Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, Africa, China and numerous other global hot spots point to a mix of violent expansionist ideologies and forces. Readers are encouraged to explore how the Cold War’s superpower protagonists, strategies, and history before and during Ronald Reagan’s presidency have become increasingly relevant as twenty-first century democracies are threatened by the ideological and military warfare of contemporary totalitarian forces linked to weapons of mass terror and destruction.
The Author. Inside the Cold War is a labor of love and liberty by a life-long student of the Cold War and a U.S. national security policy insider during much of the conflict’s post-Second World War history. His personal, academic, and official experience includes direct war experience during the Second World War as a British child held captive in Germany until liberated by American forces, including his own father, who served in the U.S. Army and Civil Service for over three decades. The author’s academic experience with Cold War history includes studies (Harvard, BA and the University of California, Berkeley, (MA and doctoral program) and a U.S. Civil Service career (about one half in the Senior Executive Service) with six presidents in eight administrations. His government service includes working with four presidents for over fifteen years in the NSC in the White House (with Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan) and in the Pentagon with two Secretaries of Defense in the administrations of two other presidents (John Kennedy and George W. Bush). He was also in Vietnam on nine official U.S. National Security Council (NSC) visits. In the U.S. Congress, he served as a senior staff member with Senator (John Tower) and Representative (Jack Kemp).
With Reagan, the author was a senior drafter and coordinator of the Peace and Freedom (foreign policy, defense, and arms control) section of Reagan’s 1980 campaign platform, was a senior member of his Defense Transition Team, and was Reagan’s NSC Director of Arms Control for six and a half years, providing a wide range of briefings, drafting directives, staffing NSC meetings, and representing the NSC at U.S.-Soviet negotiations and in over fourteen active Interdepartmental Groups on arms control and related public diplomacy programs. In non-government service, he served as a senior staff member with several Washington D.C. policy institutions and for over a decade taught a graduate seminar on U.S. national security strategy and arms control. Since 2008 he has been a Distinguished Fellow in National Security Affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington D.C., which has supported this project.
A Note on Responsibility. Readers are encouraged to get inside the history, documents, and issues of the Cold War and to develop their own informed perspective, principled voices, and responsible engagement to better understand and help meet the challenges of contemporary militant totalitarian ideologies and the wars they wage against peace and freedom. This means understanding the historical, moral, and strategic stakes involved in such conflicts, and contributing to national security policies and instruments that will protect and defend the faiths, forces, and blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. This means not walking away from complex issues, but combining idealistic principles, realistic considerations, and informed policy recommendations and choices. This is true not only for Americans but for all in the world who seek peace and freedom and are today increasingly threatened by totalitarian faiths and forces, by weapons of mass terror and destruction, and by illusory accommodations to aggression. It is also important to recognize that without providing for the common defense and securing the blessings of liberty, it is impossible to meet core U.S. national objectives of union, justice, welfare, and human happiness. Our world, our freedoms, our children, and their children, and mankind’s potential for peaceful progress all depend on new generations to step forward in understanding and with the courage to act upon such principles and responsibilities.
Sven F. Kraemer
[Book pg. xiii]
Continue to Part I - Roots and Strategies of the Cold War before Reagan