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Masterpieces of History

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Svetlana Savranskaya
, 
Thomas Blanton
, 
Vladislav Zubok

U.S. Policy and the Revolutions of 1989, by Thomas Blanton

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  • 1 For the images and sounds, see the TV documentary series CNN Cold War, Episode 23, “The Wall Comes (...)

1The Cold War met a miraculous end during the late 1980s, with neither a bang nor a whimper. Instead, the lasting images of the Cold War’s demise were almost all peaceful (except in Romania) yet incandescent. Hammers and chisels reduced the Berlin Wall to souvenir rocks while Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” blared out over the Brandenburg Gate. A demonstrator handed dandelions to armored police in front of signs that said “Havel to the Castle,” and within days, indeed, the dissident playwright became President of Czechoslovakia. Grizzled union activists from Solidarity celebrated their 99-to-1 victory in Polish elections, as workers’ ballots evicted the dictatorship of the proletariat. Goulash reformers took down the barbed wire on Hungary’s borders and thousands of East Germans boarded trains to the West—the beginning of the end for the Berlin Wall. Even the Securitate’s violent last stand in Bucharest and Timisoara—snipers on the rooftops and a rushed show trial for the last Stalinist standing (Ceauşescu)—provided the exception that proved the rule.1 This all took place in the year of miracles, 1989; but hardly anyone predicted such an end for Stalin’s empire, for the division of Europe, or for the Cold War.

  • 2 These questions, which shaped the Musgrove conference and our research agenda, were most usefully (...)
  • 3 See Blanton, “When Did the Cold War End?” Multiple participants in the Musgrove dialogue make the (...)

2Why did the Cold War end? And why did it end peacefully? How did it happen that an empire founded on conquest by Stalin’s armies and repression by secret police chose not to strike back, not to use violence as the end approached?2 Did the policies of the United States win the Cold War, or was the outcome the result of processes mostly internal to the Soviet Union? Was the growing disparity between the economies of West and East the key factor in the Soviet Union essentially giving up the fight, or was the “new thinking” of Soviet leaders more crucial to the end of the Cold War? Answers to these questions are as varied as the arguments about why the Cold War started. There is even debate over when exactly the Cold War did end, and confusion over the relationship between that ending and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union.3

3This essay seeks to analyze the actual role of the United States in the events leading up and culminating in 1989 in Eastern Europe. For the purposes of this book, the essay brings to the table some of the more useful memoir and secondary accounts on the U.S. side, providing context and a more analytical American perspective on the extraordinary documents and dialogue that are the heart of this volume. At the outset, it must be said that U.S. policy towards Eastern Europe did not substantially change in the 1980s, that U.S. assessments did not predict the revolutions of 1989, and that American documentation is not particularly explanatory for what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989—which is why the editors of this volume have not included here more than a sampling of U.S. primary sources. Yet because the secondary literature (so much of it written by Americans) makes such large claims for the U.S. role, and because the new Soviet evidence alters the received narratives in appreciable ways, this essay attempts to sort out what mattered and what really did not in the history of U.S. policy up to and including 1989.

  • 4 Time magazine remarked that Reagan had been “a kind of living time capsule of the American Century (...)
  • 5 The most prominent such accounts are by Schweizer, Victory; Schweizer, The Fall of the Berlin Wall (...)
  • 6 The Economist, June 12, 2004.
  • 7 For the realists, see Brooks and Wohlforth, “Power, Globalization, and the End of the Cold War.” T (...)
  • 8 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 457; quoted in Matlock, Reagan and Gorbachev, 302.

4The subject of the U.S. role in the end of the Cold War is certainly contested terrain, perhaps not as much among scholars as in the popular press and the public imagination. The death of former President Ronald Reagan in 2004, after a tragic decade suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, brought an outpouring of encomiums that elaborated on the popular idea that Reagan should get the credit for winning the Cold War.4 No few Reagan administration officials had already staked out this ground, aided and abetted by several prominent book authors primarily of a conservative orientation.5 Leading the obituaries, the cover of The Economist magazine made the claim explicit as the headline on a formal photographic portrait of the late President: “The Man Who Beat Communism.”6 Few of the Reagan assessments at the time took a critical view of this notion, missing altogether the prevailing scholarly debate over the end of the Cold War, which pitted realists who saw the Soviet economic crisis and global market transformations as leaving the USSR with little choice but to retreat from empire, versus constructivists and liberals who emphasized the power of ideas and international norms, in effect Gorbachev’s “new thinking” combined with his miscalculations, as ending the Cold War.7 Notably, when asked directly if he deserved the credit for the changes in Soviet behavior, Reagan himself had remarked, in a Moscow summit press conference in May 1988, “Mr. Gorbachev deserves most of the credit, as the leader of this country.”8

  • 9 For the texts of the summit memcons and a wide range of the preparatory and follow-up documents on (...)
  • 10 For a concise history of Soviet perception on this point, see Mastny, The Cold War and Soviet Inse (...)
  • 11 For an eloquent recent account of the Thatcher factor with Gorbachev, see Brown, “The Change to En (...)

5But the either/or debate about Reagan misunderestimates, as a later Bush might have said, a third possibility—that in fact it was the interaction between Reagan and Gorbachev, especially at the series of summits from Geneva in 1985 through Governors’ Island in 1988, that constituted the primary U.S. contribution to the end of the Cold War, by reducing the sense of threat in Moscow and thus enabling Gorbachev in his efforts to change Soviet policy.9 Specifically, Reagan’s oft-repeated and evidently sincere abhorrence of nuclear weapons, his commitment to abolition, his understanding that there could be “no winners” in a nuclear war—all served to undercut the core Soviet Cold War insecurity, the fear of a Western first strike (like Hitler’s blitzkrieg) or a Western invasion (such as the intervention on the side of the “Whites” in the Russian civil war).10 Combined with a generational shift among the leaders in Moscow, Reagan’s abolitionism encouraged Gorbachev’s “new thinking” and undermined the Soviet military’s unrelenting pressure for more spending. Combined with Gorbachev’s increasing “peer group” interactions with other Western Europeans, in particular Margaret Thatcher (herself no abolitionist),11 the summit encounters with Reagan gave the Soviet leader a new understanding of the Western sense of threat—and some ideas for reducing that sense, often unilaterally.

  • 12 For examples of the dysfunctional internal workings of the Reagan administration with specific ref (...)
  • 13 For an insightful early appreciation of Reagan’s interaction with Gorbachev, see Garthoff, Détente (...)

6Of course, Reagan’s theological commitment to missile defense (the so-called Strategic Defense Initiative, colloquially known as “Star Wars”) worked in the opposite direction, giving Gorbachev nightmares of what he kept calling “space-strike” weapons. Also threatening were the U.S. military buildup under Carter and Reagan (which looked to Moscow like the makings of a first-strike strategy), the periodic flare-ups of the spy wars between the KGB and the CIA, and the often-bellicose rhetoric produced by the White House speechwriters and many members of the Reagan administration.12 Yet the face-to-face summit meetings palpably undercut the hard-line tendencies on both sides of the Cold War. In person, Reagan kept offering to share SDI, an offer Gorbachev could never quite trust, yet the underlying notion of cooperative security made its own contribution to the “new thinking.”13 Not until 1987 did Gorbachev exorcise for himself the “space-strike” nightmare, realizing that missile defenses likely would not work and could be overwhelmed by a much smaller expenditure on additional missiles. But the impasse on SDI, together with political developments on the U.S. side, created huge delays in completing much more extensive arms reductions. These missed opportunities suggest some evocative counterfactuals about the end of the Cold War. Likewise, the fact that U.S. policy towards Eastern Europe—the center of this book—did not appreciably change from the old-style “differentiation” all the way through 1988, sets the stage for Americans to remain in the wings through 1989 as well.

  • 14 The most eloquent argument for “grand strategy” may be found in Hutchings, American Diplomacy.
  • 15 The argument outlined in this paragraph and subsequently in this essay owes a particular intellect (...)

7The documents and dialogue in this book suggest that the main contribution of the George H.W. Bush administration to the peaceful end of the Cold War was its passivity during 1989—the infamous “pause” in U.S.-Soviet relations—because this opened a kind of vacuum between the superpowers into which the East Europeans, both reform communists and opposition dissidents, could rush to make the revolutions of 1989. Contrary to Bush administration insiders who subsequently posited a “grand strategy” that put Eastern Europe at the center of U.S.-Soviet relations, the documentary record suggests that leadership actually came from the Eastern Europeans—ranging from the unprecedented mass movement of Solidarity in Poland, to the modest example when the reform communists in Hungary and Poland persuaded Bush during his July 1989 trip to the region to cease his pause and reach out to Gorbachev for a summit (ultimately held at Malta after the Berlin Wall had already fallen).14 Similarly, the documents prove that the diplomatic initiative for the reunification of Germany came not from the U.S., but from West German chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose voluminous conversations with President Bush show the American almost always following, not leading, and even pleading for Kohl’s guidance, while Kohl himself raced to keep up with events on the ground in Berlin and Leipzig, as East Germans drove toward unification.15

8This essay argues that the hard-line skeptical view of Gorbachev that dominated the Bush White House in 1989 (contrary to Reagan’s ultimate judgment, and even to the staff-level assessment in the CIA) cost the U.S. more than just that one year of missed opportunities for greater arms reductions. That missed year featured a continuous decline in Gorbachev’s own capacity—given his domestic political situation—to deliver greater arms reductions and security increases, so that the opportunities missed were never to return. The U.S. record is shockingly replete with highest-level expressions of Bush’s personal and political insecurity vis-a-vis Gorbachev—worries that the Soviet leader had the initiative, was more popular in Europe, kept coming up with surprises on arms control—without any apparent awareness, either in the White House or in the U.S. military, that all this Soviet initiative dramatically improved U.S. national security, or that even more dramatic disarmament in the U.S. national interest was possible. Ultimately, only in 1991, after the failed coup against Gorbachev, would George Bush make his own unilateral arms cuts—cuts the Soviets had offered as early as 1987, but now too little, too late for any parallel process that would leave the world more secure.

LEAVING ARMS CUTS ON THE TABLE

  • 16 For a sample of the coverage, see Michael A. Fletcher and Philip P. Pan, “U.S.-Russia Summit Bring (...)
  • 17 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 185.

9The pattern beginning in 1985 of Soviet breakthroughs in new thinking that went mostly uncredited, disbelieved, and disrespected in Washington would continue through the end of the Reagan administration, and well into the George H.W. Bush years. Left on the table were extraordinary possibilities for nuclear and conventional arms reduction and a safer world—potentials that left such unfinished business, even in 2009, that the American president Barack Obama would venture to a Moscow summit with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev (and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin) where the first two subjects concerned strategic weapons cuts (to levels not even as low as those discussed by Reagan and Gorbachev) and missile defense (the controversial U.S. plan for bases in Poland and the Czech Republic).16 It is worth reprising some of that history to see what might have been, to cast some additional light on what U.S. policy achieved and missed achieving. As early as February 1987, according to Douglas MacEachin in the Musgrove transcript, the sequence of arms reduction proposals and concessions by the Soviets was nothing short of astounding. Geneva’s 50 percent cuts in missiles followed by Reykjavik’s abolition in 10 years then set the stage for success in abolishing intermediate range missiles (INF), the so-called “zero-zero option” originally proposed by U.S. hardliners primarily because they were sure the Soviets would never give up their weapons. “Even more damaging to those who thought the answer to zero-zero was going to be a forever ‘no,’ we also got a ‘yes’ to intrusive on-site inspections. This was a new era.”17

  • 18 Record of Conversation Between S.F. Akhromeyev and P. Nitze at the U.S. State Department, December (...)
  • 19 For a detailed account based on comparing and contrasting the various memoirs, see FitzGerald, Way (...)
  • 20 Document No. 17, [Robert M. Gates], Memorandum, Subject: Gorbachev’s Gameplan: The Long View, Nove (...)
  • 21 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 187.

10Yet the INF Treaty was the most that Gorbachev would ever get until it was too late for him to really deliver from the Soviet side. Gorbachev wanted not just the zero option on INF in 1987 and 1988, but also the 50 percent across-the-board reductions that were contemplated in the START proposals, but Washington’s poverty of imagination plus opposition from hardliners (especially the military services) prevented any progress. The new thinking was perhaps most evident when the Soviets proposed—to the shock of the Americans—far more intrusive on-site inspections and verifications than the U.S. military services would agree to: When Marshal Akhromeyev offered to allow on-site counting of the bombs deployed on each bomber, it was the American negotiator, Paul Nitze, who demurred.18 Similarly, at the Washington summit, Gorbachev introduced the idea of major conventional cuts along with a mutual ban on chemical weapons and both sides ending their arms flows into Central America (supposedly a longtime goal of Reagan policy), but the “pragmatists” were completely unprepared, as was Reagan.19 One reason why centered around the continuing suspicion in Washington about Gorbachev, the persisting disbelief that Gorbachev represented anything really new. The top U.S. intelligence analyst on the Soviet Union, Robert Gates (then deputy director of the CIA, who subsequently failed upwards to positions as high as Secretary of Defense), wrote a memo forwarded to the President and top Cabinet officials just before the Washington summit that described Gorbachev almost 180 degrees from the reality. Gates predicted that Gorbachev’s reforms were merely “breathing space” before “further increase in Soviet military power and political influence,” that Gorbachev would only agree to arms deals “that protect existing Soviet advantages” and undermine “Alliance cohesion,” and that Gorbachev remained committed to Third World adventures (only three months later, the Soviets would announce the pullout from Afghanistan).20 We can add this kind of blindered thinking to the list of reasons that Jack Mat-lock gave in the Musgrove transcript: “we could have gotten a START agreement and other things in 1988” had it not been for Iran-Contra and the replacement of top aides like Poindexter, who truly supported the arms reduction and nuclear abolition agenda of the President.21

11Despite frustration on the larger goals of major arms reductions, the interaction with Reagan was exactly what Gorbachev saw in his takeaway from the Washington summit, where he praised Reagan to the Politburo for the “human factor”:

  • 22 Anatoly Chernyaev, notes from December 1987 Politburo session, quoted in Chernyaev, My Six Years W (...)

In Washington, probably for the first time we clearly realized how much the human factor means in international politics. Before… we treated such personal contacts as simply meetings between representatives of opposed and irreconcilable systems. Reagan for us was merely the spokesman of the most conservative part of American capitalism and its military-industrial complex. But it turns out that politicians, including leaders of governments if they are really responsible people, represent purely human concerns, interests, and the hopes of ordinary people—people who vote for them in elections and who associate their leaders’ names and personal abilities with the country’s image and patriotism. The people are guided by the most natural human motives and feelings. In our age, it turns out, this has the biggest impact on political decisions…22

  • 23 State Department cable, “Moscow Summit Briefing Materials,” June 8, 1988, Document No. 27 in Thoma (...)
  • 24 Garthoff, The Great Transition, 356.

12The Moscow summit in May—June 1988 also made its major contribution on the spectrum of “the human factor.” But the American side missed another opportunity in Gorbachev’s proposed statement against the use of military force to address international problems—officials resisted old Soviet language like “peaceful coexistence” and probably also had in mind U.S. support for proxy wars such as in Nicaragua. The State Department’s summary of the summit reported that “we had to bring the Soviets back down to earth” and “we were not going back to the kind of vague concepts we had seen in the 1970s that were subject to differing interpretations and could result in misunderstandings and recriminations.”23 Yet at the closing press conference, Gorbachev made clear that an American endorsement of the “new thinking” and rejection of “military means” would have helped him enormously in his efforts to restructure Soviet foreign and military policy, so he was disappointed that “the opportunity to take a big stride in shaping civilized international relations has been missed.”24

  • 25 National Security Decision Directive 54, August 1982, spelled out the differentiation policy.
  • 26 Speech by Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead, “The U.S. Approach to Eastern Europe: A Fresh (...)

13Just as in arms control, U.S. policy towards Eastern Europe stayed the same in the late 1980s despite the evidence of change in Soviet policy. The decades-old notion of “differentiation” still drove American relations with the countries of the Soviet bloc, and within “differentiation” the degree of independence from Moscow of a country’s foreign policies mattered more than that country’s internal levels of repression.25 Thus Romania’s Nikolae Ceauşescu, the prickly Stalinist who denounced the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia (fearing he would be next), kept raising toasts with U.S. Presidents from Nixon to Reagan, despite running his country as a gulag. In the most authoritative statement of U.S. policy at the end of the Reagan tenure, the Deputy Secretary of State, John Whitehead, endorsed differentiation and pronounced in January 1988, “Let us be clear, the long-run Soviet interest in maintaining a hegemonic relationship with Eastern Europe has not changed.”26 In fact, as the evidence in this volume shows, that interest had long changed.

  • 27 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 140.
  • 28 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 172.
  • 29 Mikhail Gorbachev subsequently wrote that these words were the most important result of the Moscow (...)

14But even among analysts who saw the change in Soviet policy, there were blinders and missed opportunities. Douglas MacEachin in the Musgrove discussion described having received a draft CIA estimate in 1987 that said “obviously any government that accepts itself as communist will be permitted by Moscow, without being threatened with the use of force.” MacEachin called the analyst who drafted the estimate and suggested taking up an additional question: “what is going to be the effect, if all East European governments believe what we have said we believe regarding the non-use of force?” But “I never did follow up on that question.”27 “The question that we did not ask in 1987 was: if it is true that national communism is now the best outcome, and is acceptable to the Soviet government, to Gorbachev, when will the Poles believe that? Now we understand that it might take them a little longer, and certainly the Czechs, and certainly the Hungarians, all having had some unhappy experience… And once they did believe that, why were they going to stop necessarily at national communism?”28 When intervention was so costly in every measure, of course Moscow was not going to send in the tanks; the real question was when would the Eastern Europeans figure this out and act accordingly. In this light, Ronald Reagan was the only one in the U.S. government who got it: Evil empire? “No, that was another time, another era.”29

  • 30 For further discussion of the reasons why Washington did not pursue what Gorbachev was ready to co (...)

