Secretary of State Byrnes, the US East European policy and the Moscow Conference of December 1945
Keywords:Cold War, Eastern Europe, James F. Byrnes, U.S. Foreign Policy
The compromise in Moscow essentially followed the lines roughed out by the State Secretary. Even if he was aware of the magnitude of the concessions he had to make, especially in Eastern Europe, he was equally convinced that the end result – the restoration of US-Soviet relations – was to be perceived, even by his critics at home as a great breakthrough. Byrnes greatly overestimated his ability to generate a consensus in support of the Moscow agreements. The issues of Eastern Europe and the extended Middle East, exactly those where he took a step back or chose to neglect, would in the following months lead to a consensus, only not the one he was seeking.