スターリン――「国境の男」 Stalin: Man of the Borderlines

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Making use of newly declassified materials, mainly from Russian archives, this paper examines four cases in which the shifting of borders was on Stalin's agenda, although the acquisition of territory was not necessarily the main goal. All of these proposed/threatened border adjustments took place during 1944–1946, as Stalin's tank armies and diplomacy, flush with victory, recaptured much of the irredenta lost at the end of the Tsarist period. Two cases presented below took place in Europe and the other two in Asia, with consequences extending the length of “Slavic Eurasia” from Germany to Japan.<br>In the first three cases, Stalin's main goals, hidden behind border changes linked to arguments regarding territory, nationality, population and history, were to maintain lines of communication into Central Europe and buffer Siberia's soft underbelly. The rival great powers, the US and Britain, ultimately sanctioned these changes at the expense of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and China to the benefit of Romania, Mongolia and the USSR. In all three negotiations, Stalin managed to position himself as an arbiter, sitting in judgment with Churchill between “Lublin” and “London” Poles; listening sympathetically to conflicting Central European claims in the second case; and “balancing” between Mongolian and Chinese demands in the third. Stalin basically achieved his goals in all three cases.<br>In the Iran/Turkey case, Stalin's veiled goals were a more fundamental threat to the emerging postwar order, aiming at oil concessions in Iran and a naval base at the Dardanelles. Contrary to his Marxist assumptions, competition for spheres of strategic and commercial interest among capitalists did not split Britain and the US. Instead they united to thwart him, first by implying support (Churchill regarding Turkey in 1944 and Ambassador Smith (US) regarding oil in March 1946) and then abandoning these offers.<br>What we learn from these cases is that Stalin's cookbook of border-making always made use of the same ingredients, roughly matching Stalin's complex calculation of modern power. Geopolitics was favored, but this might privilege the acquisition of military lines of communication, of strategic resources, or of population, instead of territory <i>per se</i>. Additionally, since border-making invariably involved borderlands with their nationality patchwork and passions, Stalin, with a long history of nationality work from his early days in the Bolshevik party, developed special initiatives along these lines. He proved particularly adept at mobilizing and supporting grassroots ethnic and political emotions, while supplying arms, money and encouragement to magnify their visibility. Local movements at the borders put pressure on his diplomatic interlocutors, while instigating nationalist fervor obscured the judgment of his enemies. Once they had served their purpose in Stalin's “Great Game,” local actors were liable to be discarded.

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  • International Relations

    International Relations 2010(162), 162_24-39, 2010

    JAPAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

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