Zbigniew Brzezinski

From Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbigniew_Brzezinski

 
Zbigniew Brzezinski

 

In office
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
President Jimmy Carter
Deputy David L. Aaron
Preceded by Brent Scowcroft
Succeeded by Richard V. Allen

Born March 28, 1928 (age 83)
Warsaw, Poland
Political party Democratic
Alma mater McGill University
Harvard University
Profession politician, critic

Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski (Polish: Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzeziński, pronounced [ˈzbiɡɲev bʐɛˈʑiɲski]; born March 28, 1928) is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

Major foreign policy events during his term of office included the normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China), the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II), the brokering of the Camp David Accords, the transition of Iran from an important US client state to an anti-Western Islamic Republic, encouraging dissidents in Eastern Europe and emphasizing certain human rights in order to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union,[1] the financing of the mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet deployment of forces there[2] (allegedly either to help deter a Russian invasion, or to deliberately increase the chance of such an intervention occurring—or for both contradictory reasons simultaneously being embraced by separate US officials[3]) and the arming of these rebels to counter the Soviet invasion, and the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties relinquishing overt US control of the Panama Canal after 1999.

He is currently Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils. He appears frequently as an expert on the PBS program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, ABC News' This Week with Christiane Amanpour, and on MSNBC's Morning Joe, where his daughter, Mika Brzezinski, is co-anchor.

Biography
Early years

Zbigniew Brzezinski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1928. His family, members of the nobility (or "szlachta" in Polish), bore the Trąby coat of arms and hailed from Brzeżany in Galicia. This town is thought to be the source of the family name. Brzezinski's father was Tadeusz Brzeziński, a Polish diplomat who was posted to Germany from 1931 to 1935; Zbigniew Brzezinski thus spent some of his earliest years witnessing the rise of the Nazis. From 1936 to 1938, Tadeusz Brzeziński was posted to the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.

In 1938, Tadeusz Brzeziński was posted to Canada. In 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was agreed to by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union; subsequently the two powers invaded Poland. The 1945 Yalta Conference between the Allies allotted Poland to the Soviet sphere of influence, meaning Brzezinski's family could not safely return to their country.[citation needed]

Rising influence

After attending prep school in Montreal,[4] Brzezinski entered McGill University in 1945 to obtain both his BA and MA degrees (received in 1949 and 1950 respectively). His Master's thesis focused on the various nationalities within the Soviet Union.[5] Brzezinski's plan for doing further studies in Great Britain in preparation for a diplomatic career in Canada fell through, principally because he was ruled ineligible for a scholarship he had won that was only open to persons with British subject status. Brzezinski then went on to attend Harvard University to work on a PhD, focusing on the Soviet Union and the relationship between the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin's state, and the actions of Joseph Stalin. He received his doctorate in 1953; the same year, he traveled to Munich and met Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, head of the Polish desk of Radio Free Europe. He later collaborated with Carl J. Friedrich to develop the concept of totalitarianism as a way to more accurately and powerfully characterize and criticize the Soviets in 1956.

As a Harvard professor he argued against Dwight Eisenhower's and John Foster Dulles's policy of rollback, saying that antagonism would push Eastern Europe further toward the Soviets. The Polish strike and Hungarian Revolution in 1956 lent some support to Brzezinski's idea that the Eastern Europeans could gradually counter Soviet domination. In 1957, he visited Poland for the first time since he left as a child, and it reaffirmed his judgment that splits within the Eastern bloc were profound.

In 1958 he became a United States citizen, although he probably also continues to be considered a Polish citizen under Polish law. Despite his years of residence in Canada and the presence of family members there, he never became a Canadian citizen.

In 1959 Brzezinski was not granted tenure at Harvard, and he moved to New York City to teach at Columbia University.[6] Here he wrote Soviet Bloc: Unity and Conflict, which focused on Eastern Europe since the beginning of the Cold War. He also became a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and attended meetings of the Bilderberg Group.

During the 1960 US presidential elections, Brzezinski was an advisor to the John F. Kennedy campaign, urging a non-antagonistic policy toward Eastern European governments. Seeing the Soviet Union as having entered a period of stagnation, both economic and political, Brzezinski presciently predicted the breakup of the Soviet Union along lines of nationality (expanding on his master's thesis).[5]

Brzezinski continued to argue for and support détente for the next few years, publishing "Peaceful Engagement in Eastern Europe" in Foreign Affairs,[7] and supporting non-antagonistic policies after the Cuban Missile Crisis, on the grounds that such policies might disabuse Eastern European nations of their fear of an aggressive Germany and pacify Western Europeans fearful of a superpower condominium along the lines of the Yalta Conference.

In 1964, Brzezinski supported Lyndon Johnson's presidential campaign and the Great Society and civil rights policies, while on the other hand he saw Soviet leadership as having been purged of any creativity following the ousting of Khrushchev. Through Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, Brzezinski met with Adam Michnik, then a communist party member and future Polish Solidarity activist.

Brzezinski continued to support engagement with Eastern European governments, while warning against De Gaulle's vision of a "Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals." He also supported the Vietnam War. From 1966 to 1968, Brzezinski served as a member of the Policy Planning Council of the US Department of State (President Johnson's 7 October 1966 "Bridge Building" speech was a product of Brzezinski's influence).

