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The role of US national security institutions in the formation of US foreign policy towards Euro-Soviet gas trade during the Cold War

Ksenia Demidova
University of Copenhagen
Ksenia Demidova
University of Copenhagen
Open Panel

Abstract

The role of US national security institutions in the formation of US foreign policy towards Euro-Soviet gas trade during the Cold War: lessons from history for the present For decades of the Cold War, the international relations were divided alongside Eastern and Western lines. This political and ideological confrontation was deeply embedded in the economic interactions between East and West, especially, in Euro-Soviet energy trade, taking into account its national security dimension. Intensive development of Euro-Soviet energy trade caused a significant adaptation in the US foreign policy formation. Therefore, the paper attempts to shed the light on the role of national security institutions in shaping the course of US foreign policy towards Euro-Soviet energy trade. From the methodological perspective, this research is extensively based on the primary sources and recently declassified archival documents from US Presidential Administrations of Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan, US National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, etc. Through aforementioned data, the paper intends to complete its main tasks: to reveal the character of interactions between the US President and the national security institutions; to analyse what instruments the national security institutions had to impact the foreign policy decision-making; to explore how the personal relations between President and national security officials correlated with the impact of the latter on the US foreign policy towards Euro-Soviet energy trade; to discover to what extent the national security institutions could influence the US foreign policy. Conclusively, the paper shows that the strength of that influence varied during the Presidencies of Nixon, Carter, Ford and Reagan, depending on different factors, such as personal relations between the President and national security officials, international situation, economic conditions and ideological directions. Overall, the paper reveals that the US national security institutions had a significant impact on the US foreign policy towards Euro-Soviet energy cooperation, setting up a negative attitude towards cooperation with the USSR.