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Kind Words, Cruise Missiles, and Everything in Between: The Use of Power Resources in U.S. Policies towards Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus 1989–2008

By Barbara Kunz

2017 | ibidem-Verlag / ibidem Press; distributed by Columbia University Press (external site)
Copy Available: Yes

Language: English
Pages: 290
ISBN: 978-3-8382-1085-8 (paper)


Foreword by William H. Hill.

According to realist premises, the United States has an interest in remaining the world's only superpower, thus creating the need to manage and maintain unipolarity. The pursuit of this grand strategy, however, required the U.S. to adapt its various strategies to individual states. Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus have played very different roles. While Poland was labeled "America's best friend" by President George W. Bush, Belarus was by no means seeking alignment with the U.S., whereas Ukraine-U.S. relations were subject to many ups and downs. These attitudes towards Washington led to very different policy approaches from a U.S. vantage point. As this study thus shows, the U.S. did not have an overall strategy for the region. Rather, Washington managed its relations with European states through a set of mainly bilateral relations. Madeleine Albright once described the tools of foreign policy as including "everything from kind words to cruise missiles." This book is a comparative case study of the U.S. use of these tools in its approaches toward Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus after the end of the Cold War. As the "only remaining superpower," Washington played a key role in Central and Eastern Europe. Yet, its actions and policies have received comparatively little attention. This book contributes to filling that gap by providing three in-depth case studies.