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Ronald Reagan And The Fall Of The

Ronald Reagan And The Fall Of The

Soviet Union: Plot Or Serendipity

 

CSC 95

 

SUBJECT AREA - Foreign Policy

 

 

 

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in

 

its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

 

NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI

 

I. PREFACE

The fall of the Soviet Union was an amazing event for most Americans. For so many

 

years, we had seen the USSR as a threat and, in many ways, had come to accept it as a permanent

 

menace. For those of us who grew up with fallout shelters and civil defense drills, and whose

 

entire adult lives have been defined within the parameters of the cold war, the rapid disintegration

 

of the Soviet empire in the early 1990s was akin to winning the lottery -- staggering, elating and

 

totally unexpected. We celebrated the disintegration of our old foe and heralded a great victory

 

for the West and President Ronald Reagan in particular. Our champion anti-Communist had

 

accomplished what seven U.S. Presidents before could or would not -- he had stopped and then

 

reversed the tide of Communism.

 

The question that remains is: how much of what happened to the USSR was going to

 

happen anyway, and how much resulted from the efforts of President Reagan and his

 

administration? Was it just coincidence that the closing years of the Soviet empire mirrored those

 

of the most anti-Communist President in U.S. history? The purpose of this paper is to inquire as

 

to the specificity of President Reagan's plan to bring about the downfall of the Soviet Union and

 

to discover if his policies constituted a new form of containment. This Study is germane to a

 

complete understanding of the United State's part in the decline and fall of the Soviet Union and

 

to the larger issues surrounding the appropriate application of national power to "contain" another

 

nation's growth. I have chosen recent works by former U.S. government and administration

 

officials, and journalists for my research. These sources represent the continuum of opinion that

 

places President Reagan, on one end, as the mastermind behind the demise of the USSR and, on

 

the other, as an ill-informed, passive by-stander. I have chosen these particular works in order to

 

highlight current disagreements on President Reagan's rightful place and to offer a synthesis of

 

these views. Additionally, I have supplemented these sources with interviews from John

 

Lenczowski, Peter Rodman and Angelo Codevilla -- all mid-level insiders during the Reagan

 

years. Their perspectives, generally unbridled by concerns about attribution, assisted greatly in

 

penetrating much of the myth about President Reagan and his administration.

 

My line of inquiry will begin with an overview of U.S. containment policies (1947-- 1981)

 

highlighting differences in President Reagan's approach to containing the Soviet Union. I will

 

then offer case Studies of the top five external events leading to the disintegration of the Soviet

 

Union: the insurgencies in Angola, Afghanistan and Central America; the Solidarity movement in

 

Poland; and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to see if they reveal a coordinated anti-USSR

 

effort. I will then address the effects of these activities inside the Soviet Union and finish with my

 

conclusions.

 

II. INTRODUCTION

 

In December 1988, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the Secretary General of the

 

Communist Party of the USSR surprised the world when he appeared before the United Nations

 

and promised to cut Soviet forces in Eastern Europe by half a million troops and ten thousand

 

tanks over the next two years. The people of Eastern Europe must have pinched themselves to

 

make sure they were awake and that it was all really happening. The USSR did not have the will

 

to stay the course in Afghanistan and was now withdrawing support for the likes of Honecker,

 

Ceausescu, and Jaruzelski. By 1990, the Soviet economy had nose-dived and the Soviet

 

leadership was increasingly unable to control the new political forces within the country. The

 

attempted coup by Soviet hard-liners in 1990 was a last gasp attempt to hold on to the old system

 

but, in the end, it only served to accelerate the disintegration of the USSR. As the authority of

 

the USSR waned so did Mikhail Gorbachev's. Boris Yeltsin emerged from the political maelstrom

 

that followed to become the first popularly elected President of Russia. By the end of 1991, the

 

Soviet Union was no more and the era of U.S. and Soviet relations had, quite literally, ended.1

 

When President Reagan was elected in 1981, the strategy of de'tente described the

 

relationship that existed between the United States and the USSR . President Nixon and

 

Secretary of State Henry Kissenger had advanced this strategy in the 1970s and it had remained

 

fundamentally unchanged by both the Johnson and Carter administrations until 1979. While

 

Webster defines de'tente as a relaxation or reduction, as of tension between nations, President

 

Reagan believed the leadership of the USSR was interpreting de'tente as "freedom to pursue

 

whatever policies of subversion, aggression and expansionisn they wanted anywhere in the

 

world."2 President Reagan believed the United States had lost its hard-earned edge over the

 

USSR and that President Carter's administration was foolish to believe the USSR had any other

 

goal but their historically stated one of destroying democracy and replacing it with Communism.

 

President Reagan saw the Soviet leaders as moral and mortal enemies and believed that, by

 

surrendering the initiative to the USSR, Carter had sent a dangerous message that America was

 

prepared to accept, as inevitable, the advance of Soviet expansionism.3

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

1 Raymond L. Garthoff, The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of

the Cold War (Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 1994), 3

2 President Ronald Reagan, An American life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990),

266.

3 John Lenczowski, interview with the author. 1995

 

From President Reagan's point of view, the world in January 1981 was one fully engaged

 

by the Brezhnev Doctrine.4 The Soviet leadership, undeterred by the previous administration was

 

aggressively pursuing their goal of world domination. President Reagan saw USSR sponsored

 

"wars of national liberation" in El Salvador, Angola, Ethiopia, and Cambodia. The Soviet Union

 

was on a roll -- they had taken Indochina by proxy, sent military advisers to interfere in Ethiopia,

 

and helped engineer events in South Yemen. The USSR was involved in Mozambique and

 

Angola, and was advancing in Granada, Central America and, of course, Afghanistan. In Western

 

Europe, the Soviet leaders were beginning to make political inroads by virtue of the power of the

 

peace movement and challenging NATO's deployment of theater nuclear forces. President

 

Reagan saw a revolt against Communist rule being stamped out in Afghanistan and the stirrings of

 

democracy being extinguished in Poland. In his mind, the tide of Soviet excursions had to be

 

stopped and then setback.

 

President Reagan had a strong faith in the viability of the American economy and our

 

technological superiority. He believed that once the American economy revived we could

 

out-spend and out-produce the Soviets indefinitely.5 Early in his Presidency, President Reagan

 

saw cracks in the armor of the Soviet Union -- particularly in their economy. In his own words:

 

"You had to wonder how long the Soviets could keep their empire intact. If they didn't make

 

some changes, it seemed clear to me that in time Communism would collapse under its own

 

weight, and I wondered how we as a nation could use these cracks in the Soviet system to

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

4 After Czech reformers were ousted by Soviet tanks in 1968, Brezhnev issued a public

justification for the action which became known as the"Brezhnev Doctrine." It stated that a threat

to the political system in any socialist country was a "threat to the security of the socialist

commonwealth as a whole." The implication was once a socialist country, always a socialist

country.

5 Ronald Reagan, An American Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) 236.

 

accelerate the process of collapse."6 President Reagan believed that the oppressive system

 

supporting the USSR "could not survive against the inherent drive of all men and women to be

 

free."7 In a speech at Notre Dame University in 1981, President Reagan asserted that "the West

 

will not contain Communism; it will transcend Communism," and dismissed the whole

 

Communist experiment as a "sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even

 

now being written"8 President Reagan personally believed that the Soviet Union was illegitimate

 

and non-reformable and that it had to be met from a position of strength.

 

In The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War,

 

Raymond Garthoff, former Deputy Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs at the U.S.

 

Department of State, described President Reagan as the champion of the "essentialist" approach

 

to containing Communism. This approach assumed that the Soviet Union was a totalitarian state

 

driven by a militant ideology and therefore intrinsically expansionist. Determined confrontation

 

was the only thing such a power understood. Garthoffs second "mechanical" approach conceded

 

that the Soviet Union was expansionist but that it was also a pragmatic power that could be

 

"managed" by the astute application of rewards and penalties. President Reagan seems to have

 

skirted both these approaches. While there is no question President Reagan intended to

 

strengthen America's position vis-a-vis the USSR, it is unclear whether or not his efforts

 

represented more than mere rhetoric. Was there a specific plan to that end or was his Presidency,

 

as some have suggested, simply another well-orchestrated act. Were President Reagan's actions

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

6 President Ronald Reagan, An American Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990)

238.

7 Ibid. 237.

8 Richard Pipes, Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hardliners Had It Right. (Review

Essay, Foreign Affairs, New York, NY: Council On Foreign Relations Inc. January/February

1995)157

 

fundamentally different or simply a revitalized, more aggressive version of the containment

 

policies he inherited?9

 

In his first meeting with Prime Minister Thatcher in 1984, G.S.Gorbachev asked her what

 

she thought the Americans were really up to. Wasn't the Reagan administration bent on

 

humiliating and finally destroying the Soviet Union? Thatcher replied that President Reagan was

 

more reasonable than his public rhetoric would indicate.10 Indeed there are those who suggest

 

that President Reagan was all facade and although he sounded tough it was all an act to improve

 

U.S. leverage with the Soviet Union. Others believe that President Reagan understood that the

 

USSR was a moral and mortal threat to the United States and that he orchestrated a specific plan

 

designed to play to their weaknesses and bring them down.11 Still others believe that the Soviet

 

Union fell of its own weight, brought down by Gorbachev's bungling of the totalitarian

 

mechanisms that maintained the Soviet system -- the loss of the socialist ideological base, an

 

increasingly dissatisfied population and a late attempt to reform an unreformable political

 

System.12

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

9 President Reagan relates in his autobiography that early in his first term he received

briefings that convienced him that the Soviet Union's economy was a "basket case." In his words:

"The Soviet economy was being held together by baling wire. In Poland and other Eastern-bloc

countries, the economies were also a mess, and there were rumblings of nationalist fevor within

the captive Soviet empire. If they didn't make some changes, it seemed clear to me that in time

that Communism would collaspe of its own weight, and I wondered how we as a nation could use

these cracks in the Soviet system to accelerate the process of collaspe."

