The Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union are two inseparable things. Many of the actions undertaken by the Soviet Union are inseparable from the involvement of the defense pact itself. It was established in 1955 as one of the Soviet Union initiatives to response action that taken by West Germany by making itself as NATO member. It signed by USSR with its seven satellite states, namely Albania, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and East German (GlobalSecurity.org, n.d.) which had created the infamous border that stretched along the border of the Eastern European countries known as the “the Iron Curtain” (Geldern, 2015). On the top of that, it is almost impossible to talk about the Soviet fate during the Cold war without mentioning the dynamic of its counterpart the Warsaw Pact.
Thus, in this paper the writer will try to explain more on why the Warsaw Pact dismissal may lead to the dissolution of the Soviet Union not following the guideline question that given, namely “does the dissolution of Soviet Union ultimately wiped out the reason Warsaw Pact existence?” which is explicitly incorrect by the fact that it was the pact that dissolved first (31 March ,1991) followed by the Soviet Union (26 December ,1991) not vice versa as the question stated. Therefore, to make it operational this paper will be explained under the question “does the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact ultimately wiped out the reason Soviet Union existence”. So, to give a better explanation the writer will try to elaborate the importance of the pact for the Soviet Union and then explain comprehensively regarding the cause that contributes to the Warsaw Pact dissolution as well as the theoretical perspective on its downfall.
As it mentioned above that it impossible to talk about the Soviet fate during the Cold war without mentioning the dynamic of its counterpart the Warsaw Pact. It is because the Warsaw Pact was the main Soviet tool to maintain its regime survivability. This argument can be seen on the Soviet Union behavior on using the Warsaw Pact to stop the uprising that happened ironically within its member countries. It was Hungary the first Warsaw Pact countries that tasted the bitter pain from the Warsaw Pact intervention that happen in 1956 followed by the other intervention within the Warsaw Pact countries, namely Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Poland in 1981. Based on above, the common cause of those interventions was an anti-Soviet idea as those three countries was against the Soviet-oriented rules. For example, in Hungary Imre Nagy an old communist was oppressed by the Soviet because his reform on freedom of speech and the grater publicity (Rainer, 2002). Meanwhile, for the Czechoslovakia the idea of communism that brought by Soviet not suited with the Czechoslovakia past democratic tradition (Kumar, 2015). Lastly, in 1981 the Soviet’s puppet government for Poland imposed martial art to crush its opposition movement that had grown up around the union (Paczkowski, Byrne, Domber, & Klotzbach, 2007). Those uprising also displayed how weak the support that both Soviet and Warsaw Pact get from its satellite or member countries.
Besides of the factor above, the importance of the Warsaw Pact for the Soviet Union can be seen from the pact form itself. The Warsaw Pact since it was formed was never an independent organization and functions as one part of the Soviet’s Ministry of Defense. In particular, it is the Committee for the readiness of Pact Forces that responsible for The Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Armed Forces and to The Defense Council of the Soviet Union. However, the structure above only worked during the peacetime so if it the time of war the command structure change dramatically where the structure above solely become a paper formality as the Soviet High Command will control all military operational units within the Warsaw Pact (Sadykiewicz, 1988).
The other reasons of how important the Warsaw Pact for the Soviet Union is located at the position of the Pact member countries. The Warsaw Pact countries that stretched along the from the North to the South of the Eastern Europe or commonly known as the infamous “Iron Curtain” (Geldern, 2015) acted as the Soviet buffer zone. The Warsaw Pact Countries will serve as the Soviet forward bases, staging area as well as the inner lines of communication for the Soviet Union. Thus, in case of an attack come from the west side of “the Iron Curtain” The Soviet can have plenty of time to reorganize its forces whether for counter the attack or create stronger defense. Furthermore, mentioned by Johnson that the Warsaw Pact aim is to secure formal Western acceptance of the legitimacy of the current Communist political system in Eastern Europe (Johnson, 1970).
After understanding the importance of the Warsaw Pact for the Soviet Union, to answer the operational question above is to understand the cause of the Warsaw Pact dissolution. The main reason for the Pact’s dissolution was begun when the last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev reigns the throne in 1990. He come with the intention to reform the Soviet Union and its satellite states to be more open which will bring a life to the economy as well as abandon the old cruel way toward the Warsaw Pact countries. Unfortunately, as Kramer stated that Gorbie not come with the intention abandoning the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, nor did he predict that his program caused the Soviet Union reached the final chapter of its life (Kramer, 2011).