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The call for a Cold War Medal has now reached global proportions with former service men and women in countries across the world calling for official recognition through the issue of a medal.

Cold War Medals For Our Leaders

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV: USSR. Liberty Medal from the U.S for his role in ending the Cold War, Gorbachev took a tremendous risk in bringing what we knew as the Soviet Union to the point where it is today. It was a dangerous time and it’s hard for a lot of people today to remember what those times were like, how threatening it all was.

LORD ROBERTSON: UK. Presidential Medal of Freedom for his pursuit of the defence of freedom during the period of the cold war and in the establishing of the Russian-NATO Council.

LORD CARRINGTON: UK. Former Defence Secretary, Presidential Medal of Freedom for his leadership of the the UN (General Secretary) during the era of the Cold War. He also received the Medal of Honor for his contribution to investigating Serbian War Crimes.

LADY MARGARET THATCHER: UK. Presidential Medal of Freedom for her resolute defence of the unity of the west and overcoming post war division in Europe – in other words the ‘Cold War’

TONY BLAIR: UK. Presidential Medal of Freedom for the former Prime Minister who has also previously been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal

RONAL REAGAN: USA. Honorary Knighthood
For his leadership during the cold war and services to the UK.

NICOLAE CEAUCESCU: Romania. Honorary Knighthood.
The former Romanian dictator was given an honorary Knighthood by the British government for standing up to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Nobody looked too deeply at his domestic record, or cared, it seems.

VACLAV HAVEL: Czech. US Medal of Freedom
Czech President Vaclav Havel received the US Medal of Freedom for his stance on democracy in his homeland during the Cold War.

HELMUT KOHL: West Germany. US Medal of Freedom
West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl received the US Medal of Freedom as the leader of a democratic Germany during the Cold War in which he visited the Soviet Union to seek assurances from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that would eventually enable German reunification.

It has also been widely reported that the end of the Cold War saw a flurry of awards from the UK and US Governments to one another, close ideological friends seemed to be the criteria, with many top officials and civil servants being the beneficiaries (No surprises there then).

Cold War Veterans around the world know all too well how threatening it all was. They were the ones ready and willing to do the fighting (without recognition of any kind), not the ones sat securely in protected bunkers!

Ministry of Defence accept there were risks but say ‘NO’ to Cold War Medal

The Ministry of Defence, Defence Services Secretary; Mr R. T Cooney has acknowledged in a letter dated 28th July 2008 that: “During the ‘Cold War’ years, some military units or formations doubtless experienced incidents or periods of service as a result of activity by Warsaw Pact forces, where their exposure to risk and rigour may have been heightened.”

He continues; “The professionalism and resolve of the British, American and other NATO Armed Forces doubtless played their part in the factors that led to the collapse of the Warsaw Pact Military Alliance.”

Sadly, whilst clearly accepting that Cold War veterans were not only at risk but that their service contributed to the collapse of the Warsaw Pact Military threat, Mr Cooney is keen to add; “However, military activity arising from imperatives of the ‘Cold War’ political posture adopted by the British Government never reached a position where it would have been appropriate to institute a campaign service award.”

If this is the officially adopted position of the British Government, can we now expect Lady Thatcher, Lord Robertson and any other British, or former British Government official to return any awards or medals that they may have received for service during the Cold War?