10 Micheal R. Beschloss and Strobe Talbott, At the Highest Levels (New York: Little,

Brown and Company, 1993) 30.

11 Raymond Garthoff in The Great Transition and Peter Schweizer in Victory represent

opposite ends of the spectrum on this issue. Schweizer believes that the fall of the Soviet Union

was the direct result of a specific President Reagan plan while Garthoff sees more complex

interactions at work which dilute much of what has been attributed to the Reagan administration.

12 In his book The Age of Exteremes: A History of the World 1914 to 1991, Eric

Hobsbawm argues that what brought about the collaspe of the Soviet Union was a raising tide of

expectations that an authoritarian elite could not satisfy: "Beginning in the 1960's; the (USSR and

the nations of Eastern Europe began to open up their command economies to trade with the

 

III. CONTAINING COMMUNISM 1947 -- 1981

 

If we are to discover the levels of detail of President Reagan's plan to unhinge the Soviet

 

Union, we must try to understand if that plan was fundamentally different from those that

 

preceded it. If President Reagan did indeed see the Soviet Union as diametrically opposed to the

 

United States and if he had a strategic plan to bring them down, then everything he did must be

 

measured by its contribution to that vision and plan.

 

In 1946, the United States found itself faced with an emerging and aggressively

 

expansionist Soviet Union who was fully prepared to take part in shaping the post-war world.

 

Neither Presidents Roosevelt nor Truman could avoid the Faustian bargain brought about by their

 

strategies to allow the Soviet Union to bear the brunt of the fighting to defeat Germany.13

 

Although both Truman and Roosevelt recognized the danger of allowing the Russian armies to

 

occupy large parts of Eastern Europe at the end of the war, geo-political realities prevented either

 

from doing much about it. The United States could not defeat Germany then Japan, keep

 

causalities below those of W.W.I and have enough forces left over to limit USSR advances in

 

Eastern Europe and the Far East. As a result, the Red Army ended W.W.II in a dominant

 

position throughout Eastern Europe and parts of the Far East. In the aftermath of victory, the

 

United States found itself at odds with an increasingly uncooperative Soviet Union and at a loss as

 

to what to do about it. Leonid Brezhnev summed up the Soviet attitude when he told Czech

 

leaders in 1968: "Your country lies on territory where the Soviet soldier trod in the Second

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

western world. Inevitably, their citizens began to compare their cramped apartments and dreary

cultural life with the wonderous freedoms available in the west. Meanwhile, under cynical

autocrats like Leonid Brezhnev, even card-carring communists shed their hopes for a classless

society. In the 1980's; when economic crisis battered the ramparts of the Soviet empire, its

ideological empire was bare."

13 In Strategies of Containment, John Lewis Gaddis relates that for every American soldier

who died fighting against Germany in WWII, 53 Russian soldiers died.

 

World War. We bought that territory at enormous sacifices and we shall never leave it. In the

 

name of the dead in World War II who laid down their lives for your freedom as well, we are

 

therefore fully justified in sending soldiers into your country. It is immaterial whether anyone is

 

actually threatening us or not: it is a matter of principle, independent of external circumstances.

 

And that is how it will be, from the Second World War to eternity."14

 

In December 1946, George Kennan, a Foreign Service Officer station in Moscow,

 

produced his appraisal of the situation in the Soviet Union. The famous "Long Telegram" he sent

 

back to the States stood American foreign policy makers on their collective ears and became the

 

basis for the series of policies aimed at meeting Soviet expansionism. These policies and the

 

actions they produced would come to known as "containment". According to Kennan, the Soviet

 

Union saw itself as an ideological entity being assailed from all sides by a hostile outside world.15

 

Soviet ideology and world view were incompatible with those of the West and that this situation

 

was not susceptible to change in the near future. Further, the Soviet system of internal repression

 

required an external threat and since Hitler's Germany no longer produced it, the West and in

 

particular, the United States served as the new threat. According to Kennan, the suspicions of the

 

Soviet leadership ran so deep that not even total capitulation by the United States would suffice to

 

ease their fears -- the USSR would manage to smell a rat no matter what we did. Kennan went

 

on to describe Soviet foreign policy as "the product of internal influences not susceptibte to

 

persuasion, manipulation or even comprehension from the outside."16 Kennan made American

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

14 Richard L. Pipes, Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hard-liners Had It Right. Review

Essay, Foreign Affairs (New York, NY: Council On Foreign Relations Inc, January/February

1995)12.

15 John L. Gaddis, Strategies of Containment. (New York: Oxford University Press Inc,

1982) 33.

16 Ibid.,356

 

foreign policy makers understand that they were in for a long term struggle with the Soviet Union

 

-- one requiring more than simple patience and firmness.

 

The Soviets believed they were beyond judgment because they were on the side of history.

 

At the first meeting of the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform)17 in September 1947,

 

Andrei Zhdanov, a politburo member, said of the post-war world: "The world is now divided into

 

two camps, the imperialist and anti-democratic and the anti-imperialist and democratic and the

 

principal driving force of the imperialist camp is the United States emboldened by their

 

newfound power and temporary atomic monopoly."18 Early proposals to "rollback" the Russians

 

from their European and Far East holdings vanished with the explosion of the first USSR atomic

 

bomb in August 1949 and the Communist victory in China in October of the same year. The

 

United States found itself with less and less leverage over the Soviet Union due to the rapid build

 

up of their nuclear arsenal.

 

The history of American containment policies represents a continual process of balancing

 

the burden of long term containment on the U.S. economy with the threat of an aggressive Soviet

 

Union. Gaddis describes five distinct approaches to this balancing act in the post-war world era:

1. Kennan's original strategy of containment, implemented by the Truman administration

1947 to 1949.

2. The National Security Council Action 68 (NSC-68) brought about by the Korean

conflict and implemented 1950 to 1953.

3. The Eisenhower-Dulles "New Look", 1953-1961.

4. The Kennedy-Johnson "flexible response", 1961 to 1969.

5. The policy of de'tente initiated by Nixon-Kissenger and continued by Ford and Carter

until the invasion of Afghanistan late in 1979.

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

17 Stalin used the Communist Information Bureau to coordinate the policies of the world's

Communist parties.

18 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994) 48.

 

The Korean War, more than anything, helped to solidify the United States1 global role in

 

the 1950s as the containing force on Communism. Although NSC-68 recognized the danger

 

posed by Soviet expansionism, it did little to counter it. Not until the North Korean invasion in

 

June 1950 did the United States begin the level of military build up necessary to make it a player

 

on the world scene. NSC 73/4, that followed in August 1950, warned the invasion of South

 

Korea should not be taken as an isolated event and it represented part of a larger plan. Indeed, it

 

seems the North Koreans made the same mistake the Japanese had in 1941-- they had provoked

 

the United States into action. Kim il-sung and Stalin's throw of the dice in June 1950 was a great

 

blunder and a monumental overreaching that provoked a response -- America's definitive

 

undertaking of a global role. It was a role which Stalin could not have intended or welcomed.19

 

This aside, there were always swings of policy resulting from U.S.economic pressures that

 

worked to the benefit of Moscow. As American forces began to be cut back after the Korean

 

war, the Republican administration promoted a "new look" in defense policy that trimmed the

 

budget and promised "more bang for the buck" -- there was actually little option for the United

 

States other than to bluff with nuclear weapons where we could not or were not willing to engage

 

with conventional forces.20

 

The United States' move toward de'tente in the late 60s recognized that the world had

 

become a much more complex place since the early days when the Soviet Union could be

 

contained by the simple act of geographic encirclement.21 The capabilities of the USSR now

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

19 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994) 51.

20 Ibid., 59.

21 Some have called this period De'tente I in order to highlight, as De'tente II, that phase of

President Reagan's second term in which he adopted a less comfrontational stance with the

Soviets.

 

allowed them to reach beyond simple geographic bounds and there was little support in the United

 

States for direct confrontation and certainly none for another peripheral engagement like Vietnam.

 

Peter Rodman, a long time Kissenger aide, asserts that Nixon and Kissenger would have loved to

 

do in 1969 what President Reagan was able to do in 1981. In the 1970's and 80's, U.S. policy

 

makers were forced to deal with a decrepit gerontocracy while, in 1985, President Reagan had

 

Gorbachev who was willing to re-assess everything and who believed that the Soviet system had

 

to be reformed. Additionally, the economic basis of foreign policy had reversed from 1975 to

 

1985. President Reagan in 1985 represented, in many ways, America's recovery from the

 

humiliations of the past decade while. At the same time, the Soviets had gone through a long

 

succession of crisis brought about by a procession of pathetic, aged, failing leaders. Rodman

 

argues that Nixon's de'tente was the only approach that "post-Vietnam paranoid" America was

 

going to stand for and given that constraint and the lack of bi-partisan support, Nixon did quite

 

well keeping the Soviet Union in check. It was, by necessity, a "more diabolical, crafty and

 

difficult policy to implement.

