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作者: 鸡头肉   ZT 冷战的启示 2014-07-01 07:32:36  [点击:4467]
看到旁兄和新大陆人兄饶有趣味的讨论,俺想起了美国外交委员会主席 Richard N. Haass 的
一篇短文:Learning from the Cold War。网上有这篇文章的英文原文及中文翻译,俺把它们
转贴在下面。

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冷战的启示
  
每场战争都有三个阶段。首先是要不要宣战或参战的政治考量,之后是讨论仗该怎么打的问题,最后是总结教训。

作为20世纪世界三大主要冲突之一的冷战也不例外。我们可以从中清晰地看到这三个阶段,每个阶段在当时都引发了激烈的争论。例如,当时有人质疑冷战是否有必要,苏联和共产主义又是否真的构成威胁。好在这类“修正论者”属于明显少数,因为当时可没有理由相信苏联和共产主义是一股友善的力量。结果,冷战这场长达40年的国际斗争成为了事实。

贯穿整个冷战历史,关于冷战怎么打的问题也一直争论不休。“击退”和“围堵”是当时的两大主流思想。前者强调一定要打倒共产主义,用今天的话来说就是“政权更换”。后者则认为苏联有核武器,要在短期内推翻共产主义过于冒险,美国和西方国家应该对能够遏制苏联国力和势力的扩张感到满足。

围堵政策最终占了上风,但这并没有平息争论,因为政策应该在哪里推行(越南、中美洲和中东等)和如何推行,即正确的配合武装力量、秘密行动、外交和武器控制条约、经济制裁和援助等措施,又引发了激烈的讨论。

时至今日,在柏林围墙倒塌整整20年后,我们也早已进入了第三个阶段——关于冷战为何和如何结束讨论。

一派意见坚持认为冷战的胜利,源自美国和西方国家对苏联和其盟友长达数十年的持续压制。这种压制在各个时期以不同的形式出现,如美、英、法三国的核计划;北约积极对抗华沙条约组织部署的常规武装力量和核武器;援助韩国抵御朝鲜侵犯的决定;武装阿富汗的穆斯林游击队来拖垮入侵的苏联军队;以及建立耗资巨大的导弹防御系统的决定,以让苏联的重要军事投资无用武之地,并让其政府破产。

另一种截然不同的看法则较少强调西方的行动,而是突出苏联自身的问题。这派人士认为,与其说美国和西方打赢了,倒不如说是苏联自己输掉了冷战。冷战的结束只是苏联国内经济疲弱和政治腐败的必然结果。

与今天的挑战密切相关

还有一种观点认为,西方愿意既同苏联对抗又同它接触,在这段历史中发挥了重要的作用。缓和政策使西方与苏联的竞争没有演变成冲突,并让共产世界认识到自由和资本主义理念和它们的好处。苏联和其他独裁政权逐渐发现自己在意识形态的斗争上节节败退,并随之失去自己人民的支持。上述因素其实都发挥了一定作用。西方决意不让苏联成功是整个战略的关键部分。但仅仅这样是不够的。的确,如果西方战略仅限于军备竞赛和对抗,冷战有可能升级为热战。关键在于缓和竞争,以便让变革的力量在苏联集团内滋长。同样重要的,是让受苏联控制的社会意识到自身缺陷和外来观念的好处。

上述与我们今天面对的挑战有密切关系。当然,我们并不面对像前苏联那么巨大的全球威胁,但来自伊朗和朝鲜这些国家的危险挑战却是切实存在的。目前国际社会需要的,是一种结合军事力量和愿意协商及沟通的政策,一种强调集体力量和集体灵活性的政策。

我们不能忘记,“围堵”,这个冷战时期的主导思想,目的是要遏制苏联和共产主义的扩张,不但要限制苏联势力所及范围,还要让她受挫,以便营造让社会主义和独裁统治的固有缺陷暴露无遗的局面。由此看来,戈尔巴乔夫的行动,也只是深陷信心危机时没有选择下的行为而已。

今天,世界需要在伊朗和朝鲜领导人的脑袋里制造类似的信心危机。目标应该是在短期内限制它们所能实现的,在中期迫使他们改变政策,最终在长期启动能够带来全新、截然不同政府和社会的力量。这种方法在冷战时期发挥了作用,现在也可以产生同样的效果。


Learning from the Cold War


Every war is fought three times. First comes the political discussion over whether to start or enter it. Then comes the question of how to fight it. And, finally, there is consideration of what lessons should be learned from it.