Events in Czechoslovakia further reinforced Brzezinski's criticisms of the right's aggressive stance toward Eastern European governments. His service to the Johnson administration, and his fact-finding trip to Vietnam made him an enemy of the New Left, despite his advocacy of de-escalation of the US' involvement in the war.

For the 1968 US presidential campaign, Brzezinski was chairman of the Hubert Humphrey Foreign Policy Task Force. He advised Humphrey to break with several of President Johnson's policies, especially concerning Vietnam, the Middle East, and condominium with the USSR.

Brzezinski called for a pan-European conference, an idea that would eventually find fruition in 1973 as the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe.[8] Meanwhile he became a leading critic of both the Nixon-Kissinger détente condominium, as well as McGovern's pacifism.[9]

In his 1970 piece Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era, Brzezinski argued that a coordinated policy among developed nations was necessary in order to counter global instability erupting from increasing economic inequality. Out of this thesis, Brzezinski co-founded the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, serving as director from 1973 to 1976. The Trilateral Commission is a group of prominent political and business leaders and academics primarily from the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Its purpose was to strengthen relations among the three most industrially advanced regions of the capitalist world. Brzezinski selected Georgia governor Jimmy Carter as a member.

Government

Jimmy Carter standing with Zbigniew Brzezinski

Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for the 1976 presidential campaign to a skeptical media and proclaimed himself an "eager student" of Brzezinski. Brzezinski became Carter's principal foreign policy advisor by late 1975. He became an outspoken critic of the Nixon-Kissinger over-reliance on détente, a situation preferred by the USSR, favoring the Helsinki process instead, which focused on human rights, international law and peaceful engagement in Eastern Europe. Brzezinski has been considered to be the Democrats' response to Republican Henry Kissinger.[10] Carter engaged Ford in foreign policy debates by contrasting the Trilateral vision with Ford's détente.[11]

After his victory in 1976, Carter made Brzezinski National Security Advisor. Earlier that year, major labor riots broke out in Poland, laying the foundations for Solidarity. Brzezinski began by emphasizing the "Basket III" human rights in the Helsinki Final Act, which inspired Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia shortly thereafter.[12]

Brzezinski had a hand in writing parts of Carter's inaugural address, and this served his purpose of sending a positive message to Soviet dissidents.[13] The Soviet Union and Western European leaders both complained that this kind of rhetoric ran against the "code of détente" that Nixon and Kissinger had established.[14][15] Brzezinski ran up against members of his own Democratic Party who disagreed with this interpretation of détente, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Vance argued for less emphasis on human rights in order to gain Soviet agreement to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), whereas Brzezinski favored doing both at the same time. Brzezinski then ordered Radio Free Europe transmitters to increase the power and area of their broadcasts, a provocative reversal of Nixon-Kissinger policies.[16] West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt objected to Brzezinski's agenda, even calling for the removal of Radio Free Europe from German soil.[17]

The State Department was alarmed by Brzezinski's support for East German dissidents and objected to his suggestion that Carter's first overseas visit be to Poland. He visited Warsaw, met with Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski (against the objection of the U.S. Ambassador to Poland), recognizing the Roman Catholic Church as the legitimate opposition to Communist rule in Poland.[18]

By 1978, Brzezinski and Vance were more and more at odds over the direction of Carter's foreign policy. Vance sought to continue the style of détente engineered by Nixon-Kissinger, with a focus on arms control. Brzezinski believed that détente emboldened the Soviets in Angola and the Middle East, and so he argued for increased military strength and an emphasis on human rights. Vance, the State Department, and the media criticized Brzezinski publicly as seeking to revive the Cold War.

Brzezinski advised Carter in 1978 to engage the People's Republic of China and traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for the normalization of relations between the two countries. This also resulted in the severing of ties with the United States' longtime anti-Communist ally the Republic of China. Also in 1978, Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was elected Pope John Paul II—an event which the Soviets believed Brzezinski orchestrated.

1979 saw two major strategically important events: the overthrow of US ally the Shah of Iran, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Iranian Revolution precipitated the Iran hostage crisis, which would last for the rest of Carter's presidency. Brzezinski anticipated the Soviet invasion, and, with the support of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the PRC, he created a strategy to undermine the Soviet presence. See below under "Major Policies - Afghanistan."

Using this atmosphere of insecurity, Brzezinski led the US toward a new arms buildup and the development of the Rapid Deployment Forces—policies that are both more generally associated with Ronald Reagan now. In 1980, Brzezinski planned Operation Eagle Claw, which was meant to free the hostages in Iran using the newly created Delta Force and other Special Forces units. The mission was a failure and led to Secretary Vance's resignation.

Brzezinski was criticized widely in the press and became the least popular member of Carter's administration. Edward Kennedy challenged President Carter for the 1980 Democratic nomination, and at the convention Kennedy's delegates loudly booed Brzezinski. Hurt by internal divisions within his party and a stagnant domestic economy, Carter lost the 1980 presidential election in a landslide.