 

The Carter administration's muddled and inconsistent version of de'tente and its failure in

 

1979 suggest the limits of containment as practiced had been reached. In his first term and really

 

until the arrival of Gorbachev, President Reagan's policy of containment (the sixth) was based on

 

the realization that past U.S. policies to contain Communist expansionism had become obsolete

 

and the Soviets weren't going to play fair with de'tente. President Reagan sensed the historical

 

moment was right for a direct approach and that there was wide support for a more aggressive

 

policy. The failure of de'tente to curb Soviet adventurism in the 70s had frightened our allies,

 

produced a ground-swell of bi-partisan support for firmer measures and contributed greatly to

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

22 Peter W. Rodman, Interview with the author. 1995

President Reagan's election in 1981. Secretary of State George Schultz described President

 

Reagan's new approach to containment in a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

in 1983: "The policy of de'tente represented an attempt to induce Soviet restraint. De'tente was

 

based on expectations that the anticipated benefits from expanding economic relations and arms

 

control agreements would restrain Soviet behavior. Unfortunately, experience has proved

 

otherwise." As a result, the new (Reagan) policy was "based on the expectation that faced with

 

demonstration of the West's renewed determination to strengthen its defenses; enhance its

 

political and economic cohesion, and oppose adventurism, the Soviet Union will see restraint as

 

its most attractive or only option."23

 

Although realism and diplomacy from a position of strength were the buzz words of the

 

sixth containment policy introduced by President Reagan, the essence of the policy was its vision

 

of a Strategic offense. The defensive connotation of the term "containment" aptly describes the

 

average American's impression of U.S. policies toward the Soviet Union after W.W.II.

 

Americans saw themselves as reacting to world events rather than initiating challenges to the

 

world order.24 It is this impression of being on the defensive for so long and losing ground that

 

spurred the turn-about in the Carter administration in the late 70's and which President Reagan

 

saw and capitalized on in his effort to garner support for his initiatives against the USSR.

 

President Reagan saw the weakness of the Soviet Union as an opportunity and understood that

 

nothing would galvanize the American public more than acting beyond containment and striking

 

the USSR directly.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

23 Raymond L. Garthoff, The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of

the Cold War (Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 1994)107

24 John L. Gaddis, Strategies of Comtainment. (New York: Oxford University Press Inc,

1982) 41.

 

It is perhaps ironic that President Reagan's second term, which saw so many setbacks for

 

the USSR, was the scene of a shift in U.S. policy that some have labeled De'tente II. President

 

Reagan had at last found what he had been looking for -- a Soviet leader with whom he could

 

communicate. The administration moved toward a reduction of tensions between the two

 

superpowers and a recognition that arms control would be the focal point of relations between the

 

two countries -- both classic characteristics of de'tente. This is the phase of U.S. foreign policy

 

that gives the most problems to those trying to build an airtight case that everything President

 

Reagan did was meant to undermine the Soviets. If that was so, why was he being so friendly

 

with the enemy? John Lenczowski, an Eastern European expert in the Reagan administration, has

 

suggested President Reagan's move toward something like a De'tente II was victory for the Soviet

 

leadership whose primary goal to "get Reagan to stop telling the truth about the Soviet Union"

 

and that the USSR gave President Reagan "a man he could like, someone who looked harmless

 

and western."25 In 1985, shortly after Gorbachev came to power, President Reagan said of him

 

"Mr. Gorbachev may or may not be a new type of Soviet leader, time will only tell and it might

 

not be for a decade. I want to keep the heat on the Soviets. I don't want to let up on anything

 

we're doing."26 President Reagan realized the conduct of foreign policy was never a neat, surgical

 

procedure. It was instead an untidy business ruled by uncertainty, forced compromise and that

 

Clauswitzian friction and fog that makes even the simplest things difficult. Although President

 

Reagan may have been attracted to the bright promises of negotiation with the Soviet Union, it is

 

clear he was above all a realist and a pragmatist who understood the value of both diplomacy and

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

25 John Lenczowski, Interview with author. 1995.

26 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) 236.

 

a strategic offensive. The following insurgent case studies, highlight the use of U.S. national

 

power in a strategic offensive designed to limit USSR expansionism.

 

IV. ANGOLA

 

The evidence suggests that Cuba's move into Angola in 1975 was largely Castro's idea.

 

He meant to rekindle the revolutionary spirit of Che Cuevera and bolster his own image as a

 

leader with global reach.27 The Soviet Union went along because they realized correctly that the

 

United States was in no mood, so soon after Vietnam, to involve itself in another peripheral

 

conflict. Although Angola was on the strategic periphery, the Soviets saw an easy one -- a cheapie

 

and they were tempted. Peter Rodman describes Brezhnev and his colleagues as having "no

 

category of thought for the concept of self-restraint; of not seizing an opportunity, of not filling a

 

vacuum."28 The decision to embark on an intervention-by-proxie for a strategically insignificant

 

gain would come back to haunt the Soviet leadership. Georgii Arbatov, then a Brezhnev loyalist,

 

described the Soviet Leadership as a group "unable to resist further temptation to become

 

involved in the complex internal affairs of other countries." and that after Angola they were

 

emboldened to go "boldly down the path of intervention and expansion that we had beaten so

 

assuredly. It led us through Ethiopia, Yemen, a series of African countries and eventually, into

 

Afghanistan."29 Angola was significant because it marked the first conflict in which President

 

Reagan was able to turn the tables on the Soviets and make a small war work against them.

 

The United States withdrew its covert program from Angola in 1975 because of the

 

clamor raised over working with the South African government -- even if it was against Soviet

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

27 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994)171.

28 Ibid., 169.

29 Georgii Arbatov, The System: An Insiders Life in Soviet Politics (New York, NY:

Times Books/Random House, 1992) 246

 

expansionism and due to the general lack of American will in the post-Vietnam period. In 1976,

 

after the Congress passed the Clark Amendment prohibiting U.S. military assistance to the

 

pro-western fighters in Angola, a massive influx of Soviet military equipment and Cuban troops

 

propelled the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) into power. Despite

 

billions of dollars of Soviet military equipment and almost 40,000 Cuban troops, Jonas Savimbi's

 

resistance movement, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) held

 

out. Their continued success after the withdraw of U.S. support and the MPLAs inability to

 

consolidate power produced a sinkhole for Soviet assets in Africa and signaled a change in

 

fortune for Soviet adventurism.

 

When President Reagan came to power in 1981 he reinstated a vigorous diplomacy in the

 

region. In a shrewd diplomatic move, the U.S. seized an opening to propose a resolution of the

 

civil war that linked U.S. support for implementation of a UN Resolution on neighboring Namibia

 

with the withdraw of Cuban forces from Angola. United Nations resolution 435 called for the

 

transfer of power from South Africa to the people of Namibia through free elections sponsored by

 

the UN. This linkage worked two ways for the United States in that it got the South Africans out

 

of Namibia and at the same time prevented a Soviet - Cuban proxie government (the MPLA) from

 

consolidating power in Angola.

 

Not surprisingly, there was great resistance to any plan that linked Cuban withdrawal from

 

Angola to South African withdrawal from Namibia. With the SADF operating inside Angola, the

 

MPLA was not about to give up Cuban support. Likewise, South Africa was not going to

 

withdraw from Namibia as long as the Cuban-supported MPLA continued to provide sanctuaries

 

for the Southwest Africa Peoples Organization (SWAPO). The fighting went on. The difference

 

this time was that it was the Soviet Union's coffers that were being drained by a protracted

 

conflict and not the ours. Not surprisingly, President Reagan, through Chester Crocker, clung

 

stubbornly to his negotiating position -- historically something we have not done well. It was a

 

very Soviet-like tactic which recognized, for a change, time was on our side. It was not until

 

President Reagan's reelection in November, 1984 that the MPLA finally accepted the linkage of

 

the two issues. Negotiations to finally get the Cubans out of Angola dragged on for another four

 

years but the issue had been settled with the acceptance of linkage in 1984 and the 1985 repeal of

 

the Clark Amendment prohibiting aid to UNITA.

 

The repeal of the Clark Amendment is still another indicator how well things were falling

 

into place for President Reagan after his re-election. The administration had not actively sought

 

the repeal of the Clark Amendment -- it had been handed to them by a Congress that had been

 

transformed by the 1984 presidential election. The conservatives were energized and the

 

moderates were feeling the pressure of not being on the bandwagon.30 In 1986, in response to

 

the U.S. decision to resume support for UNITA, the MPLA broke off negotiations and resumed

 

the offensive against Savimbi's forces. In August 1987, the South African Defense Force (SADF)

 

intervened to prevent UNITA's defeat by an Angolan force with massive Soviet-Cuban military

 

backing. Soon the SADF was involved in direct combat with Cuban regulars. The fighting led to

 

a series of escalation's culminating in battles at Mavinga, Cuito Cuanavale and Calueque during

 

1987-88. The end result of these battles was stalemate. Although the Cubans had forced the

 

SADF out of Angola, they had reached their culminating point and could do no more against the

 

strong South African defenses in Namibia. Behind the scenes through all this fighting between the

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

30 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994) 364.

