Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / The tragedy of Yugoslavia: Lessons and Conclusions / Articles
US policy towards Yugoslavia in the years 1943-1980
Material posted: Publication date: 14-10-2016
The undeniable fact of the last decades of XX – beginning of XXI century is a radical transformation of the world political process and, in particular, the system of international relations as a set of political, diplomatic, legal, socio-economic and other relations between the main actors of this system. The fall of the Berlin wall, the disintegration of the Soviet Union was the starting point of the change of the bipolar system of international relations established after the Second world war and built on the confrontation between the socialist and capitalist poles of influence.

Despite the many clearly positive effects of the changes (care in the past ideological and other antagonisms, expressed primarily in the military-political confrontation between USA and the Soviet Union, political and above all economic integration trends in Europe, Asia and America, etc.), because of the undoubted complexity of what is happening, it is impossible to give such changes a priori positive meaning. A sudden change in the political and military parity between the United States and the Soviet Union at the turn of 1980-1990-ies led to the events and progressive trends, which can hardly be attributed to the positive consequences of the ongoing transformation.

With the collapse of the Eastern Union former USSR block ended a half-century period in the balance of power on the world stage. The remaining "alone" the main winners in the "cold war" of America have an unprecedented influence on the world in which she no longer resisted the Communist bloc. Currently, in the absence of any civilized international consensus before the United States open up incredible, unthinkable before the fantastic material, political and cultural opportunities. Moreover, the United States has a tool for building a world in which American dominance is becoming a solid Foundation. We are talking about democratic institutions, creates a sufficient basis for long-term dominance of the sole superpower. The new hegemon, knowing that his dominance is, ultimately, ephemeral, seeks to close the other countries in the system of orientation on predictable policy, which lowers the probability that dissent with the existing order will be challenged, not satisfied with their state of international Affairs. In these conditions, the desired mechanism for the United States is the spread of democratic institutions. The transparency of democratic States, the eternal struggle system of "checks and balances" do the almost incredible outrages of these countries to the status quo, regardless of, convenient, beneficial, he departed from the bridge world development or not. It is important that these ideas have deep roots in the American experience in the American sense of history, Economics, sources of order, which were and are Messianic in nature. Without false self-abasement of the American theorists create an "inseparable relationship" between the democratic form of government and a stable order based on hegemony. That is why the United States was so violent exporter of democracy over the past century – and especially after the end of the cold war.

America's attitude to the outside world has acquired a major feature: the United States should not give up the burden of world power, they should firmly and permanently to assume the leadership randomly developing world, to restore the Imperial order forced to retreat all the forces that are guided by different values. 21 September 1993, the national security Advisor to President Clinton A. lake announced that the heir to the strategy of deterrence "should become as dominant for the US strategy of creating a world community of market democracies"[1]. Got the new birth is the power factor using the lever of democratic change. As formulated by the English scientist A. Lieven, "the combination of the expansion of us geopolitical influence, support for military interventions and highly selective promotion of democratic values has made the United States is extremely formidable opponent of any state in which they are willing to see the opponent"[2]. At the present stage, the leading American theorists of international relations recognize that "American actions in the international arena are motivated not by moral values and material interests, American support for democracy is "an idealistic crusade, and has materialistic goals"[3]. Thus, the motive of US foreign policy is, and has been in the past not a moral impetus to the spread of representative government, "the economic imperatives of the capitalist elite that wants to consolidate its hegemony over the global economy. Not wanting to endanger neoliberal economic globalization, Americans are spreading in the less developed countries, democracy low "intensity" (or "polyarchy") by protecting cooperating with the West elites, the formation of public institutions that provide the silence of the subaltern classes and creating an obstacle on the path of reforms aimed at greater equality[4]. At the time, Henry Kissinger theoretically relegated all possible world-system to three: the chaos, the balance of power and the pyramid of the rule of one power. Thus, at the present stage come this "peace pyramid".

Perhaps one of the best researchers of modern diplomatic history of the George. L. Geddis wrote in this regard that "not many historians are willing to deny today that the United States was going to dominate in the international arena after world war II, long before the Soviet Union turned into the antagonist"[5]. Consultant of the research center "Rand Corporation" K. lane noted that "the Soviet Union was considerably less than it was served earlier, factor in determining American policy. In fact, after the Second world war the creators of American policy sought to create a United States led the world based on the superiority of American political, military and economic power, and American values"[6].

