By Eric Vandenbroeck and co-workers

Shultz would not let the matter rest, however. He told the president, "To succeed, we have to have a team: right now there isn't one. Cap Weinberger, Bill Casey, Jeane Kirkpatrick [ambassador to the United Nations], and I just don't see things the same way." Shultz said he was fed up with the leaks, end runs, and delaying tactics. It was impossible to get anything done. "I'm frustrated," he told Reagan, "and I'm ready to step aside."89

Reagan would never fire Cap Weinberger, a longtime friend and associate, but he knew he had to make a choice. "Cap was not as interested as George in opening negotiations with the Russians," Reagan recalled, "and some of his advisors at the Pentagon strongly opposed some of my ideas on arms control that George supported, including my hope for eventually eliminating all nuclear weapons from the world." Weinberger and his conservative allies in Congress told Reagan that Shultz "had gone soft on the Russians." Reagan knew this was nonsense, but he also knew that he had to resolve the differences between McFarlane and Shultz on the one hand and Weinberger, Casey, and Ed Meese on the other. The "dispute is so out of hand that George sounds like he wants out. I can't let that happen," Reagan wrote in his diary right after his victory in the 1984 presidential election. "Actually, George is carrying out my policy. I'm going to meet with Cap and Bill and lay it out to them. Won't be fun but has to be done."90

The exchanges with Chernenko were not leading anywhere, but Reagan's mind was made up. He had learned a great deal during his first four years as president and believed he could pursue a peace agenda with the Russians when the opportunity presented itself. "Hang tough and stay the course," he said to himself and his advisers. "America was back," and the Soviets knew it. Eventually, they would be more forthcoming.91 Reagan was a patient, stubborn man. He wanted to bargain, but from strength. He seemed very much like Harry Truman when Truman had said that he wanted to cooperate with the Russians, so long as he could get his way 85 percent of the time.92

Reagan had tremendous faith in his own negotiating skills, disarming friends and foes alike with his relaxed, calm, modest, and self-effacing manner. He was sentimental yet unemotional, a "warmly ruthless man," wrote Martin Anderson.93 Reagan had the gift "of setting you utterly at ease," wrote David Stockman. He was a "master of friendly diplomacy," said Shultz, and "was easy to like. "94 He was often short on facts and devoid of knowledge but, according to Richard Pipes, "had irresistible charm. "95 But he was no pushover. He was calculating, competitive, tough-minded, and disciplined. He instinctively grasped the rhythm of negotiations. His stubborn patience was a powerful weapon, as were his apt use of humor and anecdote, simple language, and strong convictions.96

By 1984, Reagan was eager to apply his negotiating skills to the Russians. "There is renewed optimism throughout the land," he said in his State of the Union message on 25 January. "America is back, standing tall, looking to the eighties with courage, confidence, and hope." He had great plans for the new year and for a new presidential term, a term that he was determined to win through a decisive electoral victory. "America has always been greatest when we dared to be great." He now invited the Soviet people to join him in his dream to make a safer world, "to preserve our civilization in this modem age." "A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," Reagan declared. Speaking to the members of Congress who sat before him, but explicitly directing his remarks across the oceans, he asked the "People of the Soviet Union" to join America in a quest for peace. "If your government wants peace, there will be peace. We can come together in faith and friendship to build a safer and far better world for our children and our children's children. "97

Reagan's tough actions and increasingly mellow talk sat well with the American people. His defense buildup, deployment of intermediate-range missiles, intervention in Grenada, and aid to the Mujahedin in Afghanistan were popular, even while his support of the Contras in Nicaragua and his indifference to human rights violations in EI Salvador and Guatemala triggered virulent opposition. His wife and some of his political advisers, such as Michael Deaver, nurtured the president's more conciliatory rhetoric, wanting to dispel the warmongering image the Democrats liked to employ against him. But Reagan did not cater to the polls. He hated arguments based on politics, and he believed he could read the temperature of the American people better than anyone.98

Reagan won a smashing victory in the 1984 elections. His opponent, former vice president Walter Mondale, won only his home state and the District of Columbia. Reagan promised throughout the campaign that "morning in America" meant more of the same: smaller government, less regulation, and more freedom. In his second inaugural address, on 21 January 1985, he proposed an "opportunity society" at home "in which all of us-white and black, rich and poor, young and old, will go forward together, arm in arm." He thought a "new beginning" had been achieved during his first administration domestically, and freedom was on the march internationally. He promised an unwavering quest for peace based on strength. Through negotiations with the Kremlin, he was determined to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and seek their "total elimination ... from the face of the earth." He insisted that his Star Wars "security shield" was an eminently sensible way to proceed. "It wouldn't kill people; it would destroy weapons. It wouldn't militarize space; it would help demilitarize the arsenals on earth. "99

Chernenko and his aides did not know quite what to make of Reagan's new public rhetoric. Through most of 1984, Chernenko had sent friendly replies to Reagan.lOO He authorized the renewal of talks that had been suspended when the Pershing lIs had been deployed in West Germany. These discussions bogged down quickly, but Gromyko accepted an invitation to meet with Reagan in the White House at the end of September 1984. As Reagan put it in his diary, the president opened "with my monologue and made the point that perhaps both of us felt the other was a threat." Both men acknowledged that both sides had mountains of nuclear weapons that were getting higher and more dangerous. "I tried to let him know," Reagan recalled, "that the Soviet Union had nothing to fear from us." To Reagan, Gromyko appeared "hard as granite." To Shultz, he seemed "comfortable with the Cold War." But Gromyko nonetheless took Nancy Reagan aside at a reception before lunch and whispered playfully, "Does your husband believe in peace?" Nancy replied that he did. "Then whisper 'peace' in your husband's ear every night," Gromyko said.101

Shultz and McFarlane kept nudging Reagan to push forward with his overtures to Chernenko, but on 10 March 1985 Chernenko died. He was the third Soviet leader to pass away on Reagan's watch. The president had tried to engage each of them but had had little success, partly because of their reluctance, partly because they could not discern the American president's real intentions when his rhetoric and actions often seemed so threatening.102

Yet Reagan's and Shultz's hopes for the future were lucidly outlined in the talking points prepared for Vice President Bush when he headed to Moscow to attend Chernenko's funeral and talk to the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. "I bring with me a message ... of peace," Bush was scripted to tell Gorbachev. "We know this is a time of difficulty; we would like it to be a time of opportunity." The Soviet and American systems were different, and the differences would not disappear soon. "Our relationship is bound to be essentially competitive. But it is in the interest of both countries to compete and resolve problems in peaceful ways, and to build a more stable and constructive relationship. We know that some of the things we do and say sound threatening or hostile to you. The same is true for us." But the point Bush was supposed to stress was that "neither the American government nor the American people has hostile intentions toward you." They recognized that "you have suffered a great deal, and struggled a great deal, throughout your history." They recognized that World War II was a great triumph for the Soviet Union and a great tragedy. The triumph opened up possibilities for a more peaceful world; the tragedy was that the opportunities were squandered. Now there was a new chance. "We are ready to embark on that path with you. It is the path of negotiations." A number of agreements had already been signed, but there could be more. "We think it is a time to be more energetic, to tackle larger issues, to set higher goals .... [W]e should strive to eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the earth." Both nations should aim for a "stable deterrence based on non-nuclear defense .... [W]e should approach the other issues between us with the same energy and vision. We should seek to rid the world of the threat or use of force in international relations."103

Bush did not actually say these words at the meeting, but wandered instead into a discussion of regional issues and human rights. But then Secretary Shultz looked directly at Gorbachev and conveyed the president's message: "President Reagan told me to look you squarely in the eyes and tell you: 'Ronald Reagan believes this is a very special moment in the history of mankind.' "104

Mikhail Gorbachev impressed Shultz and Bush. He was lively, energetic, and intelligent. He listened, asked questions, and probed. He liked to talk. He was smart and self-confident. "He has a deep and sharp mind," Gromyko had said at the Politburo meeting that elected Gorbachev general secretary, and was a man who could "distinguish the primary from the secondary .... He dissects every issue to see its structure. But he doesn't leave it at that-he generalizes and draws broader conclusions. He's a man of principle and conviction ........He's straightforward with people ... can say things not to your liking but  get along with different people." 105 Shultz saw precisely these traits. "In Gorbachev we have an entirely different kind of leader in the Soviet Union than we have experienced before," he told Bush. Gorbachev was quick, fresh, engaging, and wide-ranging. "I came away genuinely impressed with the quality of thought, the intensity, and the intellectual energy of this new man on the scene," Shultz recalled.106

Mikhail Gorbachev was born in the village of Privolnoe in the Stavropol region of southern Russia on 2 March 1931. His grandparents were peasants. His mother's father was an ardent supporter of the Bolshevik revolution, a member of the Communist Party, and an organizer of a collective farm; his father's father, Andrei Gorbachev, wished to farm independently. Andrei and his family suffered terribly during the great famine of 1933, and he was arrested the following year for failing to meet the government's sowing quota. During the 1930s, both grandfathers at different times were declared "enemies of the people" and incarcerated in concentration camps before returning to Stavropol, where they then worked diligently and productively on collective farms. Gorbachev's grandmothers, meanwhile, were deeply religious, as was his own mother. Gorbachev himself was secretly baptized. "Under the icon on a little home-made table stood portraits of Lenin and Stalin," he remembered.107

Gorbachev was ten when the Nazis invaded. "Wartime impressions and experiences remain engraved in my mind," he wrote. In August 1941 his father, along with all the other men in the village, was conscripted. "Entire families would accompany their men, profusely shedding tears and voicing parting wishes all the way. We said goodbye at the village center. Women, children, and old men cried their hearts out, the weeping merging into one heart-rending wail of sorrow." 108

Only women and children remained in the village. Mikhail had to take over his father's household chores and cultivate the vegetable patch that provided the family food. "The wartime children skipped from childhood directly to adulthood," he wrote. In late summer 1942, German armies occupied the village. "Rum ours of mass executions in the neighboring towns circulated, and of machines that poisoned people with gas." Mikhail and his mother and grandparents feared for their lives. But they were saved when Soviet troops returned in early 1943 and drove the Germans westward. During that year everything in the village had been destroyed-"no machines were left, no cattle, no seeds. We ploughed the land by hitching cows from our individual households. The picture is still fresh in my memory," Gorbachev continued, "the women crying and the sad eyes of the cows." Famine raged. His mother sold his father's clothes and boots for a sack of com. They planted seed. The rains came. They lived. 109

