You know I have great admiration for sneaky politicians who figure out ways to end-run quarmires. Ronald Reagan is a case in point.
No previous President had achieved any reduction or even containment of Nukes. Whe. Gorby got in, Reagan saw an opening. But the former KGB Chief wouldn't budge. He was tough negotiator. Reagan's folks including George Schultz held out little hope for real progress.
Some nutty futurists were talking a Star Wars missile shield. I got Reagan thinking. He was seen doodling space missile cartoons.
He announced that the US was building Star Wars. Reagan's aides thought he'd gone over the edge.
The Russians were intimidated. They left the talks. They assumed Reagan was bluffing. Reagan announced it would be really big Star Wars. No negotiating. The Russians backed down and came to table pleading for mercy.
Are you kidding? In 1968 the CIA estimated the USSR could fall apart at any time economically. Then Chernobyl and Afghanistan came together and formed the perfect economic storm and more like Reagan happened to be president when the whole thing collapsed. Maybe you want to bring in the Democrat Charlie Wilson's role? Or, maybe you would like to go to the Reykjavik talks where Reagan gave away the entire U.S. Nuclear arsenal?
In 1968 I just happened to be a shavetail working in intelligence with a Top Secret Cat 3 Codeword clearance reading the CIA reports going to LBJ. What the CIA claims in retrospect covering their hineys may have some truth. But if such estimates existed they were not going to the White House. Domestic politics were in chaos. We were losing in Vietnam, the North Koreans had the Pueblo crew (I knew some of them), tanks were rolling down the avenues in Prague and the Russians were gaining in Africa.
Sure, and the British Prime Minister just happened to be The Iron Lady, and the Pope just happened to be John Paul. And they just happened to all be on the world stage at the same time to passively watch the collapse take place.
Interesting history lessons you find on Yahoo message boards. Even the most ignorant find a podium.