Thursday, January 23, 2020
Self-Determination: Right or Privilege? :: essays research papers
In 1968, the Soviet Union along with several Warsaw Pact allies invaded Czechoslovakia with the intention of re-establishing a full communist government. The reason for the invasion was mainly due to Ã¢â¬Å"Prague SpringÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â the period of great hope for the Czech people led by the reform movement against the hard-line policies of the Czech and Soviet governments. The main justification given by Soviet Premier Brezhnev regarding the attack was that the USSR, a communist nation itself, had an obligation to stop anything that poses a threat to established communism in any country. This came to be known as the Ã¢â¬Å"Brezhnev DoctrineÃ¢â¬ , and was seen as a clear warning to other eastern European countries. This example is one of many in history that has raised the issue of whether or not great nations are justified in exerting influence over the affairs of lesser states. The issue of whether or not great nations are justified in exerting influence over the affairs of lesser states is extremely complex. Some people believe that powerful nations are not only justified but obligated to play an important role in the affairs of states that do not measure up in status or power. The main reason being that these states do not have the capabilities to handle their domestic and foreign policies without external influence of some kind. Others believe that every nation has the sovereign right to formulate domestic and foreign policies without external influence. Both groups of people are right to an extent. I do not think that the power of a nation justifies their interference in the affairs of other countries unless they influence the country for the better. Basically, great nations should never attempt to influence the affairs of lesser states if they are only looking out for their own self-interests. In the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union was not truly threatened by the reform movement. The USSR was just not prepared to take risks with a country bordering on the West. Their main concerns were their sphere of influence as well as Czechoslovakia being one of their satellite states that provided them with a buffer zone against an attack from NATO. Therefore, Czechoslovakia played an important role for political, economic, and strategic military reasons. It was imperative that it remained under Soviet influence because if not, the balance of power would be in favour of the U.S.