Not one inch. With these words, Secretary of State James Baker proposed a hypothetical bargain to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev after the fall of the Berlin Wall: if you let your part of Germany go, we will move NATO not one inch eastward. Controversy erupted almost immediately over this 1990 exchange—but more important was the decade to come, when the words took on new meaning. Gorbachev let his Germany go, but Washington rethought the bargain, not least after the Soviet Union’s own collapse in December 1991. Washington realized it could not just win big but win bigger. Not one inch of territory needed to be off limits to NATO.
On the thirtieth anniversary of the Soviet collapse, this book uses new evidence and interviews to show how, in the decade that culminated in Vladimir Putin’s rise to power, the United States and Russia undermined a potentially lasting partnership. Prize-winning historian M. E. Sarotte shows what went wrong.
The Mershon Center's American Foreign and Military Policy research cluster will host Mary E. Sarotte for a discussion on her most recent book, the expansion of NATO, and the development of U.S.-Russia relations.
Panelists will include Ohio State University's Richard Herrmann, Peter Mansoor, and Joseph Stieb.
Speaker - Mary E. Sarotte
An expert in the history of international relations, Mary Elise Sarotte is the inaugural holder of the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professorship of Historical Studies. Most recently, she was the Dean’s Professor of History and Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). She is also a research associate at Harvard University's Center for European Studies. Sarotte earned her AB in History and Science at Harvard and her PhD in History at Yale University. She is the author or editor of five books, including The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall and 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, both of which were selected as Financial Times Books of the Year, among other distinctions and awards. Following graduate school, Sarotte served as a White House Fellow, then joined the faculty of the University of Cambridge, where she received tenure before accepting an offer to return to the United States to teach at USC. Sarotte is a former Humboldt Scholar, a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She also serves on the board of the Willy Brandt Foundation in Berlin.
The American Foreign and Military Policy research cluster is an initiative of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University. The cluster focuses on the study of US foreign relations, US defense policy, and international relations, diplomacy, and war as they affect US foreign policy and military affairs in contemporary and historical contexts. The cluster examines these elements of power from both American and foreign viewpoints in order to understand both the domestic drivers of policy and the impact of other nations on it. The cluster examines foreign and military affairs holistically, along with all elements of power – diplomatic, economic, military, informational, financial, intelligence, cultural, and legal – that have an impact on them.
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