Brzezinski, acting under a lame duck Carter presidency, but encouraged that Solidarity in Poland had vindicated his style of engagement with Eastern Europe, took a hard-line stance against what seemed like an imminent Soviet invasion of Poland. He even made a midnight phone call to Pope John Paul II—whose visit to Poland in 1979 had foreshadowed the emergence of Solidarity—warning him in advance. The US stance was a significant change from previous reactions to Soviet repression in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

In 1981 President Carter presented Brzezinski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After power

Brzezinski left office concerned about the internal division within the Democratic party, arguing that the dovish McGovernite wing would send the Democrats into permanent minority.

He had mixed relations with the Reagan administration. On the one hand, he supported it as an alternative to the Democrats' pacifism[clarification needed][citation needed], but he also criticized it as seeing foreign policy in overly black-and-white terms.

He remained involved in Polish affairs, critical of the imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981, and more so of Western European acquiescence to its imposition in the name of stability. Brzezinski briefed US vice-president George H.W. Bush before his 1987 trip to Poland that aided in the revival of the Solidarity movement.

In 1985, under the Reagan administration, Brzezinski served as a member of the President's Chemical Warfare Commission. From 1987 to 1988, he worked on the United States National Security Council-Defense Department Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy. From 1987 to 1989 he also served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

In 1988, Brzezinski was co-chairman of the Bush National Security Advisory Task Force and endorsed Bush for president, breaking with the Democratic party. Brzezinski published The Grand Failure the same year, predicting the failure of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms and the collapse of the Soviet Union in a few more decades. He said there were five possibilities for the Soviet Union: successful pluralization, protracted crisis, renewed stagnation, coup (by the KGB or Soviet military), or the explicit collapse of the Communist regime. He called collapse "at this stage a much more remote possibility" than protracted crisis. He also predicted that the chance of some form of communism existing in the Soviet Union in 2017 was a little more than 50% and that when the end did come it would be "most likely turbulent". In the event, the Soviet system collapsed totally in 1991 following Moscow's crackdown on Lithuania's attempt to declare independence, the Nagorno-Karabakh War of the late 1980s, and scattered bloodshed in other republics. This was a less violent outcome than Brzezinski and other observers anticipated.

In 1989 the Communists failed to mobilize support in Poland, and Solidarity swept the general elections. Later the same year, Brzezinski toured Russia and visited a memorial to the Katyn Massacre. This served as an opportunity for him to ask the Soviet government to acknowledge the truth about the event, for which he received a standing ovation in the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Ten days later, the Berlin Wall fell, and Soviet-supported governments in Eastern Europe began to totter.

Strobe Talbott, one of Brzezinski's long-time critics, conducted an interview with him for Time magazine entitled Vindication of a Hardliner.

In 1990 Brzezinski warned against post–Cold War euphoria. He publicly opposed the Gulf War, arguing that the US would squander the international goodwill it had accumulated by defeating the Soviet Union and that it could trigger wide resentment throughout the Arab world. He expanded upon these views in his 1992 work Out of Control.

However, in 1993 Brzezinski was prominently critical of the Clinton administration's hesitation to intervene against Serbia in the Yugoslavian civil war. He also began to speak out against Russia's First Chechen War, forming the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya. Wary of a move toward the reinvigoration of Russian power, Brzezinski negatively viewed the succession of former KGB agent Vladimir Putin after Boris Yeltsin. In this vein, he became one of the foremost advocates of NATO expansion.

Post 9/11

After the September 11 attacks in 2001 Brzezinski was criticized, largely by the same people who had wholeheartedly supported his views and decisions, for his role in the formation of the Afghan mujaheddin network, some of whom later formed the Taliban and al Qaeda. He countered that blame ought to be laid at the feet of the Soviet Union's invasion, which radicalized the relatively stable Muslim society. However, Brzezinski is also accused of having "knowingly increased the probability that they (the Soviet Union) would invade" by supporting Afghan rebels before the invasion and drawing the Soviets into an "Afghan trap."[19]

Brzezinski was a leading critic of the George W. Bush administration's "war on terror". Some painted him as a neoconservative because of his friendship with Paul Wolfowitz and his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard. However, in 2004, Brzezinski wrote The Choice, which expanded upon The Grand Chessboard but sharply criticized George W. Bush's foreign policy. He defended the book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy and was an outspoken critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[20]

In August 2007, Brzezinski endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He stated that Obama "recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world."[21] Also saying, "What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and people."[22] In September 2007 during a speech on the Iraq war, Obama introduced Brzezinski as "one of our most outstanding thinkers," but some pro-Israel commentators questioned his criticism of the Israel lobby in the United States.[20] In a September 2009 interview with The Daily Beast, Brzezinski replied to a question about how aggressive President Obama should be in insisting Israel not conduct an air strike on Iran, saying: "We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?"[23] This was interpreted by some supporters of Israel as supporting the U.S. downing Israeli jets to prevent an attack on Iran.[24][25]