In late summer 1944, they received a letter saying Mikhail's father had been killed. But the news was wrong. He had survived. He had fought at Rostov, Kursk, and many other battlefields; in his brigade alone, 440 soldiers were killed, 120 wounded, and 651 missing. But he survived, returning home in mid-1945 after being wounded.110

War meant devastation; war meant trauma. Those who were too young to fight were spared some of the worst pain and suffering, but they occasionally caught shocking glimpses of the meaning of war. Roaming the countryside in March 1943, when the snows were beginning to melt, young Mikhail and his friends "stumbled upon the remains of Red Army soldiers." They beheld "unspeakable horror: decaying corpses, partly devoured by animals, skulls in rusted helmets. . . . There they lay, in the thick mud of the trenches and craters, unburied, staring at us out of black, gaping eye-sockets. We came home in a state of shock." Mikhail would never forget. "I was fourteen when the war ended. Our generation is the generation of wartime children. It has burned us, leaving its mark both on our characters and our view of the world."l11

Life in the postwar Russian countryside was hard. Drought struck. Harvests were poor. Famine wracked the villages in 1946 and 1947. "There was nothing but hard labor and the belief that once reconstruction was complete, we would finally be able to lead a normal life," Gorbachev wrote. "Hope inspired the most laborious, humiliating work."112

Gorbachev was ambitious. In school, he compiled an exemplary record. He also joined the Komsomol, the Young Communist League. He was socialized. The school system, he later commented, "played an enormous role in forming our ideas about the world; it sought to convince us by all means at its disposal that we were living in the most just form of society. Thus we developed the outlook ... that no alternative was possible."113

Of course, he grasped that the realities around him did not correspond to the theories that were inculcated in him. But the ideals were inspiring. "The impulse provided by the revolution had a powerful effect: freedom, land, ... human dignity for those who had been humiliated-the belief in all those values was, in spite of everything, something quite positive. "114 He was motivated, moreover, by his father's becoming a communist at the battlefront. For Gorbachev, as for so many others, "the war was not only a great victory over fascism but proof that our country's cause was the right one. And by the same token," he reminisced, "so was the cause of Communism." After the victory over the Nazis, "there existed a truly positive subjective attitude toward Soviet society on the part of entire generations who connected their dearest hopes and plans in life with the success of that society."115

As a teenager, Gorbachev labored in the fields during the summer with his father, a machinist and tractor driver, whom he greatly admired for his intelligence, industry, courage, and intellectual curiosity. In 1948, working together and with another father-and-son team, they produced a record harvest, five or six times the average. Gorbachev's father won an Order of Lenin prize and Mikhail the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. The young Gorbachev greatly valued this award, which was instrumental in winning him admission to Moscow State University, an unprecedented opportunity for a peasant lad from the boondocks whose grandfathers had been enemies of the people.ll6

Studying law transformed Gorbachev's life. Initially, he felt inadequate. His preparatory education had not been on a par with that of the more urbane students from Moscow and Leningrad. But he was hardworking, ambitious, curious, and intellectually gifted. He loved delving into topics he had not previously explored. The curriculum presumed that in order to study law you needed to understand the socioeconomic and political processes that undergirded the law. Gorbachev preferred the courses in history, diplomacy, political economy, and philosophy to the more practical legal courses. Although much brainwashing went on, he was exposed to new ideas, new students, and stimulating faculty. "The lectures revealed a new world, entire strata of human knowledge hitherto unknown to me."117

When, in 1953, Stalin died, it was "a heavy blow that we found hard to endure," Gorbachev acknowledged many years later. "All night long we were part of the crowd going to his coffin." But university life changed for the better after the dictator's death. Lectures became more interesting, seminars livelier. "Doubts were expressed-warily at first, but gradually more outspoken." Traditional interpretations were challenged. Gorbachev learned "how to think. ... Before the university I was trapped in my belief system in the sense that I accepted a great deal as given, as assumptions not to be questioned. At the university I began to think and reflect and to look at things differently." 118

He met his soul mate, Raisa Titorenko, at the university. An accomplished student of philosophy, she also came from a family that had experienced the purges and terror of the 1930s. With Raisa, Gorbachev found somebody with whom he could discuss his concerns and share his ambitions. They were married in 1953. She did not have his social skills, but she was smart, incisive, and committed to ameliorating the many ills of the Soviet system, including the position of women and the backward conditions of the peasantry, subjects she studied while her husband pursued his career.1l9

After graduating from Moscow State University, Gorbachev returned to Stavropol. For the next two decades, he moved steadily up the ranks, first of the Komsomol and then of the local and regional Communist Party. As he worked on party and agricultural issues and traveled around the region, he learned much about the poverty and backwardness of his country. The infrastructure of Stavropol-health care, education, transport, and water supply-was in miserable shape. "Sewage often poured into the open gutters lining the streets." He was dismayed by the sterility of thought of local officials. All directives emanated from Moscow. He, like everybody else, "was bound hand and foot by orders from the center." Gorbachev longed for enlightened leadership from Moscow, but the hopes initially inspired by Khrushchev's thaw quickly faded. Kosygin's economic reforms floundered. "All eyes were fixed on the center," Gorbachev recalled, "and it rejected any kind of innovation, or else it drained the energy and vitality out of any kind of initiative. My first doubts about the effectiveness of the system were born at that time."120

These doubts were reinforced by foreign travel. As he moved up the party ranks, Gorbachev gained the right to travel abroad, for example to the German Democratic Republic and Bulgaria. In 1969, only months after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, he visited Prague and was shocked by the hostility he encountered. In 1971 he went to Italy, in 1972 to Belgium and Holland. Later in the 1970s, he went on trips to Italy and West Germany and traveled extensively in France. As a provincial official in Stavropol, he knew little about the world, so he relished these trips as opportunities to learn. The trips themselves reflect how highly he was regarded by his superiors, since very few Soviet officials received the right to travel in the West during those years. Gorbachev liked talking to foreigners, exchanging ideas, and making comparisons between his way of life and theirs. He felt pride in the Soviet educational system. He believed his countrymen had better access to medical care and a superior public transport system. But his travels abroad bred doubt: [M]y previous belief in the superiority of socialist democracy over the bourgeois system was shaken as I observed the functioning of civic society and the different political systems. Finally, the most significant conclusion drawn from the journeys abroad: people lived in better conditions and were better off than in our country. The question haunted me: why was the standard of living in our country lower than in other developed countries? 121

Doubts about the system did not mean rejection of it. Gorbachev was a devoted communist. He saw that Soviet communism functioned badly, but he nonetheless believed deeply in its values and appreciated its achievements. He later reflected: For many years people experienced an extraordinarily high rate of industrial growth, the tangible and undeniable change from a backward country into an industrialized country. People came from remote villages to work in new factories, which they took pride in as their own accomplishment .... The eradication of illiteracy, access to education, and visible improvement in living conditions for the masses after ominous destruction and starvation-all this was not just propaganda, but people's actual experience.

Inefficiencies proliferated and corruption grew, but basic needs were provided and society was not polarized. At "the lowest levels of the social ladder," Gorbachev later recalled, "people did not live in such hopeless circumstances that lack of social mobility was transferred from generation to generation, as is typical for those living in poverty in many countries with capitalist economies." 122

As the party chief in Stavropol, Gorbachev's aims were to accelerate economic growth and ameliorate living conditions. He was energetic, personable, and adaptable. He tried to appoint young people who were talented and creative. "I considered it my duty to support whatever was new and to encourage the development of a democratic atmosphere in our region." He struggled to raise agricultural productivity "not by administrative methods" but by encouraging local autonomy and embracing scientific and technological innovation. He tried to spur the independence of local enterprises. 123

His vigor and determination captured the attention of patrons in Moscow. Fedor Kulakov, minister of agriculture; KGB head Andropov; and Mikhail Suslov, the ideology tsar and party secretary, came to know him. They had close ties with the Stavropol region and liked to vacation there at the numerous spas. Gorbachev had worked under Kulakov when the latter was regional first secretary. When Suslov and Andropov visited Stavropol, Gorbachev found ways to meet with them and ingratiate himself. Andropov liked him. In 1970 Gorbachev was designated first secretary of the Stavropol region. The next year, at the age of forty, he became a full member of the Central Committee. When Kulakov died in 1978, Brezhnev brought Gorbachev to Moscow and appointed him party secretary in charge of agriculture. Shortly thereafter, he was asked to join the Politburo, first as a candidate member and then as a full member. In his late forties, he was nearly twenty-five years younger than his average colleague.124

In Moscow, Gorbachev was eager to bring about change. He met with agricultural economists and other experts, visited various policy institutes, asked questions, listened, and probed. He wanted to decentralize authority, give farmers more responsibility for organizing their work, and pay them according to their productivity. 125 Yet, as long as Brezhnev lived, he was able to accomplish little. By now old and sick, Brezhnev could not organize the work of the government or the party, communicate effectively, or consider new approaches or initiatives. The Politburo, according to Gorbachev, was in "total disarray." Top party leaders were insulated from the people and isolated from one another. At regular meetings in the early 1980s, they talked little about their work and rarely explored new ideas. There was a need to reallocate resources away from the defense establishment, but "the problem could not even be analyzed. All statistics concerning the military-industrial complex were top secret, inaccessible even to members of the Politburo."126 For leaders with reformist instincts, there was little to do but wait for Brezhnev to die.