15The Moscow summit certainly reinforced the reform dynamics in Moscow and encouraged the progress that led to Gorbachev’s U.N. speech, but produced no action on arms control, primarily because presidential nominee Bush didn’t want anything negotiated during the campaign season of 1988 that could jeopardize his right flank. The pragmatists around Reagan, like defense secretary Frank Carlucci and national security adviser Colin Powell, were protecting that flank, plus Reagan’s own abolitionist urges had been partially sated by the INF treaty. For Washington, also, nuclear arms reductions had gotten out ahead of conventional cuts, where there was significant Soviet advantage in Europe, so U.S. officials held up progress on the former, never anticipating in their pragmatic bias that Gorbachev would embrace major, even unilateral, reductions in Soviet conventional forces.30 In retrospect, 1988 qualified as a lost year, but worse was to come.

  • 31 For the UPI/Corbis photo of the officer with the “football” in Red Square, see Schwartz, Atomic Au (...)
  • 32 Alessandra Stanley, “More Worldly Than Wise,” Time, August 15, 1988, 18, quoted in Oberdorfer, The (...)

16While President Reagan strolled buoyantly through Moscow during his May 1988 summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush vacationed at the family summer house in Kennebunkport, Maine. On June 1, 1988, the newspapers featured the surreal photograph of the U.S. President walking in Red Square next to the Kremlin, with a U.S. military officer only a few feet away carrying the locked briefcase (the so-called “football”) with the codes that would launch U.S. nuclear weapons—the largest single number of which would land precisely where Reagan and the officer were standing.31 Starved for news in Kennebunkport, reporters wrung a dour reaction from the Vice President to the euphoria in Moscow. Bush commented, “The Cold War’s not over.”32 And indeed, this attitude would characterize the Bush administration’s reactions to Gorbachev for a long time to come, and all through 1989.

THE IDEOLOGICAL END OF THE COLD WAR

  • 33 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 110.

17The most astute observers of the Soviet Union saw the Cold War ending even before the Moscow summit. In the Musgrove transcript, Jack Matlock describes reading “the most convincing evidence” of Soviet change when he saw the theses for the CPSU 19th Party Conference, which were issued at the moment when Matlock and the Reagan party were in Helsinki, Finland, on their way to Moscow in May 1988. Matlock was “electrified” and found an equally excited reading from the scholar of Russia and Librarian of Congress James Billington, also part of the Reagan group, who said to Matlock, “this is world-shaking.” The next morning, according to Matlock, he told President Reagan “we are in a new ball game” and “this is going to be a different country”—“when I saw a Communist Party document that borrowed more from the American Constitution than from Marxism-Leninism, I was impressed.”33

  • 34 For the full text of Gorbachev’s speech, see FBIS-SOV-99-236, December 8, 1988, 11-19.
  • 35 “Gorbachev’s Conference with Advisers on Drafting the U.N. Speech, October 31, 1988,” Document No. (...)

18For those who were less attentive to Party documents, the ideological end of the Cold War arrived at the end of 1988. On December 7, 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev made his famous speech at the United Nations, explicitly endorsing the “common interests of mankind” (no longer the class struggle) as the basis of Soviet foreign policy and, significantly for Eastern Europe, declaring “the compelling necessity of the principle of freedom of choice” as “a universal principle to which there should be no exceptions.” Gorbachev particularly surprised CIA and NATO officials with his announcement of unilateral cuts in Soviet forces totaling 500,000 soldiers, and the withdrawal from Eastern Europe of thousands of tanks and tens of thousands of troops.34 According to the internal Soviet evidence, Gorbachev sought to create a bookend for the Cold War that had been declared by Winston Churchill in Fulton, Missouri with his “Iron Curtain” speech of 1947: Gorbachev told his advisers the UN speech should be “an anti-Fulton, Fulton in reverse.”35

19Reaction in the West ranged from disbelief to astonishment. The New York Times editorialized:

  • 36 The New York Times, December 8, 1988, 34.

Perhaps not since Woodrow Wilson presented his Fourteen Points in 1918 or since Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill promulgated the Atlantic Charter in 1941 has a world figure demonstrated the vision Mikhail Gorbachev displayed yesterday at the United Nations.36

  • 37 Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “The CIA’s Credibility,” The National Interest (Winter 1995/96), 111.
  • 38 Goodpaster quoted in Oberdorfer, The Turn, 319.
  • 39 Garthoff, “Estimating Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities,” 28.

20Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan summed up as follows: “In December 1988, Gorbachev went to the General Assembly of the United Nations and declared, ‘We in no way aspire to be the bearer of ultimate truth.’ That has to have been the most astounding statement of surrender in the history of ideological struggle.”37 For other observers of Gorbachev’s speech, it was not so much the ideological concessions as the unilateral military cutbacks that most impressed. Retired Gen. Andrew Goodpaster, a former NATO commander and top aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, called the cuts “the most significant step since NATO was founded” and said they opened the way to broad military reductions on both sides.38 Longtime Soviet analyst and former U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria Raymond Gar-thoff noted that “the impact of this reduction was even greater than the numbers; it meant unilaterally giving up the preponderant armored striking capability of the Warsaw Pact for any attack on the West, as subsequent [CIA] estimates acknowledged.”39

  • 40 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 171; also see Document No. 7 in Svetlana Savranskaya and T (...)

21In the Musgrove transcript, Douglas MacEachin remarked that he was testifying before Congress at the exact moment Gorbachev delivered his United Nations speech, and the contrast made for one of the more dramatic moments in U.S. analysis of the Soviet Union—and explains much of the conflict that carried over into the incoming Bush administration. Behind closed doors at the Senate Intelligence Committee and accompanied by the CIA’s other two most senior Soviet analysts, MacEachin opened his testimony by saying “in about 15 minutes or so we may find out if one of my analytical judgments is going to turn out to be correct,” referring to his prediction that Gorbachev will have to cut the proportion of Soviet resources that go to the military. At the same time, MacEachin disparaged the “plausible but totally unfounded story of very large cuts.” Later he said his colleague Bob “Blackwell just went down the hall to watch some” of the U.N. speech on television, and he mentions the “news bulletin” of the 500,000 troop cut, calling the discussion “analysis on the fly.”40

22MacEachin remarked that “if Gorbachev is successful he will cause major social displacement in the United States” because “[t]here are not many homes for old wizards of Armageddon, and it is kind of like old case officers trying to find employment.” And MacEachin offered a true confession in another extraordinary passage, which demonstrates how prior assumptions about Soviet behavior, rather than actual intelligence data points, actually drove intelligence findings:

  • 41 Ibid., 37-38.

Now, we spend megadollars studying political instability in various places around the world, but we never really looked at the Soviet Union as a political entity in which there were factors building which could lead to the kind of—at least the initiation of political transformation that we seem to see. It does not exist to my knowledge. Moreover, had it existed inside the government, we never would have been able to publish it anyway, quite frankly. And had we done so, people would have been calling for my head. And I wouldn’t have published it. In all honesty, had we said a week ago that Gorbachev might come to the UN and offer a unilateral cut of 500,000 in the military, we would have been told we were crazy. We had a difficult enough time getting air space for the prospect of some unilateral cuts of 50 to 60,000.41

  • 42 NIE 4-3/8-88, quoted in Garthoff, “Estimating Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities,” 28.
  • 43 Quoted in Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, 48.
  • 44 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 117. See also Document No. 33, CIA Intelligence Assessment (...)

23In fact, the National Intelligence Estimate issued just a week before the U.N. speech (and MacEachin’s testimony) stated baldly: “to date… we have not detected changes under Gorbachev that clearly illustrate either new security concepts or new resource constraints are taking hold.”42 MacEachin’s boss, Deputy CIA Director Robert Gates, was already on the record pushing an even harder line: In his speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in October 1988, Gates declared that “The Soviet leader’s real purpose … was to use detente to grab Western technology and improve the Soviet military machine: ‘The dictatorship of the Communist Party remains untouched and untouchable.’ Should the United States want to help revitalize the Soviet system? ‘I think not.’”43 Gates delivered this speech even after the 19th Party Conference, whose theses so impressed Matlock and Billington, and after the Central Committee restructuring and purge of Gorbachev opponents that occurred in September 1988, which MacEachin in the Musgrove transcript described as a “Rubicon”—“before that happened there was still room for those who wanted to disparage the implications of events in the USSR to make their arguments.”44

THE BUSH TRANSITION: FROM DOVES TO HAWKS

  • 45 Document No. 35, Transcript of CPSU Politburo Meeting, December 27-28, 1988.
  • 46 Memorandum of Conversation, “The President’s Private Meeting with Gorbachev,” December 7, 1988, 1: (...)

24Douglas MacEachin and his professionals would continue to have difficulty getting air space for any optimistic prognostications about Gorbachev’s changes. Little of the rest of the world’s amazement was evident in the highest-level U.S. government reaction to the U.N. speech. At the Governors Island meeting the next day, for example, President Reagan remarked to Gorbachev only that “he had had a brief report on it, and it all sounded good to him.” President-elect Bush demurred when Gorbachev tried to jump-start arms control discussions—much to Gorbachev’s frustration, since the Soviet leader intended his U.N. speech precisely to launch fast progress with the new administration and a new round of arms cuts. To the Soviet Politburo, Gorbachev described the moment this way: “[W]hen I managed to tear myself away from Reagan, I spoke to Bush about this indecisiveness. He snapped back: You must understand my position. I cannot, according to American tradition, come to the fore until a formal transfer of power has taken place.”45 According to the American memcon, Bush remarked that “he would need a little time to review the issues” (what had he been doing for eight years as Vice President?) but “wished to build on what President Reagan had accomplished, working with Gorbachev.” Bush described the “theory” behind his “new team” as “to revitalize things by putting in new people.” Ironically, Bush insisted “he had no intention of stalling things. He naturally wanted to formulate prudent national security policies, but he intended to go forward.”46

  • 47 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 6, 17.
  • 48 Matlock, Autopsy on an Empire, 185.

25But stalling was the defining characteristic of the early Bush administration. To a remarkable degree only obvious in hindsight, the transition from the Reagan administration to the Bush administration in January 1989 was one from doves to hawks. One insider commented later, “Indeed, the foreign policy shift under the Bush administration in 1989 was as stark in substance (though not in style or rhetoric) as the change from Carter to Reagan in 1981”; “[t]hough not quite the hostile takeover of government that characterized” that transition, “[a]n entirely new team came in, representing foreign policy approaches fundamentally at odds with those of the Reagan administration.”47 A key Reagan holdover, U.S. ambassador Matlock, was even more critical: “[W]hile I expected Bush to replace most Cabinet and sub-Cabinet appointees, I was not prepared for his tactics, which resembled a hostile takeover much more than a cooperative transition.”48

26In contrast to Reagan and Shultz, especially, the top Bush officials were intensely skeptical of Gorbachev. National security adviser Brent Scowcroft wrote in his joint memoir with President Bush:

  • 49 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 13.

To oversimplify, I believed that Gorbachev’s goal was to restore dynamism to a socialist political and economic system and revitalize the Soviet Union domestically and internationally to compete with the West. To me, especially before 1990, this made Gorbachev potentially more dangerous than his predecessors, each of whom, through some aggressive move, had saved the West from the dangers of its own wishful thinking about the Soviet Union before it was too late.49

27Scowcroft specifically dismissed the U.N. speech when he described his staunch opposition to any early summit with Gorbachev in 1989:

  • 50 Ibid., 46.

Unless there were substantive accomplishments, such as in arms control, the Soviets would be able to capitalize on the one outcome left—the good feelings generated by the meeting. They would use the resulting euphoria to undermine Western resolve, and a sense of complacency would encourage some to believe the United States could relax its vigilance. The Soviets in general and Gorbachev in particular were masters at creating these enervating atmospheres. Gorbachev’s UN speech had established, with a largely rhetorical flourish, a heady atmosphere of optimism. He could exploit an early meeting with a new president as evidence to declare the Cold War over without providing substantive actions from a ‘new’ Soviet Union. Under the circumstances which prevailed [in 1989], I believed an early summit would only abet the current Soviet propaganda campaign.50

  • 51 Conversation between Alexander Yakovlev and Jack Matlock, December 26, 1988, State Archive of the (...)

28The new Soviet evidence published in this book shows Scowcroft’s analysis to be almost entirely wrong. Not only were substantive arms control accomplishments very much on the table right away, but Gorbachev was willing to address every American security concern, including going much further on conventional arms. Politburo member Alexander Yakovlev told the U.S. ambassador Jack Matlock during their December 26, 1988, meeting that Gorbachev was eager for “joint concrete forward movement on such important directions as reductions of strategic offensive weapons, chemical weapons, conventional armaments, and regional conflicts, without long pauses”! But Matlock could only tell Yakovlev that Bush’s “approaches regarding continuation of U.S.-Soviet negotiations” on arms control would not be ready by February 15, 1989, because “the new President needs time necessary for an in-depth analysis.” Perhaps anticipating the growing distrust and even paranoia in Moscow that would accompany the Bush “pause,” Matlock did assure Yakovlev that “we are not doing anything in the United States—openly or covertly—that would undermine your perestroika.”51

  • 52 Nation, Black Earth, Red Star, 308.
  • 53 Brent Scowcroft, statement on ABC television, January 22, 1989, quoted in Matlock, Reagan and Gorb (...)

29In effect, top Soviet officials announced the end of the Cold War over and over in 1988 and 1989, but they did not hear the resonance they sought from Bush’s Washington, and they had mixed feelings about the loud reverberations they heard in Eastern Europe. In January 1989 in Vienna, for example, Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze greeted the opening of the Conventional Forces in Europe talks by saying that disarmament progress “has shaken the iron curtain, weakened its rusting foundations, pierced new openings, accelerated its corrosion,” and proposed exactly the tactical nuclear withdrawal that the U.S. did not adopt until more than two years later.52 But the new administration rejected this view; only three days after Shevardnadze’s clarion call, the new American national security adviser pronounced on national television, “I think the Cold War is not over.”53

THE KISSINGER CONDOMINIUM AND THE BUSH SEARCH FOR “VISION”

  • 54 Garthoff, The Great Transition, 320, 325.

30As Gorbachev skeptics, the new President and his advisers were interested to hear from the premier Cold Warrior himself, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who had played the “China card” among so many other moves to contain Soviet power. During the 1980s, Kissinger had worked to ingratiate himself with the hardliners of the Reagan administration, never quite understanding that the President himself was eager to go beyond detente, beyond freezing the arms race, to make a deal with the Soviet Union that would end nuclear weapons. Kissinger had denounced the Reykjavik proposals (only to embrace nuclear abolition when it became more fashionable in 2007), and even egregiously claimed that the INF Treaty in 1987 would weaken the NATO alliance and seriously damage American and European security.54 Such views did not disqualify him with the new President-elect and his top adviser, Brent Scowcroft, who received Kissinger on December 18, 1988, a month before the inauguration.

  • 55 For example, “weak” and “unsophisticated” were some of the adjectives used by Kissinger about Bush (...)
  • 56 The most detailed account, given the continued classification of the Bush Library memcon of this m (...)
  • 57 The original remains classified at the Bush Library, but this book publishes Anatoly Chernyaev’s v (...)
  • 58 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 178.

31Kissinger had planned a trip to Moscow, and hoped to become the senior player and essential “back channel” to Moscow that the Reagan administration had never allowed him to be. Brent Scowcroft had served under Kissinger in the Nixon National Security Council, replaced Kissinger as President Ford’s top adviser, and then became the president of Kissinger Associates in private life (joining Kissinger in the 1987 opposition to the INF Treaty), while Bush had experienced a more complicated relationship with Kissinger, not infrequently marked by mutual disdain.55 Yet, Kissinger’s core concern about instability in Europe resonated with both Bush and Scowcroft, and they listened with real interest to Kissinger’s idea of a cooperative superpower process, perhaps even a “condominium” (with Kissinger at its center, of course, engaged in secret diplomacy between Moscow and Washington) to maintain the balance of power and manage the pace of change in Eastern Europe.56 The letter Bush gave Kissinger to take to Moscow did not include an endorsement of the idea;57 in fact, Jack Matlock in the Musgrove dialogue dismissed the letter as nothing more than “a courtesy letter, the sort former Secretaries of State and former Presidents usually get from a sitting President, a sort of letter of introduction.” But Matlock admitted that Bush’s Secretary of State, James Baker, was actively considering Kissinger’s proposals for a time, even though “[n]egotiating the future of Eastern Europe was, I thought, the last thing we needed to do”—calling up bad memories of the Yalta conference at the end of World War II.58 In the absence of any developed strategy, and in the context of suspicion of Gorbachev, Kissinger’s characteristic realpolitik had a certain real appeal; Bush, Baker, and Scowcroft were looking for “the vision thing” and did not reject the idea out of hand.

  • 59 Document No. 36, Record of Conversation between Yakovlev and Kissinger, January 16, 1989.
  • 60 Document No. 37, Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Kissinger, January 17, 1989.
  • 61 Anatoly Chernyaev, Musgrove transcript, 192.