Personal life

Brzezinski is married to Czech-American sculptor Emilie Benes (grand-niece of the second Czechoslovak president, Edvard Beneš), with whom he has three children. His son, Mark Brzezinski (b. 1965), a lawyer who served on President Clinton's National Security Council as an expert on Russia and Southeastern Europe, is a partner in McGuire Woods LLP. His daughter, Mika Brzezinski (b. 1967), is a television news presenter and co-host of MSNBC's weekday morning program, Morning Joe, where she provides regular commentary and reads the news headlines for the program. His son Ian served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO and was now a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton.[citation needed] Ian Brzezinski is a Senior Fellow in the International Security Program and is on the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisors Group. Key highlights of his tenure as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy (2001–5) include the expansion of NATO membership in 2004, the consolidation and reconfiguration of the Alliance’s command structure, the standing up of the NATO Response Force and the coordination of European military contributions to U.S. and NATO- led operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.[26]

As Carter's National Security Advisor

President Carter chose Zbigniew Brzezinski for the position of National Security Adviser (NSA) because he wanted an assertive intellectual at his side to provide him with day-to-day advice and guidance on foreign policy decisions. Brzezinski would preside over a reorganized National Security Council (NSC) structure, fashioned to ensure that the NSA would be only one of many players in the foreign policy process.

Brzezinski's task was complicated by his (hawkish) focus on East-West relations in an administration where many cared a great deal about North-South relations and human rights.

Initially, Carter reduced the NSC staff by one-half and decreased the number of standing NSC committees from eight to two. All issues referred to the NSC were reviewed by one of the two new committees, either the Policy Review Committee (PRC) or the Special Coordinating Committee (SCC). The PRC focused on specific issues, and its chairmanship rotated. The SCC was always chaired by Brzezinski, a circumstance he had to negotiate with Carter to achieve. Carter believed that by making the NSA chairman of only one of the two committees, he would prevent the NSC from being the overwhelming influence on foreign policy decisions it was under Kissinger's chairmanship during the Nixon administration. The SCC was charged with considering issues that cut across several departments, including oversight of intelligence activities, arms control evaluation, and crisis management. Much of the SCC's time during the Carter years was spent on SALT issues.

The Council held few formal meetings, convening only 10 times, compared with 125 meetings during the 8 years of the Nixon and Ford administrations. Instead, Carter used frequent, informal meetings as a decision-making device, typically his Friday breakfasts, usually attended by the Vice President, the secretaries of State and Defense, Brzezinski, and the chief domestic adviser. No agendas were prepared and no formal records were kept of these meetings, sometimes resulting in differing interpretations of the decisions actually agreed upon. Brzezinski was careful, in managing his own weekly luncheons with secretaries Vance and Brown in preparation for NSC discussions, to maintain a complete set of notes. Brzezinski also sent weekly reports to the President on major foreign policy undertakings and problems, with recommendations for courses of action. President Carter enjoyed these reports and frequently annotated them with his own views. Brzezinski and the NSC used these Presidential notes (159 of them) as the basis for NSC actions.

From the beginning, Brzezinski made sure that the new NSC institutional relationships would assure him a major voice in the shaping of foreign policy. While he knew that Carter would not want him to be another Kissinger, Brzezinski also felt confident that the President did not want Secretary of State Vance to become another Dulles and would want his own input on key foreign policy decisions.

Brzezinski's power gradually expanded into the operational area during the Carter Presidency. He increasingly assumed the role of a Presidential emissary. In 1978, for example, Brzezinski traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for normalizing U.S.-PRC relations. Like Kissinger before him, Brzezinski maintained his own personal relationship with Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin. Brzezinski had NSC staffers monitor State Department cable traffic through the Situation Room and call back to the State Department if the President preferred to revise or take issue with outgoing State Department instructions. He also appointed his own press spokesman, and his frequent press briefings and appearances on television interview shows made him a prominent public figure, although perhaps not nearly as much as Kissinger had been under Nixon.

The Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 significantly damaged the already tenuous relationship between Vance and Brzezinski. Vance felt that Brzezinski's linkage of SALT to other Soviet activities and the MX, together with the growing domestic criticisms in the United States of the SALT II Accord, convinced Brezhnev to decide on military intervention in Afghanistan. Brzezinski, however, later recounted that he advanced proposals to maintain Afghanistan's "independence" but was frustrated by the Department of State's opposition. An NSC working group on Afghanistan wrote several reports on the deteriorating situation in 1979, but President Carter ignored them until the Soviet intervention destroyed his illusions. Only then did he decide to abandon SALT II ratification and pursue the anti-Soviet policies that Brzezinski proposed.

The Iranian revolution was the last straw for the disintegrating relationship between Vance and Brzezinski. As the upheaval developed, the two advanced fundamentally different positions. Brzezinski wanted to control the revolution and increasingly suggested military action to prevent Ayatollah Khomeini from coming to power, while Vance wanted to come to terms with the new Islamic Republic of Iran. As a consequence, Carter failed to develop a coherent approach to the Iranian situation. In the growing crisis atmosphere of 1979 and 1980 due to the Iranian hostage situation, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and a deepening economic crisis, Brzezinski's anti-Soviet views gained influence but could not end the Carter administration's malaise. Vance's resignation following the unsuccessful mission to rescue the US hostages in March 1980, undertaken over his objections, was the final result of the deep disagreement between Brzezinski and Vance.

