The Cold War

2159 Words9 Pages
During the early parts of the Cold War, American psychologist Charles Osgood noticed that the hegemons of the bipolar world faced many obstacles to cooperation, mainly due to the psychological perception and hostile images that the United States and the Soviet Union had of each other. Because of contrasting ideologies, beliefs, and propaganda, it was near impossible for the competing powers to trust each other. This made even innocent gestures and concessions viewed with doubt and not taken at face value. Osgood therefore developed the GRIT strategy, which aimed at using small but significant unilateral concessions to build mutual trust between the two powers, so that tensions could be reduced and negotiations could be made in good faith (Osgood, 1962). In the years that followed, there were different attempts made by both powers to use concessions in this way, yet a number of them were viewed with extreme skepticism (Kaiser, 1980). In this essay, I argue that, while many components of the GRIT strategy were attempted throughout the cold war, it was not until Mikhail Gorbachev came to power that it was properly applied in the presence of sufficient favorable conditions. To being with, it is vital to understand how GRIT should be applied, as well as to identify the conditions that favor and hinder its success. The main goal of GRIT is creating mutual trust that will facilitate cooperation between two states, by having one state carry out a series of small, unilateral,
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