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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

John Fund
writes in OpinionJournal about "Freedom's Team - How Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II won the Cold War." Reagan's strategy "rested on six pillars" -
  • support internal disruption in Soviet satellites, especially Poland;
  • dry up sources of hard currency;
  • overload the Soviet economy with a technology-based arms race;
  • slow the flow of Western technology to Moscow;
  • raise the cost of the wars it was fighting;
  • and demoralize the Soviets by generating pressure for change.
Did you know ...
On June 7, 1982, the day before Reagan gave his "ash heap" speech at Westminster Abbey, he met alone with the pope in the Vatican. Richard Allen, Reagan's first national security adviser, says the two men "agreed to undertake a clandestine campaign to hasten the dissolution of the communist empire." Until it was legalized in 1989, Poland's Solidarity union was kept alive by the U.S. and the Vatican. Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, who later became president of free Poland, has said that "we owe our freedom to their unstinting efforts."
Did you further know ...
that the Reagan administration allowed a Soviet agent to steal gas-pipeline software that had been secretly designed to go haywire on a catastrophic scale. The ruse led to a June 1982 explosion in the Siberian wilderness that Mr. Reed says was "the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space." It crippled the Soviet's secret techno-piracy operation because they could longer be sure if what they were buying or stealing was similarly booby-trapped.
So it was more than just a matter of calling them the "evil empire" and proposing SDI. Reagan pressured and destabilised the Soviet Union from many directions and, with the help of Mrs. Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, "won the Cold War without firing a shot."

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