trol restrictions and bans supported by new on-site inspections and Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). Fifth, Reagan took up Soviet arms treaty violations with the Soviets diplomatically and when the Soviets denied them, exposed the findings and facts on specific Soviet violations including chemical weapons, strategic weapons, conventional forces, and nuclear testing limitations treaties. Sixth, he insisted on modernizing U.S. nuclear deterrence capabilities, including through continued production and limited, treay-permitted underground weapons testing. He specifically noted that in a nuclear world with arms treaty cheating and proliferation, he opposed U.S. nuclear weapons abolition as likely to be unilateral and thus very dangerous.
18. Reagan’s Freedom Strategy in Support of Anti-Communist Resistance. As detailed in the six chapters of Part IV, Reagan’s strategy was designed to build America’s and her allies’ strengths and by largely peaceful means to expose, constrain, roll back and collapse the totalitarian Soviet system. A strong “soft power” role was played both by Reagan’s extraordinary freedom speeches and by his today almost unknown NSC-coordinated public diplomacy reports. These informed the American people and the world about the historical facts of Soviet tyranny, treaty violations, deception, subversion, aggression and “active measures” intelligence operations and about Administration policies in resisting and radically reshaping such realities. In addition, overt and covert U.S. support, with only very few U.S. advisors on the ground, was provided to anti-Communist voices and forces standing up to Soviet power, proxies, and fronts. Reagan faced strong Congressional opposition particularly in his support of Latin America, but his policies helped turn the tide there and in the Kremlin’s “socialist camp” on behalf of anti-Communist resistance. The latter included Solidarity in Poland, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia; and anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Additionally aided were Latin Americans fighting against allied Cuban, Soviet, East European and Middle Eastern proxies waging anti-democratic pro-Soviet “liberation wars” that made use of Soviet state terrorism and “active measures” (e.g. espionage, disinformation, front groups, agents of influence).
19. Reagan and Gorbachev. Reagan’s leadership and strategy gained early momentum in ending U.S. accommodations and bailouts and imposing severe constraints on the traditional aggressive actions and objectives of the three Soviet leaders he faced in his first term. After his 1984 election victory, these constraints forced Soviet reassessments that soon hit Mikhail Gorbachev full force when he became the new Soviet leader. As a Party intellectual taught the Marxist-Leninist mishmash of “dialectical materialism,” “scientific socialism” and the infallibility of Communist blueprints and state administration, Gorbachev was very slow to recognize that the hard-pressed totalitarian system was fundamentally false, inefficient, and corrupt. It required fundamental, even anti-totalitarian, experiments in reform (perestroika) and openness (glasnost). Gorbachev’s new thinking, unlike far different steps taken in China, broke the absolute monopoly of fundamentalist Marxist-Leninist Soviet ideology, regime, and empire not only in the Soviet-dominated “Socialist Camp” of captive nations, but finally deep inside the core of the Soviet Union itself.
20. Gorbachev and Putin. Gorbachev appears not to have understood, as did his Communist critics in the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, and Cuba, the impact of political pluralism and toleration of democratic counter-faiths and notions of accountability and legitimacy based on competitive elections and parliaments, civil society, rights, and consent. These would unravel and collapse the entire edifice built on the foundations of the legends of Karl Marx and the “Great Lenin” still venerated in his glass tomb on Red Square. This outcome has been decried by Russia’s former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin, and his nostalgic former Communist and pro-Soviet Cold Warriors, as “the greatest catastrophe of the twentieth century,” i.e., worse than the First and Second World Wars, Stalin, Hitler’s holocaust, and Mao’s tens of millions of deaths.
21. Past and Present. Ronald Reagan and his team provided the leadership and strategy necessary to mobilize a large company of other freedom figures from dissidents to prime ministers, popes, poets, and soldiers to open doors and paths to peace, freedom, and peaceful progress closed by the Marxist-Leninist and their Communist successors during the long Cold War. The largely peaceful end of the Cold War with a victory for freedom is rightly celebrated, not least because it was accomplished while Reagan worked to reduce the weapons and risks of war. This victory should be an inspiration for those who stand on the side of peace and freedom and should be an inspiration in dealing with dangerous contemporary threats in the twenty-first century. At this writing in late-2014, tensions and conflicts in
[Book pg. xii]