The two most important countries for the United States in the twentieth century were Germany and Japan. That is stopping their movement for world domination, America has participated in two world wars. The United States has used a solid Foundation of mass fear of Germany in Europe and to Japan in Asia. Thinking in the building of the American Embassy at the Manege square, George. Kennan, a leading American diplomat, came to the end of 1945 to the conclusion that "it is impossible to prevent falling into the hands of three Russian regions: the United Kingdom, the Rhine valley and the Japanese Islands"[7].

Essentially, the idea John. Kennan was not brand new. Immediately after the First world war, the British geopolitician H. Mackinder stressed that "whoever controls Eastern Europe commands a and Russia and China and Iran and Afghanistan: who is in charge of the above areas, he manages Eurasia and Africa, who commands the Eurasia and Africa, that rules the world"[8]. In harmony with Mackinder were the words of American geopolitics N. Spykman that "he who controls Eurasia controls and the fate of the world"[9]. As you know, after the Second world war, East Central Europe was in large part to the influence of the Soviet Union after 1948, i.e. after the break in relations with the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, occupies an extremely important geopolitical and strategic position was "used" US to weaken the "zone of influence" of the USSR.

Thus, to establish control over important regions, the Americans methodically brought the case before 1991. Milestones on this way was the creation in 1944 of the International monetary Fund and the International Bank for reconstruction and development, "the Marshall plan" and the creation of NATO.

Of course, in our view, the policy of the United States was not the only factor in the destruction of the socialist camp and the disintegration of the USSR and Yugoslavia; domestic problems of economic, political, social, national plans have played a major role in the changing geopolitical situation in Europe and the world in General. But, nevertheless, the foreign policy of the United States towards the countries of Eastern Europe after the Second world war has always had one defining goal: liberation of the region from the influence of the Soviet Union and his return to the path of economic, political and ideological pluralism. Yugoslavia, as the country to conduct independent domestic and foreign policy after the rupture of relations with the Soviet Union, was given the role of the "wedge" aimed at weakening the Soviet bloc led by the USSR[10].

The strategy of "driving a wedge" in the Communist bloc was defined as a crucial and relatively new aspect of the foreign policy approaches of the presidential administrations of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, who relied on nationalism, the combination of pressure from the United States, as well as to help with the aim of creating as large as possible disagreement between the Soviet Union and other Communist States.

In modern conditions the US political elite often uses very similar methods to implement its foreign policy and geopolitical goals, acting in different conditions: namely, being in a position of world leader, whose claim to hegemony, in practice, no one questioned.

Considering all the above circumstances, relying on a relatively new source database, covering papers, a number of which is introduced into scientific circulation for the first time, we tried to explore the main directions of foreign policy of the USA against Yugoslavia 1943-1980.


[1] D. Brinkly The Clinton Doctrine // Foreign Policy. – 1996. – No. 106. – P. 111-127.

[2] Lieven A. The Secret Policeman's Ball: the United States, Russia and International Order after 11 September // International Affairs. – 2002. – V. 78. – No. 2. – P. 247.

[3] M. Cox, J. Ikenberry, T. Inogouchi American Democracy Promotion: Impulses, Strategies and Impacts. – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. – P. 35.

[4] Patrick S. More Power to You: Strategic Restraint, Democracy Promotion, and American Primacy // International Studies Review. – 2002. – Spring. – P. 122.

[5] Y. L. Gaddis, The Tragedy of the Cold War History // Diplomatic History in 1993. – Winter. – P. 3-4.

[6] Layne Ch. Rethinking American Grand Strategy. Hegemony or Balance of Power in the Twenty–First Century? // World Policy Journal. – 1998. – Summer. – P. 9.

[7] T. Diebel, Gaddis Y. Containing the Soviet Union. – Washington D. C., 1987. – P. 1.

[8] J. W. Spanier American Foreign Policy Since World War II. – New York: Frederick A. Praeger Publisher, 1961. – P. 1.

[9] ibid. – C. 1.

[10] J. Gaddis, The Long Peace: Inquiries into the History of the Cold War. – New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. – P. 152-194.

Elena Kosmach

RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security