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A nation must think before it acts.
Access the Winter 2022 issue of Orbis here.
The administration of George H. W. Bush was faced with an immediate challenge in 1989 with the success of the Polish Roundtable Accords between the independent trade union, Solidarity, and Poland’s communist government. The Bush administration wanted to support what could become fundamental change in Central and eastern Europe without strengthening the communist governments. They also felt they had to deal with budget constraints in the United States. They developed a five-step approach that mobilized Western support for democracy in Poland, set the model for other countries emerging from communism, but did not give carte blanche to non-democratic regimes. It is useful to remember these five steps in light of more recent U.S. approaches.