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Czechoslovakia Table of Contents


External Threats to National Security

As of 1987, the party and government leaders of Czechoslovakia continued to assert that West Germany, NATO, and the United States represented the major external threats to their country's security. Alleged West German revanche was periodically denounced in the Czechoslovak press, and those German organizations that called for Germany's 1937 borders to be restored were especially singled out for criticism, as was the Sudeten German Emigre Organization, an organization of those Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after World War II. Bonn and ultimately Washington were seen by Prague to be exploiting German revanchist sentiments for their own purposes. Dzur had stated in 1984 that NATO was seeking to "achieve military superiority . . . over the Soviet Union and other countries of the Warsaw Pact, to dictate [NATO's] will to independent states, to stop the worldwide revolutionary process, and to dominate the world." A rabid anti-American campaign reached its peak when the Soviet Union failed to prevent the installation of Pershing II and cruise missiles in Western Europe. The deployment of these missiles during the early 1980s was portrayed as a threat to the European military balance. The Czechoslovak leadership, however, did not mention that the missiles had been installed in response to the deployment of Soviet SS-20 missiles in the western Soviet Union beginning in 1977. When the Soviet Union installed SS-21 and SS-23 missiles in Czechoslovakia starting in 1983, the Czechoslovak public was noticeably unenthusiastic.

A different kind of threat was seen emanating from Poland at the beginning of the 1980s. The development of the solidarity trade union movement there obviously alarmed the communist hierarchy in Czechoslovakia, which feared that the labor unrest might spill over into their country. Czechoslovak spokesmen warned the Poles that their toying with socialism could be compared with the Czechoslovak heresy of 1968 and might result in the same kind of disaster.

Data as of August 1987