Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
Those memoirs are confirming the situation was real ?
I assume this can very well have happened. It's no secret America works behind the eye of the public from time to time. ( if not all the time )
Well, the memoirs confirm part of the story (the Russian potential threat), but they keep quiet about the more interesting part (what the Americans
actually did in response).
Several thoughts come to mind;
a)I'm sure the military did make plans.as described, because the military are ALWAYS making plans, to cover anything they can think of that the
politicians might ask them to do. But having a military plan available is not the same thing as having a political intention.
b)A lot of the diplomacy that Kissinger describes revolves around the sending of indirect messages (e.g. stopping a regular destroyer patrol was a way
of sending a friendly message to China). So I suspect that a warning about the possibility of retaliation for an attack on China would be
an oblique one, rather than a plain statement.
Anyway, Nixon would have to be cautious, because he knew, and he would have known that the Russians knew, that the American public would not like the
idea of supporting China. So an outright threat might be dismissed as a bluff.
However, at some point in those vast memoirs, Kissinger mentions that Nixon suggested promoting the "Nixon madman theory"; that it was dangerous to
provoke Nixon because he might unleash nuclear weapons. The idea was to make the Russians more cautious about attacking American interests.
c) I don't think we should forget the possibility that there was some internal
conspiracy within the Russian government, one faction against
another. If, say the military were keen to attack China, another faction, who thought it would be a bad idea, might respond to that by emphasising and
exaggerating the possibility that the Americans would retaliate. They might have genuine copies of military plans, and they might have been impressed
by the "Nixon madman theory". So the "Nixon warning" might actually be a bogeyman invented by one set of Russians to scare another set of Russians
off the idea. Nixon might have achieved the desired effect just by being there and looking tough.
Edit; Having said all that, the original article does insist that the evidence was coming straight from conversations from US diplomats. I won't edit
out my comments, but I will admit I haven't paid enough attention to that point.
[edit on 14-5-2010 by DISRAELI]