PREPARING IN 1982 FOR COLD WAR VICTORY – NO. 1 IN A SERIES

This is the first blog in a series on how the Reagan administration in 1982 started to prepare for the fall of the Soviet Union which came about in 1991.

Introduction

William P. Clark, a judge and rancher, a long time associate of President Ronald Reagan, was appointed Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs on January 4, 1982. Clark was to remain in the position until late 1983 and came to be a leading force in preparing for American cold war victory.

He aimed at a more coordinated national security strategy and in March of 1982 the president signed a national security decision directive (NSDD 32), that would transform U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union. It was proactive and broke with the past. Ronald Reagan made clear that he would not accept domination by Moscow of its satellites.

The principal objectives were a covert support of underground anticommunist movements behind the Iron Curtain. Psychological operations would be directed at the region with radio broadcasts of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

Furthermore the United States would use trade and diplomacy to loosen the grip of Moscow.

The Polish Crisis

The Polish crisis offered good opportunities to put the rules laid down in the directive to work. Martial law had been introduced in Poland in December of 1981. Polish General Woyciech Jaruzelski had taken over power supported by Moscow. In late January 1982 he in the Polish parliament he declared that martial law would continue. Over 4,000 opponents to the regime had been interned. But demonstrations continued as in Gdansk on January 31, 1982, and in February the regime had to arrest at least additional 3,000.

(To becontinued)

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