Major policies

During the 1960s Brzezinski articulated the strategy of peaceful engagement for undermining the Soviet bloc and persuaded President Johnson, while serving on the State Department Policy Planning Council, to adopt in October 1966 peaceful engagement as US strategy, placing détente ahead of German reunification and thus reversing prior US priorities.

During the 1970s and 1980s, at the height of his political involvement, Brzezinski participated in the formation of the Trilateral Commission in order to more closely cement US-Japanese-European relations. As the three most economically advanced sectors of the world, the people of the three regions could be brought together in cooperation that would give them a more cohesive stance against the communist world.

While serving in the White House, Brzezinski emphasized the centrality of human rights as a means of placing the Soviet Union on the ideological defensive. With Jimmy Carter in Camp David, he assisted in the attainment of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. He actively supported Polish Solidarity and the Afghan resistance to Soviet invasion, and provided covert support for national independence movements in the Soviet Union. He played a leading role in normalizing US-PRC relations and in the development of joint strategic cooperation, cultivating a relationship with Deng Xiaoping, for which he is thought very highly of in mainland China to this day.

In the 1990s he formulated the strategic case for buttressing the independent statehood of Ukraine, partially as a means to ending a resurgence of the Russian Empire, and to drive Russia toward integration with the West, promoting instead "geopolitical pluralism" in the space of the former Soviet Union. He developed "a plan for Europe" urging the expansion of NATO, making the case for the expansion of NATO to the Baltic states. He also served as William Clinton's emissary to Azerbaijan in order to promote the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline. Subsequently, he became a member of Honorary Council of Advisors of U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC). Further, he led, together with Lane Kirkland, the effort to increase the endowment for the US–sponsored Polish-American Freedom Foundation from the proposed $112 million to an eventual total of well over $200 million.

He has consistently urged a US leadership role in the world, based on established alliances, and warned against unilateralist policies that would destroy US global credibility and precipitate US global isolation.

Afghanistan

Brzezinski, known for his hardline policies on the Soviet Union, initiated in 1979 a campaign supporting mujaheddin in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which were run by Pakistani security services with financial support from the Central Intelligence Agency and Britain's MI6. Part of the CIA program was led by their elite Special Activities Division and included the arming, training and leading of Afghanistan's mujahideen.[27] This policy had the explicit aim of promoting radical Islamist and anti-Communist forces to overthrow the secular communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan government in Afghanistan, which had been destabilized by coup attempts against Hafizullah Amin, the power struggle within the Soviet-supported Parcham faction of the PDPA and a subsequent Soviet military intervention.

Years later, in a 1997 CNN/National Security Archive interview, Brzezinski detailed the strategy taken by the Carter administration against the Soviets in 1979:

We immediately launched a twofold process when we heard that the Soviets had entered Afghanistan. The first involved direct reactions and sanctions focused on the Soviet Union, and both the State Department and the National Security Council prepared long lists of sanctions to be adopted, of steps to be taken to increase the international costs to the Soviet Union of their actions. And the second course of action led to my going to Pakistan a month or so after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for the purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis a joint response, the purpose of which would be to make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as is possible; and we engaged in that effort in a collaborative sense with the Saudis, the Egyptians, the British, the Chinese, and we started providing weapons to the Mujaheddin, from various sources again—for example, some Soviet arms from the Egyptians and the Chinese. We even got Soviet arms from the Czechoslovak communist government, since it was obviously susceptible to material incentives; and at some point we started buying arms for the Mujaheddin from the Soviet army in Afghanistan, because that army was increasingly corrupt.[28]

Milt Bearden wrote in The Main Enemy that Brzezinski, in 1980, secured an agreement from King Khalid of Saudi Arabia to match US contributions to the Afghan effort dollar for dollar and that Bill Casey would keep that agreement going through the Reagan administration.[29]

According to the "Progressive South Asia Exchange Net," claiming to cite an article in Le Nouvel Observateur, U.S. policy, unbeknownst even to the Mujahideen, was part of a larger strategy of aiming "to induce a Soviet military intervention."[30] The article includes a brief interview with National Security Advisor Brzezinski, in which he is quoted as saying that the US provided aid to the mujahideen prior to the Soviet invasion for the deliberate purpose of provoking one. Brzezinski himself has denied the accuracy of the interview.[31] According to Brzezinski, an NSC working group on Afghanistan wrote several reports on the deteriorating situation in 1979, but President Carter ignored them until the Soviet intervention destroyed his illusions. Brzezinski has stated that the US provided communications equipment and limited financial aid to the mujahideen prior to the "formal" invasion, but only in response to the Soviet deployment of forces to Afghanistan and the 1978 coup, and with the intention of preventing further Soviet encroachment in the region.[31] Two declassified documents signed by Carter shortly before the invasion do authorize the provision "unilaterally or through third countries as appropriate support to the Afghan insurgents either in the form of cash or non-military supplies" and the "worldwide" distribution of "non-attributable propaganda" to "expose" the leftist Afghan government as "despotic and subservient to the Soviet Union" and to "publicize the efforts of the Afghan insurgents to regain their country's sovereignty," but the records also show that the provision of arms to the rebels did not begin until 1980.[32][33]

According to Eric Alterman of The Nation, Cyrus Vance's close aide Marshall Shulman "insists that the State Department worked hard to dissuade the Soviets from invading and would never have undertaken a program to encourage it" and President Carter has said it was definitely "not my intention" to inspire a Soviet invasion but to deter one.[3]

Bob Gates, in his book Out Of The Shadows, wrote that Pakistan had actually been pressuring the United States for arms to aid the rebels for years, but that the Carter administration refused in the hope of finding a diplomatic solution to avoid war. Brzezinski seemed to have been in favor of the provision of arms to the rebels, while Vance's State Department, seeking a peaceful settlement, publicly accused Brzezinski of seeking to "revive" the Cold War.

