Oral History Roundtable on Military Planning During the Cold War
24-25 April 2006, Stockholm, Sweden
Together with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Swedish National Defence College, the PHP organized an oral history roundtable on "Military Planning for European Theatre Conflict During the Cold War" on 24-25 April 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden. At these unprecedented face-to-face discussions between former NATO and Warsaw Pact military decision-makers and a small number of scholars, debates focused on each side’s perceptions of the other’s force strength and intentions, together with plans for response, and views on the role of nuclear weapons. The impact of specific events and factors like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Sino-Soviet relations, and the growing unrest in Poland also came into the picture. The generals’ testimony highlighted many cases of mutual mis-perception and confusion, offering a lesson that is still highly relevant today about the importance of understanding, transparency and sound information in managing strategic affairs. The proceedings of the roundtable were fully recorded and will eventually be published by the PHP.
- The conference proceedings, edited by Jan Hoffenaar and Christopher Findlay, were published in the Zürcher Beiträge series of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich in December 2007. The volume is available online in full-text and can be ordered as a hard copy.
- Conference summary by SIPRI senior researcher Zdzisław Lachowski
- For more information and conference pictures, see the SIPRI website.