Decisions at Yalta: An Appraisal of Summit Diplomacy by Russell D. Buhite

By Russell D. Buhite

A learn of the effectiveness of summitry as a method of international relations. utilizing the instance of the 1945 Yalta convention among Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt, the writer argues that heads of kingdom make useless negotiators.

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One area of great Soviet concern was that the Allies not let Germany transfer divisions from the Italian front to the east. Churchill promised, seconded by General Marshall in his report, that the Allies would do all they could to pin the Germans down in Italy, although both noted that it would not be possible to prevent some transfers. On their part, the Western allies wanted assurances that the Soviets would not permit, during the spring offensive on the Western Front, transfer of German troops to the West.

The way to do this was to concentrate on increasing Soviet strength, while downplaying the promotion of international communism. During the World War II era the Soviets made Page xii distinctions among the capitalist nations. There were those virulently aggressive and expansionist states like Germany, Japan, and Italy that posed an immediate threat to the Soviet Union and the democracies that remained dangerous in the long run but with whom they could ally in addressing the present danger. Thus Premier Joseph Stalin adapted ideology to the interest of Soviet security, and he deemphasized its importance in his relations with the Western allies.

2 The prime minister assented but replied cynically that the president had better secure Stalin's firm agreement lest he come back and say why don't you come on the other four hours and let me entertain you in Moscow! Having agreed to meet in the Crimea, Churchill then became enthusiastic. " Then the prime minister, who wished to meet Roosevelt for preliminary discussion at Malta, became silly: "No more let us falter! From Malta to Yalta! " Roosevelt replied that he would stop at Malta on February 1 and would proceed to Yalta "without faltering,'' thus rebuffing Churchill's plans for a British-American preconference session.

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