Professor Dr. Jan Hoffenaar

Military Historian (Utrecht University and Netherlands Institute for Military History)

”The simple answer is that we are now once again facing a perceived threat from Russia. As a historian working at the Dutch Ministry of Defence, I notice that for many people, the Cold War is already a period from a rather distant past. Now that the threat is again coming from the east, however, there is renewed attention to challenges we also faced during the Cold War, such as (nuclear) deterrence, territorial defence, scaling up the armed forces from a peace to a war organisation and the like. Apart from this specialised – but therefore not unimportant – military angle, the Cold War holds up a mirror to us of where and why international relations could have been so tense for so long; how enemy images could lead to distortion of each other’s intentions; where opportunities for improvement in relations were missed etc. With the underlying hope that we can learn something from this for our judgements and actions now.”




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