32In Moscow, Gorbachev was happy to receive Kissinger as evidence that Washington was reaching out to him, even before the inauguration, and showed some interest in the condominium idea, if that was how Bush wanted to proceed. Kissinger’s most substantive meeting, according to the documents, was with Politburo member Alexander Yakovlev, who heard Kissinger proclaim “his closeness to the new president… and to the people comprising his inner circle.” Most strikingly, Kissinger warned that “[i]f the balance of military forces on the continent shifts drastically, ‘a very complicated situation might emerge.’” A direct quote from Kissinger, according to Yakovlev’s memcon, was the statement that “G. Bush, as president, would be willing to work on ensuring conditions in which a political evolution could be possible but a political explosion would not be allowed.” Kissinger also argued that it was in the Soviets’ interest to have American troops in Europe, as “a guarantee against the adventurism of Europeans themselves” and that the goal of U.S.-Soviet dialogue should be to separate “issues of political evolution, which is impossible to stop, from those of security as such... to try to combine the continuation of political evolution with preservation of the status quo in the sphere of security.”59 Kissinger’s subsequent meeting with Gorbachev focused less on the condominium idea, per se, than on Kissinger’s continued effort to put himself in the “confidential channel” that would include his long-time counterpart Anatoly Dobrynin, as well as Scowcroft, as soon as the first days of March.60 Gorbachev’s foreign policy assistant, Anatoly Chernyaev, remarked in the Musgrove transcript that the Soviet leader was not impressed with Kissinger: “We were hoping Kissinger would bring some important message. But he came in with this idea of exchange of Eastern Europe for a ‘good attitude’ from the American side.”61

  • 62 Document No. 39, Gorbachev’s Report to the CPSU CC Politburo regarding his Meeting with the Trilat (...)
  • 63 For the details, including Thomas Friedman’s front page story on March 28, 1989, planted by Baker, (...)

33When Gorbachev told the Politburo about the Kissinger conversations, the Soviet leader indicated some interest, and some caution. Interestingly, Gorbachev used the diminutive “Kisa” (cat) to refer to Kissinger, with connotations also of slinking around, as well as a movie reference to the pretentious deluded aristocrat in a classic Soviet film of the 1960s. Gorbachev said, “Kisa hinted at the idea of a USSR-USA condominium over Europe. He was hinting that Japan, Germany, Spain and South Korea were on the rise, and so, let us make an agreement so that the ‘Europeans do not misbehave.’” Like Bush, Gorbachev did not reject the idea; in fact, Gorbachev said, “We should work on this range of issues also, but in such a way that it would not leak, because in Europe they are most afraid of what they understand the Reykjavik summit to mean... an attempt at conspiracy between the USSR and the USA over Europe.”62 But Secretary of State Baker would leak the concept and Kissinger’s role as the messenger, clearly in order to kill the idea, and perhaps also just to show who was in charge, onto the front pages in late March 1989, to a predictable outcry from angry Europeans as well as most of the American diplomatic corps, who dubbed the plan “Yalta II.”63 Thus died the first hesitant step of the Bush administration towards a strategy and a vision, but perhaps having none was better than embracing this one.

THE BUSH “PAUSE” AND AMERICAN INSECURITY

  • 64 Matlock, Autopsy on an Empire, 177; Chernyaev, My Six Years with Gorbachev, 201.

34Instead of picking up where Reagan had left off, Bush decreed a thorough strategic review of U.S. policy that tied up the bureaucracy and the White House staff for months. The “pause” created a sort of vacuum in superpower relations and put off Bush’s own first summit with Gorbachev for almost a year (December 1989 at Malta). Ambassador Matlock later described this period with a book chapter titled “Washington Fumbles”; while Gorbachev’s national security adviser Anatoly Chernyaev used “The Lost Year” for his own chapter heading—not referring to the loss of Eastern Europe in 1989 but to the missed opportunities for major arms reductions like Reagan’s.64

  • 65 National Security Review 12, “Review of National Defense Strategy,” March 3, 1989, 1. Document No. (...)
  • 66 Ibid., 2, 9.

35President Bush’s orders for the review provide revealing evidence of the caution and limited vision prevailing in his administration. The defense review, only signed in early March because of difficulties getting a Secretary of Defense confirmed (John Tower fell victim to the airing of scandal in his personal life, leaving the job to Dick Cheney, who was even more skeptical about Gorbachev than Scowcroft), featured a major caveat on the first page: “Changes in Soviet domestic and foreign policies, including some announced but not yet implemented, are hopeful signs. But it would be reckless to dismantle our military strength and the policies that have helped make the world less dangerous, and foolish to assume that all dangers have disappeared or than any apparent diminution is irreversible.”65 Yet who was talking about dismantling? The offer on the table from Gorbachev included the Soviet Union going first with unilateral cuts, then engaging in a process of mutual reductions that would enhance both countries’ security. The review order prefaced its nine pages of questions for the bureaucracy to study with the caution that Bush did “not expect this review to invent a new defense strategy for a new world” but rather “how, with limited resources, we can best maintain our strength, preserve our Alliances, and meet our commitments in this changing but still dangerous world.” The largest change the review even contemplated was the possibility of bringing NATO and the Warsaw Pact into approximate parity. The review order also asked a question Ronald Reagan would never have posed in this way: “At what point do negotiated reductions in U.S. strategic force structure cease to be consistent with U.S. security requirements?”66 So much for the idea of nuclear abolition.

  • 67 Yakovlev-Matlock, December 26, 1988, op. cit.
  • 68 Musgrove transcript, 185.
  • 69 Musgrove transcript, 196-197.

36Both Jack Matlock and Henry Kissinger in their respective meetings with Alexander Yakovlev in December 1988 and January 1989 attempted to explain Bush’s intention to put relations on hold while he carried out a cross-the-board review of U.S. policy. Matlock tried to say the pause was only “natural” and “necessary… for a serious study,” and that Bush “appreciates the fact that it is precisely the factor of the improvement of U.S.-Soviet relations that helped him score the victory in the electoral campaign.”67 In fact, the motivations were complicated. In the Musgrove dialogue, Douglas MacEachin commented that the new Bush administration “had to be constantly looking over their back, because everybody from the tougher line of their party was waiting for them to make their first capitulations… [T]hese politics delayed a lot of steps that could have been taken with more confidence by, for example, President Reagan…”68 A State Department eyewitness to the pause, Richard Hermann, commented at the Musgrove conference that even the domestic politics had two dimensions, first that of protecting the new President’s right flank, but also the “vision thing” and “Bush’s lack of it” and “Bush’s desire to create an image of himself as a leader coming out from under the shadow of Reagan … “ so that decisions “would be associated with him, rather than him as a junior to Reagan.” Hermann noted other contributors to the pause, for example the drastic reduction in size of the National Security Council staff as the result of the Iran-Contra scandal, the resulting increased burden on the State Department, the preoccupation of the top State officials James Baker and Dennis Ross in the first months of the administration with personnel and appointments, as well as the ongoing “deep divisions in the intelligence community,” and “to-ing and fro-ing” over whether Gorbachev would actually succeed.69

  • 70 NIE 11-4-89, “Soviet Policy Toward the West: The Gorbachev Challenge,” April 1989.

37The “deep divisions” found unusual expression in the CIA’s own estimate from April 1989 subtitled “The Gorbachev Challenge.” The estimate actually included a section called “Disagreements” that summarized the opposing positions in Washington on Gorbachev. “Some analysts see current policy changes as largely tactical, driven by the need for breathing space from the competition… They judge that there is a serious risk of Moscow returning to traditionally combative behavior when the hoped for gains in economic performance are achieved.” In contrast, “Other analysts believe Gorbachev’s policies reflect a fundamental re-thinking of national interests and ideology as well as more tactical considerations…” and amount to “historic shifts in the Soviet definition of national interest” and “lasting shifts in Soviet behavior.”70 The documentation in this volume, and in fact the evidence available to analysts at the time if their eyes were open, shows the latter group were correct. But the former group was in charge of the White House.

  • 71 Jack Matlock, e-mail communication with the author, June 9, 2008.
  • 72 Jack Matlock cables, Document No. 43 (February 3, 1989), Document No. 45 (February 13, 1989), and (...)

38A more cautious ambassador than Jack Matlock might have waited for the results of the Bush policy review, but the veteran diplomat—one of the few survivors from the Reagan team—worried that the “mistaken ideas floating around Washington” would prevent necessary progress with Gorbachev.71 Matlock was clearly in the second camp described by the CIA estimate, but he was writing for superiors who were charter members of the first camp. So in February 1989, Matlock sent three cables back to Washington, implicitly forming a kind of book-end to George Kennan’s famous “Long Telegram” at the beginning of the Cold War. Matlock’s purpose was to convince the Bush officials not to delay dealing with Gorbachev, and that the Cold War was really over ideologically. Matlock’s first cable took on the Bush administration’s assumptions directly but carefully, arguing against the Scowcroft notion that the Cold War was “not over” by using a Chapter 11 metaphor, that “the Soviet Union has, in effect, declared the bankruptcy of its system, and … there is no going back.” Against the Gates notion that Gorbachev would not survive so the U.S. should wait to deal with a successor, Matlock predicted Gorbachev was likely to “remain the Soviet leader for a considerable time to come”—citing steps such as becoming the constitutional president that would help prevent a Central Committee coup against him. Against the prevailing Bush notion that Gorbachev only sought a breathing space in order to resume the competition later, Matlock tried to tell Washington that perestroika was compelled by objective necessity, and that intervention in Eastern Europe “would of course mean the end of reform in the Soviet Union” and therefore was unlikely; yet even the knowledgeable Matlock does not foresee the pace of change in Poland and elsewhere.72

  • 73 Document No. 45, Jack Matlock cable, February 13, 1989.

39The necessity of adjusting his language and arguments to the skeptical recipients in Washington had a certain cost, however, possibly even undermining Matlock’s own engagement message. In particular, the second Matlock cable in February 1989 played to his audience with phrases about the Soviets sowing division within the NATO alliance and an entire passage that Scowcroft could have authored, centered around this statement: “If they [the Soviets] are lucky, they will induce the West to disarm as fast or faster than they do.”73 But if the Soviet Union disarmed as fast as the U.S., how would that conflict with the U.S. national interest?

  • 74 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 39-40.
  • 75 Ibid., 40.
  • 76 Ibid., 43.

40Top Bush officials certainly read the Matlock cables—the Bush-Scowcroft memoir even mentions them,74 perhaps the only embassy cables even referenced in the volume—but the ambassador’s confidence about Gorbachev did not have a parallel in Washington. In fact, the internal commentaries of the Bush administration in this period of the pause betray an extraordinary sense of almost personal insecurity vis-a-vis Gorbachev. The retrospective memoir by Bush and Scowcroft in particular, drawing on their diaries and memos of the time, constantly refers to their concern about political competition with Gorbachev, and their worry that Gorbachev has the initiative. For example, the very first item in the “four-part approach for coping with Gorbachev” that was drafted by Condoleezza Rice for Scowcroft—taking the place of the “disappointing” strategic review document and hardly drawing on the Matlock cables either—focused not on any substance but on the need “to strengthen the image of America’s foreign policy as driven by clear objectives” so the U.S. could “appear confident about our purposes and agenda.”75 The words “image” and “appear” speak for themselves. Or again, “Scowcroft pointed out that the United States was losing the battle with Gorbachev over influencing the direction of Europe… The President agreed that Gorbachev had undermined US leadership, and he wanted to go to the NATO summit in May with a series of bold proposals that would put us out in front.”76 But bold proposals to what end? If Gorbachev’s proposals and actions were enhancing U.S. security, the internal White House process begins to sound more like a tennis match than geopolitics.

  • 77 Ibid., 71.
  • 78 Baker, The Politics of Diplomacy, 70.
  • 79 Ibid., 82.

41The classic demonstration of American insecurity occurred at the very first meeting between Secretary of State James Baker and Gorbachev in May 1989. In yet another bold initiative from the Soviet side, Gorbachev announced he was withdrawing 500 tactical nuclear weapons from Eastern Europe—the kind of step wished for by the United States for years—yet Bush and Scowcroft saw the event almost purely in terms of upstaging Baker and blindsiding him.77 Baker’s own take on Gorbachev’s strategy was similarly blind: “Gorbachev’s strategy, I believed, was premised on splitting the alliance and undercutting us in Western Europe, by appealing past Western governments to Western publics.”78 With this mindset, Baker mis-analyzed Gorbachev’s proposal in the May 11 meeting for not only the “surprise” of 500 tactical nuclear weapons being withdrawn (hardly a surprise, the Soviets had tabled the idea before), but the even more striking offer for the USSR to withdraw all such tactical missiles from Eastern Europe by 1991. Baker wrote later, “It was a patently one-sided offer” because supposedly even after the Washington Treaty on Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) was implemented “the Soviets would have a huge tactical nuclear weapon advantage in Europe.”79 To the contrary, here Gorbachev made an offer that the Bush administration would actually take up only in the fall of 1991, when the United States pulled back all of its forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons; but in 1989, one can only conclude that American insecurity created a major missed opportunity.

  • 80 Peter W. Rodman and Robert D. Blackwill, Memorandum for Brent Scowcroft, April 11, 1989, Bush Pres (...)
  • 81 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 34.
  • 82 Ibid., 28.

42The new Soviet documentation shows that this American insecurity drove a policy focus in Washington in 1989 (and even after) that was blind to Gorbachev’s domestic politics and the arms control progress that was necessary for him to keep his reforms cascading and his military-industrial complex in check. Instead, the new Bush administration decided to change the subject, in effect going 180 degrees from the Reagan vision at Geneva and Reykjavik that had such a profound effect on Gorbachev’s thinking. The language that Bush administration officials subsequently used to justify their approaches had that mothball aroma of old clothes taken out of winter storage. For example, two senior NSC aides proposed a presidential speech on NATO that “may grab attention, particularly in Europe” because “[i]t marks various steps away from recent U.S. policy, e.g., a ringing endorsement of nuclear deterrence and a pledge, in effect, to avoid repetitions of Reykjavik.”80 The Bush assumption was that “[t]he greatest mistake would have been to accept the existing Soviet agenda as the starting point for our own approaches, which would have vindicated the view that nuclear arms reductions were the essential yardstick of East-West relations.”81 Therefore, “the main effort was to restore public support for the principle of nuclear deterrence” while “avoiding further denuclearization in Europe” and “focusing on the massive conventional imbalance in Europe.”82 The Americans apparently did not understand that for Gorbachev, the arms control agenda meant directly addressing the conventional weapons issue as well.

  • 83 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 78.
  • 84 Ibid., 73-74.
  • 85 Ibid., 80-85. Bush and Scowcroft described the blow-by-blow of the summit as a triumph for America (...)
  • 86 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, Scowcroft section, 114.

43The disjuncture between Washington’s shriveled strategic thinking and the actual possibilities already on the table from the Soviets about not only nuclear weapons but also the conventional imbalance was only equaled by the disjuncture between the Bush search for “vision” and the actual policy proposals that emerged from the U.S process. For example, President Bush sought “a bold initiative to reassert leadership” that he could take to the NATO summit in May 1989 and his staff came up with a proposed 25 percent cut in US troops in NATO to be matched by a Soviet decrease to an equal number (which would have been a disproportionate cut on the Soviet side).83 But the Joint Chiefs of Staff headed by Admiral William Crowe “reacted with alarm” predicting a “drastic change in NATO strategy”; in fact, “[t]he JCS were unenthusiastic about cuts of any size” and pushed Bush back to a mere 10 percent cut.84 Even then there was resistance among the NATO allies, and hard bargaining even to reach agreement on negotiating both conventional cuts and short-range nuclear weapons cuts with the Soviets85—this at a time when the Soviets would have happily matched any cuts, happily pulled all the tactical nuclear weapons out, would have been delighted with a “tit for tat” series of cuts; and European and U.S. security, as well as that of the USSR for that matter, would have been greatly enhanced. Not to mention the political benefits for Gorbachev at home, since actually delivering greater security would have enabled him to go further and faster on internal reforms as well. In his Strasbourg speech on July 6, 1989, that detailed his vision of the “common European home,” Gorbachev would offer immediate cuts in short-range nuclear weapons as a step towards abolishing them; but the American side saw this only as “designed to create mischief within NATO” and thus “we were right in moving cautiously with respect to Gorbachev.”86

  • 87 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 35.
  • 88 Document No. 84, National Security Directive 23, “United States Relations with the Soviet Union,” (...)

44The inadequacies of Bush administration policy found their most extraordinary expression in the text of National Security Directive 23, which was drafted and debated in April and May of 1989 but not issued until September. This highest-level document was supposed to lay out the conditions that would, in Robert Hutchings’ phrase, “lead to a new cooperative relationship.”87 Such a relationship was already there on the Soviet side; the place it was missing was in Washington. Even while the NSD was in draft form, Gorbachev had already met every one of its major “conditions.” For example, the NSD called for Soviet “deployment of a force posture that is smaller and less threatening” (which Gorbachev had already announced at the United Nations in December 1988), internal democratization to “establish a firm Soviet domestic base for a more productive and cooperative relationship with the free nations of the world” (the May 1988 theses for the Party Conference had rejected class struggle as the basis for international relations, while the March 1989 elections had ousted a series of Party bosses from the Congress of Peoples’ Deputies and put dissidents on national television), and adherence to the principle of “self-determination for the countries of East-Central Europe” (the Poles had already agreed in their Roundtable on elections, and Gorbachev had already in September 1988 said go ahead to the Polish reformers, as he re-emphasized at the United Nations in December 1988).88

THE REACTIVITY OF AMERICAN POLICY

  • 89 Oberdorfer, The Turn, 346.

45Events were in the saddle in the spring of 1989. With Washington stalled, into the superpower vacuum rushed the East Europeans. The Poles were first, as usual. The martial law of 1981 had only suppressed but not solved the underlying economic problems and the social protest (one of every six Poles had joined Solidarity, by far the largest mass movement against communism in Eastern Europe). Renewed strikes at the famous Gdańsk shipyards in August 1988 had forced new negotiations, and by February 1989 the “round table” talks focused on how to hold elections and what kind of head start the communists would require even to deign to participate (guaranteed seats, lower house set-asides, etc.). One model came from the March 1989 elections in the Soviet Union for the Congress of Peoples’ Deputies, in which Andrei Sakharov himself—the Nobel Prize-winning dissident, physicist, father of the Soviet H-bomb—took a seat and a microphone. In May 1989 the Hungarians began to take down the barbed wire on their border with Austria, and the opening started a trickle—subsequently a flood—of East Germans heading west. Some observers realized what they were seeing—in May 1989, these extraordinary developments led former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to tell The Washington Post’s Don Oberdorfer: “We are quite literally in the early phases of what might be called the post-communist era.”89

  • 90 Gates, From the Shadows, 465.
  • 91 Remarks by the President to Citizens of Hamtramck, Hamtramck City Hall, Hamtramck, Michigan, April (...)

46Faced with the rush of change in Eastern Europe, the Bush administration, however, worried only that Gorbachev was somehow snatching the initiative away from the U.S., leaving Bush behind in the world’s perception of leadership. Also much to Washington’s dismay, neither were the East Europeans waiting for Bush to come up with policy. The language used by deputy national security adviser Robert Gates about the Polish events in his memoir betrayed the reality that gave rise to the world’s perception: “We needed to respond to these developments.”90 The White House launched into a series of presidential speeches in April and May 1989 to address the image problem—some with quite prescient language about the events in Europe—but without much in the way of policy or actions to back up the rhetoric. Before a largely ethnic Polish-American audience in Hamtramck, Michigan, the President announced, “Democratic forces in Poland have asked for the moral, political and economic support of the West. And the West will respond. My administration is completing now a thorough review of our policies toward Poland and all of Eastern Europe.”91 So a cry for help was met with a review. The same handful of specific aid actions that Bush listed would show up in future speeches, a little debt rescheduling, some tariff relief, perhaps some investment insurance, support for the World Bank and IMF in whatever aid they came up with—but no real dollars for Poland, and this at a time when Solidarity was banking on Western aid as a political trump card for voters to pick the opposition over the communists.

  • 92 Ibid., 4.
  • 93 Remarks by the President at Rheingoldhalle, Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany, May 31, 1989, (Whi (...)
  • 94 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 83.

47The point for Bush was to achieve “the vision thing,” so the Hamtramck speech both soared and sputtered. On the one hand there was Bush’s characteristic caution—“With prudence, realism and patience, we seek to promote the evolution of freedom”—but there was also the reach for the upper registers: “The West can now be bold in proposing a vision of the European future: We dream of the day when there will be no barriers to the free movement of peoples, goods, and ideas”—the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 had already committed all its signatories to this “dream.” Bush said his vision included free elections, closer ties with Western Europe, and a renunciation by the Soviet Union of “military intervention as an instrument of its policy”—something that Gorbachev had already done at the U.N. speech.92 Bush achieved more resonance with his speech in Mainz, West Germany, after the NATO summit. He specifically addressed Gorbachev’s vision for Europe, drawing applause when he said, “There cannot be a common European home until all within it are free to move from room to room.”93 Instead of a common home, Bush argued for helping “Europe become whole and free”—a phrase that would become famous, but which started as a generic replacement for an earlier draft’s specific mention of and encouragement for German unification, that Scowcroft took out because he was “concerned about unnecessarily stimulating German nationalism.”94 The Mainz speech tried to have it both ways, defending “our measured pace in arms reductions” while claiming “the Warsaw Pact has now accepted major elements of our Western approach to the new conventional arms negotiations”—as if Gorbachev had not catalyzed the whole conventional discussion with his unilateral cuts announced at the U.N. months earlier.

  • 95 Document No. 56, Gorbachev-Thatcher memcon, April 6, 1989.

48The Bush pause as well as portions of the ensuing rhetoric generated puzzlement, frustration, and ultimately real suspicion in Moscow. Gorbachev complained to Margaret Thatcher in April—quite accurately, as we now know—“there is a point of view emerging in the White House that the success of our perestroika, the development of the new image of the Soviet Union, is not beneficial for the West. Secretary of State James Baker returned from his trip to Western Europe on the verge of panic. Europe, according to him, is ready to respond to our invitation to build new relations in Europe and in the entire world. The West Germans, in this sense, have simply lost their minds.” Thus, Gorbachev told Thatcher, the White House “desire[s] to undermine interest in perestroika, in our initiatives, and to present it all under the cover of general considerations—let’s see where perestroika will lead, how will it end, whether it is associated with the person of Gorbachev only, and if so, whether we should make the future of the West dependent upon it. I tell you frankly, we are concerned about it.”95 Gorbachev did not have to wait to read the Bush and Scowcroft memoir to understand what was going on in Washington far more accurately than the Bush administration understood Moscow.

  • 96 Document No. 63, Gorbachev-Kohl memcon, June 12, 1989.
  • 97 Document No. 67, Gorbachev-Kohl memcon, June 14, 1989. In Robert Gates’ memoir, he describes being (...)
  • 98 Ibid.
  • 99 A number of former officials have described the contingency group, including former CIA director W (...)

49To Helmut Kohl, Gorbachev complained about the Bush speeches, especially the ones at Texas (May 12) and the Coast Guard Academy (May 24), featuring Bush rhetoric that reminded Gorbachev of the worst of the Reagan “crusade” statements from the early 1980s. Gorbachev said, “And all this at a time when we are calling for de-ideologization of relations. Unwillingly, the questions come to mind—where is Bush genuine, and where is Bush rhetorical? Where does he just play up the rhetoric, and where does he lay down the state line?”96 More alarming for Gorbachev, his intelligence services were relaying reports that indicated hostility from Washington, not just caution. Gorbachev told Kohl in June 1989: “According to our information, there is a special group that was created in the National Security Council of the United States charged with discrediting perestroika and me personally… We openly asked [Baker] about that. He and his colleagues were somewhat confused but did not give us a clear answer; they only tried to convince us that it was not so. However, I have some evidence that such a group does, in fact, exist.”97 One can hear in this discussion the rising influence of the KGB’s Kryuchkov, himself mirror-imaging the suspicion that Washington had of Moscow. Kohl had not heard of such a group, and doubted “that it was charged with the tasks you have just formulated” but “if it exists it has some kind of monitoring functions, but not subversive ones.”98 Subsequent admissions by U.S. officials demonstrated that both Kohl and Gorbachev were correct: The NSC did create a special monitoring group, headed by Condoleezza Rice, to watch for the possibility Gorbachev would fail or be replaced, not so much to organize such an outcome, but certainly motivated by feelings of disbelief and discredit for Gorbachev.99

  • 100 Document No. 56, Gorbachev-Thatcher memcon, April 6, 1989.
  • 101 Document No. 63, Gorbachev-Kohl memcon, June 12, 1989.
  • 102 Document No. 72, Gorbachev-Mitterrand memcon, July 5, 1989.

50The West Europeans tried to reassure Gorbachev about Bush, but the Soviet leader had recognized the essential conservative caution that was characteristic of Bush and that would continue to restrain progress in U.S.-Soviet relations for the duration of Gorbachev’s tenure in the Kremlin. Margaret Thatcher, wearing her own inimitable set of blinders, told Gorbachev in April 1989 she could “not see how [Bush and Baker] could make policy that would contradict President Reagan’s course. Of course, Bush is a very different person from Reagan. Reagan was an idealist who firmly defended his convictions. But at the same time, it was very pleasant to deal with him, to have a dialogue, and to negotiate. Bush is a more balanced person, he gives more attention to detail than Reagan did. But as a whole, he will continue the Reagan line…”100 The Kohl discussions with Gorbachev about Bush were even more intimate, in effect commiserating with the Soviet leader about Bush’s caution, his lack of charisma, and his need to get out from under the shadow of Reagan, as well as the “Achilles heel” of the U.S. economy and stagnating living standards.101 The most devastating assessment of Bush came—quelle surprise!—from the French: Only six weeks after being hosted at the Bush summer compound in Kennebunkport, French president François Mitterrand told Gorbachev that “George Bush would make very moderate policy even without the congressional constraint because he is a conservative. Not all conservatives are alike. Bush, as a president, has a very big drawback—he lacks original thinking altogether.”102

THE BUSH TRIP TO POLAND AND HUNGARY IN 1989

  • 103 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, Chapter 4, “Untying a Knot,” 86-111, describes Bush’s own (...)
  • 104 The prescient U.S. ambassador in Poland, John Davis, had alerted Washington that the Solidarity vi (...)
  • 105 Document No. 61, Transcript of the CC Secretariat Meeting of the Polish United Workers Party, June (...)

51Eastern Europe was hardly at the center of Bush policy making in 1989, despite later claims by Bush officials seeking some share of credit for the revolutions. The Bush and Scowcroft memoir is more honest: Between the narrative of the NATO summit-related meetings ending on June 1 and the one-paragraph mention of the June 4 electoral earthquake in Poland when Solidarity swept every open seat, the former president and his top adviser wrote a full chapter of 25 pages on the June 4 event that was most important to them—the Chinese massacre of demonstrators in Tienanmen Square and the U.S. scramble to maintain relations with Beijing.103 Tienanmen was the road not taken by Gorbachev and the East European comrades, precisely because they knew the “methods of 1956 and 1968” could no longer work; and those ghosts helped keep change on both sides of the 1989 revolutions velvet and nonviolent. But while the White House worried about China, the Poles were peacefully changing the political landscape of Europe, accelerating the pace of history, and relying on workers’ ballots to abolish the supposed dictatorship of the proletariat.104 At the first Central Committee Secretariat meeting after the election, the Polish communists complained of “a bitter lesson,” “the party are not connected with the masses,” and “we trusted the Church and they turned out to be Jesuits.” The young comrade Aleksander Kwaşniewski commented, “it is well known that party members were also crossing out our candidates”105 (he learned his electoral lessons well and in 1995 would beat Lech Wałęsa to become President of Poland).

  • 106 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 112-113.
  • 107 See Gregory F. Domber, ed., “Solidarity’s Coming Victory: Big or Too Big—Poland’s Revolution as Se (...)
  • 108 The speaker was Viktor Orban of the youth group FIDESZ. Orban would later become prime minister of (...)

52After the Polish elections, the pace of change in Eastern Europe just sped up, and the White House went into reactive mode—again. Bush had already committed to attend the July G-7 summit in Paris, so a trip to Poland and Hungary was “tacked onto” the agenda, just before Paris—in part so that the Americans could defer East European requests for financial aid with the excuse of having to confer with the allies at the summit.106 The timing worried the Americans, because Poland had entered a kind of political limbo: The communists did not have enough support to form a government, and few could yet imagine a Solidarity-led government. The American embassy focused on actually slowing down the change and ensuring that the communists, in the person of the former dictator turned reformer Wojciech Jaruzelski, at least retained the presidency, as implicitly agreed in the Roundtable negotiations of the spring.107 Meanwhile, in Hungary, political liberalization had caught up with and was about to surpass the level of reform in the relatively liberal “goulash” economy. On June 16, the Hungarians held the ceremonial re-burial of Imre Nagy, the Stalinist informer turned leader of independent Hungary in 1956, executed as a counter-revolutionary after Moscow crushed the Hungarian uprising, and buried anonymously in a potters’ field. The crowd in Budapest clapped loudest for the speech that blasted the communists’ air-brushed history and called for Soviet troops to get out of Hungary.108 For an American President whose mantra was “prudent foreign policy,” this was all too much, too fast.

  • 109 Document No. 69, Bush-Kohl telcon, June 23, 1989.
  • 110 Document No. 70, Kohl letter to Bush, June 28, 1989.
  • 111 Ibid.

53The changes in Eastern Europe sparked calls in the American public debate for a “new Marshall Plan”—especially for Poland, where the heroic Solidarity activists expected no less, and used the prospect as part of their political platform. But a mild recession in the U.S. and a legacy of debt from the Reagan years had increased the federal budget deficit, and those economic constraints strongly reinforced President Bush’s innate caution. He complained to West German chancellor Kohl in June 1989 after the elections: “[E]motions run high regarding Poland. While the President shared those emotions, he also felt it important to act carefully and to avoid pouring money down a rat-hole.”109 Instead of elaborating on his own government’s analysis of events in Poland and Hungary, Bush kept asking Kohl for his advice—a constant refrain in the Bush-Kohl exchanges. Kohl ultimately responded with a detailed June 28 letter to Bush, highlighting the “paramount Polish interest i[n] the economic-financial cooperation,” and boasting about the two billion marks’ worth of “fresh money” that West Germany was extending to Hungary (the fine print showed that all this funding was loans and credits for buying German goods and services rather than direct aid, yet the totals dwarfed anything the U.S. was considering).110 But Kohl’s cautions about the Polish economic crisis—that the situation was “primarily the result of. careless policies. of the 70s as well as the failed attempts by the West to provide aid.,” and that funding should be coordinated by donor committees as in developing countries rather than through a Marshall Plan mechanism111—all undermined Kohl’s own pleas for more U.S. aid and very much reinforced Washington’s “rat-hole” thinking. Bush thus went to Poland and Hungary in early July 1989 with more rhetorical flourishes than actual deliverable dollars.

  • 112 Remarks by the President at Joint Session of Parliament, The Sejm, Warsaw, Poland, July 10, 1989, (...)
  • 113 Scowcroft remarked on the contrast between the “same tired old positions” of the “aging” Hungarian (...)

54There was much to admire in the Bush speeches delivered before the newly-elected Sejm (Parliament) in Warsaw, and at the Karl Marx University in Budapest. Bush had eloquent praise for Hungarian and Polish culture (citing the Polish astronomer Copernicus and calling “the Budapest of memory” a “city that rivaled Paris in its splendor, Vienna in its music, London in its literature”), reassurance for Moscow (“let the Soviet leaders know they have everything to gain, and nothing to lose or fear, from peaceful change”), a “salute” for General Jaruzelski (“this regime is moving forward with a sense of realism and courage, at a time of great difficulty”), and even-handed praise for both reform communists and oppositionists for their courage.112 Bush intended to lower the pulse rate of change, and both on television and in the records of the private meetings, the American President showed a greater comfort level with the reform communist officials than with the considerably more scruffy dissidents—particularly distressing was the confrontational session in Budapest with opposition party leaders, now campaigning against the communists.113

  • 114 Remarks by the President at Joint Session of Parliament, The Sejm, Warsaw, Poland, July 10, 1989, (...)
  • 115 Ibid., 126.
  • 116 Remarks by the President at Karl Marx University of Economics, Budapest, Hungary, July 12, 1989, ( (...)
  • 117 This is the pioneering conclusion of Gregory F. Domber in his superb dissertation study of the Pol (...)

55The problem was that Bush had only his goodwill to offer. The speeches were most notable for the enormous gap between the effusive praise for Polish and Hungarian courage, and the tangible aid being extended by the United States. For Poland, Bush proposed better Western coordination of technical assistance, some rescheduling of debts and new World Bank loans, but only “a $100 million fund to capitalize and reinvigorate the Polish private sector” and a $15 million anti-pollution project in Krakow. The transcript of the Sejm speech conspicuously shows the audience did not applaud either amount, and even Brent Scowcroft subsequently described the package for Poland as “embarrassingly meager.”114 For Scowcroft, the Hungary presentation was the “best speech of the trip” yet “the audience did not seem to react to what I saw as the paucity of the assistance we could offer.”115 The laundry list for Budapest was slimmer even than for Warsaw: some changes in emigration restrictions, tariff relief, investment insurance, but in actual money, only a $25 million fund “as a source of new capital to invigorate the Hungarian private sector” (the transcript of the speech lists no applause at this item, in contrast to repeated applause for Bush’s other flourishes).116 Looking at the thinness of the offerings, combined with the President’s obvious sympathy for the communist reformers rather than the opposition dissidents, one could well conclude that the real American role in the revolutions of 1989 was to slow them down, rather than catalyze them.117

  • 118 Document No. 68, Kohl-Bush telcon, June 15, 1989.
  • 119 Ibid.

56The most important result of the Bush trip to Eastern Europe, the only major change in U.S. policy, was the conversion of the President himself—despite continuing opposition from his top advisers, particularly Scowcroft—to the belief that he needed to reach out to Gorbachev. Kohl and others had urged an end to the “pause” for some time, but not until the East European reformers explained how it helped them for the Americans and Soviets to be talking—and not until Bush became alarmed from his firsthand view of the pace of change in Poland and Hungary—did the President finally, on the airplane back from Europe, write a note to Gorbachev suggesting a summit. Kohl had said to Bush in June, “It would be a good idea for the president to send direct messages to Gorbachev from time to time. That would signal the president’s confidence, which is a key word for Gorbachev, who places a high premium on ‘personal chemistry.’”118 Contrary to what Bush was hearing from his top advisers, Kohl reported that Gorbachev had “said emphatically that wedge-driving [among the NATO allies] was not his intention, and that the Soviet Union does not want destabilization in Europe, because this would mean disruption in the USSR as well.” Kohl also told Bush there could be “rapid progress” on CFE just as there had been on INF in 1987, because the key was “real political determination” (which Gorbachev had, but was lacking in the U.S.).119

  • 120 Document No. 76, Information Note Regarding George H.W. Bush’s Visit to Poland (July 9-11), July 1 (...)
  • 121 Scowcroft admitted in the joint memoir with Bush that “I had the definite impression that the Pres (...)
  • 122 Document No. 76, Information Note Regarding George H.W. Bush’s Visit to Poland (July 9-11), July 1 (...)
  • 123 Ibid.

57Jaruzelski had given much the same message to Bush in their discussions in Warsaw in July. “After Gen. Jaruzelski encouraged frequent contacts between leaders of both powers, Bush responded that they are thinking about that in Washington.... [Bush] worries, he added, that meeting with Gorbachev could create too great an expectation, particularly regarding arms reduction agreements which are still not ready.”120 But Bush’s message overall was quite a change from the earlier skepticism about Gorbachev, or perhaps it reflected the President’s own instincts rather than those of his advisers.121 Bush told Jaruzelski, “It is not his goal to make Gorbachev’s life more difficult and to trigger internal tensions in the socialist camp. He came to pay tribute to the reforms and changes and to encourage their intensification and expansion, to speak about how the United States could contribute to Poland’s economic renewal, but not to interfere in any way in our internal affairs.. Also, he does not intend for the present visit to create a peculiar contest about who is more popular: Gorbachev in the West, in the FRG and France, or Bush in the East, in Poland and Hungary.”122 In a pronouncement that would be news to Brent Scowcroft and Robert Gates, Bush explained to Jaruzelski that as a result of the strategic review in the spring, “it was decided to unambiguously support Gorbachev and his perestroika policy. Bush personally values the candid dialogue with Gen. Jaruzelski and would be pleased if a similar one existed with Gorbachev.”123

  • 124 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 122.
  • 125 Document No. 28, Gorbachev-Czyrek conversation, September 23, 1988.
  • 126 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 130.

58Encouragement for such dialogue from Kohl, Jaruzelski, and the Hungarian reform communists certainly helped, but what really affected George Bush was his sense from meeting the East European oppositionists that change was coming much too quickly. For example, after meeting Lech Wałęsa in Gdańsk (an awkward meal in the electrician’s apartment, a more successful public rally in front of the shipyard gates), Bush “wondered uneasily whether the Soviets might try to stop the changes in Poland after all, fearful that Poland would slip entirely from their grasp.”124 This was July 11, 1989, and Gorbachev had assured the Poles as early as September 1988 that he supported their negotiated process of coming to terms with Solidarity.125 But the Americans could not believe their eyes. The lesson Bush took from those meetings with Polish and Hungarian dissidents was one that Kissinger had proposed back in December 1988. Stalling on the superpower relationship, out of an excess of caution, was no longer prudent, Bush concluded: “[T]o put off a meeting with Gorbachev was becoming dangerous. Too much was happening in the East—I had seen it myself—and if the superpowers did not begin to manage events, those very events could destabilize Eastern Europe and Soviet-American relations. We still did not know how much change Gorbachev would allow in the region, and I saw that the Eastern Europeans themselves would try to push matters as far as they could.”126 But managing events, Bush-style, meant another five months would elapse before Bush and Gorbachev would get together, and by then, revolutions—not stability—would be the norm in Eastern Europe.

  • 127 Document No. 77, Record of Conversation between Aleksandr Yakovlev and Jack Matlock, July 20, 1989

59The frustration in Moscow was palpable, not only with the pause, but also with the substance of what Bush was willing to discuss. The U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Jack Matlock, managed to see the Politburo member and leading “new thinker” Alexander Yakovlev at the end of July to find out how Moscow assessed the state of relations (“not bad” responded Yakovlev), and remarked that “we have not met for several months.” Yakovlev repeatedly raised the issue of nuclear abolition, but Matlock each time demurred, saying in effect, that was the former President, not this one. “[W]e need to conduct negotiations on reducing both conventional and nuclear weapons more actively,” Yakovlev urged. “The USSR and USA can achieve an agreement about liquidating nuclear weapons, but I am not absolutely sure that it would be possible to do that with all other countries. Today we can put nuclear weapons and their liquidation under strict international control. We could introduce a rule, according to which inspection visits could be arranged on the basis of any suspicion. In five years it will be too late.” But the American had bad news: “Reagan believed in the possibility of liquidating nuclear weapons. Bush thinks that we need to reduce them to a minimum, but we should not liquidate them. He believes that without nuclear weapons the risk of war being unleashed would increase.... I personally believe that it would be premature now even to achieve an agreement in principle about the liquidation of nuclear weapons in the future.”127 With this epitaph, the superpowers buried the visions from Geneva and Reykjavik that had done so much to lift the Soviet sense of threat; and another two years would pass before Bush and Gorbachev even managed to sign the START treaty, with nuclear weapon numbers only reducing to about the level of 1982.

THE EAST EUROPEANS COLLAPSE COMMUNISM

  • 128 Davis’s role and Bush’s reinforcement stands out in the copious documentary record on 1989 now ava (...)
  • 129 Document No. 76, Information Note Regarding George H.W. Bush’s Visit to Poland (July 9-11), July 1 (...)

60Between the time that Bush reached out to Gorbachev in July 1989, and the actual meeting of the two superpowers at Malta in December, the East Europeans took apart the Stalinist system. After Bush left Poland in July, the Polish communists failed in their attempt to make a coalition government, and Solidarity voters made sure that former dictator Jaruzelski knew his election as president was due to them, but just barely. The U.S. ambassador John Davis deserved the credit for this maneuver, which was embraced by Solidarity (Adam Michnik’s newspaper column on the subject was headlined “Your President, Our Prime Minister”), and for briefing Bush so well on the reassurances that would be in order for Jaruzelski himself to agree.128 Bush had gone out of his way, both in his public speech to the Polish Sejm, and in his private meeting with Jaruzelski, to praise the general, telling him “the world is watching with bated breath and admiration,” and emphasizing “that because of the course Gen. Jaruzelski has declared, and taken, his personal standing and popularity have never been as high in the United States as they are at present.”129 With those compromises, in August, long-time Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki took the reins as prime minister of the first non-communist government in Poland since the Cold War started. Inspired by Poland, Hungary ran its own version of round table talks over the summer and early fall of 1989, settling the terms for elections in 1990. The process featured a delicious irony, in that had early elections been held, right there in the fall of 1989, the reform communists (the little Gorbachevs, so to speak) probably would have won; but the delay allowed the opposition space to make a case and dramatically shortened the reformers’ time on the stage.

  • 130 Jack Nelson, “‘Berlin Wall Will Come Down,’ Bush Predicts; It Will Go During His Presidency, He De (...)
  • 131 Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p.134.

61The Berlin Wall actually cracked in May, and collapsed in September, as the Hungarian reform communists opened the Hungarian borders. The world witnessed a flood of East Germans come through, camping out in embassies and consulates, and finally embarrassing East German leader Erich Honecker so much that he allowed them to transit in sealed trains to the West—thus reversing the sealed train in which Lenin rode to the Finland Station in 1917. Recalling the snippet of barbed wire he received as a gift during his visit to Hungary in July, President Bush told British interviewer David Frost in early September that the “Berlin Wall will come down” before the end of the Bush term (January 1993), and that he trusted Gorbachev to keep his word—in contrast to his own defense secretary, Dick Cheney, who only weeks earlier told a veterans’ group that the Soviet threat had not diminished and “if anything, the United States is facing a more formidable offensive strategic arsenal today.”130 (Persisting faith-based anti-Gorbachev attitudes like Cheney’s would subsequently segue from “we can’t trust him” to “he won’t last” as the reasons not to conclude arms agreements.) On October 25, 1989, as mass demonstrations mounted against the East German government, Gorbachev’s spokesman, Gennadii Gerasimov, coined the most memorable phrase of all, when he told reporters with Gorbachev in Helsinki, Finland, that the “Frank Sinatra Doctrine” had replaced the Brezhnev Doctrine for the Soviets, referring to the singer’s signature ballad, “I did it my way.”131

  • 132 Georgy Shakhnazarov, Musgrove transcript, 204.
  • 133 Speech by Premier Ladislav Adamec at the Extraordinary Session of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (...)
  • 134 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 117. Though it must be noted that Matlock himself, as early as (...)

62Behind the scenes, the Soviets seem to have provided a key piece of pressure on the East Germans against police repression, especially during the protests in Leipzig. Georgy Shakhnazarov remarked in the Musgrove transcript that the Moscow reaction to inquiries from the fraternal East European parties about repressing demonstrators—Shakhnazarov’s example was from Prague in late November 1989—was “we do not support the use of force.”132 The East Europeans were also well aware of Moscow’s policy: in fact, at the pivotal meeting of the Czechoslovak Communist Party on November 24, 1989, the premier Ladislav Adamec explicitly included in his list of reasons for not using force against the mass protests in Wenceslas Square the fact that “the international support of the socialist countries can no longer be counted on.”133 But even the most knowledgeable Americans continued to be surprised by Soviet policy: As Jack Matlock explained in the Musgrove transcript, “We could not believe that if it really came to letting political reform get out of control, [Gorbachev] would not clamp down and use force. The surprise to us was, as he increasingly demonstrated, first in 1989 in Eastern Europe, and then in regard to the Soviet Union itself, that he was not willing to use force to keep the system in power, or even to keep himself in power. That was the big surprise, and the unpredictable part.”134

  • 135 Robert Gates, From the Shadows, 468.
  • 136 “Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session with Reporters on the Relaxation of East German Border (...)

63The most public finale of the Cold War, of course, came with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. In the words of then-deputy national security adviser and future CIA director Robert Gates: “No one who watched on television will ever forget the images of crowds of East and West Germans dancing on top of the Wall, hacking away bits of it for souvenirs, and finally dismantling whole sections with construction machinery. If there ever was a symbolic moment when most of the world thought the Cold War ended, it was that night in Berlin.”135 President Bush’s own reaction was characteristically cautious and anxious about the effect on Moscow, saying only that he was “very pleased” and “not an emotional kind of guy,” thereby seeming so reserved during an impromptu Oval Office press conference that reporters present could not believe what they were hearing.136

  • 137 For the fascinating back story on Reagan’s speech, see James Mann, The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan,(...)
  • 138 For the most important documents on the events of November 9, 1989, including the press conference (...)

64Bush’s reticence, his determination not to “posture on the Wall,” reflected not only the President’s constant worry about the pace of change in Eastern Europe, but also the limited role that U.S. policy actually played, or could play, in the collapse of the Wall. President Reagan had stood at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987 and famously orated, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”137 Yet neither American exhortation nor Gorbachev’s own hands actually brought the Wall down in November 1989; in fact, Gorbachev would have preferred the Wall to stand at least for a while as a negotiating chip in the difficult talks to come about the role of a confederated or united Germany in Europe. Instead, the deed was done by a combination of East German citizens taking matters into their own hands on the evening of November 9, 1989, abetted by border guards who did not know what else to do. Earlier that day, an East German Politburo member, Günther Schabowski, had blundered so badly in a press conference that he implied the immediate end of border restrictions, instead of what the communists intended to be a palliative public relations move and only a gradual loosening of visa and travel limits over a period of months or years, in exchange for major financial aid from the West. So crowds gathered at the gates in East Berlin, and guards could get no instructions from higher-ups because the Politburo was in emergency session, so they finally let the crowds push through to West Berlin, in scenes broadcast live around the world.138

  • 139 See the West German and U.S. telcons for Bush-Kohl conversations on June 15, 1989; June 23, 1989; (...)
  • 140 Document No. 100, Kohl-Wałęsa memcon, November 9, 1989.

65The West German chancellor, Helmut Kohl, happened to be in Warsaw on November 9 for what was supposed to be the beginning of a four-day trip, and had to rush back to Bonn and then West Berlin when the news broke—yet another sign of how unexpected was the Wall’s collapse. Poland had been a major priority for Kohl earlier in 1989, and likely would have continued that way except for the collapse of the Wall. Kohl’s conversations with Bush as late as October 23, in fact, centered around Poland and Hungary, not the prospects for the GDR; and even the phone call between Bush and Kohl on the morning of November 10 began with Kohl reporting on his Poland trip rather than the historic events of the night before.139 In Kohl’s discussions with Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa on November 9, the latter almost plaintively complained that “events are moving too fast” in East Germany, “he wonders whether the Wall will still be standing in one or two weeks” (only hours later, the Wall fell), and if this continued nobody would pay attention to poor Poland—all of West Germany’s help and money would focus on East Germany (as indeed it did).140

  • 141 Document No. 94, Bush-Kohl telcon, October 23, 1989.
  • 142 Document No. 105, Bush-Kohl telcon, November 17, 1989.

66The fall of the Wall made obvious the end-of-the-Cold-War reality that the center of gravity no longer resided along the hot line between Washington and Moscow, but had moved to the very center of Europe. The conversations between President Bush and Chancellor Kohl both before and after November 9 showed the American leader practically pleading for the German to come visit and help prepare for the upcoming Malta meeting with Gorbachev, but Kohl had more important business than holding Bush’s hand. On October 23, for example, Bush importuned Kohl: “We ought to get together for an informal session, perhaps a few hours at Camp David.” But Kohl responded diffidently, “I will think it over and find out when I can make it. It would have to fit into one day.”141 Then as events accelerated after the Wall fell, Kohl would not even offer a day trip. Bush said again, on November 17, “I would value your judgment and would like to get together.” Kohl: “I have an enormous problem with freeing myself for two days. With the developing situation, I would like to stay here. There is also a budget debate in our parliament.” Bush: “I will be available for as much time as possible. Input from the FRG, from Chancellor Kohl, to Gorbachev is more important than at any other time or for any other meeting.”142

  • 143 Document No. 103, Gorbachev-Kohl telcon, November 11, 1989.
  • 144 Document No. 104, Gorbachev-Mitterrand memcon, November 14, 1989.

67But Kohl did not need to talk to Gorbachev through Bush; the German could speak to Gorbachev directly, and he did so almost as quickly as he consulted with Washington after the Wall fell. On November 11 Kohl called the Kremlin and said exactly what the Soviet leader wanted to hear—“we did not want a destabilization of the situation in the GDR” and “we want the people of the GDR to stay home”—while complimenting Gorbachev on their “good personal contacts.” At the very moment that crowds on both sides of the former Wall were calling for unification, the two leaders spoke in euphemisms about stability, as in Gorbachev’s urging Kohl, “I hope that you will use your authority, your political weight and influence to keep others within limits that are adequate for the time being and for the requirements of our time.”143 And Gorbachev heard more than Kohl seems actually to have said, for instance, about the people of the GDR “staying home.” Kohl was warning about refugee flows and the economic burden on West Germany, but to Gorbachev (as the Soviet leader subsequently told the French president François Mitterrand), Kohl “assured me in particular that he was going to abide strictly by the existing agreements…” and “I carefully noted his words that the Germans should live where they are living now.”144

  • 145 Document No. 109, Letter from Helmut Kohl to George H.W. Bush, Bonn, November 28, 1989, (first pub (...)

68In effect, Kohl was busy reassuring both superpowers in such a way that would leave himself the greatest possible freedom of action. The rush of events on the ground in the Germanys, Kohl’s own domestic politics versus the Greens and the Social Democrats, and the rapid collapse of the socialist leadership in the former GDR, led the Chancellor to prepare his own surprise package that he certainly did not want to be talking about beforehand, even to his own foreign minister and erstwhile coalition ally Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who heard Kohl’s “10 Points” while sitting in the Bundestag with everybody else on November 28. Kohl’s points were hardly prophetic—he proposed confederation and even he saw the process of unification in terms of years, not months as it actually happened—but the speech showed Kohl racing to put himself at the head of a crowd (East German public opinion) that was already moving towards unification more quickly than any of Kohl’s peers from Washington to Moscow were comfortable with. As Kohl’s November 28, 1989, letter to Bush conveying the “10 Points” stated, “The events of the past summer have proven that they [the people of the GDR] do not feel or think as members of a separate nation,” so Kohl’s tenth point focused on “Organic development toward a situation in which the German people through free self-determination regain their unity.” while his sixth point emphasized the “pan-European process” and others spoke of “contractual association” and “confederative structures between the two states.”145

  • 146 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 194-196.

69Kohl claimed in his letter to Bush “The German government has in no way used the current situation in the GDR in order to single-handedly achieve its own goals.” The Americans thought he was protesting too much. President Bush complained in his memoir, “Afraid of leaks, or perhaps of being talked out of it, Kohl informed none of the NATO allies—including us—of the speech beforehand…” and only had “a text delivered to me as the speech was given in Bonn.” The comment from Bush’s top adviser and co-author Scowcroft pointed to the bystander role of the Americans: “If he was prepared to go off on his own whenever he worried that we might object, we had very little influence.” Bush called Kohl the next day after the “10 Points” speech, and Scowcroft commented, “Kohl over and over again expressed his solidarity with the United States and the allies and pledged that there would be no going it alone—only one day after he had, in fact, ‘gone it alone.’”146

  • 147 Document No. 109, See Savranskaya and Blanton, “The Soviet Origins of Helmut Kohl’s 10 Points,” Na (...)

70The Kohl-Bush letter did contain quite an endorsement of Gorbachev, worth repeating here in the context of American debates over winners and losers in the Cold War. Kohl wrote, “Regarding the reform process in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the CSR, and not least the GDR, we have General Secretary Gorbachev’s policies to thank. His perestroika has let loose, made easier, or accelerated these reforms. He pushed governments unwilling to make reforms towards openness and towards acceptance of the people’s wishes; and he accepted developments that in some instances far surpassed the Soviet Union’s own standards.” Kohl warned Bush that “western help is coming much too slowly” for the East Europeans, and urged “strong stimulus to the arms control negotiations” that have such “significant meaning for us Europeans.”147 But neither admonition had much effect.

  • 148 Memorandum of Conversation, Meeting with Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of the Federal Re (...)

71Seven days before the “10 Points” surprise, the Americans had hosted foreign minister Genscher in the Oval Office. President Bush specifically asked, “Is there a likelihood that the rapidity of change that has come to Eastern Europe will result in an instant demand in Germany for reunification? We know in the long run this is for the German people to decide, based on self-determination. But will reunification move faster than any of us think?” Genscher responded, “No one can foresee… It is important for all to know that we will stick to our obligations in NATO and the EC… But all of this must be done in a way that does not alarm the Soviet Union. That is why we must stick to our current borders. German reunification is discussed more outside Germany than inside Germany” (that would change with Kohl’s speech). The German diplomat encouraged Bush to “focus more on the arms control process” because “The more arms control in Europe, the less likely Soviet military, or even political, intervention in Eastern Europe. Second, the philosophy of the Russians has changed.” But Bush told Genscher that the Malta summit would not be “an arms control meeting. If Gorbachev tries to make it an arms control meeting, I will say we have our allies and we will make no unilateral deals. He might propose the total withdrawal of all U.S. and Soviet troops from Europe”—to which Genscher responded, “I do not think he will play the German card. He is very much satisfied with a U.S. presence on German soil.”148

THE LAST COLD WAR SUMMIT

  • 149 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, Excerpts from the Soviet Record, December 2-3, 1989, one-on-on (...)