 

Cubans and the South Africans was Chester Crocker -- quietly bidding his time with patient

 

diplomacy. Finally, in 1988, the parties wearied of the conflict and agreed to a U.S. brokered

 

settlement. The last Cuban soldiers left Angola in May, 1991 and another misbegotten

 

Soviet-brokered adventure from the l970s ended.31

 

V. AFGHANISTAN

 

The Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan dates from the 1950's when it was seen as

 

a counter (along with India) to Pakistan's alignment with the United States. In that year, the

 

Soviets embarked on a generous program of military and economic aid designed to nourish

 

fledgling pro-Soviet factions among the Afghan tribal society. These efforts bore fruit with the

 

establishment of the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) in 1977. In 1978, the

 

PDPA staged a coup, killed Prime Minister Mohammed Daoud and announced the establishment

 

of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union wasted no time in pledging its full

 

support for the new government. Despite Soviet backing, however, the PDPA was never able to

 

consolidate its rule among the diverse Muslim tribal factions that made up that fractured country.

 

Rural uprisings in 1978 over heavy-handed policies destabilized the new government and a Soviet

 

plot to place their man in power failed in 1979. The Soviets were confronted with a dilemma --

 

whether to intervene to save a collapsing Soviet-backed regime or to accept all the implications

 

such a collapse would entail for their interests not only in the region but elsewhere in the world as

 

well.32 While with hindsight it seems easy to see why the Soviets should have chosen the latter

 

option, one must recall that, in 1979, they were on a roll and the Brezhnev Doctrine prohibited

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

31 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994) 399.

32 Amin Saikal and William Maley,The Soviet Withdrawl From Afghanistan. (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1989) 4-5

 

escape from the Soviet empire. As C.V. Wedgwood, a British historian, once said: "History is

 

written backward but lived forward. Those who know only the end of the story can never know

 

what it was like at the time."33

 

In December 1979, the Soviet Union exercised the first use of Red Army troops outside

 

the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since the end of WW II when it invaded Afghanistan and

 

re-installed the PDPA. The initial assault was an awesome display of Soviet military might which

 

saw airborne and special forces inserted into Kabul airport to link up with armored and

 

mechanized units and seize control of the country. After this initial success, the operation bogged

 

down and never recovered its initial momentum. The initial invasion force of 85,000 men which

 

was later increased to 120,000 was fought to a standstill by loosely organize resistance forces of

 

Afghan guerrillas aided by arms from the United States, China and Islamic countries.

 

The invasion marked a turning point for the Carter administration and their version of

 

detente. Indeed it symbolized the high-water mark of America's policy of peaceful co-existance.

 

Contrary to the popular common view of Carter as somewhat indecisive, he reacted vigorously to

 

the Soviet Union's invasion in a number overt ways but also by signing a secret lethal finding to

 

assist the Mujabedin in harassing Red Army occupation forces. This action was the seed that

 

would grow to cause the USSR so much trouble later when President Reagan and CIA Director

 

William Casey came on the scene. In addition to the covert finding, the invasion initiated other

 

unpleasant consequences for the Soviet Union. Although only "next door", the war caused the

 

USSR to overextend itself militarily, politically and psychologically. It united the Western and

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

33 Don Oberdorfer, The Turn: From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and

the Soviet Union 1983-1990. (New York: Posidon Press, 1991)14.

 

Muslim worlds against the Soviet Union, solidified U.S. relations with China and eventually was a

 

factor in the election of Ronald Reagan in 1981.

 

President Reagan saw the war in Afghanistan as one part of the overall U.S. strategy to

 

undermine the Soviet Union by supporting insurgent wars that would drain the Soviets both

 

militarily and economicaIly.34 The Reagan Doctrine as it applied to Afghanistan didn't really get

 

off the ground until 1985 when the President signed NSDD-166. The finding contained language

 

that radically altered the intended endstate in Afghanistan from simple harassment operations to

 

outright defeat of the Soviet occupation forces.35 In 1985, after his re-election, President Reagan

 

won consistent bi-partisan support for the Afghan resistance package which translated into

 

massive increases in aid to the Mujahedin including the decision to send Stinger missiles and other

 

non-SOVMAT material. The introduction of the Stinger anti-aircraft missile into the region and

 

its integration with other less sophisticated anti-air systems had an immediate and devastating

 

effect on Soviet forces who had come to count on freedom of the skies over Afghanistan. The

 

already thinly stretched occupation troops were now without vital air combat service support or

 

close air support. The Kremlin was in a dilemma, it had to either increase troop levels in

 

Afghanistan or concede that without air power, it couldn't remain effective against the

 

Mujahedin. Gorbachev realized that he could not afford to increase ground forces to compensate

 

for the loss of mobility and firepower brought by the Stingers. The escalation of U.S. military aid

 

to the Mujahedin in 1985, especially the Stinger missiles, broke the stalemate of the war in favor

 

of the Afghan resistance and turned the war into a real "bleeding wound" for the Soviet Union.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

34 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) xviii.

35 Ibid., 214.

 

While President Reagan rode the crest of the bi-partisan wave in the U.S., Gorbachev

 

was trying to end the war on the best terms he could get. In 1985, he authorized an escalation of

 

the conflict in a final attempt to win a military victory. He ordered his Generals to "be done with

 

it in two years or he would have other options."36 In addition to increasing the pressure on his

 

military, Gorbachev pursued a wide variety of non-military methods including diplomacy and even

 

threats designed to dilute support for the Afghan rebel forces. In December, 1986 the Soviet

 

leadership summoned top members of the Afghan Politburo to Moscow to announce that Soviet

 

troops would be withdrawn from Aghanistan not later than the end of 1988.37 In September,

 

1987, while in Washington for INF talks, Soviet Foreign mister Shevardnadze approached

 

George Schultz to announce that the Soviet Army would be out of Afghanistan, probably by the

 

end of the President Reagan administration.38 Despite their outward willingness to withdraw from

 

Afghanistan, the Soviet leadership continued to stymie negotiations over the point of the length of

 

the withdrawal phase. The military was concerned that the withdrawal would look like a cut and

 

run operation if it was executed to quickly -- the final scenes of the U.S. withdrawal from

 

Vietnam were probably on there minds. Additionally, they were concerned about what would

 

happen to the Soviet backed government in Kabul after the withdraw. The Soviets realized that

 

the puppet government of Mohammed Najibullah would not survive long against the rebel forces

 

presently held in check by the Red Army and they attempted to link their withdrawal to a

 

reduction in support for the Mujahedin. On July 22, 1987, Gorbachev told the Indonesian

 

newspaper Merdeka that he favored a short time-frame for withdrawal of Soviet forces from

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

36 Don Oberdorfer, The Turn: From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and

the Soviet Union 1983-1990. (New York: Posidon Press, 1991) 237-239.

37 Ibid., 240.

38 Ibid., 234-235.

 

Afghanistan but that "interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan must be stopped and its

 

non-resumption guaranteed."39 The Geneva Accords on Afghanistan of 14 April 1988, concluded

 

under the auspices of the United Nations between the USSR backed communist regime of the

 

PDPA and the government of Pakistan was jointly guaranteed by the Soviet Union and United

 

States and provided the overall framework for the withdrawal. Despite the delaying tactics, the

 

die had been cast and the USSR realized that after 13,000 causalities and 10 years of effort, they

 

were really bargaining for peanuts. In addition to having lost the war and their faith in the

 

Leninist ideology, they were dealing with a growing public anti-war sentiment at home. It was

 

time to leave. At 11:55 on the morning of February 15, 1989, General Boris Gromov walked

 

across the steel bridge at the Soviet border point at Termez and closed the door on their

 

misbegotten adventure. President Reagan had been out of office for only twenty-six days.

 

VI. CENTRAL AMERICA

 

Central America has always been the place where American anti-colonial sentiments have

 

clashed with our perceived right to have our way in our own backyard. Liberal Presidents like

 

Roosevelt and Kennedy attempted to mitigate circumstances in Central America through aid

 

programs (the Good Neighbor Policy, the Alliance for Progress) and by working to empower the

 

Latin governments. These policies of U.S. aid and social reform, although well intentioned, have

 

seldom been equal to the task of establishing stable governments with viable economies.

 

Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson and Nixon, on the other hand, took a more direct, unapologetic

 

approach and acted sharply in Guatemala 1954, the Dominican Republic in 1965 and Chile

 

1970-73.40 Nixon's Presidency, under Kissenger's influence, was the first to see Central America

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

39 Don Oberdofer, The Turn: From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and

the Soviet Union 1983-1990. (New York: Posidon Press, 1991) 242-243.

40 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

 

in purely geo-political terms (vice business interests) and to articulate the growing concern among

 

conservatives over pro-Soviet radicalism in the region. The Nicaraguan revolution which ousted

 

Anastasio Somoza and propelled the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) into power in

 

1979 was seen by many conservatives as not only another Carter administration blunder but also

 

as USSR expansionism in the western hemisphere. Nicaragua seemed to be going the way Cuba

 

and Eastern Europe had with initial promises of democratic reform under an anti-facist,

 

broad-based coalition government giving way to a calculated program designed to suppress the

 

opposition and consolidate power. When Nicaraguan defense minister Humbero Ortega

 

announced in 1980 that free elections would be postponed until 1985, it was clear that the U.S.'s

 

worst fears were confirmed -- Post-Somoza Nicaragua became a pro-Soviet socialist state.

 

Cuban and Nicaraguan relations quickly developed as did a substantial military buildup of the

 

Nicaraguan armed forces. In March 1980, the FSLN and the communist party of the USSR

 

established formal ties. For the Soviet leadership, the opportunity to establish another foothold in

 

the western hemisphere was an unexpected windfall and they took full advantage of it. For the

 

United States, a spreading communist revolution in Central America had strategic implications

 

that threatened our ability to contain Soviet expansionism at a reasonable cost. We could not

 

afford a credible threat so close to home. In mid-1980, Nicaragua began providing military

 

assistance for the communist guerrillas attempting to overthrow the government of El Salvador --

 

this newly minted, pro-Soviet regime seemed bent on destabilizing the region. Thus, when the

 

Reagan administration came to power in January 1981, it inherited both a crisis and an

 

opportunity in Central America.

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sons, 1994) 226.

 

President Reagan saw the situation in Central America in the worst possible light. In his

 

memoirs, he writes that he believed the Soviets and Castro had targeted all of Central America for

 

a communist takeover and that Nicaragua and El Salvador were "only a down payment" and that

 

"Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica were next, and then would come Mexico."41 The

 

situation in Central America was clear for President Reagan and it frustrated him to have to

 

defend his actions in countering what he saw as an undeniable threat to the United States. For

 

him, the USSR was investing substantial sums of its national treasure to gain another foothold in

 

our backyard -- it should be easy to stop them and to set them back. Actions against Soviet

 

sponsored activities in Central America were in the same class as those in Africa and Afghanistan.

 

The idea was to stop the spread of socialist governments by supporting insurgencies in those

 

countries. If the Soviet Union was engaged in many places, President Reagan reasoned, then they

 

were vulnerable in many places.

 

Despite the strong talk in his auto-biography and much of the myth of that era, the truth is

 

that the Reagan administration remained relatively weak on Central America well into the second

 

term. Although he increased military aid to El Salvador to $25 million, added two dozen military

 

trainers and formally terminated U.S. aid to Nicaragua, President Reagan found he had

 

surprisingly little support for further measures. Americans had still not overcome their Vietnam

 

syndrome and were not prepared to support anything resembling the first step on a slippery slope

 

into a jungle war. In addition to overt economic assistance to the pro-western states in the

 

region, President Reagan ordered the CIA to develop a plan for covert operations. William Casey

 

came up with a scheme to use anti-Sandinista Nicaraguans to harass military targets inside

 

Nicaragua and other Latin Americans to interdict the flow of Soviet made arms from Cuba to El

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

41 Ronald Reagan, An American Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 990) 300.

 

Salvador. In late November 1981, President Reagan signed NSDD- 17 which authorized overt

 

measures and soon after the intelligence "lethal finding" for the covert operation. This was the

 

pilot program for what President Reagan would come to call the Contra Freedom Fighters.

 

During his first term, President Reagan's policies in Central America were a source of

 

almost constant turmoil. After the successful invasion of Grenada in 1983 and the election of

 

Durarte in El Salvador in May 1984, President Reagan began to garner both public and bi-partisan

 

support for his initiatives. In spite of these positive developments, the Boland amendments

 

ensured that for two years (October 1984-86) the Contras received no appropriated aid.

 

President Reagan directed the Contras be held together "body and soul" and used the NSC to do

 

just that. The Iran-Contra scandal was a by-product of their successful efforts and reflects the

 

depth of Reagan's commitment to enforcing his doctrine in the region and keeping the pressure on

 

the Soviet Union. Grenada broke the Vietnam taboo and Duarte's election was, in part, a

 

justification of the regional strategy.

 

By the summer of 1984, the U.S. sponsored Contra army had grown to over seven

 

thousand and was making strikes deep inside Nicaragua. The final blow for the Sandinistas was

 

President Reagan's reelection in 1985. The Nicaraguan Army had, by this time, grown to sixty

 

two thousand and was being trained by over three thousand Cuban, USSR and East-bloc advisers.

 

USSR aid to Nicaragua between 1885-87 was 1.1 billion dollars and included tanks, artillery and

 

advanced helicopter gunships. Soviet military deliveries to Nicaragua grew to 18,000 metric tons

 

per year and cost them $500 million a year. Against this background, and growing publicity about

 

Sandinista repression inside Nicaragua, President Reagan found support for his initiatives in the

 

region. On June 25, 1986, the House of Representatives passed a $100 million dollar Contra

 

support package.42

 

Although the 1986 aid package was the high water mark for the Reagan administration,

 

the effects of almost a decade of U.S. resistance to Soviet influence in the region were beginning

 

to show. Unlike the communist governments of Eastern Europe after W.W.II, the Sandinistas

 

were unable to consolidate power in the region. The Reagan polices in Central America were key

 

to keeping the opposition alive long enough for diplomacy to force the Sandinistas to hold fair

 

elections -- which they lost in 1990. President Reagan checked the Soviet Union in Central

 

America and as a result it was unable to project the kind of political and military power that

 

would have sustained the Sandinistas and spread the revolution. Once again, significant

 

investments by the USSR in the Third World had not paid off. Moreover, the failure of the Soviet

 

Union to gain and maintain a foothold outside Cuba discredited communist ideology in the region

 

and signaled the final episode of the era of influence that began in 1959 in Cuba and win end with

 

the death of Fidel Castro. Lets now turn from our own backyard to that of the Soviet Union.

 

The case study that follows describes U.S. success in a region many times more sensitive to the

 

USSR than Central America.

 

VII. POLAND

 

Few other events captured President Reagan's imagination like the challenge Lech

 

Walesa's fledgling Solidarity trade union was giving the Polish Communist Party and the Soviet

 

Union in 1981. To him it represented "a heroic and spontaneous ground swell on the behalf of

 

freedom...and the first break in the totalitarian dike of Communism"43 Poland was a critical

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

42 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994) 417.

43 Ronald Reagan, An American Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) 301.

 

ideological battleground for both the United States and the Soviet Union. It was important for

 

the United Sates because it represented an effort albeit covert at an offensive move against

 

Communism. For once, we were taking the fight to the Soviet Union's side of the field. It was a

 

strike at Communism in the heart of the Soviet Empire. It was critical for the Soviet Union

 

because it represented a clear challenge to the totalitarian mechanisms supporting the system. In a

 

memo written for the President in 1981, Richard Pipes asserted that, next to the Soviet Union

 

itself, Poland was the single most important state in the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet leadership

 

saw Solidarity as an "infection" to be cleansed from the socialist body. Solidarity's greatest threat

 

was that it facilitated a bonding of dissidents against the government and represented the

 

nightmare scenario for a totalitarian system -- the failure to gain and maintain fatal resignation

 

among the people and the failure to maintain the atomization of the population.44 Yurii

 

Andropov, then head of the KGB, put it simply when he said: "the one thing we cannot have is

 

an organized opposition." Solidarity, like the Czechoslovak Charter 77 and the Soviet Helsinki

 

Monitoring Group, highlighted chinks in the seemingly fail-safe internal security armor of

 

Communist states -- a bonding of workers and intellectuals into dissident groups who could

 

circumvent the system. The fear these movements produced in the Soviet leadership is one factor

 

that stimulated reform.45

 

USSR internal security procedures for handling dissent reflected the necessity to isolate

 

crisis' and suppress information so the general population could not become part of the

 

movement. The instant flow of truthful information was the threat. If the people did not know

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

44 John Lenczowski, Interview with the author. 1995

45 Richard Pipes, Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hardliners Had It Right. (Review

Essay, Foreign Affairs, New York, NY: Council On Foreign Relations Inc. January/February

1995)156

 

about the strike in Gdansk, for example, they could not support it and it could be suppressed.

 

Oppressed people must be denied information until it is too late for that information to be useful.

 

During the strikes, Solidarity understood this fact and managed to get information out to Radio

 

Free Europe in Munich where it could be re-broadcast back into Poland. Upgrading these

 

broadcasts was one President Reagan initiative.

 

John Lenczowski claims that President Reagan's greatest contribution to the fall of the

 

Soviet empire was that he "told the truth about the Soviets" and that it was his battle of ideas, his

 

attempt to reach the common people with "truthful information" about the outside world that

 

undermined the totalitarian hold of the Soviet security apparatus. In a speech in England in 1982,

 

President Reagan introduced the battle of ideas when he spoke of the power of the idea of

 

democracy. Walter Raymond Jr., a CIA propaganda specialist on the NSC, grabbed hold of the

 

concept and presented it to CIA Director William Casey, who pushed the idea with NSA William

 

Clark. The result was NSDD-77 which created a Special Planning Group (SPG) to coordinate all

 

"Public Diplomacy."46 Walter Raymond chaired the SPG's coordinating group on international

 

broadcasting and modernized the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and created the

 

anti-Cuban Radio Marti. The effect of these broadcasts in this particular circumstance and over

 

the life of the program in helping to win the "battle of ideas" cannot be overstated. When asked

 

what he thought of the effectiveness of the broadcasts to his cause, Lech Walesa said "without the

 

sun would there be life on earth?"47

 

Part of the difficulty for the Soviets in Poland was that there was a part of Polish culture

 

that had escaped subversion by the system and the institutionalization methods of totalitarianism

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

46 John Prados, Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council. (New

York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 1991) 465.

47 John Lenczowski, Interview with the author. 1995

 

-- that, of course, was the Catholic Church. The Soviet Union was unlucky enough to see the rise

 

a Polish Pope who took special interest in the freedoms denied his homeland. It is perhaps the

 

efforts of the Polish Pope more than any other actor that sustained the flame in Poland. In

 

March, 1980 the Pope spoke out against the dangers of a branch of radical Catholic thinking that

 

tied Christianity with Marxism-Leninism and positioned the Vatican firmly against the

 

procommunist priests in Latin America.48 The Soviet press responded by calling the Pope's views

 

an "infection" and accusing him of attempting to "unite Catholics all over the planet into a single

 

anti-Communist force."49 Inside Poland, an ailing Cardinal Wyszynski was acting as the only

 

moderating force. On the one hand he was threatening the government with unrest if they

 

cracked down too hard on Solidarity while, one the other hand, he was urging the movement's

 

radicals to show some restraint. The Church, like the U.S., was hoping to facilitate reform in

 

Poland without inciting Soviet intervention.

 

The search for Poland's place in the President Reagan strategic plan to bring down the

 

Soviet Union starts as a covert financial, intelligence and logistical support operation mounted by

 

the U.S. in order to ensure the survival of an opposition movement (Solidarity) in the heart of the

 

Soviet empire.50 Although the United States didn't have a clear end in sight, it seemed a good

 

thing to support a free trade union operating illegally in the center of the Soviet empire.

 

Solidarity, backed by the Catholic Church could be a powerful catalysis for change in the region.

 

Already in 1981, there were stirrings reminiscent of the early Solidarity movement in Baltics. In

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

48 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) 36.

49 From Voproy Nauchrovd Ateizma, cited in Peter Schweizer's, Victory: The Reagan

Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York:

The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) 37.

50 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) xviii.

 

September 1981, Union leader Andrzej Gwiazda forwarded a resolution at the Gdansk convention

 

that read: "We support those of you who have decided to enter the difficult road of struggle for

 

free and independent unions."

 

Although he wanted to do much more to help Solidarity, President Reagan was

 

constrained by the memory of the 1956 Hungarian upraising and didn't want to push things so far

 

that the Soviet Army would again by called to restore the status quo. Clearly a more

 

sophisticated approach was required. Additionally, while President Reagan wanted to help the

 

Poles, he was careful not to indirectly aid the government and prolong what he called the survival

 

of Communism. In addition to stimulating reform inside Poland, the Reagan administration

 

exploited the worsening Polish economy. Poland was heavily in debt and struggling to provide

 

the basics for its populace. In 1981, Poland borrowed between $11.0 and $12.0 billion and

 

required substantial amounts of hard currency to manage this debt. Without Western credits, they

 

were going to default. The Soviet Union was also feeling the pressure of Poland's poor economic

 

situation, between 1980 and 1981 it had sent $4.5 billion in aid to Warsaw.31 At the urging of Bill

 

Casey and Donald Reagan U.S. banks were taking a hard stance which required economic and

 

political change in Poland as a precondition for future loans. General Jaruzelski and the Soviet

 

leadership felt the pressure.

 

On December 12, 1981 the Polish military, under guidance from the USSR, invaded its

 

own country, arrested 5000 activists and instituted martial law. President Reagan was at first livid

 

and then horrified that Solidarity might be lost and with it the seeds of dissent in the region. The

 

hard-liners on his staff urged strong action above and beyond the traditional sanctions and

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

51 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) 59.

 

President Reagan was ready to deliver. Solidarity, as Richard Pipes argued, had to be funded so

 

that the first "anti-Communist organization above ground in the Soviet bloc survived the harsh

 

political winter"52 Casey and the CIA were given the go ahead for a covert support program and

 

were soon funneling funds, communications equipment and intelligence into the activists and

 

receiving information on the internal situation in return.53 In addition to the clandestine support

 

for Solidarity, the administration bypassed the beleaguered Polish economy to put direct pressure

 

on the USSR. On December 29, President Reagan announced an embargo on American gas and

 

oil equipment and technology bound for the Soviet Union. The plan affected sixty U.S.

 

companies, seriously disrupted the Siberian pipeline project and shut down a joint Soviet and

 

Japanese venture to develop the oil and gas fields on Sakhlin Island. The loss of the gas pipeline

 

and the Sakhahn Island project cost the Soviet Union several billion dollars a year in income they

 

desperately needed to upgrade their technology, stabilize their economy and shore up their

 

empire. Additionally, U.S. efforts to reduce the credit worthiness of all the Eastern bloc countries

 

placed additional pressure on the Soviet Union to pick up the slack. Support to offset U.S.

 

sanctions against Poland alone cost the Soviet Union $1 to $2 billion dollars per year.

 

In March 1982, President Reagan signed NSDD-32 which declared the United States

 

would seek to neutralize Soviet control over Eastern Europe and authorized the use of covert

 

action and other means to support anti-Soviet organizations in the region.54 The finding was

 

significant in that it essentially threw out the W.W.II Yalta agreement and declared the U.S. was

 

no longer resigned to the status quo of USSR domination in Eastern Europe. Specifically, the

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

52 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) 69.

53 Ibid., 75.

54 Ibid.,xvi.

 

finding provided for covert support for anti-Communist underground movements not limited to

 

Poland, increased psychological operations including beefed up Voice of America and Radio Free

 

Europe programs and the use of diplomacy and trade in an effort to "wean away" regimes' from

 

Moscow.55

 

VIII. THE STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE

 

In his memoirs, President Ronald Reagan takes credit for conceptualizing a purely

 

defensive system that would allow the world to break out of the cycle of Mutually Assured

 

Destruction (MAD). He claims the idea of a purely defensive anti-missile system came to him

 

while he was reflecting on the sobering responsibilities he had assumed as the new commander in

 

chief -- particularly how little time he would have to decide whether or not to order American's

 

nuclear forces into action. He wanted to render nuclear weapons impotent.56 President Reagan

 

believed nuclear weapons and the policy of MAD in which each side checks the other with the

 

threat of annihilation were immoral. He seized on the idea of finding a way out of the nuclear

 

dilemma and putting the nuclear genie back into the bottle. Whatever other motives he might

 

have had, President Reagan really believed that SDI could work. Don Oberdorfer, a longtime

 

watcher of the Soviet Union for the Washington Post, characterizes President Reagan as a

 

President who was "acting out of long-standing convictions" and while he found SDI useful in

 

making the Soviets easier to talk to, he was not a "Machiavellian or even a Kizengerian figure

 

seeking to manipulate the international environment through his pronouncements."57

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

55 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) 77.

56 Peter Rodman, Interview with author. 1995.

57 Don Oberdorfer, The Turn: How the Cold War Came to An End: The United States and

the Soviet Union 1983-1990. (New York: Posidon Press, 1991) 23.

 

In a nationally televised speech on March 23, 1983, President Reagan revealed his vision

 

of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to the American people. The resumption of the B-1

 

program, the continued deployment of the MX missile and the development of the SLBM Trident

 

II during this same period, all served to convince the USSR, if SDI worked, they were in danger

 

of not only losing nuclear parity, but also becoming vulnerable to a U.S. first-strike capability.58

 

Although he claims it was never a bargaining chip, President Reagan credits the Strategic Defense

 

Initiative (SDI) as being the single most important reason (along with the build-up of the military)

 

of America's success negotiating with the Soviet Union.59 Additionally, President Reagan saw

 

SDI as an opportunity to break out of traditional mutual deterrence -- a chance to go back to the

 

glory days of American supremacy to a world in which we wouldn't have to accommodate or

 

reciprocate. The idea of regaining strategic leverage over the Soviet Union that had been lost so

 

quickly after W.W.II was irresistible to President Reagan. Aggressive foreign policies and

 

programs (like SDI) reflected his belief in American exceptionalism -- that we had a moral

 

obligation to be the "shining city on the hill" and the "last hope of man on earth."60 The Soviets

 

were only slowly coming to understand that Reagan, although Republican, was not another Nixon

 

and that he represented a different constituency with an aggressively nostalgic agenda.

 

Strategic defense had always been something that the Soviet Leadership believed in and

 

feared. The Soviet Union was unlike United States in that they didn't suffer from the inner

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

58 John Prados, Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council. (New

York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 1991) 486.

59 John Prados points out in Keepers of the Keys that Bud Macfarlane, the NSA at that time

pushed for SDI because he recognized its importance as an arms control negotiating chip.

Unfortunately, like Kissenger's cruise missiles, once the Pentagon got serious about the program,

it became nonnegotiable.

60 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994) 234.

