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

that in 1981, Reagan, CIA Director William Casey, and NSC staff authorized the sending of self-destroying bogus products to Soviet buyers to exploit information provided by a defecting Soviet KGB official (Col. Vladimir Vetrov), who was working with French intelligence, to obtain the KGB Directorate T’s “Line X” priority list of Soviet intelligence collection requirements for western technology. The effort lasted until 1984.
Poland-Related Trade Sanctions—December 1981. A major economic warfare decision made by Reagan in his first year as president involved deterring a full-scale Soviet invasion of Poland. Further reviewed in Chapter 19, as Soviet pressure on Poland reached a crisis point in 1981, Reagan warned about Soviet military moves and announced a unilateral ban on U.S. shipments of oil, gas, equipment, and technology to the Soviet Union’s Siberian pipeline project.
NSC Documents and an Intelligence Estimate on Oil, Gas, and Pipeline Sanctions—1982. The above and related steps, several quite controversial within the NATO alliance and within his cabinet (where the Secretary of State tended to oppose them), are referenced in NSDD 24—Concerning Oil and Gas Equipment Exports to the USSR and Restricting Credits, issued on February 9, 1982; a NSC 51—Meeting on Pipeline Sanctions on June 18, 1982; NSDD 41—December 30, 1981 Sanctions on Oil and Gas Equipment Exports to the USSR, issued on June 22, 1982; and a National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 3—11/2—82—The Soviet Gas Pipeline in Perspective, issued on September 21, 1982 (See NSSD 9-82 Comprehensive U.S. Energy Policy, April 20, 1982.)
NSDD 66. NSDD 66—International Economics, issued on November 22, 1982, is further detailed in Chapter 19 on countering Soviet Imperialism in Poland and Eastern Europe. The directive demonstrates that Poland was an early focus of major U.S.-Soviet confrontations, whereby the United States (and later its allies) applied strong economic steps and warnings that helped deter a possible Soviet invasion. Reagan’s strong economic and diplomatic support of the independent Solidarity movement added substantial pressure on the Soviet Union and Poland’s path of political and economic reform contributed greatly to the coming anti-Communist, anti-Soviet revolutions in Eastern Europe.
NSSD 14—82. NSSD 14—82 Scientific Communication and National Security, issued on December 23, 1982, sets terms of reference for the analyses required to develop a presidential directive on this subject.
NSDD 75: U.S. Objectives and Steps—January 1983. The authoritative document on Reagan’s Grand Strategy on dealing with the Soviet Union, NSDD 75—U.S. Relations with the USSR, issued on January 17, 1983 (see Topic 8 above), contains a section on a tougher economic policy toward the Soviet Union, directly in line with earlier Reagan policy documents like his Republican Platform—1980 and NSDD 66 reviewed earlier. According to NSDD 75:
Economic Policy: U.S. policy on economic relations with the USSR must serve strategic and foreign policy goals as well as economic interests. In this context, U.S. objectives are:
  • Above all, to ensure that East-West economic relations do not facilitate the Soviet military buildup. This requires prevention of the transfer of technology and equipment that would make a substantial contribution directly or indirectly to Soviet military power.
  • To avoid subsidizing the Soviet economy or unduly easing the burden of Soviet resource allocation decisions, so as not to dilute pressures for structural change in the Soviet system.
  • To seek to minimize the potential for Soviet exercise of reverse leverage on Western countries based on trade, energy supply, and financial relationships.
  • To permit mutual beneficial trade without Western subsidization or the creation of Western dependence—with the USSR in non-strategic areas, such as grains.
The U.S. must exercise strong leadership with its Allies and others to develop a common understanding of the strategic implications of East-West trade, building upon the agreement announced November 13, 1982 (see NSDD 66). This approach should involve efforts to reach agreements with the Allies on specific measures, such as: (a) no incremental deliveries of Soviet gas beyond the amounts contracted for from the first strand of the Siberian pipeline; (b) the addition of critical technologies and equipment to the COCOM list, the harmonization of national licensing procedures for COCOM, and substantial improvement of the coordination and effectiveness of international enforcement efforts; (c) controls on advanced technology and equipment beyond the expanded COCOM list, including equipment in the oil and gas sector; (d) further restraints on officially-backed credits such as higher down payments, shortened maturities and an established framework to monitor this process; and (e) the strengthening of the role of the OECD and NATO in East-West trade analysis and policy.
[Book pg. 183]