Which countries will collapse in 10 years?

Background current

With the collapse of the Communist Eastern Bloc, the "Warsaw Pact" military alliance, founded in 1955, lost its political basis and dissolved. Almost all countries in the alliance later joined NATO.

At a special meeting of the Advisory Political Committee on February 25, 1991 in Budapest / Hungary, the six member states of the Warsaw Pact decided to dissolve their military alliance on March 31, 1991. (& copy picture-alliance / dpa)

On March 31, 1991, almost 36 years after it was signed, the member states dissolved the military structures of the Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. On July 1 of the same year, the contract was finally terminated completely, thus formally ending the Cold War. The alliance known as the Warsaw Pact was founded on May 14, 1955 by eight states of the socialist Eastern Bloc in Warsaw. In 1985 the member states decided to extend the contract for 20 years. In addition to the Soviet Union (USSR), the alliance also included the socialist states of Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia (ČSSR), Hungary, the GDR and Albania. Albania withdrew from the Warsaw Treaty in 1968.

Reaction to NATO accession of the Federal Republic

The Eastern Bloc states under the leadership of the Soviet Union had reacted to the rearmament of the Federal Republic and its admission into NATO in 1955 with the Warsaw Pact. The western defense alliance NATO was founded in 1949.

In Article 4 of the Warsaw Treaty, the allies undertook to provide mutual military assistance "in the event of an armed attack in Europe on one or more states participating in the treaty". The Soviet Union was given a dominant role in the treaty: the "United High Command" was always under the command of a Soviet marshal who was also the first deputy of the Soviet defense minister. The United High Command led Soviet forces in the ČSSR, Poland, Hungary and the GDR. The armed forces of the National People's Army (NVA) of the GDR, the entire air defense of the allies and the naval units in the Baltic Sea were also under Soviet command.

The hegemony of the Soviet Union

In October 1956, Soviet tanks drove through Budapest. (& copy picture-alliance / akg)
The dominant role of the USSR in the Warsaw Pact became apparent in 1956 when Soviet troops invaded Hungary. They put down a Hungarian popular uprising and deposed the reform communist government that had decided to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact on November 1st and declared its neutrality.

The reform movement in Czechoslovakia was also answered in August 1968 when Warsaw Pact troops marched into the Czechoslovakia.
Soviet tank in the streets of the Old Town Square in Prague in August 1968. (& copy picture alliance / UPI)
Associations of the USSR, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria violently ended the "Prague Spring". In doing so, they nipped the reform attempts of the first secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Alexander Dubček, in the bud. Albania withdrew from the pact in 1968 to protest this intervention.

In the same year, the so-called Brezhnev Doctrine was proclaimed: It provided that the Soviet Union would intervene in one of the Warsaw Pact member states in the event of a "threat to socialism". The sovereignty of the member states was thus restricted.

Source text

The Brezhnev Doctrine

From Leonid Brezhnev's speech at the 5th Congress of the Polish United Workers' Party, November 12, 1968:

The socialist states advocate strict observance of the sovereignty of all countries, and we expressly oppose interference in the internal affairs of other states, against the violation of their sovereignty.

For us communists, the consolidation and protection of the sovereignty of the states that have embarked on the path of socialist construction are of particular importance. The forces of imperialism and reaction seek to deprive the peoples of one and then the other socialist country of their won sovereign right, the rise of their country, the well-being and happiness of the broad masses of the working people by the establishment of one of all oppression and to ensure exploitation of a free society. [...]

It is well known that the Soviet Union did much to actually strengthen the sovereignty and independence of the socialist countries. The CPSU always advocated that each socialist country should determine the concrete forms of its development on the way to socialism, taking into account the peculiarities of its national conditions. But, as is well known, comrades, there are also general principles of socialist construction, and a deviation from these principles could lead to a deviation from socialism in general. And if internal and external forces hostile to socialism try to turn the development of a socialist country around and to press for a restoration of the capitalist conditions, if there is a serious danger for the cause of socialism in this country, a danger for the security of the whole socialist community arises - then this becomes not only a problem for the people of this country, but also a common problem, an object of concern for all socialist countries.

Understandably, military aid to a brother country to prevent a danger that has arisen for the socialist order is a forced, extraordinary measure. It can only be triggered by direct actions by the enemies of socialism in the interior and outside its borders, by actions that pose a threat to the represent common interests of the socialist camp. [...]

Source: Europa-Archiv, XXIV. (1969), volume 11, June 10, 1969, p. D 257 ff.

Unfold

Close

From 1964 to 1972, a number of bilateral agreements were concluded between the member states, which primarily regulated the stationing of Soviet troops in these countries and further expanded the supremacy of the Soviet Union.

At the same time, it was the Warsaw Pact states that proposed a European security conference in the 1960s to regulate political cooperation between the competing blocs. This initially met with rejection at NATO. But through the conclusion of the Eastern Treaties (Warsaw and Moscow Treaties, 1970) and the Four Power Agreement on the Status of Berlin (1971), the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Helsinki came about in 1973, which was held in 1975 Helsinki Final Act ended. From the perspective of the Warsaw Pact states, the Final Act confirmed the territorial integrity and the inviolability of their borders.

System collapse, troop withdrawal and NATO expansion

The reforms introduced in the USSR by Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s did not lead to the hoped-for stabilization of the socialist system. In 1989 political upheavals began in many Eastern European countries. In 1990 the member states of NATO and the Warsaw Pact signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), which came into force in 1992. By the end of the 1990s he reduced the conventional weapon systems in Western and Eastern Europe on a large scale.

Also in 1990, the Soviet troops began to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact states. In 1994 the last, now Russian, troops left the reunified Germany. In the meantime, all the founding states of the Warsaw Pact (except Russia, the successor state of the USSR) have joined the once opposing NATO alliance, as have the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. This "eastward expansion" has led to clashes between NATO and Russia to this day.

More on the subject: