Part II -- THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IN U.S. COLD WAR STRATEGY AN OVERVIEW

Chapter 8 – Setting the New Cold War Strategy: The First Term - Statements and Decisions

 
the platform’s “Resolution for ‘Peace through Strength’” section commits “to maintain a strong economy and protect our overseas sources of energy and other vial raw material,” while other sections reviewed below deal specifically with a strategy for exploiting Soviet economic vulnerabilities.
 
Platform Section on U.S.-Soviet Relations. This section foreshadows Reagan’s presidential strategy to change U.S. détente practices by pledging to restrict technology transfers and financial deals to the Soviet Union, and linking U.S. trade and financial policy to Soviet actions in areas of human rights and foreign policy. In the words of the platform:
 
[Technology Transfers] Republicans oppose the transfer of high technology to the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites such as has been done in the past permitting development of sophisticated military hardware which threatens the United States and our allies. The Carter Administration has encouraged the most extensive raid on American technology by the Soviet bloc since World War II. The Soviet Union has gained invaluable scientific expertise in electronics, computer sciences, manufacturing techniques, mining, transportation, aviation, agriculture, and a host of other disciplines. This has contributed to the ability of the Soviet Union to divert investment and manpower from their civilian economy to their armed forces. The fruits of Soviet access to American technology will improve the performance of the Soviet military establishment for years to come. The matter is compounded by the practice of subsidized financing of much of the Soviet bloc’s acquisition of American technology through U.S. financial institutions.
 
[Soviet Compliance With Obligations] Republicans pledge to stop the flow of technology to the Soviet Union that could contribute, directly or indirectly, to the growth of their military power. This objective will be pursued by a Republican Administration with our allies and other friendly nations as well. We will ensure that the Soviet Union fully understands that it will be expected fulfill all of the commercial and diplomatic obligations it has undertaken in its international agreements.
 
[Grain Embargo] We oppose Mr. Carter’s singling out of the American farmer to bear the brunt of his failed foreign policy by imposition of a partial and incompetently managed grain embargo. Because of his failure to obtain cooperation from other grain exporting countries, the embargo has been a travesty and a substitute for policy. We call for immediate lifting of this embargo.
 
[International Economic Policy] The [Carter] Administration has conducted its international economic policy at cross-purposes with other dimensions of its foreign policy, resulting in strains within the Western alliance and a general decline in the domestic prosperity. Under a Republican Administration, our international economic policy will be harmonized with our foreign and defense policies to leave no doubt as to the strategy and purpose of American policy.
 
[The Security of Energy and Raw Materials Access] The security of America’s foreign sources of energy and raw material supply can no longer be ignored. The United States imports 50 percent of its domestic petroleum requirements, and depends upon foreign sources for 22 of the 74 non-fuel raw materials essential to a modern industrial economy. Nine of the most critical raw materials are almost entirely (i.e., more than 90 percent) located abroad. In contrast, the Soviet Union imports only two critical minerals at a level in excess of 50 percent of domestic consumption. . . .
 
Democratic policies for federal land management, taxation, monetary policy and economic regulation have served to increase America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy and raw materials. . . . Republicans pledge to promote allied defense cooperation to assure protection from military threats to overseas resources. (headings added)15
Staffing International Economics Policy. Early in the administration, a group was established in the NSC staff on International Economics, bolstered over the next several months to include “Reaganauts” dedicated to supporting Reagan’s determination to shift existing policies to lead a full-court economic press on the Soviet Union. A year later, NSDD 25—Preparations for the Economic and NATO Summits, issued on February 12, 1982, describes the detailed special NSC-led Interagency arrangements that were becoming standard procedure for preparing for close work with the Allies, as in the June 1982 Economic and NATO summits and other major events of policy importance.
 
Taking on the KGB’ on the “Farewell Dossier”—1981—1984. An unclassified 1996 article on the CIA’s public website by Gus N. Weiss, a former official on Reagan’s NSC Staff, outlines the extraordinary long-secret developments approved by Reagan and led by NSC and CIA officials to allow the United States ability to damage the Soviet economy by “spoofing” sensitive high-technology products sought by eager Soviet agents through U.S. intelligence channels. The article, “Duping the Soviets—The Farewell Dossier,” reports 
 
[Book pg. 182]

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