In an interview with The Christian Science Monitor, in March 1981, Jimmy Carter's Vice-President Walter Mondale declared: "I cannot understand -- it just baffles me -- why the Soviets these last few years have behaved as they have. Maybe we have made some mistakes with them. Why did they have to build up all these arms? Why did they have to go into Afghanistan? Why can't they relax just a little bit about Eastern Europe? Why do they try every door to see if it is locked?"[34]

The Soviet invasion and occupation killed up to 2 million Afghans.[35] Brzezinski defended the arming of the rebels in response, saying that it "was quite important in hastening the end of the conflict," thereby saving the lives of thousands of Afghans, but "not in deciding the conflict, because actually the fact is that even though we helped the mujaheddin, they would have continued fighting without our help, because they were also getting a lot of money from the Persian Gulf and the Arab states, and they weren't going to quit. They didn't decide to fight because we urged them to. They're fighters, and they prefer to be independent. They just happen to have a curious complex: they don't like foreigners with guns in their country. And they were going to fight the Soviets. Giving them weapons was a very important forward step in defeating the Soviets, and that's all to the good as far as I'm concerned." When he was asked if he thought it was the right decision in retrospect (given the Taliban's subsequent rise to power), he said: "Which decision? For the Soviets to go in? The decision was the Soviets', and they went in. The Afghans would have resisted anyway, and they were resisting. I just told you: in my view, the Afghans would have prevailed in the end anyway, 'cause they had access to money, they had access to weapons, and they had the will to fight." The interviewer then asked: "So US support for the mujaheddin only begins after the Russians invade, not before?" Brzezinski replied: "With arms? Absolutely afterwards. No question about it. Show me some documents to the contrary."[36] Likewise; Charlie Wilson said: "The U.S. had nothing whatsoever to do with these people's decision to fight ... but we'll be damned by history if we let them fight with stones."[37]

One of the CIA's longest and most expensive covert operations was the supplying of billions of dollars in arms to the Afghan mujahideen militants.[38] The CIA provided assistance to the fundamentalist insurgents through the Pakistani secret services, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in a program called Operation Cyclone. Somewhere between $3–$20 billion in U.S. funds were funneled into the country to train and equip troops with weapons.[39][40] Together with similar programs by Saudi Arabia, Britain's MI6 and SAS, Egypt, Iran, and the People's Republic of China,[41] The arms included Stinger missiles, shoulder-fired, antiaircraft weapons that they used against Soviet helicopters and that later were in circulation among terrorists who have fired such weapons at commercial airliners. Osama bin Laden was allegedly among the recipients of U.S. arms, although the US denies this and claims it did not support the "Afghan Arabs".[38] Pakistan's secret service, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was used as an intermediary for most of these activities to disguise the sources of support for the resistance.

With US and other funding, the ISI armed and trained over 100,000 insurgents. On July 20, 1987, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country was announced pursuant to the negotiations that led to the Geneva Accords of 1988,[42] with the last Soviets leaving on February 15, 1989.

A 2002 study found that, in the wake of the Iranian Revolution, the United States had sought rapprochement with the Afghan government—a prospect that the USSR found unacceptable (especially as its own leverage over the regime was wearing thin). Thus, the Soviets intervened to preserve their influence in the country.[43]

The early foundations of al-Qaida were built in part on relationships and weaponry that came from the billions of dollars in U.S. support for the Afghan mujahadin during the war to expel Soviet forces from that country.[44] The initial bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on the USS Cole, and the attacks of September 11 were all allegedly linked to individuals and groups that at one time were armed and trained by the United States and/or its allies,[45] although this view has been disputed.[46][47][48][49]

Iran

The Iranian Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, meeting with Arthur Atherton, William H. Sullivan, Cyrus Vance, President Jimmy Carter, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, in 1977

Facing a revolution, the Shah of Iran sought help from the United States. Iran occupied a strategic place in US policy in the Middle East, acting as an important ally and a buffer against Soviet influence in the region. The US ambassador to Iran, William H. Sullivan, recalls that Brzezinski "repeatedly assured Pahlavi that the U.S. backed him fully." These reassurances would not, however, amount to substantive action on the part of the United States. On November 4, 1978, Brzezinski called the Shah to tell him that the United States would "back him to the hilt." At the same time, certain high-level officials in the State Department decided that the Shah had to go, regardless of who replaced him. Brzezinski and US Secretary of Energy James Schlesinger (formerly Secretary of Defense under Gerald Ford) continued to advocate that the US support the Shah militarily. Even in the final days of the revolution, when the Shah was considered doomed no matter what the outcome of the revolution, Brzezinski still advocated a US invasion to keep Iran under US influence. President Carter could not decide how to appropriately use force and opposed another US-backed coup d'etat. He ordered the aircraft carrier Constellation to the Indian Ocean but ultimately allowed a regime change. A deal was worked out with the Iranian generals to shift support to a moderate government, but this plan fell apart when Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers swept the country, taking power on February 12, 1979.