Meanwhile, Gorbachev kept developing himself. As a high party official, he now had access to books not previously available to him. He was exposed to new ways of thinking about socialism as he perused articles by Willy Brandt and Francois Mitterrand.127 He also initiated contacts with experts on foreign policy and atomic weapons. He met scientists like Yevgeni Velikhov, academicians like Georgi Arbatov, and international relations experts like Anatoli Chernyaev and Georgi Shakhnazarov. On a trip to Canada, he renewed his acquaintance with Alexander Yakovlev, the Soviet ambassador in Ottawa. The two men discovered they were "kindred spirits." "We spoke completely frankly about everything," Yakovlev recalled; "the main idea was that society must change, it must be built on different principles."128

When Brezhnev died and Andropov became general secretary, there was a palpable change in the atmosphere. The former KGB chief wanted to invigorate the system and accelerate industrial production. He looked to Gorbachev to help spearhead overall economic reform. And knowing he was ill, he began grooming the younger man as his successor. He assigned Gorbachev the task of preparing the major address commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of Lenin's death and encouraged him to think more broadly about all issues: "act as if you had to shoulder all the responsibility ... ," said Andropov.129

Andropov set a course that greatly appealed to Gorbachev. He "resolutely denounced all the features commonly associated with Brezhnevism, that is, protectionism, in-fighting and intrigues, corruption, moral turpitude, bureaucracy, disorganization and laxity." 130 He called for the perfection of "developed socialism." Qualitative changes, he insisted, must occur not only in the productive forces of society but also in the superstructure. He meant that labor productivity must increase and new technologies must be embraced, including computers and robots. Like his predecessors, Andropov stressed that the quality of goods must be enhanced. He reminded his comrades that the "ultimate objective of our efforts in the economic field is to improve the living conditions of the people." Even while he demanded stricter discipline, he also believed that socialist democracy must be broadened, that the" activities of the party and state bodies [must be brought] closer to the needs and interests of the people."131

Andropov did not hesitate to say that the challenges were daunting. "Frankly speaking we have not yet studied properly the society in which we live and work, and have not yet fully revealed the laws governing its development, particularly economic ones," he acknowledged in a speech to the party plenum on 15 June 1983. "This is why we have to act at times empirically, so to speak, by the quite irrational trial-and-error method." Life constantly interjected new problems, and scientific study was required. But science and technology conjured up new challenges and threats, too.132

No threat was greater than that of nuclear war. "An unprecedented sharpening of the struggle between the two world social systems has taken place," said Andropov. "[But] an attempt to solve the historical dispute between the two systems through a military clash could be disastrous to mankind." Preserving the peace was therefore his main objective. So important was it, he insisted, that one had to "reappraise the principal goals ... of the entire communist movement." Fighting" oppression and the exploitation of man by man" had always been an overriding concern, but nowadays communists "must also struggle for the preservation of human civilization, for man's right to life." Capitalism was facing ever graver crises, besieged as it was by "internal and interstate antagonisms, upheavals, and conflicts." But within the capitalist world were factions and movements that realized the necessity of peaceful coexistence. Andropov wanted them to know that he shared their hope for peaceful coexistence, which met "the interests of the peoples on both sides of the social barricades dividing the world." 133

Andropov still "believed that the future belongs to socialism. Such is the march of history." But this did not mean that "we are going to engage in the 'export of revolution.' " Socialism would "ultimately prove its advantages precisely in the conditions of peaceful competition with capitalism. And we by no means advocate competition in the military field, which imperialism is foisting on us." Although he would never sacrifice the security of the U.s.S.R. or its allies and was prepared to enhance the combat power of the nation's armed forces, he preferred "to reduce the level of armaments and military spending on both sides and embark on disarmament, which we are actively seeking." The goal of the Soviet Union, he concluded, was not merely to avert war but to seek a radical improvement in international relations.134

These ideas appealed to Gorbachev, but they were put on hold when Andropov died in early 1984. Gorbachev briefly thought he might be elected general secretary, but the old guard united behind Konstantin Chernenko, who led the country for a year. Seventy-three years old, sick, and infirm, he was an embarrassment to those who yearned for dynamism and innovation. Although he talked about proceeding in the direction set by Andropov, he lacked the vigor, imagination, and determination to shake up the party cadres, catalyze economic change, spur production, or reconfigure relations with the United States. Since Chernenko often was too sick to attend Politburo meetings, Gorbachev grew accustomed to running them. Then, as Chernenko's death grew near-he died on 11 March 1985-Gorbachev mobilized his supporters. Eager to take command, he was not to be outfoxed a second time by his opponents. He wanted to reform and revitalize the system, and he had developed his own ideas about how to move forward. "We can't go on living like this," he whispered to Raisa on the eve of assuming power. He thought the "system was dying away; its sluggish senile blood no longer contained any vital juices." 135

The next day, at the meetings of the Politburo and the Central Committee, he was unanimously elected general secretary. Applause greeted the choice.136 It was twilight in Moscow, but Gorbachev offered a glimpse of a new dawn. At the Central Committee meeting that officially designated him the new general secretary, Gorbachev outlined his vision. Without repudiating the past, he emphasized that the Soviet economy must be rejuvenated and its society revitalized. He wanted to accelerate production, restructure economic management, and promote openness and democracy,137 "Accelerate" meant to incorporate scientific and technological innovations promptly into Soviet industry, to heighten labor productivity, and to combat alcoholism. Socialist democracy must be nurtured along with more discipline and more order, Gorbachev said. Individual workers had to be reengaged in production, develop a sense of ownership in the process. More self-management demanded more transparency (glasnost),13s Gorbachev believed that more democracy in the workplace meant more socialism. And more socialism meant more social justice, the feature that distinguished socialism from capitalism and made it more likely to satisfy man's quest for personal fulfillment and creativity.139

Turning to foreign affairs, Gorbachev stated unequivocally that the arms race must be curbed. "Never before has such a terrible danger hung over the heads of humanity in our times," he told his comrades. "The only rational way out of the current situation is for the opposing forces to agree to immediately stop the arms race-above all, the nuclear arms race."140

The mounting stockpiles of nuclear weapons made no sense to Gorbachev. They did not contribute to national security, and he believed a nuclear war could not be won and must never be waged. "In the atomic-cosmic era," he would say in May 1986, "world war is an absolute evil."141 Nor did he think that nuclear weapons could be used politically to blackmail or intimidate an adversary in a crisis. Risk-taking of this sort could be suicidal, as war might arise through miscalculation if the adversary did not back down. Nuclear weapons "must stop being used in a political role because it's impossible to achieve our goals using [them]."142

The greatest danger to Soviet communism, however, did not arise from external threats. Gorbachev "did not think anyone was going to attack us," said Anatoli Chernyaev, one of the foreign-policy experts who became an aide to the new Soviet leader in February 1986. Soviet military capabilities were sufficiently great "to repulse the desire for aggression."143 However, Gorbachev did consider the Soviet Union imperiled by internal decay. The arms race had to be tamed and international relations defused because these steps were indispensable for the success of his domestic program. "[W]e understood that if nothing was changed in our foreign policy, we would get nowhere with regard to the internal changes we had in mind," Gorbachev recalled. Chernyaev emphasized that there was an intimate connection "between every important domestic issue and foreign policy."144

Gorbachev's thinking adumbrated a radical shift in ideology. Imperialism was still to be worried about; vigilance was necessary.145 The United States, Gorbachev would say over and over again during his first years in office, was trying to exhaust the Soviet Union, "waiting for us to drown."146 He would not allow his country to be intimidated by superior American power, and he was initially prepared to shift more resources to modernize Soviet defense capabilities. Military preparedness is "for us the sacred of the sacred."147 But the primary threat emanated from within, from the communist system's failure to fulfill the expectations of the Soviet people, to produce the goods people wanted, and to ensure the way of life they anticipated.

Restructuring was the key to a revival of socialism's appeal. "Contemporary world politics [was] a struggle for the minds and hearts of people," Gorbachev believed.148 In this contest, socialism offered a glorious vision of social justice and individual fulfillment. But "the international impetus of socialism had lessened."149 By restoring its dynamism at home, he could increase its attractiveness abroad. When he was elected general secretary, he made it clear that he wanted to focus on domestic issues. On 15 March 1985, he told a conference of party secretaries that the U.S.S.R "should emphasize domestic issues and solving the economic and social problems of our country's development." In his report to the twenty-seventh Party Congress on 25 February 1986, he would reiterate that the main "international duty" of the party was to ensure the success of the revolution at home.150

Gorbachev recognized from the outset, however, that his domestic goals could not be achieved without readjusting Soviet foreign policy. He understood, according to Chernyaev, that "in order to pursue some sort of transformation, to improve Socialism, nothing could be done unless you stop the arms race." The purpose of foreign policy, Gorbachev said a year after taking over leadership, was to "do everything ... to weaken the grip of expenses on defense." He was to be even more explicit at a Politburo meeting in October 1986, when he discussed his strategy for his forthcoming meeting with President Reagan at Reykjavik, Iceland. "Our goal is to prevent the next round of the arms race. If we do not accomplish it, ... [w]e will be pulled into an arms race that is beyond our capabilities, and we will lose it, because we are at the limits of our capabilities." Gorbachev's comrades agreed, even most of the military officers, if not the civilian managers in the defense industries.l5l

To defuse international tensions and promote an atmosphere conducive to arms cuts, Gorbachev wanted to transform the image of the Soviet Union. "From the very beginning," Chernyaev stressed,"he ... knew that you could not change society if you did not first change the attitudes of other countries toward the Soviet Union." The "image of our country ... when Gorbachev came to power was actually the worst it [had] ever been in the eyes of international society," said Sergei Tarasenko, another influential foreign-policy adviser. For almost a decade the country had been run by a group of elderly, infirm men who seemed out of touch with contemporary needs at home and abroad. The invasion of Mghanistan, the escalation of the arms race, the declaration of martial law in Poland, the incessant wrangling with China, the destruction of the Korean civilian airliner, and the stagnation of the economy had soiled the Kremlin's reputation and discredited its leaders. "[O]ne of the first concerns of the Gorbachev administration," Tarasenko continued, "was to repair this image so the Soviet Union wouldn't be viewed as the 'evil empire.' "152

Gorbachev immediately went to work trying to alter the image of the Soviet Union and to promote better relations with the United States. On 24 March 1985, a few days after speaking forcefully to Vice President Bush and Secretary of State Shultz about the need for a new beginning, he sent his first letter to President Reagan:
Our countries are different by their social systems, by the ideologies dominant in them. But we believe that this should not be a reason for animosity. Each social system has a right to life, and it should prove its advantages not by force, not by military means, but on the path of peaceful competition with the other system. And all people have the right to go the way they have chosen themselves, without anybody imposing his will on them from outside.
The two countries, Gorbachev continued, had one overriding interest uniting them: "not to let things come to the outbreak of nuclear war which would inevitably have catastrophic consequences for both sides." The leaders needed to stop "whipping up animosity," to assess their differences calmly, and to "create an atmosphere of trust between our two countries." Gorbachev welcomed a personal meeting with the U.S. president.153 Like Reagan, he believed that "normal relationships" across ideological lines must be built on "a human basis."154

Reagan wrote back swiftly and warmly, asking Gorbachev to meet with Congressman Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and other legislators visiting Moscow. Gorbachev readily complied. On 10 April, he said candidly to O'Neill: "The relations between our countries are presently in a kind of ice age," but they did not have to remain frozen. "A fatal conflict of interest between our countries is not inevitable." There was "a way out, namely, peaceful coexistence, the recognition that each nation has the right to live as it wishes. There is no other alternative." 155

To achieve this goal, Gorbachev needed to plow new ideological ground. He was already beginning to embrace "common security," or "equal security," a concept extensively discussed among European socialists and theorists of international relations and a core ingredient of Gorbachev's "new thinking," which moved the Soviet conception of international relations away from class conflict,156 Of course, words were cheap, and Gorbachev knew that deeds needed to match his rhetoric. He started to explore ways to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan.157 He told the Warsaw Pact allies that he would negotiate to reduce intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe "or, better yet, to reciprocally rid Europe of b<?th intermediate-range and tactical nuclear weapons altogether."158 In July 1985 he announced a unilateral moratorium on Soviet nuclear testing and expressed hope that the United States would reciprocate. 159

The seriousness of Gorbachev's intentions began to impress foreigners when at the end of June 1985 he dramatically removed Andrei Gromyko as foreign minister, a post he had held for more than twenty years. The able, tough-minded veteran diplomat was, in Gorbachev's view, "rigid," his ideas "locked in concrete."160 Gromyko was burdened, as his son later acknowledged, by the memory of Nazi aggression, the "June 22 Syndrome," and by the belief that the Soviet Union was forever encircled and besieged by imperialist enemies.161

In his place, Gorbachev appointed Eduard Shevardnadze, a young Politburo member from Georgia with no foreign-policy experience. Gorbachev knew Shevardnadze well. They were of the same generation, had both endured the hardships of war on the home front, and had moved up the ranks of the party hierarchy simultaneously, Shevardnadze in Georgia and Gorbachev in Stavropol. They had met at meetings and had come to regard one another as kindred spirits. Gorbachev knew that in appointing Shevardnadze he was selecting a foreign minister who would embrace his new thinking. 162

World War II had powerfully shaped Shevardnadze's views, though not as permanently as it had those of the generation of 22 June. "The war shaped me as it did millions of my contemporaries," he recalled. "It formed my convictions and purpose in life." His brother died in the first days of the war; his other brother was immediately summoned to the front. "My mother dressed in mourning for all present and future losses." The Nazi attack confirmed that "outsiders wanted to destroy us, to annihilate us physically. My choice [of communism] was determined by the death of friends and relatives, by the grief, suffering, and privations of millions of people." For Shevardnadze, "the war with fascism became a personal battle .... The fascists were attacking communism, and communism was my religion."163

When appointed foreign minister, he had not grown ashamed of his commitment. "The collectivism that I served with all my might was literally working miracles, transforming barren land, defeating fascism, raising the country from ruins, and therein lay its great authority." But like Gorbachev, Shevardnadze could see the flaws in the system-its lawlessness, its penchant to reduce "a person to a cog who could be crushed with impunity." As party leader in Georgia, Shevardnadze had tried to gain more autonomy, get around the command system, and unleash local initiative, but he was frustrated. "Everything is rotten," he had confided to Gorbachev in late 1984.164

Shevardnadze was flabbergasted by the offer to be foreign minister. He knew little of the world and spoke no foreign language. Georgian was his native tongue, and he spoke Russian with a pronounced accent. But Gorbachev implored him to take the job, for he wanted innovation, courage, and dynamism. He wanted someone, like himself, who could deal with the Americans on a human basis, who could transcend the ideological chasm.165

When Shevardnadze met Secretary of State Shultz in Helsinki at the end of July 1985, he knew little of the details of the arms-control negotiations that had been going on for so many years. He did not hide his ignorance. He told Shultz that he would simply read the talking points that had been prepared for him. His candor and openness impressed Shultz, which was precisely Shevardnadze's intention. His primary goal was to eradicate the "image of the enemy." "We and the Americans were divided by walls built out of the rubble of distrust and stones of ideology," he recalled.166

Shevardnadze's speech in the Finnish capital commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Helsinki Agreement contained the seeds of the new Soviet thinking. The Kremlin, Shevardnadze said, now wanted to defuse international tension and focus on domestic life. Soviet leaders wanted to accelerate social and economic development, promote citizens' well-being, and create the conditions for the "harmonious development of the individual." Soviet foreign policy sprang from these domestic requirements. "In order to carry out its large-scale plans," Shevardnadze concluded, "the Soviet Union needs a lasting peace in Europe, a lasting peace all over the world."167

Gorbachev communicated the same message. In early October 1985, he told a French television audience that his highest priority was "to develop the economy, social relations, and democracy." Answering journalists' questions with vibrant self-confidence, he remarked, "We have different political systems. We have different views of human values. But we also have much in common." Since "we live in the same house, we need to cooperate." When asked about whether the Soviet Union had four million political prisoners, he bristled and said it was "absurd" to talk about numbers of this sort. "We know what has to be done in order to open up even more the best aspects of this social system. And at the center of all our aspirations is man and his needs." 168

He made the same points when he met with leaders of the Warsaw Pact on 22 October, though in that setting he also denounced what he saw as American attempts to accelerate the arms race. "They are planning to win over socialism through war or military blackmail." His hostility to SDI was unreserved: "Its militaristic nature is obvious .... Its purpose is to secure permanent technological superiority of the West, not only over the socialist community, but over [the US] allies as well." If necessary, the Kremlin would counter the American initiative and was already pouring more resources into military research and strategic defense. But he preferred not to do so; it was costly. "We need to force imperialism to undertake concrete steps toward disarmament and normalization of the situation in the world." His aim was to eradicate the Western image of a "Soviet military threat."169 But the new tone was distinctive and the larger message clear: the Soviet Union and the United States obviously had substantial differences, as he wrote to Reagan, but must "proceed from the objective fact that we all live on the same planet and must learn to live together."170

Reagan eagerly anticipated his first encounter with the new general secretary, scheduled for mid-November. The president's "juices were flowing. In a very real sense," he recalled, "preparations for the summit had begun five years earlier, when we began strengthening our economy, restoring our national will, and rebuilding our defenses. I felt ready." 171

He and Shultz knew that Gorbachev wanted to focus on arms reductions and stop the SDI program. 172 Report after report from intelligence analysts in the State Department and CIA stressed that the Soviet Union was "a society in trouble." Although it was not likely to collapse anytime soon, it could no longer serve as a model for restless peoples and revolutionary nationalists seeking rapid modernization and social transformation. In fact, the Americans believed the Soviet regime would be unable to fulfill its people's expectations or to muster the resources to meet Gorbachev's ambitious economic goals.173

Knowing all this, Reagan aimed to extract concessions on matters that interested him: the state of human rights inside the U.S.S.R., the war in Afghanistan, and the turmoil in Central America, southern Africa, and other regional hotspots. To him, arms negotiations were linked to these matters. The tension and animosity between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were, in his view, a result not of armaments but of mistrust. If the Soviet Union wanted arms reductions, as did he, they would have to remove the distrust, help settle regional disputes, and allow some of their dissidents to speak more freely and emigrate more easily.174

President Reagan was willing to bargain-except on the Strategic Defense Initiative. He wrote in his diary on 11 September 1985: "I won't trade our SDI off for some Soviet offer of weapon reductions."175 He hoped to settle other matters-just not right away. Unlike his secretary of defense, director of central intelligence, and head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, he was eager to talk to Gorbachev.176 But Shultz advised him to modulate his expectations; Gorbachev was extremely personable and engaging, but he was also tough and intelligent. The most important thing was to establish a personal rapport, to begin a process.177 Reagan agreed completely. He believed he knew how to negotiate. "You're unlikely to get all you want; you'll probably get more of what you want if you don't issue ultimatums and leave your adversary room to maneuver; you shouldn't back your adversary into a corner, embarrass him, or humiliate him; and sometimes the easiest way to get things done is for the top people to do them alone and in private. "178

Ronald and Nancy Reagan flew to Geneva on 16 November 1985 to meet Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev. Their excitement was palpable. "As we shook hands, I had to admit ... there was something likeable about Gorbachev," the president recalled. "There was warmth in his face and his style." Reagan immediately suggested they chat without advisers, an idea he had been carefully planning. He wanted to establish a sense of intimacy. Together, with only their interpreters, they talked for about an hour.179

"The fate of the world" was in their hands, Reagan began. They could bring peace to the world, if only they could allay the deep suspicions that separated their countries. The president suggested that they focus, first, on building trust; solutions to specific problems would follow if only they could build confidence. Reagan tried to be empathetic, mentioning his understanding of the impact of World War II on the Soviet Union, but he also expressed apprehensions about Soviet efforts to spread Marxism-Leninism by brute force. The U.S.S.R. and the United States, Reagan said, should work together to settle the problems besetting third world countries.180

Gorbachev wanted to build a rapport, too, but he was far more eager than Reagan to reach an agreement on reducing nuclear armaments and preventing an arms race in space. He spoke with warmth and sincerity, and told the president that his intention was to talk quietly and with respect. The Soviet peoples bore no grudges and wished America no harm. He was convinced that they could improve relations but stressed that they had an obligation to solve the overriding question of war and peace. The way to begin was to reduce armaments. Though he shared Reagan's concern about the strife and turmoil in the third world, the Soviet Union was not responsible for the unrest, he argued. Moscow was not "omnipotent." He did not wake each morning thinking about "which country he would now like to arrange a revolution in." Revolutions had their own indigenous causes; the Kremlin supported self-determination, and did not want to impose its way of life on anybody. 181

This initial conversation immediately created a bond between the two met. What was obvious was that they both wanted to build a human relationship, to transcend the ideological divide without abandoning their principles. As they joined the larger delegations, they continued to elaborate on many of the key themes they had introduced in this first talk.

Each leader expressed his concerns about the other's expansionist tendencies. Gorbachev, however, picked up on Reagan's initial theme about building trust. But he wanted more than trust: he wanted Reagan to disavow SDI. The Soviets regarded Star Wars as an American effort to gain supremacy, and as an offensive, not defensive, measure. SDr could not effectively shield America against a premeditated Soviet attack involving thousands of missiles; its utility, therefore, must be to thwart Soviet retaliation should the Americans launch a preemptive strike on the Soviet homeland.

