On Sunday, Ken Adelman, Director of the U.S. Arms Control Agency for President Ronald Reagan during the 1986 Reykjavik summit, sat down with Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon to discuss his book, Reagan at Reykjavik–Forty-Eight Hours that Ended the Cold War. He explained that Reagan’s refusal to curtail his Strategic Defense Initiative (aka Star Wars) during a two day meeting in Reykjavik with Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, effectively ended the cold war and brought on the demise of the Soviet Union.
Bannon referred to the book as a page-turner, in a setting that is “Shakespearean,” which took place on a small island in the windswept North Sea, in a house that some said was haunted, where a “high stakes poker” game took place that “changed the direction of the world.”
Appearing on Breitbart News Sunday Sirius XM Patriot Radio Channel 125, the erstwhile Ambassador to the United Nations explained that Reagan was a superior negotiator and recounted that 11 to 12 times Gorbachev said to Reagan, “Mr. President I’m making all the concessions and you have given me nothing. And you know what Reagan said each of those 11 to 12 times? He said nothing.”
Adelman added that Reagan went there knowing that he could out negotiate Gorbachev, figuring that he had more leverage and it was fine for him that the Soviet President was making all the concessions. Moreover, the author contends, “that not only was Reagan taking him to the cleaners, but Gorbachev realized Reagan was taking him to the cleaners.”
Bannon explained at the time of the summit Reagan had been mocked by the scientific elites like Carl Sagan, the political elites, the intellectual elites in NYC, and the foreign policy elites for believing that his “Star Wars” initiative could provide a defense shield for America. Washington insider and Secretary of Defense for Jimmy Carter, Clark Clifford, referred to Reagan as an “Amiable Dunce.” But, this had no effect on President Ronald Reagan. According to Adelman, Reagan knew that this was an area where we were clearly superior to the Soviets and that it was this weakness that Reagan exploited.
The author contends that Gorbachev had two choices, to either talk Reagan out of SDI or develop reforms in the Soviet Union “that would be so expensive and so sweeping and so quick that they could compete with SDI.” The willful Reagan would not budge from his support for the defense shield explained Adelman.
The author asserted that once the Soviets tried to compete in hi-tech areas with America on SDI “all hell broke loose and those reforms brought down the soviet union.” The author posits that the exorbitant societal and financial burden on the Soviet Union crumbled it within five years time. Consequently, the end of the Soviet Empire erupted along with the “fall of communism as a credible ideology and the end of the cold war.”
The author claims that Reagan had said back in the 70’s that “I know how the cold war will end. We win and they lose.”