All FSI News Commentary February 4, 2021

‘A question of survival’: Canada and the Rapacki Plan for the denuclearisation of Central Europe, 1957–59

In 1957, Poland proposed the Rapacki Plan for the denuclearisation of Central Europe. While North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members attacked the initiative, Canada viewed it as a means to ease Cold War tensions. Canada’s efforts alarmed Western allies and helped lead to a second Rapacki Plan.
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ABSTRACT

In October 1957, Poland proposed the Rapacki Plan for the denuclearisation of Central Europe. While North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members attacked the initiative, Canada viewed it as a means to ease Cold War tensions. Although Canada joined with its allies to reject the Plan, it embarked on a quest for counterproposals to restrain NATO nuclear sharing and reduce the chances of nuclear war. Canada’s efforts alarmed Western allies and helped lead to a second Rapacki Plan. Overall, this article details Canada’s struggle to assert itself as a middle power and provides a robust example of Western interest in the Rapacki Plan.

Read the rest at Cold War History