The Foreign Service Journal, November 2019

82 NOVEMBER 2019 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL brought on by the collapse of the German Democratic Republic and imminent German unity. Almost overnight, administrative structures that had sup- ported the most important U.S. diplomatic landscape in central Europe were rendered obsolete. Accustomed to the post-1945 world with its marked financial advantages for occupying powers, Department of State planners, with one eye on the U.S. government’s deepening fiscal crisis, could not be blamed if they regarded German unification and the subsequent deci- sion in 1991 to restore Berlin as Germany’s capital as develop- ments representing distinctly mixed administrative blessing. From the twisted knot of property ownership—the U.S. owned few properties outright in Berlin—to complicated issues of organization and staffing involving U.S. missions throughout Germany, the management agenda was complex and over- whelming. Since the embassy other work never slackened, the move was a bit like remodeling an airplane in full flight. —Richard Gilbert, a retired USIA FSO, excerpted from his article by the same title in the March 2000 FSJ. Cold War Lessons FSJ DECEMBER 2011 “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” So spoke President Ronald Reagan in 1987. In the background was the Brandenburg Gate, all too visible behind the Berlin Wall. Reagan’s stirring words, though noted at the time, came dramatically alive when the wall was literally and joyously torn down in 1989. It was a gripping episode in the events that led to the end of the Cold War. … The disappearance of the wall is a metaphor for the end of the Cold War, which occurred largely without bloodshed. And the lessons we should learn are potentially useful because security concerns once again threaten the freedom and prosperity of our world. One of the most important reasons for success in ending the Cold War was that we in the West had a strategy that we sustained for almost a half-century. The basic architecture was put in place and solidified in the Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower years, and that architecture, particularly the NATO alliance, served us well throughout the Cold War. … So here we see on display a set of important ideas: • Change toward freedom and openness is possible. • Economic development goes hand in hand with political openness. • Strength of purpose and capability are essential. • Strength works in tandem with diplomacy. • A deep and continuing consultative process among like-minded people creates the understanding necessary to make hard choices. • A successful strategy must be based on realism and sustainability. The Cold War is over, but lessons learned from the way it ended are important to remember as we confront the serious threats facing the world today. Strength is always key: the military capability, willpower and self-confidence to act when necessary. But consultation and diplomatic engagement are equally essential. To paraphrase Helmut Schmidt, there is no substitute for human contact. Just be careful about what you say, and be sure your diplomacy is supported by strength. Perhaps we can also gain some momentum for this agenda of strength, cooperation, containment and diplomacy from the pursuit of two big ideas on a global scale. Each is drawn from the Ronald Reagan playbook used during the Cold War. First, can we find our way to a world free of nuclear weap- ons? … Second, can we reach a broad consensus to attack the issue of global warming? … The pursuit of big ideas on a world scale might well generate just the sense of cohesion that would help likeminded nations face down other problems that threaten our peace and our prosperity. Heeding the important lessons from the end of the Cold War will help us as we work to solve today’s most urgent problems. n —George P. Shultz, Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989, from his article by the same title for the December 2011 FSJ “Focus on the Breakup of the Soviet Union.” Almost overnight, administrative structures that had supported the most important U.S. diplomatic landscape in central Europe were rendered obsolete.