Gorbachev said he knew that some Americans relished a chance to demonstrate technological superiority and ratchet up the arms race, thinking it would wear down the Soviet economy. This strategy, he insisted, would not work: if necessary, "we will build up in order to smash your shield." Yet that was not what he wanted to do. He wanted-and he was surprisingly candid in explaining his thinking-to rechannel money from the arms race into the civilian economy. In both their countries, the military was "devouring huge resources." 182

Over the next day and a half, Reagan repeatedly accused the Soviets of sponsoring revolution around the world, crushing human rights, and building up a gigantic nuclear arsenal. Gorbachev needed to remove American anxieties about these developments, Reagan said. In turn, the U.S. president wanted to allay Soviet fears about Star Wars, which, he maintained, was not part of an offensive strategy; he had no intent to catalyze an arms race in space. To prove American goodwill, Reagan said the United States would share the SDI technologies with the Soviet Union. With both sides having the same defensive capabilities, substantial cuts in strategic weapons, perhaps even the elimination of all nuclear warheads, would be possible.183

Gorbachev and his advisers were baffled by the American position. When Reagan and Gorbachev went off for another private chat in the afternoon, Shevardnadze told Shultz that the president's ideas about Star Wars were a form of "fantasy." Deputy Foreign Minister Georgi Kornienko explained that the Kremlin could never agree to such proposals. How could Soviet officials ~ow for sure that subsequent American presidents would honor Reagan's commitments? "Unfortunately, we knew from history examples of treaties which were signed and then thrown into the wastebasket." The whole idea was "naive."184

Over the two days of conversations, SDI became the great stumbling block. Gorbachev kept explaining why SDI was unacceptable, and Reagan kept insisting that it was being designed for defensive purposes. Why could the Soviets not trust him? "With some emotion," Gorbachev emphasized that verification of space-based technologies would be exceedingly difficult, and he appealed to the president to rethink his attitude. "What was the logic of starting an arms race in a new sphere?"185

The discord over SDI meant that there could be no meeting of minds on the limitation of strategic, intermediate-range, or conventional weapons. Nor was there any agreement on regional disputes. Nonetheless, both Reagan and Gorbachev gained confidence in one another and agreed to meet again, first in Washington and then in Moscow. Gorbachev was disappointed that he left Geneva without concrete understandings, but he sensed that Reagan "was a man you 'could do business with.' "186 In turn, Reagan liked Gorbachev. Already at the end of the first day, Nancy Reagan recalled, "I noticed an unmistakable warmth between them."187

The warmth was most conspicuous during the evening dinners and toasts, when Gorbachev greatly impressed the president and his wife. He was relaxed, asked questions, and had a good sense of humor. "He could tell jokes about himself and even about his country," Reagan wrote, "and I grew to like
him more."188 In one of Gorbachev's warm, evocative toasts, he recalled a biblical story about "a time to throw stones, and ... a time to gather them; now is the time to gather stones which have been cast in the past." Reagan, in turn, reminded the guests that they were dining on the forty-third anniversary of the Soviet counterattack at the battle of Stalingrad, the turning point in the Great Patriotic War. He hoped, he said, that this meeting might be "yet another turning point for all mankind-one that would make it possible to have a world of peace and freedom." 189 At the end of dinner on the second night, when both leaders reflected on their failure to achieve concrete results, they nevertheless voiced optimism. "We will not change our positions, our values, or our thinking," said Gorbachev, "but we expect that with patience and wisdom we will find ways toward solutions." The president agreed. Previous summits had led nowhere, he mused, but" 'To hell with the past,' we'll do it ·our way and get something done."190

Gorbachev intrigued the president. "I don't know, Mike," Reagan confided to his former aide, Michael Deaver, when he returned to Washington, "but I honestly think he believes in a higher power." 191 To his good friend the actor George Murphy, Reagan summed up his feelings: the meeting "was worthwhile but it would be foolish to believe the leopard will change his spots. [Gorbachev] is a firm believer in their system (so is she [RaisaJ), and he believes the propaganda they peddle about us. At the same time, he is practical and knows his economy is a basket case. I think our job is to show him he and they will be .better off if we make some practical agreements, without attempting to convert him to our way of thinking." 192

Hoping for quick progress, Reagan sent a long handwritten letter to Gorbachev a week after their meeting. The message was vintage Reagan: glowing with warmth yet tough in substance. "I found our meeting of great value," he wrote. They had spoken frankly, ascertained that "there are many things on which we disagree and disagree very fundamentally." But they both recognized that they must manage their relations in a peaceful fashion. He then defended SD1 and reiterated that it had nothing to do with achieving first-strike capabilities. "[WJe should be able to find a way, in practical terms, to relieve the concerns you have expressed." They must instruct their negotiators in Geneva to "face up" to the tough issues and make certain that neither nation achieved a one-sided advantage. Reagan then shifted to regional issues. Once again, seeking to show Gorbachev he had listened, Reagan stressed, "I can assure you that the United States does not believe that the Soviet Union is the cause of all the world's ills," but it had "exploited and worsened local tensions." It could allay American anxieties and show its true intentions by withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan. He concluded with another personal touch, urging Gorbachev to collaborate with him to achieve noble goals that only they could reach. "Both of us have advisors and assistants, but ... the responsibility to preserve peace and increase cooperation is ours. Our people look to us for leadership." 193

Gorbachev was eager to provide the leadership, but he wanted Reagan to make the concessions. He was frustrated by the president's intransigence on SDI. "Believe me, Mr. President," Gorbachev replied, also in a handwritten letter, "we have a genuine and truly serious concern about U.S. nuclear systerns." And his government also worried about U.S. actions in many third world regions. Both Washington and Moscow offered military assistance to countries around the globe. "Why apply a double standard and assert that Soviet assistance is a source of tension and u.s. assistance is beneficial?" The Soviet Union was assisting legitimate governments that came to it for aid when beleaguered by outside interference. The United States often "incites actions against governments and supports and supplies weapons to groups which are inimical to society and are, in essence, terrorists." He mentioned Washington's actions in Nicaragua and, implicitly, U.S. support of the Mujahedin in Afghanistan. However noble were the president's intentions, he could not ignore U.S. capabilities. But like Reagan, Gorbachev wanted to take the sting out of his letter: Please accept this letter, Gorbachev concluded, "as another one of our 'fireside talks.' I would truly like to preserve not only the spirit of our Geneva meetings, but also to go further in developing our dialogue." 194

Gorbachev recognized that Reagan was trying to use Soviet weaknesses to wring concessions on SDI, regional struggles, and human rights. Gorbachev wanted to get out of Afghanistan. 195 He also was sensitive to Reagan's accusations about the human rights situation in the Soviet Union, and was not averse to easing emigration restrictions.196 But he was most eager to break the impasse over SDI and press forward with arms reductions. This was critical to the success of perestroika, his program to restructure domestic economic and social life, which he was preparing to present at the forthcoming meeting of the twenty-seventh Party Congress in February.

Gorbachev maneuvered deftly to put more of his own people into positions of influence in the International Department of the CPSU and in the foreign ministry. He promoted innovative thinkers like Yakovlev and brought experts like Chernyaev into his office. In these early years of his rule, his control of the party machinery was masterful. His talks with foreign statesmen, his vigor, and his confidence in handling Western journalists added to his stature in the Kremlin. At Politburo meetings, he did most of the talking, and his colleagues deferred to him. Some winced at his long-winded monologues, but most grasped the need to change in order to revitalize the system. They accepted his determination to modulate the arms race and, eventually, shift expenditures away from the military, so long as Soviet security was not jeopardized and its prestige not damaged. 197

Gorbachev knew, of course, that he could not disregard the sensibilities of His military advisers and the defense industry managers. He dealt craftily with them, trying to win them over and allowing them to think they were using him. He wanted his generals to devise a viable strategy to solve the problem of intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Marshal Sergei F. Akhromeyev, chief of the General Staff, endorsed a comprehensive program for nuclear disarmament that was generated in the foreign ministry, believing that eventually the program would turn out to be nonnegotiable and that military officers would be able to avoid the cuts they opposed. Gorbachev, however, embraced the idea of this comprehensive package, as it accorded with his predilections and offered a huge opportunity to alter the Soviet image. At a key meeting at the end of 1985, the Politburo approved the new initiative, giving Gorbachev wide room to maneuver. "Once you have a document in your pocket approved by the Politburo about the total destruction, down to zero, of all nuclear armaments, then you are justified in continuing in this policy direction," reflected General Nikolai Detinov, a leading arms-control expert. "It is easier to speak to the military once you have such a document."198

On 15 January 1986, Gorbachev proposed a bold vision to advance the cause of nuclear disarmament, calling upon key statesmen to abolish all weapons of mass destruction by the year 2000. Many of Reagan's advisers felt nothing but contempt for this, and many of Gorbachev's admirers thought he had been hoodwinked by his own armed forces and was offering nothing but platitudes. But Gorbachev took it seriously. "My impression is that he's really decided to end the arms race no matter what," Chernyaev wrote in his diary. "He is taking this 'risk' because, as he understands, it's no risk at allbecause nobody would attack us even if we disarmed completely. And in order to get this country on solid ground, we have to relieve it of the burden of the arms race."199

Reagan's advisers told him to dismiss Gorbachev's initiative. General Edward Rowny, an arms-control expert, told the president not to take Gorbachev's proposal seriously. The Soviet Union would not change; it would cheat. Rowny shouldn't worry, the president said reassuringly. "I'm not going soft .... But ... I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons. I want our children and grandchildren particularly to be free of these terrible weapons. "200

Gorbachev's dream coincided with Reagan's, but both leaders were prag~atists as well as dreamers. Gorbachev's primary goal was to promote perestroika and accelerate economic growth. At the end of February, he presented his program to the twenty-seventh Party Congress, as always a major event in the Soviet Union. The general secretary outlined his vision in a (tediously) long report that began with a paean to socialism and went on to a discussion of capitalism, its animosity toward socialism, and its inherent contradictions-all traditional pablum. Gorbachev then shifted gears and mused: "Will the ruling elites of the capitalist world" make sober assessments? "Maybe yes and maybe no," he continued. But "we cannot take no for an answer to the question: Will mankind survive or not? We say: The progress of society, the life of civilization, must and will continue. . . . The course of history, of social progress, requires ever more insistently that there should be constructive and creative interactions between states and peoples." Such interactions were essential to avoid nuclear catastrophe and tackle other challenges. "The realistic dialectics of present-day development consist in a ... growing tendency towards interdependence of the countries of the world community. This is precisely the way, through the struggle of opposites ... [toward an] interdependent and in many ways integral world."201