72It took George Bush practically the entire first year of his presidency to manage a face-to-face meeting with Gorbachev, and the American president would not come around to the value of unilateral arms reductions until the fall of 1991, well after such gestures could do much good for Gorbachev’s reform agenda. Despite what Bush had told David Frost, his preparations for the Malta meeting reflected continuing suspicion and sense of competitiveness (as Bush had told Genscher), rather than any recognition of the arms race in reverse which Gorbachev was offering—and which key Soviets (like Yakovlev and Shevardnadze) were detailing for the Americans at the time. The actual Malta proceedings seem almost poignant in retrospect, starting with the terrible weather that prevented the stage-managers’ notion of alternating U.S. and Soviet ships as the venue—and provided a rather-too-neat metaphor for the way in which revolutionary events in Eastern Europe had already outrun both superpowers’ control. Bush confessed to Gorbachev, “First of all, I admit that we were shocked by the swiftness of the changes that unfolded. We regard highly your personal reaction and the reaction of the Soviet Union as a whole to these dynamic, and at the same time fundamental, changes.” Gorbachev told Bush, “Sometimes I hear that in the current situation we are not fulfilling our mission with regard to our friends. I always respond in such cases: first, nobody asked us to help; second, the changes are proceeding according to the constitution.” Bush responded: “I would say more—that it is thanks to you that they are proceeding peacefully.”149

  • 150 Anatoly Chernyaev, Musgrove transcript, 192.
  • 151 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, opening session, December 2, 1989. Gorbachev even brought with (...)

73At Malta, a consummation so devoutly wished by Gorbachev throughout 1989 now was too little, too late, not least because the Americans were insistent on no unilateral arms cuts, but also because Gorbachev’s own freedom of maneuver was rapidly constricting given his domestic politics. And the Soviets continued to be amazed at the way Bush ducked the strategic weapons opportunities and instead focused on what Moscow saw as side issues, at best, such as Soviet support for the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, or the imputed Moscow hand behind Castro’s geopolitical moves.150 Here was evidence, yet again, for the way in which domestic politics drove international affairs, since Bush had to protect his right flank in the Republican Party, for whom Castro was the devil, the Sandinistas were a communist beachhead pointing at Texas, and Gorbachev himself was merely a new glove around the iron fist. Gorbachev told Bush, “It is not quite clear to us what you want from Nicaragua. There is political pluralism in that country, there are more parties than in the United States. And the Sandinistas—what kind of Marxists are they? This is laughable. Where are the roots of the problem? At the core are economic and social issues.” Likewise on Cuba, “The issue now is how to improve the current situation. There is a simple and well-proven method: one has to speak directly to Castro. You must learn: nobody can lord it over Castro.”151

  • 152 Even after Malta, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney resisted any proposals for arms control, bel (...)
  • 153 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, plenary session, December 3, 1989.

74The only substantial outcome of the Malta meeting occurred on the psychological level, the establishment of a new level of personal trust between the two leaders. On the American side, this still was not enough to overcome the obduracy of the Pentagon against rapid arms cuts152 and especially of the U.S. Navy against the on-site verification procedures that the Soviets had agreed to (a Cold War irony in that the tables turned at the end and the Americans were the closed suspicious actors on verification negotiations). On the Soviet side, trust did not do much for Gorbachev in the absence of tangible deliverables such as aid or arms cuts; the personal relationship only reduced any remaining sense of threat on both sides—yet Gorbachev still felt it necessary in the Malta meeting to assure Bush that the USSR did not consider the U.S. to be the enemy and would never attack. Gorbachev complained that the Soviets had “approved and implemented a purely defensive doctrine,” while “the U.S. continues to be guided by a rapid reaction strategy that was adopted over 20 years ago” so “why is the U.S. being so slow in enacting perestroika within its own armed forces?”153

  • 154 Ibid.
  • 155 Ibid.
  • 156 Ibid.

75The sessions at Malta included fascinating exchanges on “the question of reunification of Germany, which is making both you and us nervous, as well as many Europeans,” as Secretary of State Baker said in the final session.154 In the one-on-one discussion, Gorbachev complained about Kohl, who “fusses and bustles around too much. He does not act seriously and responsibly. We are afraid that the topic of reunification may be exploited for electoral gain, that it will not be strategic factors but the mood of the moment that will take the upper hand.” Gorbachev even asked Bush, “Would a unified Germany be neutral, not a member of any military-political alliances, or would it be a member of NATO? I believe we should let everyone understand that it is still too early to discuss either of these options. Let the process take its course without artificial acceleration.” Bush agreed: “I believe that in his actions Helmut Kohl was greatly influenced by the emotional reaction to events… They [meaning the West Germans] speak about this topic with tears in their eyes.” And Bush reassured Gorbachev, “We will not take any rash steps; we will not try to accelerate the outcome of the debate on reunification.”155 In the final plenary session, Bush told Gorbachev with a somewhat characteristic double-negative, “I hope that you understand that you cannot expect us not to approve of German reunification. At the same time, we realize the extent to which this is a delicate, sensitive issue. We are trying to act with a certain reserve.... I will not elaborate on each East European country but will stress the thought that we understand very well the meaning of the section of the Helsinki Act governing national boundaries in Europe.”156 The implication here of commitment to existing borders was clear to Gorbachev, but Bush’s reserve would diminish once he saw Kohl right after Malta.

  • 157 Document No. 111, Memorandum of Conversation between Bush, Sununu, Scowcroft, and Kohl, December 3 (...)
  • 158 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 199.
  • 159 Anatoly Chernyaev, Musgrove transcript, 200.

76In retrospect, the American president’s dinner with the German chancellor on December 3 in Brussels carried more significance for the sequence of events in 1990 leading to German unification than anything Bush and Gorbachev said to each other at Malta. Bush briefed Kohl on the summit discussion: “We spent much time on the German question. Gorbachev said you are in too much of a hurry… I don’t want to say he went ‘ballistic’ about it—he was just uneasy.” Kohl responded by pointing to the expanding crisis in the GDR, in effect saying that those events were driving his approach, but also assuring Bush “I will not do anything reckless.” The candor about their peers in Europe was also striking. Kohl said, “Everyone in Europe is afraid of two things: (1) that Germany would drift to the East—this is nonsense; (2) the real reason is that Germany is developing economically faster than my colleagues. Frankly, 62 million prosperous Germans are difficult to tolerate—add 17 million more and they have big problems.” Bush asked, “Are any of the EC leaders opposed to your 10 points?” Kohl described most of the EC attitudes as “fine” with Mitterrand against but too “wise” to oppose the process, and “Great Britain is rather reticent.” Bush interjected, “That is the understatement of the year.” Kohl said Thatcher “thinks history is not just. Germany is so rich and Great Britain is struggling. They won a war but lost an empire and their economy. She does the wrong thing. She should try to bind the Germans into the EC.” A turning point in the conversation occurred when Kohl corrected Bush on what the Helsinki Final Act said about changing borders, that it can be done “by peaceful means.” And Kohl warned Bush that unless they moved towards unification, Kohl’s own domestic politics could trend towards neutrality, exactly Bush’s fear. Yet neither leader foresaw the speed of events, and Kohl even dismissed the idea of unification within “two years. It is not possible; the economic imbalance is too great.”157 Bush recalled in his memoir, “I think Kohl was hoping for the earliest possible reunification, but he wanted to do or say nothing that would imperil it.. I probably conveyed to Kohl that I had no objections to reunification, and in a sense gave him a green light.”158 Kohl went on the next day in public comments to cite Bush’s support for the confederative ideas in the “10 Points”; so this meeting with Kohl marked the point that Chernyaev was describing, when he said, “Even the Americans jumped into the first car when they saw that the train was moving ahead” on unification.159

  • 160 Document No. 113, Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Genscher, Moscow, December 5, 1989.

77Gorbachev did go “ballistic” when next he saw West German foreign minister Genscher, on December 5. Gorbachev’s harsh rhetoric, even to the point of summoning up the ghost of Hitler—“You have to remember what mindless politics has led to in the past”—exceeded anything before or after in his dealings with his European peers. The “10 Points” had been bad enough—“ultimatums” and “crude interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state”—but what really rankled Gorbachev was Kohl’s public commentary citing Bush’s approval. Just at the moment the Soviet leader had finally gotten the Americans engaged, it just did not matter anymore; events on the ground in Germany were driving the process and Kohl was proving the most adroit politician on the scene. The net effect was to destroy Gorbachev’s plans: “Judging from all this, you [the Germans] have prepared a funeral for the European process.”160 Here is Gorbachev’s recognition of the way that the collapse of the Wall, the collapse of GDR legitimacy, the rapid democratization of East Germany—all this had become the central dynamic of the end of the Cold War, brought about by East Germans, with Helmut Kohl surfing the wave.

  • 161 Document No. 116, Aboimov-Matlock memcon, December 25, 1989, Soviet Foreign Ministry. See the disc (...)
  • 162 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, one-on-one session, December 2, 1989.

78But at least after Malta the Americans had finally realized Gorbachev was for real, and that the Cold War was over. When a popular uprising in Romania just before Christmas 1989 met violent repression from the state security forces and turned into a coup d'état against communist dictator Ceauşescu, first the French foreign minister Roland Dumas and then the American Secretary of State James Baker mentioned with approval the possibility of Soviet intervention to settle the situation. Baker actually tasked his ambassador to Moscow, Jack Matlock, to query the Soviets on an urgent basis; and the records of that conversation from the Soviet Foreign Ministry contain a remarkable back and forth between the American side and Moscow’s “new thinkers.” Matlock “let us know that under the present circumstances the military involvement of the Soviet Union in Romanian affairs might not be regarded in the context of ‘the Brezhnev doctrine.’” In response, Deputy Foreign Minister Aboimov told Matlock “we did not visualize, even theoretically, such a scenario” and so—in a clear reference to the invasion of Panama that the Bush administration had just launched—“the American side may consider that ‘the Brezhnev doctrine’ is now theirs as our gift.”161 Interestingly, during the Malta summit, after Gorbachev complained about various American interventions around the world (helping Philippine president Corazon Aquino against a mutiny, sending military aid to Colombia, pressuring Noriega in Panama), he said, “Europe is changing; governments are falling—governments that were also elected on a legitimate basis. One wonders if during this power struggle someone were to ask the Soviet Union to intervene, what should we do? Should we follow the example of President Bush?” To which Bush responded, “I see.”162

THE GERMAN UNIFICATION END GAME

  • 163 Bush-Kohl letter, February 9, 1990, Document No. 170 in Kusters and Hofmann, Deutsche Einheit. Koh (...)
  • 164 For the Bush and Scowcroft commentary on their surprise, see A World Transformed, 233 and 258.

79The rapid unification of Germany in 1990 offers an instructive epilogue to the analysis presented in this essay about the limited impact of U.S. policymaking on the revolutions in Eastern Europe. Chancellor Kohl subsequently praised U.S. support as essential for his success in pursuing unification, citing specifically the letter sent by President Bush on February 9, 1990, in which the American wrote, “If events are moving faster than we expected, it just means that our common goal for all these years of German unity will be realized even sooner than we hoped.”163 But the key word here is “events,” in the same meaning given by the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson when he wrote, “Events are in the saddle and ride mankind.” From November 1989 to March 1990, public opinion in the GDR moved dramatically away from any notion of “stability” and towards radical notions of capitalist prosperity, helped along by the lure of the deutschmark (a metaphor for West Germany’s superior economic performance), Kohl’s adroit announcement of proposals like rapid monetary union, the cascading leadership collapse of the GDR reform communists from Krenz to Modrow including multiple corruption cases, and popular revolts against the persisting security structures such as the Stasi (including occupations of Stasi offices in January 1990 when chimneys signaled the burning of files). Even the accelerated schedule for parliamentary elections in the GDR, moved up by the reform communists to help them or their Social Democratic allies prevail, backfired on March 18, when a turnout of more than 90 percent gave an unprecedented 48 percent victory to Kohl’s coalition, the pro-unification Christian Democrats and their allies.164

  • 165 Document No. 85, Thatcher-Gorbachev memcon, September 23, 1989, and Document 89, Chernyaev’s diary (...)
  • 166 Document No. 118, Excerpt from Chernyaev’s Diary, January 28, 1990. The meeting included Gorbachev (...)
  • 167 See Grachev, Gorbachev’s Gamble, 157-158.

80Read in this context, the documentary record of highest-level exchanges leaves a sense of leaders scrambling rather than deciding. On the Soviet side, there was a grudging realization that even the NATO allies most opposed to German unification, such as Britain and France, would not go public but rather, as Chernyaev noted after a Thatcher meeting with Gorbachev: she wants to prevent unification “with our hands,” without taking on the fight herself.165 By January 28, 1990, as Chernyaev wrote, the KGB chief Kryuchkov remarked that the GDR “is not a real state anymore” and Gorbachev’s closest advisers more or less agreed that “the process of German unification cannot be stopped. But we need to keep the process going with our presence and not against us.”166 In other words, Gorbachev did not fear the strategic implications of a unified Germany (hardly a security threat, but rather a major source for trade and economic assistance); his real concerns were for his own domestic politics. Top Gorbachev adviser Andrei Grachev subsequently described this period (the first half of 1990) of back-and-forth on various formulas on Germany and NATO as Gorbachev simply “trying to gain needed time in order to let public opinion at home adjust to the new reality,” while “hoping to get at least partial political compensation from his Western partners…”167

  • 168 Document No. 119, Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Baker, February 9, 1990.

81On the U.S. side, the scramble to keep up with events produced some formulations offered to Gorbachev in early 1990 that have become the subject of enormous controversy, both in the scholarly literature and more importantly, in Russian political discourse (rising chauvinism, anti-Gorbachev backlash, nostalgia for empire). The key discussions took place in Moscow in February 1990, between Secretary of State Baker and Gorbachev (as well as Shevardnadze), and are published in this volume. The prime U.S. concern focused on the possibility that a unified German state would choose neutrality, and “could very well decide to create its own nuclear potential instead of relying on American nuclear deterrent forces,” Baker told the Soviets. He argued, “NATO is the mechanism for securing the U.S. presence in Europe. And if NATO is liquidated, there will be no such mechanism in Europe. We understand that, not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well, it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO’s military present jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”168

  • 169 Ibid.
  • 170 Ibid.

82Baker framed the question this way, after warning Gorbachev that “the process is going much faster [toward unification] than anyone would have expected last year”: “Supposing unification takes place, what would you prefer: a united Germany outside of NATO, absolutely independent and without American troops; or a united Germany keeping its connections with NATO, but with the guarantee that NATO’s jurisprudence of troops will not spread east of the present boundary?” Gorbachev responded: “We will think everything over. We intend to discuss all these questions in depth at the leadership level. It goes without saying that a broadening of the NATO zone is not acceptable.” Baker said: “We agree with that.” Gorbachev took Baker’s point: “It is quite possible that in the situation as it is forming right now, the presence of American troops can play a containing role…”169 Earlier in the same conversation, Gorbachev had quoted the Polish president Jaruzelski, “that the presence of American and Soviet troops in Europe is an element of stability.”170

  • 171 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 236-237.
  • 172 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, plenary session, December 3, 1989.
  • 173 See Goldgeier, Not Whether but When.

83Baker’s phrase—“not an inch” eastward—had its predecessor in discussions with Genscher on February 2, in which the German foreign minister had proposed a combination of Germany in NATO with East German territory remaining outside the alliance.171 The awkwardness of such arrangements would doom them, but their ghost would remain in the final treaties around German unification, decreeing a “special military status” to the GDR territory with limits on NATO deployments and the like. But Gorbachev’s response in Moscow was a position in transition—his German expert Valentin Falin had argued for confederation, yet the GDR state was losing every day the capacity to serve as an equal confederate—and neutrality seemed for a moment at least a fallback that would limit the domestic political damage. But Baker was convincing on the notion of NATO restraining Germany, especially in the context that Gorbachev had already outlined to Bush at Malta: “What to do with institutions created in another age? … They must be utilized to strengthen security and stability and improve relations between states. Let NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization become to an even greater degree political, but not only as military organizations; and let there be a change in their confrontational nature.”172 So “not an inch” amounted to a global commitment, not just an immediate tactical ploy about the territory of the GDR. Yet Gorbachev did not ask Baker for any written or formal version of this commitment—never thinking such a formality was necessary (he did not envision the collapse of the Warsaw Pact at this point, since even the Solidarity government in Poland had signed up), and thus he left the field open to subsequent events, including ultimately the successful appeal from East European leaders Lech Wałęsa and Václav Havel to President Bill Clinton in 1993 for NATO expansion.173

  • 174 Document No. 120, Letter from Baker to Kohl, February 10, 1990.
  • 175 Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Telephone Call from Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the Federal Re (...)
  • 176 Brown, The Gorbachev Factor, 246-247.
  • 177 Zelikow and Rice, Germany Unified, 190.

84On Baker’s heels came Helmut Kohl, reinforcing the same message to Gorbachev. Baker wrote Kohl a concise briefing letter immediately after his own Gorbachev meeting. The Baker phrasing became even more precise: “I told him that the FRG’s leadership was strongly in favor of a unified Germany remaining in NATO and not being neutral. I explained that we agreed with this, and thought the Soviets should not reject such an outcome. In this regard, I mentioned that it was unrealistic to assume that a big, economically significant country like Germany could be neutral. And then I put the following question to him. Would you prefer to see a unified Germany outside of NATO, independent and with no U.S. forces or would you prefer a unified Germany to be tied to NATO, with assurances that NATO’s jurisdiction would not shift one inch eastward from its present position. He answered: … Certainly any extension of the zone of NATO would be unacceptable. (By implication, NATO in its current zone might be acceptable).”174 Kohl reported to Bush in a phone call on February 13 that “I told Gorbachev again that the neutralization of Germany is out of the question for me,” and when Bush asked “Did he acquiesce or just listen?” Kohl said, “My impression is that this is a subject about which they want to negotiate, but that we can win that point in negotiations.”175 Indeed, it would take some very expensive phone calls from Kohl to Gorbachev in September 1990, amounting to billions of deutschmarks in German aid and credits to the USSR, to complete the deal.176 Subsequent scholars (not least the American foreign policy aides who participated in these arrangements) have pointed to those February meetings with Gorbachev as decisive: “The mask had slipped. Gorbachev had allowed both the Americans and the Germans to leave Moscow believing that he was not willing—or perhaps not able—to offer decisive opposition to their plans. In fact that was true.”177 But the real turning point in German unification was not February, but the March 18, 1990, elections, which took away any possibility of decisive opposition.

