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The Sinews of Peace by Winston Churchill

As a wise and experienced politician, Churchill could not but realize the fact that being a state which contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany most of all, the USSR expected to obtain the fruits of war and compensate for all losses. Moreover, possessing an overwhelming military power, the Soviet Union wanted to present its own demands to the reconsideration of the international relations and increase its impact on other states. The USSR had the right to it because it managed to defeat the main Nazi forces and perfectly realized its power.

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Thus, its desire to become the leading state was opposed by European countries, which we’re afraid of the USSRs empowerment. That fact is that there was no political perspective for states which joined the socialistic block as the communist party became the main force in the region (Churchill, 1946). For this reason, the USSRs empowerment would result in the forced alteration of the ideology, which contradicted the principle of national political self-determination.

The given Churchill’s speech is mainly devoted to the reconstruction of the post-war world. That is why it is not surprising that Russia was given the greatest attention. Churchill outlined its desire to protect the western borders from excluding the probability of another war on its territory. He perfectly realized this desire and considered its logical. At the same time, the methods the USSR used to guarantee security were not appropriate to him (Chinn, n.d.). For this reason, its actions in Eastern Europe were not approved.

In fact, the USSR created puppet pro-communist governments on these territories to gather support and assure that its course would be accepted. In this regard, Churchill and other leaders in Western Europe raised concerns about these actions as they disregarded the main peoples needs and contributed to the creation of a block of socialist states that could be used as a shield from some potential threat.

There are several implications and hidden meanings in Churchills words about Russias admiration of military power. He is not advocating direct military confrontation with the USSR as he perfectly realizes the great danger of a new world war in which the USSR will obviously win because of the outstanding military power that helped it to crush Germany. However, he appeals to other states to arm themselves to be able to resist the Soviet Union in case some confrontation could start. Moreover, he also tries to persuade Western states in the necessity of the creation of a certain alliance that would be able to come up with the USSR and its military power (Chinn, n.d.). For this reason, these words triggered the armaments drive and the appearance of the bipolar world system characterized by the confrontation of two great blocks. In other words, the Cold War began.

The choice of the USA could be explained by the fact that it was expected to become the main opponent of the USSR in its desire to spread its influence. The US economy had not suffered from the war and was able to guarantee the states increasing power. Moreover, during WWII, the USA turned out to be a leader of the Western Allies. For this reason, the US crucial role in a would-be confrontation between two blocks was evident (Chinn, n.d.). Being an experienced politician, Churchill understood the tendency and used the opportunity to emphasize the increased importance of the USA.


Chinn, W. (n.d.). An Iron Curtain now falls: Winston Churchill alerts West of communist ascendancy.

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Churchill, W. (1946). The Sinews of Peace (‘Iron Curtain Speech’).

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