 

political struggles about whether a program was de-stabilizing or not. For them a strategic

 

defense was always seen as a good thing. Therefore, despite the controversy in the United States

 

over the viability and advisability of SDI, the Soviets took our attempt at a strategic defense very

 

seriously. They feared we would be able to do something they were unable to do and that we

 

would make some sort of break through. The revolution in super-computer technology as it

 

applied in particular to battlefield management Systems was something the Soviets realized they

 

had left themselves out of and this only reinforced their fears. By 1987, the U.S. led the Soviet

 

Union by 8 to 9 years in microprocessors; 8 to 12 years in computer-operated machine tools; 8 to

 

10 years in minicomputers; 8 to l2 years in mainframe computers; 10 to 12 years in

 

supercomputers; 7 to 11 years in software and 7 to 10 years in flexible manufacturing systems.61

 

Soviet leadership saw that, in theory at least, SDI was possible and the U.S. might do it.

 

If it could be done, it would nullify the one element of their military power in which they had an

 

advantage -- their ballistic missile nuclear forces. SDI went to the heart of their military doctrine

 

and economic insecurities. In many ways SDI forced the Soviet leadership to realize they had a

 

real Systemic problem -- to compete they had to get their economy into the modern age and to do

 

that they needed some peredyshka (breathing space). SDI highlighted more than anything else the

 

technical shortfalls of the Soviet System and caused its leadership to come to grips with the facts

 

of life. The fear, dissatisfaction and disillusionment that the arms race in general and SDI in

 

particular produced in the Soviet leadership played to the reformist themes represented by

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

61 CIA/DIA, Gorbachev's Modernization Program: A Status Report, (A paper submitted to

the Subcommittee on National Security Economics of the Joint Economic Committee, March

1987) 4.

 

Gorbachev and placed a great strain on their economy.62 Gorbachev's attempt to reform the

 

unreformable led to the unraveling of the Union.

 

 

IX. INSIDE THE USSR

 

In the mid-70's, it was said Brezhnev was not what he seemed and neither was Soviet

 

policy. On the surface both Brezhnev and the Soviet Union looked impressive, but the truth was

 

the Soviets were struggling with a decrepit gerontocracy and an out of control military and

 

industrial complex supported by an increasingly frail economy. At the same time they were

 

announcing they had achieved nuclear parity with the United States, then KGB Chief Andropov

 

was proposing they must achieve parity with the combined might of the U.S., the rest of NATO

 

and China. This quest posed an impossible economic burden. A Soviet Union that seemed

 

capable of anything, was in fact rapidly bankrupting itself with its defense expenditures. There

 

was no control over defense expenditures and little coordination between the political and the

 

military and industrial complex. As a result, the system as it existed was going to collapse.

 

In 1984, shortly before Gorbachev came to office, Richard Pipes depicted the Soviet

 

Union as a country in the throes of a "revolutionary situation" whose leaders had no alternative,

 

short of war, but to carry out drastic internal reforms.63 Gorbachev inherited a system in

 

shambles -- Breznhev's death had been followed closely by those of Chernenko and Andropov had

 

left the Soviet Union without a coherent foreign policy. Africa, Afghanistan and Central America

 

had turned into quagmires and there was a free trade organization alive and well in Poland -- the

 

heart of the Soviet empire. NATO was sighting cruise and Pershing missiles in Western Europe

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

62 In his book Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the

Collaspe of the Soviet Union, Peter Schweizer claims that SDI was part of a widespread

technological disinformation campaign designed to disrupt the Soviet economy.

63 Richard Pipes, Can the Soviet union Reform? (Foreign Affairs, New York, NY: Council

On Foreign Relations Inc. Fall 1984) 47-61.

 

and there was a chance that SDI just might work. When Gorbachev came to power, he was

 

already convinced things would have to change. Gorbachev, an ardent communist, didn't want to

 

dismantle the System, just reform it. The problem was he didn't know how to do it. He thought it

 

was like a good engine that had been left in the yard too long -- although it was rusty, it just

 

needed a little oil and then you could push the starter and off it would go again down the track.

 

Reagan wrote that when Gorbachev came to power in 1985 he would have "continued on the

 

same path as his predecessors if Communism had been working" and that he (Gorbachev)

 

believed "wholeheartedly in the Communist system of government" but it had been managed

 

poorly and he intended to change that management.64 Reagan went on to describe Gorbachev as a

 

leader who "had the intelligence to admit Communism was not working, the courage to battle for

 

change, and, ultimately, the wisdom to introduce the beginnings of democracy, individual

 

freedom, and free enterprise."65 Whether Gorbachev's initiatives to reform the Soviet system

 

were wise or not, he clearly failed to appreciate the dangers of attempting to reform a totalitarian

 

state with an entrenched and uncooperative industrial and military complex. A totalitarian state is

 

kept together by fear and the perception of an external threat -- Gorbachev's policies undermined

 

both. Charles Wolf et al. in a study of The Costs and Benefits of the Soviet Empire 1981-1983

 

noted that expansion of the Soviet empire performed a valuable function for the leadership by

 

"contributing to the sense of urgency and crisis that promotes the system's internal cohesion and

 

control" Additionally, efforts to reform the country predictably exacerbated the already

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

64 Indeed, during Gorbachev's first two years in power the Soviets actually escalated the

conflict in Afghanistan and it wasn't until December, 1988 that he was able to announce troop

reductions in Eastern Europe -- very late in the game indeed.

65 Ronald Reagan, An American Life. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) 707.

 

considerable stringency's of Soviet life. In January, 1989, the Politburo approved an economic

 

austerity package reducing state investment and linking salaries to production.66

 

X. CONCLUSIONS

 

The grand strategy of the Reagan administration with regard to the Soviet Union

 

represented a new aggressive containinent based on President Reagan's personal appreciation of

 

the USSR's vulnerabilities. The success of that strategy was a direct result of President Reagan's

 

will to "stay the course". President Reagan added to the costs of Soviet foreign policies in the

 

third world and in their arms build-up at the very moment of greatest Soviet vulnerability. He

 

attacked vulnerabilities in the Eastern bloc, the Third World and inside the Soviet Union in order

 

to destroy the USSR's center of gravity -- its economy. His policies compelled reforms in the

 

Soviet Union that once launched, unraveled the system.

 

There exists a lasting perception that while he might have personally recognized the

 

Soviets as moral and mortal threats, Reagan did not have a strategic plan with a clear endstate for

 

bringing about the fall of the Soviet Union and that an "entrepreneurial policy System" within the

 

administration made it difficult if not impossible to execute a coordinated effort against the

 

Soviets.67 Many point to the inconsistencies of negotiating with the "evil empire" as evidence

 

that, in many ways, Reagan's policies were as ad hoc as any that had gone before. There is

 

evidence to suggest these perceptions are at least partially incorrect.

 

In his book Victory, Peter Schweizer recounts the events of an NSPG meeting that took

 

place on 30 January, 1981 citing as his sources interviews with Casper Weinberger and other

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

66 Micheal R.Beschloss and Strobe Talbott, At the Highest Levels. (New York, NY: Little,

Brown and Company, 1993.) 33

67 John Prados, Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council. (New

York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 1991) 489.

 

"unnamed U.S. officials present at the meeting." Schweizer reports it was at this meeting that the

 

idea of a covert strategic offensive against the Soviet Union was first discussed. Present were

 

President Reagan, Vice President Bush, Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, Secretary of

 

State Alexander Haig, DCI William Casey, and National Security Adviser Richard Allen.

 

Schweizer claims, among other things, the need to take a stand on Poland was discussed. Haig

 

asserted the best way to deal with the Soviets was through a "hardheaded de'tente" administered

 

from a "position of strength" -- essentially a rehashed containment policy. William Casey and

 

Richard Allen, traditional hard-liners, argued for a more proactive approach. Casey reasoned the

 

relative strength of the United States and the Soviet Union was not what mattered because that

 

could only deter and not alter the threat. The idea was to raise American strength in relative

 

terms while reducing Soviet power in absolute terms. In Casey's words: "for the past 30 years,

 

we've been playing this game on our side of the field. You don't win games that way. If they are

 

secure at home, it won't matter what we do. Their behavior will only change on the tangent."

 

Reagan's reaction to all this was: "I think Al's ideas are the most liked to get results in the public

 

arena -- getting help from our allies and so forth. But Bill's option makes the most sense to me

 

strategicallly."68 The idea of early strategic thinking is supported by Richard Pipes, then Soviet

 

and East European affairs specialist on the NSC. Pipes asserts Reagan "displayed great

 

discernment and the instinctive judgment of a true statesman..." Early on in the first term foreign

 

policy was "set by the President and not his staff and it was vigorously implemented over the

 

objections of several more dovish secretaries. It rested on a keen grasp of the vulnerabilities of

 

the Soviet regime."69 John Lenczowski, then on the European Bureau at the State Department,

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

68 Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened

the Collaspe of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994) 7.

69 Richard Pipes, Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hardliners Had It Right. (Review

 

 

relates that in so far as there was a strategic vision it was discussed at a meeting that took place

 

very early in the administration and Reagan's strategic vision arose from his "understanding of the

 

fundamental moral conflict that underlay the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United

 

States."70 The evidence suggests several things. The first is while Reagan was thinking

 

strategically about attacking Soviet weaknesses, rolling them back and fundamentally altering

 

their System; he didn't sort out his foreign policy machine, form the NSPG or instigate a

 

coordinated strategy until almost a year into his administration. General Robert Schweitzer, head

 

of Richard Allen's defense policy staff on the NSC summed up the first year when he said".. in

 

the forty year history of the NSC there was always a defined pulse for the NSC until we came

 

to that first year of the Reagan administration and the clearly defined purpose did not exist."

