authors explore this issue from the Russian perspective to analyze and examine the legal status of various activities in cyberspace, including what constitutes a hostile activity.   The authors adequately present each side of the argument and confirm that to date an agreement on this expanding field of conflict has not yet been met.

US Army Cyber Command image

(Image compliments of US Army Cyber Command website http://www.arcyber.army.mil/)

Within the conclusion section, the authors present implications for U.S. policy makers to consider; including taking a closer observation of how Russia defines cyber warfare and information weapons.   After U.S. policymakers have determined Russian’s interpretations, they may be better equipped to strategizing their defense.

Students participating in cybersecurity and foreign policy programs may be interested in this text. Additionally, students pursuing a law degree may find this text informative for international law classes. Political scientists, diplomats, international law attorneys, intelligence community teams, and military strategists should keep this text on their bookshelf for referral for guidance about complex negotiations.

Army Support of Military Cyberspace Operations: Joint Contexts and Global Escalation Implications

008-000-01094-3This unclassified monograph examines past and present joint and Army cyberspace military operations, as well as how these operations may fit into the complex and dynamic sphere of international deterrence and escalation. It provides information about the founding and responsibilities of the military units that comprise the U.S. Cyber Command for offensive and defensive initiatives with network operations for protection of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) global information grid.   Primarily, these operations were developed to provide a deterrence to a nuclear threat, prior to the 21st century. Now these defenses are used to influence national response across the intelligence community and law enforcement as a method for deterrence and escalation to possibly reduce risk.

Military science and cyberspace or cybersecurity students may be interested in this text. Additionally, U.S. military personnel, U.S. international community, law enforcement, and historians may find this book useful in their operations.

(Image compliments of US Army Cyber Command website http://www.arcyber.army.mil/)

(Image compliments of US Army Cyber Command website http://www.arcyber.army.mil/)

The US Government Bookstore is receiving new print titles on a weekly basis from the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, so please check for future available titles on the topics of U.S. national and global security, cyberspace capabilities, combatting terrorism, and political science issues, such as international relations and foreign diplomacy, that will be added to this growing collection at this link: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/agency/1609

How can I get these new SSI publications?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy the following  publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:

Order by Phone: You may also Order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.


Lessons in Global Security – Part 1

April 23, 2015

US Army War College Press logo

In this two-part blog post, Government Book Talk takes an in-depth look at several new publications from the U.S. Army War College. (Permission granted for use of United States Army War College Press logo)

The U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) recently has published a few very timely monographs with a primary focus on U.S. national security, public policy and international relations topics.

The Strategic Studies Institute conducts strategic research and analysis to support the U.S. Army War College curricula, provides direct analysis for Army and Department of Defense leadership, and serves as a bridge to the wider strategic community.

SSI is composed of civilian research professors, uniformed military officers, and a professional support staff. All have extensive credentials and experience. SSI is divided into three components: the Strategic Research and Analysis Department focuses on global, trans-regional, and functional issues, particularly those dealing with Army transformation; the Regional Strategy Department focuses on regional strategic issues; and the Academic Engagement Program creates and sustains partnerships with the global strategic community.

In addition to its organic resources, SSI has a web of partnerships with strategic analysts around the world, including the foremost thinkers in the field of security and military strategy. In most years, about half of SSI’s publications are written by these external partners.

Some of my personal favorites from SSI’s growing collection include the following titles:

Reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). 9781584874447The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and IAEA have had frequent mention in the mainstream news media recently due to ongoing nuclear weapon development discussions with Iran, as well as increased tensions with the Soviet Union.

This book reviews the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) agreements that the United States has with many countries from an historical perspective. Although a bit technical in nature, this work does include an array of essays by different contributors that analyze different articles of the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty and provide their insights to the reader.

treaty image

(Treaty image courtesy of http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/)

One area that was very beneficial to me is that this work defines the responsibilities of the International Atomic Emergency Agency (IAEA) and their practices for safeguarding nuclear programs, including coverage of nuclear program inspections. This book also contains insights about nuclear weapons treaties with other countries that are already in place with the USA and provides some background to those treaties. Additionally, this text explores how treaty agreements work, mentioning “Articles” within the treaty that often pertain to terms of conditions that each country should abide.

