The Transatlantic Missile Crisis: The Warsaw Agreement, Dec 9 1964
Outside Agitator (they/them)
- Jul 29, 2012
"LESSONS FROM THE CRISIS"
THE WARSAW AGREEMENT
DECEMBER 9 1964
WARSAW, Wednesday, Dec. 9 (AP)—Germany and its European allies have today signed a security pact following a five-day conference in the Polish capital, Warsaw. Led by the German premier Chancellor Erich Ollenhauer, leaders of the five member nations of the European Economic Co-operation Zone (ECZ) approved the draft of a new mutual defence treaty, called the European Common Defence Agreement (EUCODA). The text of the Warsaw agreement must now be ratified in parliament by each of the ECZ member nations – Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria – before taking effect.
Speaking in the Polish capital, Chancellor Ollenhauer expressed hope at the signing of the treaty: “In coming together with our allies to commit to a pact of mutual defence, it is my belief that we have made a significant contribution to the cause of peace in Europe. Our enemies must now realise that we do not take lightly their threats to our common integrity. We will not be spooked into action by reckless pronouncements, but we stand united and ready to respond to any forceful attempts to compromise our mutual security.”
The drafting of the agreement in Warsaw, following nine days after American President John F. Kennedy’s revelation of the Soviet missile build-up in Cuba, comes in the wake of increasing Soviet military activity on the Prussian border and in the Baltic Sea. The Soviet Union has steadily escalated its military presence along its western border since October, in response to the discovery of American nuclear missiles in eastern Germany.
In a broadcast from the Kremlin, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev warned that the United States was turning Germany into “the principal hotbed of the danger of war in Europe” by arming it with nuclear weapons.
He added that the United States was encouraging Germany in “the prosecution of its imperialistic claims in eastern Europe”, before emphasising that the Soviet Union would continue to act in defence of its own interests in the region.
It remains to be seen how exactly the Warsaw agreement will impact the military organisation of central and eastern Europe. There have been no indications that the signatory nations of the EUCODA intend to integrate their military forces under one command, although the New York Times speculated in an editorial today that the ratification of the Warsaw treaty “would certainly help to bring the militaries of eastern Europe under closer American influence”.