This issue begins with an article by William Burr, who examines how the Cold War shaped U.S. policy regarding Pakistan's secret nuclear weapons program in the late 1970s. After the People's Republic of China (PRC) detonated its first nuclear weapon in 1964, India moved rapidly ahead in building its own nuclear weapons. India's detonation of a nuclear explosive in 1974 spurred Pakistan to launch its own program, which posed considerable problems for U.S. policymakers. The United States had long maintained an alliance with Pakistan to ward off encroachments from the Soviet Union, but U.S. officials also wanted to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons in South Asia. When the Carter administration learned in the late 1970s that Pakistan (with help from the PRC) was making unexpectedly fast progress toward building a nuclear bomb, some high-ranking U.S. officials wanted to put strong pressure on the Pakistani government. In the end, however, the Cold War standoff with the Soviet Union took precedence over concerns about nuclear proliferation. Amid sharply deteriorating relations with the Soviet Union and fears that Soviet-backed India could gain hegemony in South Asia, the United States applied only modest pressure on the Pakistani government even as it accelerated its nuclear arms program.
The next article, by Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, traces the Cold War motifs in the two Star Trek television series and six films that were produced during the last quarter century of the Cold War. (Seven more Star Trek television series have appeared in the post–Cold War period.) An earlier article in the JCWS, by Nicholas Sarantakes, showed how the producers of the original Star Trek series, which appeared from 1966 to 1969 amid controversy over the Vietnam War as well as initial overtures for East-West détente, built Cold War themes into the series in the hope of influencing U.S. foreign policy in a more peaceful direction and also of supporting the civil rights movement at home. Hatzivassiliou explains how the passage of two decades after the end of the first Star Trek series brought changes in the second series (Star Trek: The Next Generation), which began in 1987 as the Cold War was beginning to ease, and continued into the early 1990s, by which time the Cold War had ended. Hatzivassiliou highlights continuities as well as differences between the two series, focusing on questions of deterrence, perception of threats, the use of force, the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of military intervention in foreign societies, the easing of tensions between long-time adversaries, and the resolution of enduring conflicts.
The next article, by Andrea Graziosi, discusses Soviet legacies in post-Soviet Russia's domestic politics, economics, social trends, and international behavior. This is one of several articles we will be featuring over the next few years on the legacies of the Cold War and Soviet Communism in the post-Communist world. Graziosi traces how the various elements of Soviet history and the Soviet system—the mass violent repression of the Stalin era, the devastation of World War II, the centrally planned economic system, the ethnofederal territorial configuration, the overwhelming deference to state authority, the flows of migration (both voluntary and involuntary), the imperial foreign policy, the emphasis on great-power status, and the emergence of dissidents and others who wanted a more humane system—helped to shape the political, economic, and social contours of post-1991 Russia. The Soviet legacies certainly did not determine everything, but they did make some choices and options more likely than others.
The next article, by Sue Thompson, discusses the evolution of U.S. efforts to promote regional security cooperation in Southeast Asia from the 1950s through the 1970s, focusing in particular on the impact of the Vietnam War. President Richard Nixon's speech on the island of Guam in July 1969—a speech that quickly became known as the Nixon Doctrine or Guam Doctrine—laid out the administration's approach to regional security as the United States was winding down its military presence in Vietnam. Nixon indicated that his administration would expect Southeast Asian governments to take responsibility for their own security in the future, with support from the United States but not direct U.S. military involvement. A key element of Nixon's speech was his call for the strengthening of regional organizations that could counter threats from Communist regimes. Although the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) had been formed three years before Nixon spoke, his doctrine helped spur a significant reinforcement of ASEAN from the mid-1970s on, moving it closer to having a regional security mission.
The next article, by Olga Ulianova and Alessandro Santoni, looks at the authoritarian regime of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile (1973–1990), focusing on how the role of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) and its links with European and North American partners changed over time as the Cold War evolved from a period of East-West détente to a period of renewed superpower tension and then to a far-reaching diminution of the East-West standoff in the late 1980s. During the early years of Chile's military junta, the PDC lost support in the United States and encountered tension with Christian Democratic parties in Western Europe, especially the Italian Christian Democrats. Within a few years, however, as the PDC maintained its distance from the military regime and became the leading opposition force in Chile, the party's erstwhile links to Western partners (private foundations as well as Western governments and political parties) markedly improved. These links proved extremely important in the latter half of the 1980s, when the waning of the Cold War gave the PDC an opportunity to push for a negotiated return to democracy with crucial support from the Reagan administration in the United States, from the West German Christian Democratic-led government under Helmut Kohl, and from key foundations such as the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the National Endowment for Democracy. The roles of these external actors, combined with the dramatic improvements in East-West relations and the democratic transitions under way elsewhere in the world (Southern Europe, East Asia, Latin America), were instrumental in facilitating a negotiated pact in Chile and a national plebiscite in October 1988 that rejected a continuation of Pinochet's rule and led to democratic presidential and parliamentary elections in December 1989. In the presidential election, the PDC's candidate, Patricio Aylwin, won by a large margin, replacing Pinochet in March 1990. Without the end of the Cold War and the strong support of Western partners, the PDC would have had a much harder time facilitating the peaceful restoration of democracy in Chile.
The next article, by Andrew Gawthorpe, discusses the role of U.S. civilian advisers in South Vietnam from 1962, a few years before the United States sharply escalated its military presence in Vietnam, until 1973, when the U.S. war in Vietnam was coming to an end. Although previous studies have looked at the intellectual and ideological wellsprings of the U.S. rural advisory network in Vietnam, Gawthorpe traces how the network actually functioned on the ground and explores the perceptions of individual U.S. civilian advisers. The thousands of advisers varied in their outlooks, but all were aware of the extensive corruption in South Vietnam and strove to diminish or even eliminate it. These efforts were often thwarted by South Vietnamese officials who wanted to preserve their own rent-seeking opportunities and by the lack of sufficient commitment from officials in the U.S. government and U.S. military, who, despite setting up the huge program, never gave it the priority it would have required to be successful. The lesson from this experience is relevant not just to the Cold War but to the post-Cold War era as well. The obstacles that dogged the U.S. rural advisory network in South Vietnam should have been a cautionary tale for proposals to launch nation-building efforts in the 1990s and 2000s.
The issue ends with fourteen book reviews.