China

Deng Xiaoping and Zbigniew Brzezinski meeting in 1979

Shortly after taking office in 1977, President Carter again reaffirmed the United States' position of upholding the Shanghai Communique. The United States and People's Republic of China announced on December 15, 1978, that the two governments would establish diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979. This required that the US sever relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan. Consolidating US gains in befriending communist China was a major priority stressed by Brzezinski during his time as National Security Advisor.

The most important strategic aspect of the new US-Chinese relationship was in its effect on the Cold War. China was no longer considered part of a larger Sino-Soviet bloc but instead a third pole of power due to the Sino-Soviet Split, helping the United States against the Soviet Union.

In the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations dated January 1, 1979, the United States transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The US reiterated the Shanghai Communique's acknowledgment of the PRC position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is a part of China; Beijing acknowledged that the US would continue to carry on commercial, cultural, and other unofficial contacts with Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act made the necessary changes in US domestic law to permit unofficial relations with Taiwan to continue.

In addition the severing relations with the ROC, the Carter administration also agreed to unilaterally pull out of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, withdraw US military personnel from Taiwan, and gradually reduce arms sales to the Republic of China. There was widespread opposition in the US Congress, notably from Republicans, due to the Republic of China's status as an anti-Communist ally in the Cold War. In Goldwater v. Carter, Barry Goldwater made a failed attempt to stop Carter from terminating the mutual defense treaty.

PRC Vice-premier Deng Xiaoping's January 1979 visit to Washington, DC, initiated a series of high-level exchanges, which continued until the Tiananmen Square massacre, when they were briefly interrupted. This resulted in many bilateral agreements, especially in the fields of scientific, technological, and cultural interchange and trade relations. Since early 1979, the United States and the PRC have initiated hundreds of joint research projects and cooperative programs under the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, the largest bilateral program.

On March 1, 1979, the United States and People's Republic of China formally established embassies in Beijing and Washington. During 1979, outstanding private claims were resolved, and a bilateral trade agreement was concluded. US vice-president Walter Mondale reciprocated vice-premier Deng's visit with an August 1979 trip to China. This visit led to agreements in September 1980 on maritime affairs, civil aviation links, and textile matters, as well as a bilateral consular convention.

Brzezinski is alleged to have encouraged China to support the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, as a counter to growing Vietnamese influence in Indochina, though he strongly denies this.

As a consequence of high-level and working-level contacts initiated in 1980, US dialogue with the PRC broadened to cover a wide range of issues, including global and regional strategic problems, political-military questions—including arms control, UN and other multilateral organization affairs, and international narcotics matters.

Cambodia

As part of a wider policy of forcing the Vietnamese out of Cambodia, the United States began funding anti-Vietnamese guerrilla groups.[50] Between 1979 and 1981, the World Food Program, which was under US influence, provided nearly $12 million in food aid to Thailand. In January 1980, the US allegedly started funding Pol Pot while he was in exile. The extent of this support was $85 million from 1980 to 1986.[51]

Brzezinski himself however denied that his administration helped China fund Pol Pot in a letter he sent to the New York Times in 1998.[52] Other sources have also disputed the charge.[53][54][55][56]

Arab-Israeli conflict

On October 10, 2007 Brzezinski along with other influential signatories sent a letter to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice titled 'Failure Risks Devastating Consequences'. The letter was partly an advice and a warning of the failure of an upcoming[57] US-sponsored Middle East conference scheduled for November 2007 between representatives of Israelis and Palestinians. The letter also suggested to engage in "a genuine dialogue with Hamas" rather than to isolate it further.[58]

US President Jimmy Carter with Brzezinski and Cyrus Vance at Camp David in 1977

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin engages Brzezinski in a game of chess at Camp David


 

Ending détente

Presidential Directive 18 on US National Security, signed early in Carter's term, signaled a fundamental reassessment of the value of détente, and set the US on a course to quietly end Kissinger's strategy.[59]

Nuclear strategy

Presidential Directive 59, "Nuclear Employment Policy", dramatically changed US targeting of nuclear weapons aimed at the Soviet Union. Implemented with the aid of Defense Secretary Harold Brown, this directive officially set the US on a countervailing strategy[clarification needed].[60]

Arms control

President Jimmy Carter and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) treaty, 16 June 1979, in Washington D.C. Zbigniew Brzezinski is directly behind President Carter.


 

Academia

Brzezinski was on the faculty of Harvard University from 1953 to 1960, and of Columbia University from 1960 to 1989 where he headed the Institute on Communist Affairs. He is currently a professor of foreign policy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

As a scholar he has developed his thoughts over the years, fashioning fundamental theories on international relations and geostrategy. During the 1950s he worked on the theory of totalitarianism. His thought in the 1960s focused on wider Western understanding of disunity in the Soviet Bloc, as well as developing the thesis of intensified degeneration of the Soviet Union. During the 1970s he propounded the proposition that the Soviet system was incapable of evolving beyond the industrial phase into the "technetronic" age.