  • 178 MccGwire, “NATO Expansion;” and Kramer, “The Myth of a No-NATO-Enlargement Pledge to Russia.”
  • 179 Kramer, “The Myth of a No-NATO-Enlargement Pledge to Russia,” 48. Kramer also undercuts Gorbachev’ (...)
  • 180 Quoted in Kramer, 39.
  • 181 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 208.

85The scholarly literature has developed two extreme versions of the discussion Baker had with Gorbachev, and perhaps they deserve each other. Michael MccGwire’s version contains the clearest expression of the subsequent Russian sense of betrayal from NATO expansion, claiming an ironclad commitment from the West against any expansion of NATO. Mark Kramer’s rebuttal argues the predominant Central European attitude towards NATO expansion, both summarizing the critics and explicating the newly-available documentary record that MccGwire did not or could not consult.178 Both advocates overstate their cases. Kramer fundamentally argues that no one in early 1990 even foresaw the possibility of NATO admitting Poland or the other new democracies; therefore, no one could possibly give assurances against such inclusion. This is true enough, as far as it goes, but Kramer leaves out the entire Gorbachev vision for the withering away of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Regrettably, Kramer edits one of the documentary quotations from the February 9, 1990, Gorbachev-Baker meeting by adding brackets that distort, even contradict, Gorbachev’s actual meaning (see above): “Of course it is clear that an expansion of NATO’s zone [to the GDR] would be undesirable.”179 This is the phrase to which Baker said, “We agree with this.” Read with a modicum of understanding of Gorbachev’s vision, this exchange and the repeated U.S. use of the word “guarantee” explain why Gorbachev and his aides believed then and believe today that they received “assurances” against NATO expansion. Jack Matlock, who was present at the Baker meeting and subsequently described the U.S. formulation as a “clear commitment,”180 suggested in the Musgrove transcript that a written assurance against NATO expansion was the only “better deal” that Gorbachev might possibly have gotten from the Americans: “During German unification, if he had pressed, and if it had been important to him, he could have probably gotten better assurances that there would be no further expansion of NATO. He did not press that issue, and therefore, it was left sort of unclear.”181 The end of the Soviet Union in December 1991, followed by Bush’s own failure to win re-election in 1992, completed the devaluation of any such bilateral assurances.

CONCLUSION

86American policymaking might qualify at best for a supporting actor award in the extraordinary drama that was the end of the Cold War, and particularly for the revolutions of 1989. Ronald Reagan deserves credit not for his military buildup and “Star Wars” fantasies, but for the way his interaction with Gorbachev around their mutual dream of the abolition of nuclear weapons helped relieve the Soviet sense of threat and ultimately helped Gorbachev end Cold War thinking in Moscow. George Bush deserves credit for his caution, his prudence, his inability to posture—all reassuring in its way to Moscow, even though the cost of all that caution included a series of missed opportunities for dramatic arms reductions that would have left the U.S. and the world much safer. Gorbachev himself was less a “best actor” of 1989 than the producer of the whole spectacle, having set the stage, encouraged the reformers, agreed to a theater workshop, packed the house, and turned loose the talented thespians. But the leading roles in 1989 all featured East Europeans, with some West Germans also in the mix at least for the unification end game. The Poles led the way, created the most experimental theater, pushed the limits, and opened the space. Hungarians and Czechs provided thrilling second acts of their own, reprising and restaging their respective tragedies of 1956 and 1968. And Germans on both sides of the Wall brought the division of Europe to an end, first by plunging through those Hungarian fences and Czech embassies in September, then taking over the main squares of Leipzig and other Eastern cities in October, ultimately pushing through the Wall itself in November, and then voting overwhelmingly in March 1990 for a union with the West that brought the curtains down on Gorbachev’s concept of the “common European home.”

  • 182 Garton Ash, In Europe’s Name, 123.
  • 183 Document No. 76, Bush-Jaruzelski Information Note, July 18, 1989.
  • 184 Document No. 107, Gorbachev-Mazowiecki memcon, November 24, 1989.
  • 185 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 11.

87That concept initially had drawn a defensive reaction from the Americans, who saw the “common home” as just a stalking horse for getting rid of NATO, undermining alliance cohesion, and pushing the U.S. out of Europe. But once Gorbachev explicitly stated that the Americans belonged in Europe too, criticisms of the common home idea fell back on ideological arguments. The astute British scholar Timothy Garton Ash noted, “Gorbachev did not say there were many social systems in Europe… He said there were just two, East and West, ‘socialist’ and not. By implication, the common European home should be built around, and in spite of, this central difference.”182 So Europe would exist as a semi-attached house, so to speak, with a wall down the middle, perhaps a common front porch for receiving visitors and a common back yard for barbeques and a garden, but you live on your side and we’ll live on ours. General Jaruzelski maintained a somewhat different view than Gorbachev, when he said to President Bush in July 1989, “if the West is interested in success of our reforms, they should see them not only in a Polish context but also in terms of spreading conditions. In Bucharest [the Warsaw Pact summit] we spoke in favor of arms control, detente, the development of East-West relations, and a common European home. At the same time, if you are dealing with Poland we support the American concept, that it should be a house with free corridors between the respective rooms.”183 The Solidarity prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki put it more circumspectly when he talked directly to Gorbachev, “In connection with your idea of a Common European Home, I would like to note that in this home our apartments share the same landing” (in other words, they were the closest of neighbors).184 The Bush administration’s view was more harsh: “The ‘common home’ was flawed not because it excluded the United States—this Gorbachev quickly corrected—but because it proposed to validate and stabilize a status quo that was inherently unacceptable and unstable…a vision that would have eased Europe’s divisions superficially without addressing any of its root causes.”185

  • 186 András Bozóki, panel commentary, University of Pavia conference, “Britain and Europe in the 1980s: (...)
  • 187 “Dictatorship is coming,” he warned the Congress of People’s Deputies. See Shevardnadze, The Futur (...)

88Yet that status quo rapidly changed in 1989, clearly as a result of Gorbachev’s vision that turned out not so superficial after all. The miracles of 1989 showed that exactly the common home vision allowed for root causes and divisions to be overcome by the divided peoples themselves. Gorbachev himself would move in his own conceptions of socialism very far from the Leninist or Marxist notion, until he was for all practical purposes a social democrat, attempting to achieve a demilitarized Soviet Union. At this point, after 1989, it was the West that kept the Wall up, in the sense of preventing the integration of the USSR into Europe, with lasting consequences for today’s Russia and its retreat into chauvinism and authoritarianism. What if the integration of the Soviet Union with the West had been the goal of U.S. policy (without any Gulf War diversion in 1990-1991 where Gorbachev’s partnership brought him so little benefit either on economic aid or arms reductions), perhaps starting with the energy sector, in the context of massive reductions in military-industrial investment? But perhaps the integration of Russia with the West was simply too much to ask in the new Europe, with Central Europe just out from under the bear, hardly eager to look east, or to allow Russia to be integrated together with its former vassals. As the Hungarian scholar András Bozóki has commented, the last thing the Eastern Europeans wanted was to build yet another house with the Soviet Union in it.186 As the CIA estimates show, the Americans and the Europeans shared the worry that you could let Gorbachev into the house, a fine roommate, even let him read your kids to sleep, but what if the next roommate that Moscow sends is one of the tough guys, what if Gorbachev does not last, how long will Gorbachev last? You might not want to be integrated with the next leadership group—this was certainly the prediction Eduard Shevardnadze made in his resignation message on December 20, 1990.187

89So a more realistic counterfactual would be to ask, what if there had been no Bush “pause” (a pause that actually began during the presidential campaign in 1988)? Gorbachev was at his peak of political power in 1988 and the first half of 1989; the evidence shows he was ready and eager to deliver previously unthinkable cuts in nuclear and conventional weapons. That clout only dissipated as his domestic politics degenerated, as he let the Soviet empire go, as the Russian economy continued in crisis, and as he had nothing to show for his “new thinking” but standing ovations in foreign cities and breadlines at home. What if instead the superpowers had quickly achieved 50 percent or more reductions in strategic weapons (instead of the 30 percent in START) and the tactical nuclear withdrawals that only happened in the fall of 1991, too late to buttress Gorbachev’s standing? Most likely, the revolutions in Eastern Europe would have proceeded more or less as they did—the evidence in this volume shows for example, that the Poles already had Gorbachev’s approval in 1988 for making a deal with Solidarity. Gorbachev might have had more staying power, more ability to make the reforms that advisers like Yakovlev were pushing, more political clout to keep the hard-liners at bay. Thus one can envision a very different relationship between today’s Russia and the world, and between today’s world and nuclear weapons, which Presidents Obama and Medvedev are still talking about trying to reduce in 2009, 20 years after the Cold War ended.

Notes

1 For the images and sounds, see the TV documentary series CNN Cold War, Episode 23, “The Wall Comes Down” (www.CNN.com/ColdWar). For the liveliest first-hand reporting, see Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern, and Dobbs, Down With Big Brother.

2 These questions, which shaped the Musgrove conference and our research agenda, were most usefully posed for us by Levesque, Enigma.

3 See Blanton, “When Did the Cold War End?” Multiple participants in the Musgrove dialogue make the case that the Cold War ended well before the Soviet Union did, and that the proximate cause of the latter was the internal Soviet political competition between—in shorthand—the hardliners versus Gorbachev versus Yeltsin.

4 Time magazine remarked that Reagan had been “a kind of living time capsule of the American Century, born before the phrase world war had been introduced, a child when the Russian Revolution gave birth to the empire whose defeat he would accomplish as President.” Nancy Gibbs, “The All-American President,” Time, June 14, 2004, accessed at www.time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,994446,00.html.

5 The most prominent such accounts are by Schweizer, Victory; Schweizer, The Fall of the Berlin Wall; and Schweizer, Reagan’s War. But a number of Reagan-era memoirs, notably by Caspar Weinberger and Robert McFarlane, make similar claims.

6 The Economist, June 12, 2004.

7 For the realists, see Brooks and Wohlforth, “Power, Globalization, and the End of the Cold War.” The leading constructivists/liberals are English, Russia and the Idea of the West, and Evangelista, Unarmed Forces. For two insightful Reagan appreciations in 2004 from participants at the Musgrove conference who drew on some of the evidence now published in this book, see Vladislav Zubok, “Soft Power: Reagan the Dove,” The New Republic, June 21, 2004, 32; and James Hershberg, “Just Who Did Smash Communism?” Washington Post “Outlook” section, June 27, 2004, B01. The author owes a particular intellectual debt, for extended conversations and cooperative scholarship over decades, to Professors Zubok and Hershberg, and to this book’s lead editor, Dr. Savranskaya.

8 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 457; quoted in Matlock, Reagan and Gorbachev, 302.

9 For the texts of the summit memcons and a wide range of the preparatory and follow-up documents on both sides, see the forthcoming National Security Archive book, The Last Superpower Summits: Gorbachev, Reagan and Bush (Budapest/New York: Central European University Press, 2011), and the series of Web postings edited by Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton at www.nsarchive.org.

10 For a concise history of Soviet perception on this point, see Mastny, The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity. Or as French president François Mitterand told President George H.W. Bush on May 20, 1989: “Since 1917 the Soviets have had a major hang-up about encirclement. Since their Civil War, they have had a siege mentality.” Quoted in Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), 77. The most extensive treatment of Reagan’s abolitionism, based on declassified documents and interviews, may be found in Lettow, Ronald Reagan. The most insightful account of the development of Reagan’s nuclear thinking is in FitzGerald, Way Out There in the Blue.

11 For an eloquent recent account of the Thatcher factor with Gorbachev, see Brown, “The Change to Engagement in Britain’s Cold War Policy.” The classic account of Gorbachev’s instrumentality in ending the Cold War is Brown, The Gorbachev Factor.

12 For examples of the dysfunctional internal workings of the Reagan administration with specific reference to the speech-writing shop, see Matlock, Reagan and Gorbachev, 163164 and 292-293.

13 For an insightful early appreciation of Reagan’s interaction with Gorbachev, see Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation, 1175-1180, although Garthoff divides the schools of thought into “essentialists” (hardliners on the Soviet Union), “mechanists” (pragmatic negotiators), and “interactionists” (empathetic understanding of the other side as reactive), which is not the framework argued in this essay.

14 The most eloquent argument for “grand strategy” may be found in Hutchings, American Diplomacy.

15 The argument outlined in this paragraph and subsequently in this essay owes a particular intellectual debt to the papers and discussion in the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations annual meeting panel, “Case Studies in Democratization? The United States and Eastern Europe in the 1980s,” chaired by the author on June 21, 2007, and especially the papers by Mary Sarotte on the end of the division of Germany, and by Gregory Domber on the U.S. contribution to Poland’s revolution. The conclusion about Kohl comes from Kohl’s own initiative to publish in 1998 his most important memcons and telcons from 1989 and 1990 in a massive German-language volume, apparently without asking permission from the various heads of state (including Bush) whose conversations with Kohl provide at least half the text of the book. See Kusters and Hofmann, Deutsche Einheit. The larger point about East Germans driving the unification process is detailed in Noel D. Cary, “‘Farewell without Tears’: Diplomats, Dissidents, and the Demise of East Germany,” The Journal of Modern History, 73 (September 2001), 617-651. Cary’s excellent review essay of memoirs on all sides of German unification includes this comment (p. 642) about one of the leading American accounts, by former Bush aides Zelikow and Rice, Germany Unified: “[A]lthough Zelikow and Rice superbly analyze the diplomacy surrounding unification, there is something troubling about the seeming ease with which they can tell their story with such little reference to the streets of Berlin and Leipzig.”

16 For a sample of the coverage, see Michael A. Fletcher and Philip P. Pan, “U.S.-Russia Summit Brings Series of Advances,” The Washington Post, July 8, 2009, A6.

17 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 185.

18 Record of Conversation Between S.F. Akhromeyev and P. Nitze at the U.S. State Department, December 8, 1987, Document No. 26 in Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blan-ton, eds., “The INF Treaty and the Washington Summit: 20 Years Later,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 238, posted December 10, 2007, at www.gwu. edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB238/

19 For a detailed account based on comparing and contrasting the various memoirs, see FitzGerald, Way Out There in the Blue, 427-439. For the summit transcripts, as well as the U.S. and Soviet preparation documents, see Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton, eds., “The INF Treaty and the Washington Summit: 20 Years Later,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 238, posted December 10, 2007.

20 Document No. 17, [Robert M. Gates], Memorandum, Subject: Gorbachev’s Gameplan: The Long View, November 24, 1987.

21 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 187.

22 Anatoly Chernyaev, notes from December 1987 Politburo session, quoted in Chernyaev, My Six Years With Gorbachev, 142-143.

23 State Department cable, “Moscow Summit Briefing Materials,” June 8, 1988, Document No. 27 in Thomas Blanton and Svetlana Savranskaya, eds., “The Moscow Summit 20 Years Later,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 251, posted May 31, 2008 at http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB251/index.htm

24 Garthoff, The Great Transition, 356.

25 National Security Decision Directive 54, August 1982, spelled out the differentiation policy.

26 Speech by Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead, “The U.S. Approach to Eastern Europe: A Fresh Look,” January 19, 1988, Department of State Bulletin.

27 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 140.

28 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 172.

29 Mikhail Gorbachev subsequently wrote that these words were the most important result of the Moscow summit: Gorbachev, Ponyat’perestroiku, 161.

30 For further discussion of the reasons why Washington did not pursue what Gorbachev was ready to concede, see Jack Matlock, Reagan and Gorbachev, 306. For Gorbachev’s own understanding, see Document No. 23, “Record of the Main Content of a Telephone Conversation between Gorbachev and Kádár,” May 19, 1988, in which Kádár commented and Gorbachev agreed: “It seems they are following a policy of delaying the agreement for the reduction of offensive weapons. It looks like they do not want to give this issue to Reagan, they want to save it for the new president.”

31 For the UPI/Corbis photo of the officer with the “football” in Red Square, see Schwartz, Atomic Audit, photo section between pages 458 and 459.

32 Alessandra Stanley, “More Worldly Than Wise,” Time, August 15, 1988, 18, quoted in Oberdorfer, The Turn, 329.

33 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 110.

34 For the full text of Gorbachev’s speech, see FBIS-SOV-99-236, December 8, 1988, 11-19.

35 “Gorbachev’s Conference with Advisers on Drafting the U.N. Speech, October 31, 1988,” Document No. 3 in Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton, eds., “Reagan, Gorbachev, and Bush at Governor’s Island,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 261, posted December 8, 2008, www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB261/.

36 The New York Times, December 8, 1988, 34.

37 Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “The CIA’s Credibility,” The National Interest (Winter 1995/96), 111.

38 Goodpaster quoted in Oberdorfer, The Turn, 319.

39 Garthoff, “Estimating Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities,” 28.

40 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 171; also see Document No. 7 in Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton, eds., “Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush at Governors Island,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 261, posted December 8, 2008. For the December 1988 quotations, see pages 3, 32, 36 and 37.

41 Ibid., 37-38.

42 NIE 4-3/8-88, quoted in Garthoff, “Estimating Soviet Military Intentions and Capabilities,” 28.

43 Quoted in Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, 48.

44 Douglas MacEachin, Musgrove transcript, 117. See also Document No. 33, CIA Intelligence Assessment, “Gorbachev’s September Housecleaning: An Early Evaluation,” December 1988.

45 Document No. 35, Transcript of CPSU Politburo Meeting, December 27-28, 1988.

46 Memorandum of Conversation, “The President’s Private Meeting with Gorbachev,” December 7, 1988, 1:05-1:30 p.m., Commandant’s residence, Governors Island, New York—Document No. 9 in Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton, eds., “Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush at Governors Island,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 261, posted December 8, 2008.

47 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 6, 17.