The Cold War, the third major conflict of the twentieth century, is no exception to this rule. All three phases can be identified, and all three triggered intense debate.

There were, for example, those who questioned whether the Cold War was in fact necessary and whether the Soviet Union and Communism constituted a threat. Such “revisionists” were a distinct minority, which is a good thing, as there is no reason to believe that the Soviets and Communism were a benign force. As a result, the Cold War, a four-decade-long global struggle, became a reality.

There was also an ongoing debate about how best to wage the Cold War throughout its history. The two principal schools of thought were “roll back” and “containment.” The former argued that nothing less than overthrowing communism – “regime-change” in today’s parlance – would do. The latter approach held that efforts to roll back Communism in the short run were too risky, given the Soviet nuclear arsenal, and that the United States and the West should content themselves with limiting the spread of Soviet power and influence.

Containment prevailed, but this hardly settled the debate, as there were intense arguments both over where it should be applied (Vietnam, Central America, and the Middle East all come to mind) and how it should be carried out, i.e., the right mix of military force, covert action, diplomacy and arms control, and economic sanctions and assistance.

And now, exactly 20 years after the Berlin Wall came down, we are well into the third phase – the debate over why the Cold War ended when it did and how it did.

One school of thought maintains that the Cold War was won as a result of decades of sustained US and Western pressure on the Soviet Union and its allies. This pressure at various times took the form of US, British, and French nuclear programs; NATO’s willingness to counter Warsaw Pact deployments of both conventional military and tactical nuclear forces; the decision to defend South Korea against the North's aggression; the arming of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan to bleed Soviet occupation forces; and the decision to build a costly missile-defense system aimed both at negating the Soviet Union’s principal military investment and bankrupting its government.

A second and very different school of thought emphasizes less what the West did and more what the Soviet Union was. In this narrative, the Cold War was not so much won by the US and the West as lost by the Soviets, the inevitable result of Soviet economic weakness and political decay.

Yet another perspective stresses that Western willingness to engage the Soviet Union as much as confront it played a major role in how history turned out. Détente helped to keep the competition from spilling over into conflict as it exposed the Communist world to Western ideas of freedom and capitalism along with their benefits. The Soviet and other top-heavy regimes increasingly found themselves losing the battle of ideas and, as a result, the support of their own citizens.

All of these factors played a part. Western willingness to deny the Soviets success was an essential component of strategy. But this alone would not have been enough; indeed, the Cold War could well have turned hot if Western strategy had consisted only of military competition and confrontation. It was important to moderate the competition in order to allow pressure for change to build up from within the Soviet bloc. And it was important to expose the societies under Soviet control to their shortcomings and to the advantages of outside ideas.

All of the above has implications for today’s challenges. To be sure, there is no global threat on the scale of the former Soviet Union, but there are dangerous challenges emanating from such countries as Iran and North Korea. What is required is a policy on the part of the global community that mixes military strength with a willingness to negotiate and interact, a policy of collective strength and collective flexibility.

It is important here to keep in mind that containment, the dominant doctrine of the Cold War era, sought to push back against Soviet and Communist expansion – not just to limit the reach of Soviet power, but to frustrate it – in order to create a context in which the inherent flaws of communism and authoritarian rule would come to the fore. Mikhail Gorbachev could only have done what he did amidst a crisis of confidence.

Today, the world needs to create similar crises of confidence in the minds of those ruling Iran and North Korea. The goal should be to limit what they can accomplish in the short term; to get them to change their policies in the medium term; and to set in motion forces that will bring about new and fundamentally different governments and societies in the long term. Such an approach served the world well during the Cold War; it could do the same now.

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