Many political scientists, historians, and diplomats may be familiar with this process, but many American citizens who are not routinely involved in negotiations with these diplomatic matters might benefit. Also high school students may be interested in this material to stay on top of current events for their global studies classes. University and Graduate students might be interested in this material as a supplemental text for courses, such as international relations coursework required for some political science degree programs.

Moving Beyond Pretense: Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation008-000-01098-6. This monograph focuses on the making of nuclear fuel– a process that is expensive and complex. The first section of this book features “Nuclear Proliferation Matters,” which covers the argument that nuclear weapons proliferation is more likely to occur with the spread of civilian nuclear technology and that such nuclear proliferation constitutes a threat to international security—certainly if there is nuclear weapons use, but even if there is not.

The volume’s second section, “Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons—Clarifying the Links,” makes the case that civilian nuclear power programs actually afford a major leg up for any nation seeking development of a nuclear weapons option.

The third section of this work covers the discussion on “How Well Can We Safeguard the Peaceful Atom?” and the question of how well the IAEA and the United Nations (UN) are likely to do their job enforcing the NPT in the future.

Each chapter within this text has a different contributor to the point of view, but the overall themes are maintained. Plus, some chapters include an analysis of specific Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Articles which are helpful to make their discussion points understood. Some of the contributors’ discussions indicate that the past historical events worked well in policy, but the implementations and enforcements of the policies seemed to be more troublesome.

Additionally, within each section, historical events relating to these discussions are presented to the reader to point out a sense of initiatives that will be needed to strengthen the monitoring for greater security.

This guide helped me to better understand the intense negotiations that the U.S. foreign diplomats and ambassadors in foreign countries must engage in with our allies and other countries to achieve the end result of greater global security.

European Missile Defense and Russia008-000-01109-5. This monograph provides the historical perspective that began with fear around the time of World War II and continued through the 1950s to 1960s regarding Russia’s expansion of their missile defense and nuclear weapons programs. This book also mentions and focuses discussions around the Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Program Treaty between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. (Russia).

Russian flag

Russian Flag

During the late 1990s, the United States became aware that Russia had started to sell some of its missile defense weapons to rogue states within the Middle East. These countries created another possible harm to the United States, rather than a direct attack from Russia. As a result, the U.S. began implementing missile warhead interceptors as part of their long-term defense plan.

The primary focus within the pages of this book is about America’s expansion plan to build missile defense sites in select European and Asian countries to aid in our national defense strategy and Russia’s adversarial challenges to this U.S. strategic plot. The authors have included primary source excerpts from actual conversations and speeches between world leaders that add to each of their points of discussion throughout this work.

(Images are copyright-free from copyright-free-images.com)

(Image of flag and this missile are courtesy of copyright-free-images.com)

Again, the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute has released a title with historical perspectives that can shed insights into today’s current events concerning U.S. and Russia missile defense program relations.

Undergraduate and graduate political science classes with a focus on comparative politics and U.S.-Russian relations may have interest in this book as a supplemental reading text or reference for research.

How can I get these new SSI publications?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy the following  publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:

Order by Phone: You may also Order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.

 


To Russia with… Respect

February 20, 2014

With worldwide sports audiences focused on television and Internet stories from the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia, we are all learning more about this fascinating country.  America has had a long and complex history of relations with Russia, from both the Soviet Union era and now as the Russian Federation. From allies to adversaries—and sometimes both at the same time— the U.S. and Russia have covered the gamut of different roles over the centuries.

In a month replete with themes of love for Valentine’s Day and stories about Russian history, the U.S. Government Bookstore adds to the dialogue with dozens of publications about Russia and the Soviet Union that show, if not always love, then the perpetual mutual respect between our two nations.