This was a shift in communist thinking-to argue that history would lead to interdependence and peace-but it was a prerequisite to the elaboration of Gorbachev's program. What is "acceleration"? he asked. "Its essence lies in the new quality of growth: The all-around intensification of production on the basis of scientific and technical progress, a structural reshaping of the economy, and efficient forms of managing, organizing, and stimulating labor." Administrative changes were imperative; corruption must end. Workers must become engaged in self-management, and their self-discipline and productivity must improve. Enterprises must gain more autonomy. Food shortages must end. Consumer goods must proliferate. People must live better. Social justice must be promoted. Society must change, and socialist democracy must grow "in all its aspects and manifestations." This was a summary of what Gorbachev called Perestroika-a term that literally means "restructuring" but that he used as a label for his whole economic-social program.202

The country's economic and social agenda must shape its international strategy, Gorbachev then emphasized. The goal was straightforward: peaceful coexistence must "become the supreme and universal principle of interstate relations." The ideological chasm must be crossed, the two systems must coexist and compete peacefully, and "a comprehensive system of international security" must be designed. All societies must have the right to choose their own social systems, and regional disputes must be resolved justly.203

In Politburo meetings after the Party Congress Gorbachev reiterated these themes. "The idea of acceleration and the idea of preserving peace" must proceed together, he said. They were mutually reinforcing.204 Thereafter, he and Shevardnadze tried to improve ties with West European governments and transform the image of the Soviet Union. But they never lost sight of the fact that the indispensable partner was the United States. Agreement with Washington was the ultimate prize, the key to reconfiguring international politics, effectuating arms cuts, shifting resources to domestic priorities, and revitalizing socialism within the U.S.S.R. On 3 April, Gorbachev told the Politburo, "Notwithstanding all the ambiguity in our relations with the United States, reality is such that we cannot do anything without them, nor they without us. We live on one planet. And we cannot preserve peace without America.''205

But Gorbachev was frustrated. The arms-control talks in Geneva had bogged down, and Reagan had shown no inclination to budge on Star Wars. They "are putting pressure on us-to exhaust us," Gorbachev told the Politburo on 24 March.206 Nor was he satisfied with the pace of change at home. He went around the country making speeches, trying to generate support for his initiatives, sometimes hectoring, sometimes pleading. Soviet citizens must not tolerate obsolete practices that "are holding back our movement, . . .blackening and darkening our conditions, our life, our socialist system," he told party loyalists in Khabarovsk. They needed "fewer words, chatter, conceit and empty theorizing, and more down-to-earth concern about real matters and satisfying the demands and requirements of people. "207

Gorbachev was infuriated and embarrassed by the explosion on 26 April at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, which killed more than 30 people and required the evacuation of 116,000 local residents. Although he tried initially to conceal its dimensions, he soon realized he could not. The fire raged for days, catalyzing fears of a massive nuclear meltdown. Radiation clouds wafted across Europe carrying more radioactive material than had been released from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The accident was a catastrophe, costing billions of rubles, ruining the lives of tens of thousands of citizens, and endangering the food chain throughout Central and
. Western Europe.208 Gorbachev was disgusted with the incompetence of his managers, yet another indication of the rot in the Soviet system, but he was also angered by the way Westerners used the accident to heap contempt on the U.S.S.R. and stymie progress on arms talks. Still, the overall lesson was clear: "it is another sound of the tocsin, another grim warning that the nuclear era necessitates a new political thinking and a new policy." He announced that he would extend the moratorium on Soviet nuclear tests, and again asked the United States to reciprocate. Chernobyl had illuminated "what an abyss will open if nuclear war befalls mankind .... The nuclear age demands a new approach to international relations, the pooling of efforts of states with different social systems for the sake of putting an end to the disastrous arms race. "209

In August, Gorbachev vacationed in the Crimea. He was worried and agitated. "When we spent our vacation together," Chernyaev reflected, "Gorbachev was really concerned ... that Perestroika was starting to slow down, that all his efforts to make the Party pursue Perestroika, to try to awaken society, that this was all going to collapse. "210 He felt he was being tested, squeezed. The Americans "were using our sincere desire to disarm as a tool against us."211 When the Politburo met again on 4 September, Gorbachev poured forth his spleen. The Americans, he said, wanted to exhaust the Soviet Union, to keep the Kremlin trapped in regional imbroglios, like the one in Afghanistan. They yearned for superiority and sought to intimidate. Their aim, he suspected, was to undermine perestroika. They did "not want to let us increase the dynamism of our system." They must not be permitted to gain superiority.212

But while he fumed, he did not retreat from his strategy. He was tenacious, and he believed that perestroika at home depended on progress abroad. He decided not to go to Washington, as had been initially planned, because it might be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Instead, he would ask Reagan to meet again on neutral ground. On 15 September, he wrote another letter to Reagan. "We still have not moved one inch closer to an agreement on arms reductions." The Kremlin had tried to be accommodating, but American negotiators were intransigent. Events since their Geneva meeting "all give rise to grave and disturbing thoughts." (He was referring to the arrest of Soviet spies in the United States and the Soviet imprisonment of an American journalist, Nicholas Daniloff, for espionage.) The two governments, Gorbachev said, needed to proceed calmly, temper their rhetoric, and focus on solutions. Knowing that Reagan would not change his mind on Star Wars, Gorbachev proposed that they strengthen the anti-ballistic missile treaty of 1972 in a way that would permit research on SDI but confine it to the laboratory for fifteen years; if that were acceptable, the Kremlin would be willing to make large reductions in its stockpile of strategic weapons. And he repeated that he would eliminate all Soviet intermediate-range missiles in Europe if the Americans reciprocated. Last, Gorbachev once again challenged Reagan to accept a moratorium on nuclear testing. Negotiations had been floundering for almost a year. "They will lead nowhere unless you and I intervene personally. "213

Reagan wanted to move forward, but he demanded that Daniloff first be set free. To Shevardnadze, he denounced the Kremlin's disregard for individual freedom, and he again chastised the Soviets publicly for their military intervention in Afghanistan, their assistance to leftist factions in local conflicts in southern Africa and Central America, and their callousness about human rights. Reagan's aim was to sustain the pressure, to make the Kremlin blink first, and to set forth his own prerequisites for any agreement. He believed he was negotiating from strength; they, from weakness.214

His advisers were divided. Shultz agreed with Reagan's impulses and was pleased that the "Soviets were now talking from our script."215 But Secretary of Defense Weinberger and his influential assistant secretary for national security policy, Richard Perle, were wary of any attempt to reach agreement. Would the Soviets really change? They doubted it. Were Gorbachev's reforms significant? Intelligence analysts did not think so. And if, in fact, Gorbachev succeeded at reform, might he make the Soviet Union into a stronger adversary? They worried that the president might be lured into a foolish deal. Reagan hated nuclear weapons and believed that once the world was rid of them, Star Wars might shield America against rogue states cheating on an agreement. Skeptical of his idiosyncratic view yet knowing they had to support him, Weinberger and Perle proposed that Reagan offer Gorbachev a deal that would eliminate all ballistic missiles. (This plan sounded transformative, but Weinberger and Perle knew the Soviets would reject it because it would mean the elimination of a category of weaponry in which they were superior.) By doing so, Reagan could capture the high ground yet kill the negotiating process-precisely what Weinberger and Perle hoped to accomplish.216

On 11 and 12 October, Gorbachev and Reagan met for the second time. "At Reykjavik my hopes for a nuclear-free world soared briefly, then fell during one of the longest, most disappointing-and ultimately angriest-days of my presidency," Reagan wrote.217

The two leaders began their talks privately, agreeing that progress had been slower than they had hoped. Reagan expressed disappointment about the Soviet record on human rights. It would be easier to reach an agreement with the Kremlin on matters it deemed important, he said, if American public opinion were not "aroused by things that happen in the countries [like Russia and Poland] where people came from." But Gorbachev swiftly shifted the conversation to the arms race. "The Soviet side was in favor of proposals which were aimed at total elimination of nuclear arms, and on the way to this goal there should be equality and equal security for the Soviet Union and the United States." Reagan expressed overall agreement with this goal, provided there was proper verification: "Doveryay no proveryay (trust but verify)," he said with a smile.218

After summoning Shevardnadze and Shultz to join them, Gorbachev presented the concrete Soviet proposals: cutting strategic offensive arms by 50 percent; eliminating all U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe without regard to British and French weapons, a major Soviet concession; and freezing short-range (less than a thousand kilometers) missiles. With regard to SDI, Gorbachev said it could go forward so long as research was confined to laboratories, and so long as both governments agreed not to withdraw from the existing anti-ballistic missile treaty for ten years. In addition, they should ban nuclear testing and agree on verification procedures, including on-site inspections.219

Reagan was encouraged by Gorbachev's proposals, but then dwelled on SDI. He proposed that both sides stay "within the ABM limits, and when the point was reached when testing was required beyond the limits of the ABM treaty, the US would go forward with such testing in the presence of representatives of the other country .... If testing showed that such a defense could be practical, then the treaty would call for the US to share this defense system. In return for this there would be a total elimination of strategic missiles. "220 As they talked more, Reagan clarified that he was stressing cuts in ballistic missile warheads, not all strategic nuclear arms. He also made clear that his intent was for the United States to proceed with SDI testing for the next ten years within the existing ABM treaty, whose meaning was hotly contested and, in the view of U.S. defense officials, did not restrict research to laboratories.

