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Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the…

de Peter Schweizer

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701295,517 (3.67)1
This explosive book chronicles why and how Ronald Reagan helped to bring down the Soviet Union. Based on exclusive interviews with key participants, including Caspar Weinberger, George Schultz, John Poindexter, Robert McFarlane, and William Clark, Peter Schweizer provides the riveting details of how the Reagan inner circle undermined the Soviet economy and its dwindling resource base to subvert the Kremlin's hold on its global empire. Using secret diplomacy, the administration dramatically reduced Soviet income while simultaneously driving Moscow to expend an increasing amount of precious assets. There was also an American initiative to provide covert aid to indigenous forces in Poland and Afghanistan to roll back Soviet power. Schweizer's compelling argument for the Reagan administration's calculated strategy is impossible to ignore.… (mais)
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EDITED: In light of new information that I've gathered recently, I've decided to change my rating of this book. Apparently the information that Schweizer imparts in this book is mostly hokum. As such I've downgraded my rating of it to 1/2 star.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a lot of discussion as to what was more responsible for it occurring: American policies or Mikhail Gorbachev's refusal to use force to maintain Russian hegemony. With Victory Peter Schweizer may not be in the group that says it was all American policies that brought down the Soviet threat, but he does put forward a convincing argument that U.S. foreign policy did speed up the Soviet downfall.

The gist of Schweizer's argument is that Reagan administration officials recognized that the Soviet economic system was inherently unstable and would be quick to fall apart if the right amount of pressure were applied. Entering the 1980s, the Soviet economy was staying afloat primarily because of its ability to export large amounts of oil and gold for a very high price. U.S. policy amounted to trying to bring down the price of each item so that the Soviets would have a difficult time earning enough foreign credits to import key goods. This would cause a crisis by forcing the Soviet government to either reduce the availability of consumer goods for the Soviet people, which would cause civil unrest or to reduce military spending, which would reduce the Soviets ability to compete with the U.S.

The Reagan administration accomplished this policy goal by taking the hard choice to cozy up to some unsavory regimes, like South Africa's Apartheid and the Saudi regimes, despite the large amount of grief it got them around the world and in the U.S. Reagan made the decision that rolling back Soviet power was the more important goal and that the U.S. could deal with these other repressive regimes once the Soviet threat had been dealt with.

Above all, this book shows the importance to any country's foreign policy of setting priorities with a clear hierarchy. You have to decide what the biggest threats are facing the country and deal with them first. A country that doesn't set its priorities cannot be said to have a foreign policy at all. ( )
  Bretzky1 | Jul 4, 2011 |
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This explosive book chronicles why and how Ronald Reagan helped to bring down the Soviet Union. Based on exclusive interviews with key participants, including Caspar Weinberger, George Schultz, John Poindexter, Robert McFarlane, and William Clark, Peter Schweizer provides the riveting details of how the Reagan inner circle undermined the Soviet economy and its dwindling resource base to subvert the Kremlin's hold on its global empire. Using secret diplomacy, the administration dramatically reduced Soviet income while simultaneously driving Moscow to expend an increasing amount of precious assets. There was also an American initiative to provide covert aid to indigenous forces in Poland and Afghanistan to roll back Soviet power. Schweizer's compelling argument for the Reagan administration's calculated strategy is impossible to ignore.

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