Russia-Soviet-Books-available from the GPO-US Government Bookstore

World War II

Book Cover Image for Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East (Paperback)Russia’s role as both an adversary and an ally during the Second World War lays the foundation for its complicated but critical relationship with the rest of the world today. But its historic triumph over its former ally, Nazi Germany, is a feat still studied and admired today. In Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East (Paperback), the planning and execution of the German offensive against Russia in 1941-1942 are reviewed.

Book Cover Image for Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East (Paper)Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East (in Paperback and ePub eBook) describes the German defeat by the Russians in World War II and the events that resulted in the Soviet Union becoming a dominant military power in Europe.

The Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact and the Cold War

In response to West Germany’s inclusion in NATO and reflecting Soviet leadership’s desire to maintain control over military forces in Central and Eastern Europe, the Warsaw Pact was signed in May 1955 in Warsaw, Poland, as a mutual defense treaty between eight Cold War communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw Pact members included the U.S.S.R. plus Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovak Republic, German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

The Warsaw Pact Wartime Statutes: Instruments of Soviet Control (CIA Declassified Book and DVD) ISBN: 9780160920615Soviet military planning for conflict in Europe after World War II from the outset harnessed East European military capabilities to Soviet military purposes. This “operational subordination” of the member states’ military is thoroughly analyzed in The Warsaw Pact Wartime Statutes: Instruments of Soviet Control (Book and DVD) whose book and accompanying DVD include a wealth of newly declassified Central Intelligence Agency documents covering the Warsaw Pact period.

ISBN 9780160920608 The Warsaw Pact, Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance: Soviet-East European Military Relations in Historical Perspective; Sources and Reassessments (CIA Declassified Book and DVD)Another book and DVD set from the same series, The Warsaw Pact, Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance: Soviet-East European Military Relations in Historical Perspective; Sources and Reassessments (Book and DVD), is a collection of hundreds of recently declassified documents designed to take stock of where we are twenty years after the collapse of East European Communism. It includes sensitive Soviet and Warsaw Pact military journals from 1961 to 1984, recently uncovered in newly opened archives across former Warsaw Pact nations, providing a view into Warsaw Pact military strategy.

At the conclusion of World War 2, the Soviet Union was a major player in the world and again an adversary. The period roughly from 1947 to 1991 was known as the Cold War, in which the powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in Warsaw Pact) were lined up against the Western Bloc (the U.S. and NATO allies). Watching the Bear: Essays on CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Union- ISBN 9780160679544It was referred to as a “cold” war because there were no major world wars or direct conflicts between the two sides, although there were significant regional wars in Korea and Vietnam. Watching the Bear: Essays on CIA’s Analysis of the Soviet Union focuses on the organizational evolution of the CIA’s analysis of the Soviet economic, political, military, and scientific and technological developments during the Cold War. Interestingly, it also assesses the extent to which Western analyses of the Soviet Union may have influenced the USSR’s policy making process.

In addition to watching the West, Soviet leadership had a constant struggle to keep its own member states in line, particularly as some began to chafe under the communist system.

For example, many remember the Czechoslovak crisis from January 1968, when Alexander Dubcek was elevated to the post of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Under Dubcek, the Czech communist leadership had embarked on a radical program of dramatic liberalization of the Czechoslovak political, economic, and social order that was not approved by Moscow. Strategic Warning & the Role of Intelligence: The CIA and Strategic Warning; TheIn Strategic Warning & the Role of Intelligence: The CIA and Strategic Warning; The 1968 Soviet-Led Invasion of Czechoslovakia (Book and DVD), the Central Intelligence Agency’s Information Management Services reviewed, redacted, and released hundreds of documents related to the 1968 Czechoslovak-Soviet crisis, creating this fascinating book. The accompanying DVD has over 500 documents and 2,000 pages of recently declassified material about the crisis.

Détente Era

During the period of 1967 to 1979, there was an easing of Cold War tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Referred to as détente, the era was a time of increased trade and cooperation with the Soviet Union and the signing of the SALT treaties, but relations cooled again with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan until the fall of the Soviet Union and the founding of the Russian Federation.

