Was Gorbachev either incredibly trusting or naive? Even though both Kohl and Baker verbally and somewhat transparently agreed that NATO would not extend its border east if the Germanies rejoined, it seems unreasonable to believe that these two things could happen simultaneously. How could one-half of a country belong to NATO and the other half not? Comparatively this is like saying that any state west of the Mississippi River is not to belong to NATO. A situation of further divide is unlikely terms for any forming nation. It poses too many challenges and restricts the ability to protect half of their citizens if an uprising should happen. Before further negotiations, Gorbachev should have demanded that written correspondence record this understanding.
Saying all of this, I empathize will Gorbachev for the substantial and pressing issues that his country was enduring. The Berlin Wall falling was a surprise to everyone. While President Reagan had made speeches stating that the wall must fall, it was a general assumption that it would not happen. I was 10 years old, when it was broadcast on the nightly news. My father called me into the living room demanding me to watch the TV. He fully acknowledged that I would not understand what was happening, but that in time I would. It was important to watch this historic event transpire. Many around the world watched their televisions, watching in amazement as this remarkable event transpired.
Relations with the US and Russia had made tremendous progress during Reagan’s presidency. Unfortunately, the termination of this relationship spawned from shifting and unwritten communications.