48 Matlock, Autopsy on an Empire, 185.

49 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 13.

50 Ibid., 46.

51 Conversation between Alexander Yakovlev and Jack Matlock, December 26, 1988, State Archive of the Russian Federation, Fond 100063, opis 2, delo 148, translated by Svetlana Savranskaya, in Svetlana Savranskaya and Thomas Blanton, eds., “Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush at Governors Island,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 261, posted December 8, 2008.

52 Nation, Black Earth, Red Star, 308.

53 Brent Scowcroft, statement on ABC television, January 22, 1989, quoted in Matlock, Reagan and Gorbachev, 313.

54 Garthoff, The Great Transition, 320, 325.

55 For example, “weak” and “unsophisticated” were some of the adjectives used by Kissinger about Bush in conversation with President Nixon, see Tom Blanton, “Kissinger’s Revenge: While Nixon was bugging Kissinger, guess who was bugging Nixon,” Slate, posted February 18, 2002, accessed at http://www.slate.com/id/2062229/

56 The most detailed account, given the continued classification of the Bush Library memcon of this meeting on December 18, 1988, is in Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, 13-17.

57 The original remains classified at the Bush Library, but this book publishes Anatoly Chernyaev’s verbatim notes of the letter: see Document No. 38.

58 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 178.

59 Document No. 36, Record of Conversation between Yakovlev and Kissinger, January 16, 1989.

60 Document No. 37, Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Kissinger, January 17, 1989.

61 Anatoly Chernyaev, Musgrove transcript, 192.

62 Document No. 39, Gorbachev’s Report to the CPSU CC Politburo regarding his Meeting with the Trilateral Commission, January 21, 1989.

63 For the details, including Thomas Friedman’s front page story on March 28, 1989, planted by Baker, and Kissinger’s “furious” reaction, see Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, 45-46.

64 Matlock, Autopsy on an Empire, 177; Chernyaev, My Six Years with Gorbachev, 201.

65 National Security Review 12, “Review of National Defense Strategy,” March 3, 1989, 1. Document No. 01789 in Presidential Directives on National Security from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, published by ProQuest in the Digital National Security Archive.

66 Ibid., 2, 9.

67 Yakovlev-Matlock, December 26, 1988, op. cit.

68 Musgrove transcript, 185.

69 Musgrove transcript, 196-197.

70 NIE 11-4-89, “Soviet Policy Toward the West: The Gorbachev Challenge,” April 1989.

71 Jack Matlock, e-mail communication with the author, June 9, 2008.

72 Jack Matlock cables, Document No. 43 (February 3, 1989), Document No. 45 (February 13, 1989), and Document No. 47 (February 22, 1989).

73 Document No. 45, Jack Matlock cable, February 13, 1989.

74 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 39-40.

75 Ibid., 40.

76 Ibid., 43.

77 Ibid., 71.

78 Baker, The Politics of Diplomacy, 70.

79 Ibid., 82.

80 Peter W. Rodman and Robert D. Blackwill, Memorandum for Brent Scowcroft, April 11, 1989, Bush Presidential Library, NATO Summit File.

81 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 34.

82 Ibid., 28.

83 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 78.

84 Ibid., 73-74.

85 Ibid., 80-85. Bush and Scowcroft described the blow-by-blow of the summit as a triumph for American diplomacy, yet they achieved only small cuts offered by NATO, and made any negotiations on short range nuclear weapons contingent on more conventional progress—all of which Gorbachev welcomed as a “serious and specific response” to his proposed cuts, yet the U.S. was ready to stop right there. Scowcroft later took credit for these cuts as “the first steps toward reducing the Soviet Army in Eastern Europe” (p. 85) as if Gorbachev had never spoken to the United Nations the previous December!

86 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, Scowcroft section, 114.

87 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 35.

88 Document No. 84, National Security Directive 23, “United States Relations with the Soviet Union,” September 22, 1989; Document No. 28, Gorbachev-Czyrek memcon, September 23, 1988.

89 Oberdorfer, The Turn, 346.

90 Gates, From the Shadows, 465.

91 Remarks by the President to Citizens of Hamtramck, Hamtramck City Hall, Hamtramck, Michigan, April 17, 1989, (White House Office of the Press Secretary), Bush Library Photocopy, 3.

92 Ibid., 4.

93 Remarks by the President at Rheingoldhalle, Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany, May 31, 1989, (White House Office of the Press Secretary), George Bush Presidential Library Photocopy.

94 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 83.

95 Document No. 56, Gorbachev-Thatcher memcon, April 6, 1989.

96 Document No. 63, Gorbachev-Kohl memcon, June 12, 1989.

97 Document No. 67, Gorbachev-Kohl memcon, June 14, 1989. In Robert Gates’ memoir, he describes being “embarrassed” by Gorbachev’s discussion with Baker in May 1989: “In his introductory comments, he noted my presence and commented to Baker that he had heard that I was in charge of a ‘cell’ at the White House with the purpose of discrediting him. He made a few other comments and then told Baker that if they succeeded in their efforts to improve the relationship, then perhaps ‘Mr. Gates would be put out of a job.’” Gates, From the Shadows, 477.

98 Ibid.

99 A number of former officials have described the contingency group, including former CIA director William Webster in his speech at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, November 1999 (author’s notes); but there is some confusion over the timing. For example, Gates, From the Shadows, 526, says he commissioned the group in September 1989 to consider contingency plans under Condoleezza Rice’s leadership.

100 Document No. 56, Gorbachev-Thatcher memcon, April 6, 1989.

101 Document No. 63, Gorbachev-Kohl memcon, June 12, 1989.

102 Document No. 72, Gorbachev-Mitterrand memcon, July 5, 1989.

103 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, Chapter 4, “Untying a Knot,” 86-111, describes Bush’s own stay in Beijing as the ambassador in the 1970s, Scowcroft’s personal relationship with Chinese leaders, the secret mission of Scowcroft and Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger to Beijing in late June 1989, and the rather modest results.

104 The prescient U.S. ambassador in Poland, John Davis, had alerted Washington that the Solidarity victory would be overwhelming: Cable from Warsaw to SecState, “Election ‘89: Solidarity’s Coming Victory: Big or Too Big?” June 2, 1989. Document No. 2 in Gregory Domber, ed., “Solidarity’s Coming Victory: Big or Too Big? Poland’s Revolution as Seen from the U.S. Embassy,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 42, posted April 5, 2001, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB42/

105 Document No. 61, Transcript of the CC Secretariat Meeting of the Polish United Workers Party, June 5, 1989.

106 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 112-113.

107 See Gregory F. Domber, ed., “Solidarity’s Coming Victory: Big or Too Big—Poland’s Revolution as Seen from the U.S. Embassy,” http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB42/, op.cit.

108 The speaker was Viktor Orban of the youth group FIDESZ. Orban would later become prime minister of Hungary as FIDESZ changed into the leading center-right political party.

109 Document No. 69, Bush-Kohl telcon, June 23, 1989.

110 Document No. 70, Kohl letter to Bush, June 28, 1989.

111 Ibid.

112 Remarks by the President at Joint Session of Parliament, The Sejm, Warsaw, Poland, July 10, 1989, (White House Office of the Press Secretary), Bush Library Photocopy.

113 Scowcroft remarked on the contrast between the “same tired old positions” of the “aging” Hungarian oppositionists as compared to “the progressive thinkers in the ranks of the Communists.” Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 126.

114 Remarks by the President at Joint Session of Parliament, The Sejm, Warsaw, Poland, July 10, 1989, (White House Office of the Press Secretary), Bush Library Photocopy, 5; Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 114.

115 Ibid., 126.

116 Remarks by the President at Karl Marx University of Economics, Budapest, Hungary, July 12, 1989, (White House Office of the Press Secretary), Bush Library Photocopy.

117 This is the pioneering conclusion of Gregory F. Domber in his superb dissertation study of the Polish Solidarity revolution, “Supporting the Revolution: America, Democracy, and the End of the Cold War in Poland, 1981-1989,” George Washington University, 2008.

118 Document No. 68, Kohl-Bush telcon, June 15, 1989.

119 Ibid.

120 Document No. 76, Information Note Regarding George H.W. Bush’s Visit to Poland (July 9-11), July 18, 1989. Notatka Informacyjna dot. Wizyty oficjalnej presydenta Stanów Zjednoczonych Ameryki George H. Bush (9-11 lipca 1989 r.), MSZ, 2/94, W-9, Dep III (1989), Ap 220-9-89. Document and translation courtesy of Gregory Domber.

121 Scowcroft admitted in the joint memoir with Bush that “I had the definite impression that the President wanted to sit down with Gorbachev at an early date” but “He did not press the idea…” so Scowcroft was able to prevent it (p. 46). Bush himself wrote “I was probably less suspicious of Gorbachev than were others on my incoming team” (p. 9).

122 Document No. 76, Information Note Regarding George H.W. Bush’s Visit to Poland (July 9-11), July 18, 1989.

123 Ibid.

124 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 122.

125 Document No. 28, Gorbachev-Czyrek conversation, September 23, 1988.

126 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 130.

127 Document No. 77, Record of Conversation between Aleksandr Yakovlev and Jack Matlock, July 20, 1989.

128 Davis’s role and Bush’s reinforcement stands out in the copious documentary record on 1989 now available from Soviet, U.S., German, Polish, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak, Bulgarian, Baltic, and Romanian sources, as probably the only moment in that entire year where any U.S. official made any appreciable difference in the course of events. Cable from Warsaw to SecState, “How to Elect Jaruzelski without Voting for Him, and Will He Run,” June 23, 1989; Document No. 4 in Gregory F. Domber, ed., “Solidarity’s Coming Victory: Big or Too Big—Poland’s Revolution as Seen from the U.S. Embassy,” http:// www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB12/, op.cit. The Michnik column appeared in Gazeta Wyborcza, July 3, 1989.

129 Document No. 76, Information Note Regarding George H.W. Bush’s Visit to Poland (July 9-11), July 18, 1989.

130 Jack Nelson, “‘Berlin Wall Will Come Down,’ Bush Predicts; It Will Go During His Presidency, He Declares in Interview; Also Says He Trusts Gorbachev,” Los Angeles Times, September 5, 1989, George Bush Presidential Library Photocopy.

131 Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p.134.

132 Georgy Shakhnazarov, Musgrove transcript, 204.

133 Speech by Premier Ladislav Adamec at the Extraordinary Session of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Central Committee, November 24, 1989, Document No. 7 in Thomas Blanton, ed., “The Revolutions of 1989,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 22, posted November 5, 1999, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/19991105/

134 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 117. Though it must be noted that Matlock himself, as early as August 1989, reassured Washington that the Soviets would not intervene in Poland: “In keeping with Soviet ‘new thinking’ in foreign policy, a strong reaction to Polish events does not seem to be appropriate.… [A]lthough Solidarity may be a bitter pill to swallow, our best guess is that the Soviets will do so, if it comes to that, after much gagging and gulping. Their essential interests in Poland will be satisfied by any regime, Solidarity-led or not, that can promote domestic stability and avoid anti-Soviet outbursts.” Cable from Moscow to SecState, “If Solidarity Takes Charge, What Will the Soviets Do?” August 16, 1989, Document No. 8 in Gregory F. Domber, ed., “Solidarity’s Coming Victory: Big or Too Big—Poland’s Revolution as Seen from the U.S. Embassy,” http://www. gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB42/, op.cit.

135 Robert Gates, From the Shadows, 468.

136 “Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session with Reporters on the Relaxation of East German Border Controls,” November 9, 1989, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, George Bush, 1989, Book II: July 1 to December 31, 1989, (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1990), 1488-1490.

137 For the fascinating back story on Reagan’s speech, see James Mann, The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan, 117-219.

138 For the most important documents on the events of November 9, 1989, including the press conference transcript of Schabowski’s blunders, together with extensive analysis based on hundreds of interviews, see Hertle, “The Fall of the Wall;” for insightful analysis of East German and West German motives, see Sarotte, “Elite Intransigence and the End of the Berlin Wall;” for the most vivid television images, see the CNN Cold War series, Episode 23, “The Wall Comes Down” (www.CNN.com/ColdWar).

139 See the West German and U.S. telcons for Bush-Kohl conversations on June 15, 1989; June 23, 1989; October 23, 1989, (Document No. 94); and November 10, 1989, (Document No. 102).

140 Document No. 100, Kohl-Wałęsa memcon, November 9, 1989.

141 Document No. 94, Bush-Kohl telcon, October 23, 1989.

142 Document No. 105, Bush-Kohl telcon, November 17, 1989.

143 Document No. 103, Gorbachev-Kohl telcon, November 11, 1989.

144 Document No. 104, Gorbachev-Mitterrand memcon, November 14, 1989.

145 Document No. 109, Letter from Helmut Kohl to George H.W. Bush, Bonn, November 28, 1989, (first published in German in Kusters and Hofmann, Deutsche Einheit, op. cit.).

146 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 194-196.

147 Document No. 109, See Savranskaya and Blanton, “The Soviet Origins of Helmut Kohl’s 10 Points,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 296, posted November 18, 2009.

148 Memorandum of Conversation, Meeting with Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of the Federal Republic of Germany, November 21, 1989, 10:10-10:45 a.m., George Bush Presidential Library, 2007-0051-MR. Present on the American side were President Bush, Secretary of State Baker, chief of staff Sununu, adviser Scowcroft, and other aides.

149 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, Excerpts from the Soviet Record, December 2-3, 1989, one-on-one session, December 2, 1989.

150 Anatoly Chernyaev, Musgrove transcript, 192.

151 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, opening session, December 2, 1989. Gorbachev even brought with him to Malta a direct message from Castro to Bush: “During your contacts with the president, we request that you find the ways and means to convey Cuba’s interest in normalizing relations with the United States.”

152 Even after Malta, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney resisted any proposals for arms control, believing the Soviets had not really changed, and saying at a January 16, 1990, White House meeting, “Arms control is in the way of arms reductions.… Why negotiate for further reductions? It just creates problems for the allies.” Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 208-209. Meanwhile, the window was closing in Moscow: Bush and Scowcroft described in retrospect the hard-line opposition to Gorbachev coalescing in March and April 1990, 218, 220, 222.

153 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, plenary session, December 3, 1989.

154 Ibid.

155 Ibid.

156 Ibid.

157 Document No. 111, Memorandum of Conversation between Bush, Sununu, Scowcroft, and Kohl, December 3, 1989, Brussels.

158 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 199.

159 Anatoly Chernyaev, Musgrove transcript, 200.

160 Document No. 113, Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Genscher, Moscow, December 5, 1989.

161 Document No. 116, Aboimov-Matlock memcon, December 25, 1989, Soviet Foreign Ministry. See the discussion in Blanton, “When Did the Cold War End?” including Ambassador Matlock’s commentary on the meeting.

162 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, one-on-one session, December 2, 1989.

163 Bush-Kohl letter, February 9, 1990, Document No. 170 in Kusters and Hofmann, Deutsche Einheit. Kohl told Bush in his phone call of February 13, 1990, that “the letter you sent to me before I left for Moscow will one day be considered one of the great documents in German-American history.”

164 For the Bush and Scowcroft commentary on their surprise, see A World Transformed, 233 and 258.

165 Document No. 85, Thatcher-Gorbachev memcon, September 23, 1989, and Document 89, Chernyaev’s diary, October 9, 1989.

166 Document No. 118, Excerpt from Chernyaev’s Diary, January 28, 1990. The meeting included Gorbachev, Yakovlev, Shakhnazarov, Chernyaev, Shevardnadze, Ryzhkov, Kryuchkov, Falin, Federov and Akhromeyev. Chernyaev was most shocked at the ignorance of the supposed expert on Germany, Rafail Federov, who claimed “nobody wants unification, especially in the FRG.” But Gorbachev, just as he would in the Soviet Union, vastly underestimated the degree to which the communists had lost legitimacy, remarking about the SED (even after Kryuchkov said the SED “ceased to exist”) that “it cannot be that among 2.5 million party members there is nobody to constitute a real force.” The SED’s successor party would win only 16 percent of the vote in the March 18 elections.

167 See Grachev, Gorbachev’s Gamble, 157-158.

168 Document No. 119, Record of Conversation between Gorbachev and Baker, February 9, 1990.

169 Ibid.

170 Ibid.

171 Bush and Scowcroft, A World Transformed, 236-237.

172 Document No. 110, The Malta Summit, plenary session, December 3, 1989.

173 See Goldgeier, Not Whether but When.

174 Document No. 120, Letter from Baker to Kohl, February 10, 1990.

175 Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Telephone Call from Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the Federal Republic of Germany, February 13, 1990, 1:49-2:00 p.m., The Oval Office. George Bush Presidential Library photocopy.

176 Brown, The Gorbachev Factor, 246-247.

177 Zelikow and Rice, Germany Unified, 190.

178 MccGwire, “NATO Expansion;” and Kramer, “The Myth of a No-NATO-Enlargement Pledge to Russia.”

179 Kramer, “The Myth of a No-NATO-Enlargement Pledge to Russia,” 48. Kramer also undercuts Gorbachev’s emphatic use of the Russian word nepriemlemyi by translating it as “undesirable” when the actual meaning is “unacceptable” (even Baker’s subsequent letter to Kohl renders the word as “unacceptable”). See Document No. 120.

180 Quoted in Kramer, 39.

181 Jack Matlock, Musgrove transcript, 208.

182 Garton Ash, In Europe’s Name, 123.

183 Document No. 76, Bush-Jaruzelski Information Note, July 18, 1989.

184 Document No. 107, Gorbachev-Mazowiecki memcon, November 24, 1989.

185 Hutchings, American Diplomacy, 11.

186 András Bozóki, panel commentary, University of Pavia conference, “Britain and Europe in the 1980s: East and West,” October 2, 2007, notes by the author who served on the same panel.

187 “Dictatorship is coming,” he warned the Congress of People’s Deputies. See Shevardnadze, The Future Belongs to Freedom, 212; Dobbs, Down with Big Brother, 325.

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