 

because the government was "being run by a troika"71 The second point is from the beginning

 

there were divisions within the administration on foreign policy matters and a lack of discipline

 

within the policy making mechanism. There were what John Prados describes as 'foreign policy

 

entrepreneurs" who sought to force their own particular agenda regardless if the implications for

 

a coherent U.S. strategy. The third point is Reagan saw the battle with the Soviet Union as a

 

unilateral affair to be conducted by the United States through covert action. Diplomacy,

 

accommodation, arms control and the negotiating track were all fine as long as their ultimate

 

effect was to undermine the absolute strength of the Soviet Union. Reagan's strategic vision

 

which sought to "take the game to their side of the field" was a fundamental change from what

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Essay, Foreign Affairs, New York, NY: Council On Foreign Relations Inc. January/February

1995)157.

70 John Lenczowski, Interview with the author. 1995.

71 John Prados, Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council. (New

York: William Morrow and Company Inc., 1991) 457.

 

had gone before and therefore represented a policy beyond containment and de'tente -- a sixth

 

policy in Gaddian terms.

 

In President Reagan's first term, for many reasons, the administration's aspirations failed to

 

reach the level of global pollcy. In the second term, things began to come together and President

 

Reagan began to get bi-partisan support in the Congress. The Clark Amendment was repealed,

 

Contra aid was approved, there were for escalation's in the amounts spent supporting the

 

Mujahedin in Afghamstan to include approval for Stinger missiles and there was even some money

 

for Cambodia. It became a global policy called the Reagan Doctrine and it's success was a

 

function of all the things that came together in 1985. After his reelection, President Reagan was

 

able to articulate and popularize efforts against the Soviet Union. That articulation of a strategic

 

vision represented a threat and a challenge to opponents of his policies who were in danger of

 

being labeled anti-anti-Communist. President Reagan's success at splitting off the opposition,

 

especially the centrist democrats, helped secure the bi-partisan majority he enjoyed really until

 

Ollie North's Iran-Contra caper poisoned it.

 

It is ironic the Reagan Doctrine with all its hard-line and rollback philosophies was a

 

feature of the second term -- a term that saw U.S. foreign policy dominated by George Schultz

 

and the departure of hard-liners like Kirkpatrick and Weinberger. George Schultz pushed a

 

diplomatic tack which the hard-liners saw as inconsistent. President Reagan went along with him

 

and the result was much negotiation in the second term -- the diplomatic track in Afghanistan, the

 

Geneva Agreement in 1988, Crocker's Angola diplomacy, the efforts in Nicaragua and talks with

 

the Soviets on the regional issues. Although many administration hard-liners opposed negotiating

 

with the Soviets, Reagan believed that while they were an "evil force in the world and

 

untrustworthy" that "we should still talk to them."72

 

Between 1988 and 1992, one of Gorbachev's primary activities was extracting the Soviet

 

Union from its self-made military quagmires in the Third World. Toward the end of the second

 

term, the efforts devoted to negotiations by the Reagan administration began paying off in rapid

 

succession. In April, 1988 the Soviets committed to a full withdrawal from Afghanistan by the

 

following February. In December, 1988 the accord requiring the withdrawal of all Cuban forces

 

from Angola was signed in New York. Later diplomacy brought about a Vietnamese troop

 

withdrawal from Cambodia in 1989, a free election in Nicaragua in 1990, and political settlements

 

in both El Salvador and Cambodia in 1992 and 1993.73 Reagan understood that while covert

 

operations may push an adversary toward reform, negotiation -- however distasteful -- was the

 

primary means through which it was realized.

 

There were three main legs in the U.S. plan to maintain pressure on the Soviet Union.

 

The first was through our support of the freedom fighters in Afghanistan. By 1985 the war was

 

costing the Soviets an estimated $3 to $4 billion dollars per year mainly because of the arms and

 

equipment we were providing the Mujahedin. The second leg was our efforts to support the

 

Solidarity movement in Poland. U.S. sanctions against Poland were costing the Soviet Union

 

another $1 to $2 billion dollars per year. The third, and perhaps most devastating leg was SDI.

 

In 1985, the Soviets were convinced that we could field a strategic defense and made large scale

 

resource shifts to the military industrial sector in an attempt to remain competitive in that arena.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

72 Ronald Reagan, An American Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) 606.

73 Peter W. Rodman, More Precious Than Peace. (New York, NY: Charles Schribner's

Sons, 1994) 324.

 

U.S. policies played an important role in compelling reforms in the Soviet Union and the

 

reforms once launched, unraveled the system. Thus fear, dissatisfaction and disillusionment

 

played to the reformist themes represented by Gorbachev. The problem with Gorbachev was he

 

didn't realize the limits of modernizing and reforming a huge, totalitarian, Communist System and

 

without repression the whole thing was going to fall apart. Western intelligence may be forgiven

 

for not predicting the fall of the Soviet Union -- analysts must assume leaders, especially

 

totalitarian leaders are acting in their own self-interest. Gorbachev, they reasoned, may loosen

 

the grip, he may reform a bit but he must realize that he can't reform and modernize the whole

 

system simultaneously. At some point, he will re-establish control just as all the leaders before

 

him. Since even at this late stage it was possible for Gorbachev to re-establish control, it is to his

 

moral credit that when he realized that he had gone too far and that he was going to lose

 

everything, he didn't resort to the brutality of the past -- he just let it happen. While President

 

Reagan's administration cannot take complete credit for this collapse, Gorbachev was re-assessing

 

the Soviet system in large, prompted by those external pressures contributed by the "sixth policy."

 

President Reagan added to the costs of Soviet foreign policies in the third world and their

 

arms build-up at the very moment of greatest Soviet vulnerability. The Reagan Doctrine as a

 

policy involving all the aspects of the program to unseat the Soviet Union, was something that

 

evolved out of an initial ideological stance put forward by President Reagan early in his

 

administration but that could only come to fruition in the second term. Although there was much

 

confusion in the first term at the lower levels, at the operational and strategic levels there was a

 

common thread -- a combination of the man and the moment, an aspiration and many forces came

 

together. Reagan helped pull these forces together. That is what made it a historical

 

development -- a leader and his vision coincided with a historical moment.

 

Bibliography

 

Arbatov, Georgii The System: An Insiders Life in Soviet Politics. New York, NY: Times

Books"Random House, 1992.

 

Allen, Richard V. Democracy and Communism: Theory and Action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton

University Press, 1967.

 

Ibid., National Security: Political, Military and Economic Strategies in the Decade Ahead

New York, 1963.

 

Beschloss, Micheal R.and Talbott, Strobe At the Highest Levels. New York, NY: Little, Brown

and Company, 1993.

 

Casey, William The Secret War Against Hitler. Washington DC: Regnery, 1988.

 

CIA/DIA Gorbachev's Modernization Program: A Status Report, A paper submitted to the

Subcommittee on National Security Economics of the Joint Economic Committee, March, 1987.

 

Codevilla, Angelo. War: Ends and Means. New York, NY: Basic Books Inc. 1989.

 

Fought, Stephen O. SDI, A Policy Analysis. Newport RI 1987

 

Garthoff, Raymond L. Detente and Confrontation: American-Soviet relations from Nixon to

Reagan. Washington D.C. 1985

 

Ibid., Deterence and the Revolutuion in Soviet Military Affairs. Washington, D.C. 1990

 

Gutman, Roy Banana Diplomacy: The Making of American Policy in Nicaragua 1981-1987.

New York 1988

 

Grossman, Karl Nicaragua : Americas New Vietnam? Sag Harbor 1984

 

Hobsbawm, Eric The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991. New York, NY:

Pantheon Press, 1994

 

Klinghoffer, Arthur, J. The Angolan War : A Study in Soviet Policy in the Third Word Boulder

CO 1980.

 

Lenczowski, John. Soviet Perceptions of US. Foreign Policy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University

Press, 1982.

 

Muravchik, Josuha The Senate and National Security : A New Mood. Beverly Hills, Ca 1980.

 

National Council of Churches Namibia: The Crisis in the United States Policy Toward

Southern Africa. Washington 1983.

 

Oberdorfer, Don The Turn: How the Cold War Came to An End: The United States and the

Soviet Union 1983-1990. New York: Posidon Press, 1991.

 

Pipes, Richard Detente II: Report of the Task Force on the Dangers of Detente II Washington

DC 1988.

 

Ibid., The Formation of the Soviet Union; Communism and Nationalism, 1917-1923.

Cambridge 1964.

 

Ibid., US - Soviet relations in the Era of De'tente. Boulder CO 1981.

 

Ibid., Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hardliners Had It Right. Review Essay, Foreign

Affairs, New York, NY: Council On Foreign Relations Inc. January/February 1995

 

Prados, John Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council. New York

1991.

 

Ibid., Presidents Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations Since W.W.III. New York

1986.

 

Ibid., The Soviet Estimate: US Intelligence Analysis and Russian Military Strength. New York

1982.

 

Reagan, Ronald National Security Strategy of the United States. Washington DC 1988.

 

Rodman,Peter W. More Precious Than Peace. New York, NY: Charles Schribner's Sons, 1994

 

Saikal, Amin and Maley, William The Soviet Withdrawal From Afghanistan. Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1989.

 

Schweizer, Peter Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the

Collapse of the Soviet Union. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press 1994.

 



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