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The Last Superpower Summits

Svetlana Savranskaya
Thomas Blanton

Chapter 8. The Helsinki summit, Paris CSCE summit, and the war in the Gulf, 1990

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When Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, the new post-Cold War relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union encountered its first real test. It was especially crucial for the Soviet side, confronting Mikhail Gorbachev with a difficult challenge to his foreign policy of new thinking. Would he abandon a traditional Soviet ally in the Middle East and side with his Cold War opponents—the United States and the U.N. coalition—or would he play the traditional superpower game, trying to undermine U.S. influence in the region? In the end, Gorbachev was able to rise above factional strife and show himself to be a true partner who consistently followed his liberal-internationalist ideas and stuck by the coalition. In the process, President George Bush tried to do everything to ensure Soviet support as key to creating and sustaining an effective international alliance. In the Persian Gulf, as in other issue-areas, U.S.-Soviet interaction proved to be central to ending the Cold...

© Central European University Press, 2016

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