Prepared while the Truman administration was developing its final position for the forthcoming May 1949 Conference of Foreign Ministers, this paper by Henry Byroade offered perspective on Washington's shorter-term preference for a divided Germany so that the new West German state could be tightly integrated with its Western European neighbors. According to Byroade, early action leading to reunification, even if a unified Germany was closely tied to the West at the beginning, posed too many risks to European security and stability:
At the best, were [a unified Germany] to associate itself with western Europe, it would risk dominating that combination by its sheer magnitude and increased opportunity to strengthen itself as a free agent profiting from both the western and eastern political and economic systems. At the worst, Germany would be an uncertain factor either as a strong nationalist state or as a willing partner of Soviet Russia, in either eventuality placing an intolerable strain upon the western defense arrangements.
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