Book Cover Image for Soviet-American Relations: The Detente Years, 1969-1972The best overview of this important period can be found in Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years, 1969-1972. With a foreword by Henry A. Kissinger, this unprecedented joint documentary publication presents the formerly top-secret record of how the United States and Soviet Union moved from Cold War to détente during 1969 to 1972. Published side-by side are both the U.S. and Soviet accounts of meetings between Henry Kissinger and Soviet Ambassador Anatoliy Dobrynin, the so-called Kissinger-Dobrynin confidential back channel, related documents, and the full Soviet and U.S. record of the first Moscow Summit between President Richard Nixon and Soviet Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev. The Soviet documents are being released in the volume for the first time anywhere.

The Foreign Relations of the United States series fondly known as FRUS has a number of terrific titles about the U.S. relations with the Soviet Union. Foreign Relations of the United States series at http://bookstore.gpo.govOne volume in particular, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, Volume XXXIV, National Security Policy, documents U.S. national security policy in the context of the Vietnam War and the changing Cold War strategic balance between the United States and the Soviet Union. Another volume in the series, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, V. XV, Soviet Union, June 1972-August 1974, includes numerous direct personal communications between President Nixon and Soviet Leader Brezhnev covering a host of issues, including clarifying the practical application of the SALT I and AMB agreements, arms control, the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, commercial relations and most-favored-nation status, the emigration of Soviet Jews, and the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Title IV of the 1974 Trade Act which denied most favored nation status to certain countries with non-market economies that restricted free emigration, such as the Soviet Union.

ISBN 9780160895593 Rockets and People: NASA History Series Volume IV: The Moon Race (from a Soviet rocket designer's perspective) One of the crowning achievements of Russia and the Soviet Union has been its space program. From the launching of Sputnik that triggered the space race to participation in the International Space Station, Russians are justifiably proud of their “stellar” accomplishments. This pride is borne out in the fascinating book Rockets and People: Volume IV: The Moon Race. In this book translated from its original Russian version to English, the famous Russian spacecraft designer Boris Chertok— who worked under the legendary Sergey Korolev— continues his fascinating memoirs about the history of the Soviet space program, this time covering 1968 to 1974, the peak years of the Soviet human lunar program.

The Russian Federation

Today, Russia or the Russian Federation continues to be a major power, politically, militarily and economically.  But since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has continued to have issues with insurgencies and disagreements among its population. Book Cover Image for Breaking the Mold: Tanks in the CitiesBreaking the Mold: Tanks in the Cities (in Paperback and as an eBook) provides an up-to-date analysis of the utility of tanks and heavy armored forces in urban combat from across the world, and includes an analysis of the Russian use of tanks in quelling the insurgency in the Chechen Republic (Chechnya) in 1995.

No longer a communist nation, Russia today still has a number of social welfare programs that differ from the rest of Europe. The Social Security Programs Throughout the World series highlights the principal features of social security programs in more than 170 countries. Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Europe 2012Now included in the most recent European edition, Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Europe 2012, Russian social security programs are analyzed and compared to other nations in Europe.

9781584874492_Russian-Military-Today-and-TomorrowAnd finally, The Russian Military Today and Tomorrow: Essays in Memory of Mary FitzGerald includes essays by top U.S. and Russian analysts to assess current Russian military thinking on warfare, giving insight into the Russia of today.

They say one must study history to understand where we are today and where we are heading. This listing is just a smattering of the many thoughtful publications about Russia and the Soviet Union that can add to your understanding of where this major power has been, where it is today and perhaps, where it might go in the future.

How can I get these publications about Russia and the Soviet Union?

  • Shop Online Anytime: You can buy any of these eBooks or print publications—with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:
  • Order by Phone: You may also Order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
  • Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
  • Visit a Federal Depository Library: Search for one of these publications in a nearby Federal depository library. (Librarians: You can find the records for most of these titles in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or CGP.)

About the author: Government Book Talk Editor Michele Bartram is Promotions Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov) and promoting Federal government content to the public.


Four Decades since Détente and SALT

May 18, 2012

Forty years ago next week marked a historic point in Soviet-American relations. On May 22, 1972, President Richard Nixon landed in Moscow for an unprecedented week-long summit with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, Premier Alexei Kosygin and other Soviet officials that culminated in the SALT I Treaty and marked the height of the détente era.