On the morning of the second day, their discussion became testy. To Gorbachev, the Americans did not seem to want to make any concessions. In the laboratory for fifteen years; if that were acceptable, the Kremlin would be willing to make large reductions in its stockpile of strategic weapons. And he repeated that he would eliminate all Soviet intermediate-range missiles in Europe if the Americans reciprocated. Last, Gorbachev once again challenged Reagan to accept a moratorium on nuclear testing. Negotiations had been floundering for almost a year. "They will lead nowhere unless you and I intervene personally. "213

Reagan wanted to move forward, but he demanded that Daniloff first be set free. To Shevardnadze, he denounced the Kremlin's disregard for individual freedom, and he again chastised the Soviets publicly for their military intervention in Mghanistan, their assistance to leftist factions in local conflicts in southern Africa and Central America, and their callousness about human rights. Reagan's aim was to sustain the pressure, to make the Kremlin blink first, and to set forth his own prerequisites for any agreement. He believed he was negotiating from strength; they, from weakness.214

His advisers were divided. Shultz agreed with Reagan's impulses and was pleased that the "Soviets were now talking from our script."215 But Secretary of Defense Weinberger and his influential assistant secretary for national security policy, Richard Perle, were wary of any attempt to reach agreement. Would the Soviets really change? They doubted it. Were Gorbachev's reforms significant? Intelligence analysts did not think so. And if, in fact, Gorbachev succeeded at reform, might he make the Soviet Union into a stronger adversary? They worried that the president might be lured into a foolish deal. Reagan hated nuclear weapons and believed that once the world was rid of them, Star Wars might shield America against rogue states cheating on an agreement. Skeptical of his idiosyncratic view yet knowing they had to support him, Weinberger and Perle proposed that Reagan offer Gorbachev a deal that would eliminate all ballistic missiles. (This plan sounded transformative, but Weinberger and Perle knew the Soviets would reject it because it would mean the elimination of a category of weaponry in which they were superior.) By doing so, Reagan could capture the high ground yet kill the negotiating process-precisely what Weinberger and Perle hoped to accomplish.216

On 11 and 12 October, Gorbachev and Reagan met for the second time. "At Reykjavik my hopes for a nuclear-free world soared briefly, then fell during one of the longest, most disappointing-and ultimately angriest-days of my presidency," Reagan wrote.217

83. Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 497-98.

84. Reagan, An American Life, 605--606.

85. Ibid., 590, 587.

86. Harry S. Truman, Memoirs: 1945, Year o/Decisions (New York: Signet, 1955),72; Reagan ro Alan Brown, 22 January 1985, in Skinner, Anderson, and Anderson, A Life in Letters, 413; Reagan to Marmaduke Bayne, 12 September 1983, ibid., 410.

87. Anderson, Revolution, 288; also see Deaver, A Different Drummer, 86, 169; McFarlane, Special Trust, 21-22, 269.

88. Stockman, Triumph o/Politics, 74; Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 131.

89.Pipes, Vixi, 167; Dobrynin, In Confidence, 605-12; Helmut Schmidt, trans. by Ruth Hein, Men and Powers: A Political Retrospective (New York: Random House, 1989), 241-46; Eduard Shevardnadze, The Future Belongs to Freedom (New York: The Free Press, 1991), 81-90.

90. N. Reagan, My Turn, 114; Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 145; Anderson, Revolution, 285; Deaver, A Different Drummer, 71; Schmidt, Men and Powers, 241-56; Dobrynin, In Confidence, 605-12; Baker Interview, 41-42, Me.

91. "Address on the State of the Union," 25 January 1984, PPP: Reagan, 1984,87-94.

92. For Reagan's contempt for political pandering, see N. Reagan, My Turn, 111; Deaver, A Different Drummer, 26-27; Cannon, President Reagan, 390.

93. "Inaugural Address," 21 January 1985, PPP: Reagan, 1985,55-58; for the election, Patterson, Restless Giant, 188--92; Gil Troy, Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s (Princeton, N.].: Princeton University Press, 2005).

94. Chernenko to Reagan, 19 March 1984,7 May 1984, 6 June 1984, 7 July 1984, 26 July 1984, 8 November 1984,20 December 1984, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Head of State, box 38--39, RRPL.

101.Reagan, An American Life, 604--605; Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 471, 484.

102.Dobrynin, In Confidence, 605-12.

103. Nicholas Platt to McFarlane and Donald P. Gregg, 11 March 1985, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Head of State, USSR, box 39, RRPL.

104. Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 531-32.

105. Quoted in Anatoly S. Chernyaev, My Six Years with Gorbachev, trans. and ed. by Robert D. English and Elizabeth Tucker (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000), 20; also see comments by Alexander A. Bessmertnykh, in William C. Wohlforth, Witnesses to the End of the Cold War (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 106-107, 184.

106. Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 532. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher also had a positive impression of Gorbachev when they met in December 1984. She communicated her views to Reagan. Memorandum of conversation between Thatcher and Reagan, 28 December 1984, website of Margaret Thatcher Foundation,!.

107. Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs (New York: Doubleday, 1995),22-28, quotation on 23; for baptism, see Archie Brown, The Gorbachev Factor (Oxford, Eng.: Oxford University Press, 1997),27.

108. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 28.

109. Ibid.,31.

110. Ibid., 32.

111. Ibid., 33-34; for impact of the war, also see Raisa Gorbachev, I Hope, trans. by David Floyd (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 12,97.

112. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 38-39.

113. Mikhail Gorbachev and Zdenek Mlynar, Conversations with Gorbachev on Perestroika, the Prague Spring, and the Crossroads of Socialism, trans. by George Shriver (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 17-18.

114. Ibid., 18, 149-50; Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World, trans. by George Shriver (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 28-29.

115. Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 15, 150.

116. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 38-42; Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 28.

117. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 43-46; graduates of the Moscow School of Law often staffed the punitive agencies of the state.

118. Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 21, 23; Gorbachev, Memoirs, 48.

119. R. Gorbachev, I Hope, 47-52, 70-72; Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 32-34; for very negative views of Raisa Gorbachev, see Valery Boldin, Ten Years That Shook the World: The Gorbachev Era as Witnessed by His Chief of Staff, trans. by Evelyn Rossiter (New York: Basic Books, 1994), esp. 83-91; N. Reagan, My Turn, 336-64.

120.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 77; Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 47-48, 30-31; also see R. Gorbachev, I Hope, 107-19.

121.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 102-103; R. Gorbachev, I Hope, ll6; Matthew Evangelista, Unarmed Forces: The Trans-National Movement to End the Cold War (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999), 260.-{)3; Paul Hollander, Political Will and Personal Belief The Decline and Fall of Soviet Communism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999), 102.

122.  Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 150-51; Gorbachev, On My Country, 27-28, 50, 53.

123.  Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 49; Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 46.

124.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 56-107; Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 36-52; Martin McCauley, Gorbachev (London: Longman, 1998),21-39; R. Gorbachev, I Hope, 113; Hollander, Political Will and Personal Belief, 103.

125.  Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 58--{)0; for the influence of ideas and experts, see Sarah E. Mendelson, Changing Course: Ideas, Politics, and the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Princeton, N.].: Princeton University Press, 1998), 78-91; Jeffrey T. Checkel, Ideas and International Political Change: Soviet/Russian Behavior and the End of the Cold War (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997),77-90; Robett D. English, Russia and the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals and the End of the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000).

126.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 136 (for quotation), also see 109-21, 134-36; R. Gorbachev, I Hope, 120-24.

127.  Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 49-50.

128.  English, Russia and the West, 184 (for quotation), also 180-86; Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 89-105.

129.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 140, 146; Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 51.

130.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 153.

131.  Andropov plenum speech, 15 June 1983, Foreign Broadcast Information System (FBIS), 16 June 1983, R5, R7.

132.  Ibid., R8.

133.  Ibid., R9-R10.

134. Ibid., R11-R12.

135. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 154-68, quotation on 167-68; Gorbachev, On My Country, 65-66, 171-80.

136. Chernyaev, Six Years with Gorbachev, 19-20. Gorbachev's election was very close, and he had to maneuver adroitly to win. See Mark Kramer, "The Reform of the Soviet System and the Demise of the Soviet State," Slavic Review 63 (Fall 2004): 511.

137.  Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 121-29.

138.  Gorbachev speech, 10 December 1984, FBIS, 28 March 1985, R1-R4; Gorbachev and Mlynar, Conversations, 199-200; "Conference of the Secretaries of the CC CPSU," 15 March 1985, Volkogonov Collection, NSA.

139.  Fo'!" emphasis on social justice, see the Political Report of the CPSU Central Committee, presented by Gorbachev to the 27th CPSU Party Congress, 25 February 1986, FBIS, 28 March 1986, especially 019/f, 037.

140.  Gorbachev, On My Country, 180; Gorbachev, Memoirs, 167.

141.  Gorbachev Speech at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 May 1986, REEAD 3486, Chernyaev Collection, NSA; comments by Nikolai Detinov, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 151-52.

142.  For the quotation, see comments by Chernyaev in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 139; also comments by Georgi Shakhnazarov, ibid., 69; also his comments in Wohlforth, Witnesses, 37.

143. Comments by Chernyaev in William C. Wohlforth, Cold War Endgame (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), 21; Gorbachev Speech at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 May 1986, REEAD 3486, Anatoly S. Chernyaev Collection, NSA; also see Wohlforth, Witnesses, 5.

144.  Gorbachev, On My Country, 66; Chernyaev, Six Years with Gorbachev, 55.

145. See, for example, Gorbachev's Speech in Smolensk, 27 June 1984, FBIS, 29 June 1984, R9; Gorbachev's comments at meeting between Erich Honecker and Chernenko, 17 August 1984, Mastny and Byrne, A Cardboard Castle?, 497-98.

146.  Chernyaev's Notes from the Politburo Session, 16 October 1986, REEAD 2953, NSA; also Chernyaev's Notes from the Politburo Session, 22 September 1986, REEAD 2956, ibid.; also see, for example, Gorbachev Speech at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 May 1986, REEAD 3486, Chernyaev Collection, ibid.; Transcript of Conversation between Gorbachev and Fran,ois Mitterrand, 7 July 1986, REEAD 3366, ibid.

147.  "Conference at the CC CPSU on preparation for the XXVII Congress of the CPSU," 28 November 1985, NSA; also see Anders Aslund, Gorbachev's Struggle for Economic Reform (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989), 15-16; Noel E. Firth and James H. Noren, Soviet Defense Spending: A History of CIA Estimates, 1950-1990 (College Station: Texas A & M Press, 1998),98-110; Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970--2000 (Oxford, Eng.: Oxford University Press, 2001), 61.

148.  Gorbachev Speech at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 May 1986, p. 7, REEAD 3486, Chernyaev Collection, NSA.

149.  Gorbachev Speech, 4 November 1987, FBIS, 4 November 1987,23.

150.  "Conference of Secretaries of the CC CPSU," 15 March 1985, Volkogonov Collection, NSA; Political Report of the CPSU Central Committee, presented by Gorbachev to the 27th CPSU Party Congress, 25 February 1986, FBIS, 28 March 1986,032.

151.  Comments by Chemyaev, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 78-79; Chemyaev's Notes from the Politburo Session, 4 October 1986, READD 2954, NSA; Gorbachev Speech at Ministry of Foreign Mfairs, 28 May 1986, p. 4, REEAD 3486, Chernyaev Collection, ibid.; comments by Bessmertnykh in Wohlforth, Witnesses, 33.

