hyperlinked to the book’s Internet Document Library of over 900 primary source documents, of which over half are quoted in the book. The hundreds of official documents in the library were either declassified/redacted by the U.S. National Archives or were issued as unclassified public statements and reports collected by the author, including many that are largely ignored or unknown. Fourth, the website also includes or points to additional reference materials including suggested readings, chronologies, and maps.
Part I – Roots and Strategies of the Cold War before the Reagan Revolution. Chapters 1–6 review the ideological roots, early turning points, and policy statements that decisively shaped the Cold War’s two superpower protagonists, beginning Americans’ freedom faith and institutions and continuing with the Soviet Union’s pseudo-scientific nineteenth-century theories of Karl Marx on history, human nature, and Communist revolution. Lenin’s establishment of the totalitarian Soviet Union in 1917 and Stalin’s intensification of the regime’s revolutionary brutality created tens of millions of victims of Communism within the Soviet Union itself, then by subversion and collaboration abroad. The chapters review five decades of Soviet betrayals and aggression that gained imperial momentum through a series of revolutions, crises, and faltering Western strategies including containment, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), and détente. Until the Reagan Revolution.
Part II – The Reagan Revolution and New Strategy that Transformed and Won the Cold War. Three overview chapters (7–9) introduce Reagan’s principled and proactive “grand strategy” of “peace and freedom” and “peace through strength” as developed in his 1980 presidential campaign platform and early first-term decisions. As Reagan maintained unprecedented pressure on the Soviet leaders and won reelection, his strategy gained force in his second term in changing the assumptions and terms of the Cold War. Reagan’s far-reaching vision, resolve, and detailed public explanations of his new Cold War strategy were opposed by establishment politicians, academics, media, and elements of his own bureaucracy. But as he articulated and implemented his strategy, Reagan gained increasing popular support and election mandates in rebuilding America’s and Allied strengths, e.g., moral, military, economic, diplomatic, and in information and intelligence. Refuting the warnings and expectations of his critics and Soviet leaders, Reagan successfully pressed, rolled back, and ultimately fractured the Soviet ideology, regime and empire and set the world on new paths to peace and freedom.
Part III – Reagan’s Integration of U.S. Defense and Arms Control Strategies. Six chapters (10–15) detail Reagan’s systematic national security-based integration of defense and arms control strategies. His strategy emphasized assessments of the Soviet force buildups, priority U.S. force modernizations, and unprecedented bilateral arms reduction initiatives (for Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) and Strategic Arms Reduction Start (START)) and in multilateral agreements on conventional and chemical forces. He exposed extensive Soviet arms treaty violations and pushed for effective, high-confidence verification. His Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was not a bargaining chip but was to reduce reliance on MAD and to provide missing deterrence and defense insurance capabilities against potential strikes from the Soviet Union and other sources of proliferating weapons of mass destruction.
Part IV – Reagan’s Freedom Strategy, Support to Anti-Soviet Resistance, Using Public Diplomacy to Expose Soviet Aggression and “Active Measures” Intelligence Operations. Part IV’s five chapters (16–20) review Reagan’s far-reaching freedom strategy in public speeches and public diplomacy, in confidential negotiations, and in overt and covert assistance to anti-Communist resistance forces (e.g., in Afghanistan, Latin America and Eastern Europe). The Reagan strategy notably invigorated “soft-power” U.S. information and intelligence programs to expose Soviet “maskirovka” and “active measures” subversion through global Soviet intelligence operations including espionage, propaganda, fronts and so-called “wars of national liberation.”
Key Points on Shaping the Course of the Cold War and Its Implications
Inside the Cold War brings to light underlying but neglected Cold War ideologies, historical realities, policy contexts, decisions, and turning points that indelibly shaped the moral and strategic stakes at the heart of the Cold War and are increasingly relevant to contemporary twenty-first century issues of peace and war, tyranny and freedom. The author considers the following points as particular important factors in the Cold War’s historical context and history, many drawing on the period before the late 1940s that most historians mark as the Cold War’s beginning. Other points highlight key facts about Reagan’s revolutionary Cold War strategy that are largely ignored or distorted in most reviews of the period.
[Book pg. vii]