21 March 1946, No. 110
March 21, 1946. Wilgress evaluates Soviet policy in the wake of Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri. In particular, he considers public opinion in the Soviet Union, Soviet forces in Iran, and Stalin’s ad hoc approach to policy. Wilgress refers to the “ups and downs in intra-allied relations” over the previous three years that he had served in the Soviet Union, concluding that relations were at an all-time low. Wilgress definitively states that the Soviet Union has chosen to “go its own way,” a result of their distrust and paranoia about Western intentions prompting the Soviets to incite instability in other areas of the world. Wilgress is now convinced that “Anglo-Saxon hegemony is so essential to the maintenance of peace and security,” a shift from previously critical assessments of American policy. However, he expresses his belief that Soviet policy is opportunistic, rejecting arguments that the Soviets were working with a definite plan. Wilgress asserts that the only response to the Soviets’ “irresponsible opportunism” is a “policy of firmness.” He still rejects the American “policy of toughness” that treats the Soviets as inferior. Rather, Wilgress accedes to a “high moral plane” and a refusal to compromise its principles for “the sake of brief vodka honeymoons in Moscow.” The time had come, in Wilgress’ assessment, to take a firm stance on the Soviets, albeit a tempered version of the American approach.