The Corner

Yalta as It Might Have Been

On the evidence of Meacham’s own book, Franklin and Winston, FDR behaved appallingly at Yalta, flattering Stalin shamelessly while maneuvering to limit Churchill’s role in the negotiations. Churchill? He spent much of the meeting sulking. But as to the substance –that is, as to the agreements the summit meeting produced –what, exactly, ought FDR and Churchill to have done differently? What could they have done differently? Defend Poland from Soviet domination? But how? Poland had already been occupied by the Red Army.

This isn’t a rhetorical question. Could someone with knowledge of the political and military realities –David Rivkin, perhaps? –describe what a good Yalta agreement would have looked like?


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