152.  Comments by Chemyaev, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 78-80; comments by Sergei Tarasenko, in ibid., 75.

153.  Gorbachev to Reagan, 24 March 1985, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Head of State, USSR, box 39, RRPL.

154.  Comments by Chemyaev, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 78.

155.  Gorbachev, On My Country, 181; Reagan to Gorbachev, 4 April 1985, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Head of State, USSR, box 39, RRPL.

156.  For Gorbachev's "New Thinking," see On My Country, 171-90; Gorbachev, Memoirs, 237-40, 401-62; for the fullest rendition, see Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinkingfor Our Coun· try and the World (New York: Harper and Row, 1987); for background, see esp. Evangelista, Unarme'd Forces; English, Russia and the Idea of the West; Checkel, Ideas and International Political Change.

157.  See Gorbachev's first conversation with Babrak Karmal, the communist leader of Afghanistan, 14 March 1985, "Zolotoi Fond," NSA; Comments by Chernyaev and Detinov, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 95-97,275-77; also see analysis below, pp. 403-14.

158.  Gorbachev Speech, 26 April 1985, in Mastny and Byrne, A Cardboard Castle?, 509.

159.  Evangelista, Unarmed Forces, 264-65.

160.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 166.

161.  Comments by Anatoli Gromyko, "Moscow Cold War Conference" (oral history conference organized by Richard Ned Lebow and Richard K. Herrmann of the Mershon Center of Ohio State University, 1999; transcript available at NSA).

162.  Shevardnadze, Future Belongs to Freedom, 23-39.

163.  Ibid., 13-14.

164.  Ibid., 19, 14,34-35,37; Hollander, Political Will and Personal Belief, 117-25.

165.  Shevardnadze, Future Belongs to Freedom, 38-39.

166.  Ibid., 48, 81; also see Pavel Palazchenko, Gorbachev and Shevardnadze: The Memoir of a Soviet Interpreter (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), 33-35; comments by Tarasenko, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 190-91.

167.  Shevardnadze address, 31 July 1985, FBIS, 31 July 1985, CCl-6.

168.  Gorbachev's address and interview on French television, 30 September 1985, FBIS, 2 October 1985, G1-11, quotations on G5 and G11.

169.  Gorbachev Speech at the Political Consultative Meeting of the Warsaw Pact, 22 October 1985, website of the Parallel History Project, http://www.isn.ethz.chlphp/documents/2/851022.htm; for increased spending on strategic defense during 1985-87, see Firth and Noren, Soviet Defense Spending, 107.

170.  Gorbachev to Reagan, 12 October 1985, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Head of State, USSR, box 39; Reagan, An American Life, 622; Shultz to Reagan, 7 November 1985, End of Cold War Collection, NSA.

171.  Reagan, An American Lzfe, 634.

172.  Shultz to Reagan, 7 November 1985, End of Cold War Collection, NSA.

173.  Department of State, Intelligence and Research, "USSR: A Society in Trouble," 25 July 1985, box 1, End of Cold War Collection, NSA; CIA, "Gorbachev's Approach to Societal Malaise: A Managed Revitalization," 24 July 1985, box 1, ibid.; CIA, "Gorbachev's Economic Agenda: Promises, Potentials, and Pitfalls," September 1985, ibid.; Gates, From the Shadows, 342--44.

174.  See Reagan's comments to Shevardnadze on 27 September 1985, "Draft U.S. Themes on the Shevardnadze Visit and Soviet Counter-Proposal," box 92129, Matlock Papers, RRPL; for the importance of trust, see Reagan's opening remarks to Gorbachev when they met at Geneva. Memorandum of Conversation, 19 November 1985, 10:20-11:20 a.m., box 2, End of Cold War Collection, NSA; Shultz to Reagan, 7 November 1985, ibid.

175.  Reagan, An American Life, 628.

176.  Ibid.; for disparate views in the administration, see Oflra Seliktar, Politics, Paradigms, and Intelligence Failures: Why So Few Predicted the Collapse of the Soviet Union (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 2004), 136-38; Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 578-80; Gates, From the Shadows, 341--43, 199-213; Kenneth Adelman to McFarlane, 3 July 1985, box 90706, Donald Fortier Papers, RRPL. Caspar Weinberger's attitudes are reflected in Caspar W. Weinberger with Gretchen Roberts, In the Arena: A Memoir of the Twentieth Century (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2001), 269-86.

177.  Shultz to Reagan, 7 November 1985, End of Cold War Collection, NSA; Reagan, An American Life, 631-32.

178.  'Reagan, An American Life, 637.

179.  Ibzd., 11-12; N. Reagan, My Turn, 340.

180.  Memorandum of Conversation, 19 November 1985, 10:20-11:20 a.m., box 2, End of Cold War Collection, NSA.

181.  Ibid.

182.  Memorandum of Conversation, 19 November 1985, 11:27 a.m.-12:15 p.m., box 2, End of Cold War Collection, NSA.

183.  Ibid.; Memorandum of Conversation, 19 November 1985, 2:30-3:40 p.m., ibid.; Memorandum of Conversation, 3:40--4:45 p.m., ibid.; Memorandum of Conversation, 20 November 1985, 11:30 a.m.12:40 p.m., ibid.; Memorandum of Conversation, 20 November 1985, 2:45-3:30 p.m., ibid.

184.  Memorandum of Conversation (between Shultz, Shevardnadze, and their assistants), 19 November 1985,3:35--4:30 p.m., box 92137, Matlock Papers, RRPL.

185.  Memorandum of Conversation, 19 November 1985,3:40--4:45 p.m., box 2, End of Cold War Collection, NSA. According to Jack Matlock, President Reagan never grasped that "SDI could be used offensively." See comments by Matlock in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 183-84.

186.  Gorbachev, Memoirs, 405; comments by Chernyaev, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 115.

187.  N. Reagan, My Turn, 342.

188.  Reagan, An American Life, 639.

189.  Memorandum of Conversation, 19 November 1985,8:00-10:30 p.m., box 2, End of Cold War Collection, NSA.

190.  Memorandum of Conversation, 20 November 1985, 8:00-10:30 p.m., ibid.

191.  Deaver, A Different Drummer, 118; also see Reagan to Alan Brown, 10 December 1985, in Skinner, Anderson, and Anderson, A Life in Letters, 415.

192.  Reagan to George Murphy, 19 December 1985, in Skinner, Anderson, and Anderson, A Life in Letters,415-16.

193.  Reagan to Gorbachev, 28 November 1985, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Head of State, USSR, box 39, RRPL.

194.  Gorbachev to Reagan, 24 December 1985, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Heads of State, USSR, Box 40, RRPL; for the intense competition in the third world, see Gates, From the Shadows, 346-56; Westad, "Reagan's Anti-Revolutionary Offensive," 241-61.

195.  For Mghanistan, see below, pp. 403-14.

196.   For human rights, see the Meeting of the Politburo, 25 September 1986, document package associated with the conference "Understanding the End of the Cold War," Brown University, May 1998; Max M. Kampelman, Entering New Worlds: The Memoirs of a Private Man in Public Life (New York: HarperCollins, 1991),374.

197.   For shifting personnel, see Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 89-129; for changes in the foreign ministry, see Carolyn McGiffert Ekedahl and Melvin A. Goodman, The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze, 2nd ed., revised and updated (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2001), 73-88. For attitudes toward Gorbachev during these early years, 1985-88, the transcripts of two oral history conferences are illuminating-for many of his supporters, see "Understanding the End of the Cold War"; for many of his opponents, see "Moscow Cold War Conference."

198.  Comments by Detinov and Grinevsky, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 112-13, 120-23.

199.  Chemyaev, Six Years with Gorbachev, 45-46; for a typical U.S. "expert" reaction, see Paul H. Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost: At the Center of Decision-A Memoir, with Ann M. Smith and Steven 1. Rearden (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1989),421.

200.  Comments by Edward Rowny, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 132-33; also see Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, 422; Max Kampelman, another influential member of the administration, recounted the same meeting. See "Bombs Away," New York Times, 26 April 2006.

201.  Political Report of the CPSU Central Committee, 25 February 1986, FBIS, 28 March 1986,08.

202.  Ibid., 0 9, 0 24; for assessments of his economic ideas, see, for example, Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 130-54; Aslund, Gorbachev's Struggle for Economic Reform; Philip Hanson, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy: An Economic History of the USSR from 1945 (London: Pearson Education, 2003), 177-92.

203.  Political Report of the CPSU Central Committee, 25 February 1986, FBIS, 28 March 1986, 0 33, 029.

204.  Chemyaev, Six Years with Gorbachev,54 (for quotation), also 50-60.

205.  Ibid., 57.

206.   Chernyaev's Notes from the Politburo Sessions, 24 March 1986, 15 April 1986, REEAD 2966 and 2963, NSA; also see Gorbachev to Reagan, 2 April 1986, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Heads of State USSR, box 40, RRP1.

207.   Gorbachev Speech, 31 July 1986, FBIS, 12 August 1986, R4-17, quotations on R4, RD.

208.   David Reynolds, One World Indivisible: A Global History Since 1945 (New York: Norton, 2000), 534.

209.   Gorbachev Address, 14 May 1986, FBIS, 15 May 1985, 11-4, quotations on 13, L4; also see Gorbachev's Speech at the Foreign Ministry, 28 May 1986, REEAD 3486, Chemyaev Collection, NSA.

210.   Comment by Chemyaev, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 195; also see Wohlforth, Witnesses, 5, 166-68.

211.   Comment by Chemyaev, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 155.

212.   Resolution of the Politburo of the CC of the CPSU, 4 September 1986, REEAD, Chernyaev Collection, NSA (also published in Istochnik 2 [1995]); Chemyaev's Notes from the Politburo Session, 22 September 1986, REEAD 2956, NSA.

213.   Gorbachev to Reagan, 15 September 1986, Executive Secretariat, NSC, Heads of State, USSR, box 40; for Gorbachev's thinking, also see Chemyaev's Notes from the Politburo Session, 4 October 1986, REEAD 2954, NSA.

214.   Reagan, An American Life, 668-74.

215.   Shultz to Reagan, 2 October 1986, box 2, End of Cold War Collection, NSA.

216.   Comments by Rowny and Matlock, in Tannenwald, "Understanding the End of the Cold War," 143-48; Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, 424-25; Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, 718-27.

217.    Reagan, An American Life, 675.  


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