By the 1980s, Brzezinski argued that the general crisis of the Soviet Union foreshadowed communism's end.

Public life

Brzezinski is a past member of the board of directors of Amnesty International[citation needed], the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council, and the National Endowment for Democracy[citation needed].

Quotes
  • "Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."
  • "I once put it rather pungently, and I was flattered that the British Foreign Secretary repeated this, as follows: ... namely, in early times, it was easier to control a million people, literally it was easier to control a million people than physically to kill a million people. Today, it is infinitely easier to kill a million people than to control a million people. It is easier to kill than to control...."
  • "The mistakes of the Iraq war are not only tactical and strategic, but historical. It is essentially a war of colonialism, attempted in the post-colonial age." - The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, January 11, 2007.
  • "[President George W. Bush] has a vision which can be described with two other words: Manichaean paranoia ... the notion that he is leading the forces of good against the empire of evil, that in that setting, the fact that we are morally superior justifies us committing immoral acts. And that is a very dangerous posture for the country that is the number one global power. ... The fact is he squandered our credibility, our legitimacy, and even respect for our power." - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, March 14, 2007.
  • Benchmarks are targets that have to be fulfilled. They cannot be fulfilled in an indefinite period of time, so there are timetables in benchmarks.[61]
  • "This will require a review of our policy toward Pakistan, more guarantees to it, more arms aid, and, alas, a decision that our security policy toward Pakistan cannot be dictated by our non-proliferation policy."
    • Memo to President Carter following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979)
  • "It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."
    • The Grand Chessboard (1997)
  • "I personally view with great skepticism all this talk about us creating an Iraqi national army, creating a nation, nation-building and so forth. The problem is we have smashed the state; we have given an enormous opportunity for narrow sectarian interests and passions to rise." - 2007 testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • "Is Taliban a terrorism organization, or is it an ugly, medieval-type throwback of a purely local character?...Now, the Taliban does terrible things. I was talking to someone about this last night at dinner. And this person said 'yeah, but what about the horrible things they do to women,' and so forth. That's the painful part--but the same things happen in some other parts of the world. Are we going to go everywhere and tell them how to structure their social questions?" -On MSNBC's Morning Joe[63]
Film appearance

Brzezinski appears as himself in the 2009 documentary film Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace.[64]

He also appears as himself in the 1997 documentary Eternal Memory: Voices from the Great Terror, a film on the Stalinist purges directed by David Pultz and narrated by American actress Meryl Streep.

Bibliography
Major works by Brzezinski
Other books and monographs
  • Russo-Soviet Nationalism, M.A. Thesis, McGill University (1950)
  • Political Control in the Soviet Army: A Study on Reports by Former Soviet Officers, New York, Research Program on the U.S.S.R (1954)
  • with Carl J. Friedrich, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (1956)
  • Ideology and Power in Soviet Politics, New York: Praeger (1962)
  • with Samuel Huntington, Political Power: USA/USSR, New York: Viking Press (April 1963), ISBN 0-670-56318-8
  • Alternative to Partition: For a Broader Conception of America's Role in Europe, Atlantic Policy Studies, New York: McGraw-Hill (1965)
  • The Implications of Change for United States Foreign Policy, Department of State (1967)
  • International Politics in the Technetronic Era, Sofia University Press (1971)
  • The Fragile Blossom: Crisis and Change in Japan, New York: Harper and Row (1972), ISBN 0-06-010468-6
  • with P. Edward Haley, American Security in an Interdependent World, Rowman & Littlefield (September 1988), ISBN 0-8191-7084-4
  • with Marin Strmecki, In Quest of National Security, Boulder: Westview Press (September 1988), ISBN 0-8133-0575-6
  • The Soviet Political System: Transformation or Degeneration, Irvington Publishers (August 1993), ISBN 0-8290-3572-9
  • with Paige Sullivan, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Documents, Data, and Analysis, Armonk: M. E. Sharpe (1996), ISBN 1-56324-637-6
  • The Geostrategic Triad : Living with China, Europe, and Russia, Center for Strategic & International Studies (December 2000), ISBN 0-89206-384-X
Selected essays and reports
  • with David Owen, Michael Stewart, Carol Hansen, and Saburo Okita, Democracy Must Work: A Trilateral Agenda for the Decade, Trilateral Commission (June 1984), ISBN 0-8147-6161-5
  • with Brent Scowcroft and Richard W. Murphy, Differentiated Containment: U.S. Policy Toward Iran and Iraq, Council on Foreign Relations Press (July 1997), ISBN 0-87609-202-4
  • U.S. Policy Toward Northeastern Europe: Report of an Independent Task Force, Council on Foreign Relations Press (July 1999), ISBN 0-87609-259-8
  • with Anthony Lake, F. Gregory, and III Gause, The United States and the Persian Gulf, Council on Foreign Relations Press (December 2001), ISBN 0-87609-291-1
  • with Robert M. Gates, Iran: Time for a New Approach, Council on Foreign Relations Press (February 2003), ISBN 0-87609-345-4
References
Further reading
External links

 

05.12.2011. 10:15

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