In honor of this four decade anniversary, I thought I’d write about an insightful publication by the State Department entitled “Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years, 1969-1972 that covers this important period that marked a détente or a “thawing” of Cold War relations between the two superpowers.

Extremely interesting are the forewords by both Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. In them, they talk about their personal relationship that forged “The Channel” of communications between the two governments that finally led to the breakthrough in negotiations.

Kissinger reminisces:

On March 25, 1971, according to the transcript of a telephone conversation with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, I remarked: “When we are both out of government service, which will be a lot later for you than for me, I hope you will let me read the reports you send in on me.” … My remark to Dobrynin was an interlude in what evolved into almost daily exchanges. What was later named “The Channel” began as a general exchange of views. Starting in 1971, the Channel became the principal venue for U.S.-Soviet relations.

Don’t change “The Channel”  

According to Kissinger in “The Détente Years”, “The Channel” became one of the pathways of change, and “produced a number of significant agreements”, including:

  • an agreed approach on Strategic Arms Limitation (May 1971);
  • the conclusion of an agreement regarding access to Berlin (September 1971);
  • the announcement of a Soviet-American summit agreement (October 1971); and
  • President Nixon’s visit to Moscow (May 1972), at which agreements, the most important of which were a treaty regulating Ballistic Missile Defense and a five-year freeze on deploying additional offensive strategic weapons, were concluded. The two sides also published an agreed statement on principles of international conduct.

Image: Nixon and Brezhnev shake after signing the SALT treaty on May 26, 1972 (Source: Corbis Images).

Pass the SALT, please

The highlight of the publication is the discussion about the lead-up and issues during the Moscow Summit and the final negotiations of the SALT I Treaty.

SALT I, the first series of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, had begun in November 1969 to explore ways to halt or reduce the arms race, particularly nuclear weapon proliferation. This week of meetings from May 22 to 26, was set up after those years of negotiations to finalize and sign a number of agreements that increased cooperation and reduced the mutual nuclear threat between the two nations.

Image: Nuclear Limits. (Source: Time Magazine, 1972)

On May 26, Nixon and Brezhnev signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), the most significant of the multiple agreements reached during the Moscow summit. The terms of the SALT treaty limited the USSR and the United States to only 200 anti-ballistic missiles each, which had to be split between two defensive systems.

One good (hand)shake leads to another

Among all the handshakes at this Moscow summit was another for the “Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology” which laid the groundwork for the first joint Soviet-US space flight. Called the Apollo Soyuz Test Project or ASTP, the ASTP flight lasted only nine days from July 15-24, 1975, but led to another famous handshake… this time in space.

Image: Photo of the famous handshake between Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford (f.g.) and cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov after a successful linkup in space of the Americans’ Apollo and the Soviets’ Soyuz spacecrafts on July 17, 1975  (Source: NASA ASTP gallery).

Innovation = Bureaucratic dismay

All in all, this publication provides unique insights from the players involved about the diplomatic communications and procedural changes and innovations that were put in place on both sides to eliminate the logjam in relations between Soviets and American administrations since the end of World War II. And sometimes these changes were done “outside” the normal processes.

As Kissinger explains in the book:

Paradoxically, the Channel worked best so long as the bureaucracy did not know of its existence. While that was the case, the participants in the interdepartmental machinery had an incentive to adjust their positions toward what they thought was feasible; in general, no one wanted to assume responsibility for failure by inflexibility…

For all the bureaucratic dismay it caused, the Channel was an innovative attempt to transcend the formalities of an increasingly bureaucratized diplomacy. It helped contain crises, saw America through a period of domestic divisions and sketched prospects for a more peaceful world.

HOW DO I OBTAIN “Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years, 1969-1972”?

  • Buy it online 24/7 at GPO’s Online Bookstore.
  • Buy it at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm, except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.
  • Find it in a library.

About the Author:  Michele Bartram is Promotions Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore (Bookstore.gpo.gov) and promoting Federal government content to the public.


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