ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: East-West Conflict.

Editorial from Volume IX, No 43, October 26, 1957.

Both London and Washington have denied the possibility of an immediate “Summit Conference” between Heads of Western Powers and of Russia as a sequel to the talks between the British Prime Minister and the American President. Washington finds it convenient to stress the “Bermuda spirit” behind the talks between Mr Macmillan and President Eisenhower. London is diplomatic in not emphasising the changed circum­ stances and conditions of the second meeting between Mr Macmillan and Mr Eisenhower. When the British Prime Minister had his first talks with the American President in March last, the former went to Bermuda as a repentant aggressor. There was an open breach in the Anglo­American alliance over the Anglo­French aggression in Egypt. Mr Macmillan was in Bermuda to restore that alliance. Britain and America reached an understanding whereby the former con­ ceded t he latter ’s t it le to a sphere of influence in West Asia. That was the genesis of the Eisenhower Doctrine.

Much has happened since Bermuda. America has lost her initiative in world di­ plomacy, acquired by her immediately after the Suez war. After the spectacular initial success, the Eisenhower Doctrine, it is now widely admitted, has failed to attain its ob­ jective. Russia’s achievements in launching the intercontinental ballistic missile and the satellite have tilted the military balance against the West. Even though Washington is inclined to minimise the strategic significance of these attainments, diplomatic and political implications of the Russian successes are not denied. Despite refutations and contradicting statements, the series of meetings scheduled to take place after the Washington talks underline the Western Powers’ concern over Russia’s military and scientific lead. It is evident that one of the major aims of these series of talks is to assess properly the mili­ tary potential of the West in relation to that of the East. Though Mr Macmillan as well as President Eisenhower have repeatedly resisted Russia’s requests for a second “Summit Con­ ference” on the Geneva model, both have sug­ gested the urgent need for talks between heads of like­minded governments.

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