During heightened Cold War tensions in the 1980s, Helsinki Watch worked closely with U.S. government officials, whose strategic agenda included the promotion of civil and political freedoms in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Relations with official Washington became more distant after the end of the Cold War, as the United States stressed economic development and political stability over human rights concerns, or was simply unwilling to become involved in outbreaks of ethnic or communal violence in former Communist states. Since the eruption of wars in Bosnia and Chechnya, Helsinki Watch has focused its efforts on promoting respect for the laws of war, including the treatment of civilian noncombatants in conflict areas, conditions in prison camps, and the use of rape as a weapon of political terror.
[See also Bosnian Crisis; Cold War: External Course; Cold War: Changing Interpretations.]
Cynthia J. Arnson
"Helsinki Watch." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/helsinki-watch
"Helsinki Watch." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved January 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/helsinki-watch
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