“It just didn’t fit.”

Fascinating NRO piece here by Herbert Meyer, who was tasked during the Reagan Administration to figure out what it would look like if the USSR was crumbling from within:

The career analysts responded by digging in their heels; by insisting that the Soviet economy was growing steadily and dismissing the alternate hypothesis as unworthy of serious attention. So I wrote a lengthy “think piece” memo that simply made the assumption that the Soviet economy was shrinking, then outlined what the downward spiral would look like. Casey made sure that just about everyone inside the CIA and elsewhere in the intelligence community read that memo


8 Responses to ““It just didn’t fit.””

  1. Stephen Green Says:

    Nice catch, Will!

  2. Bloviating DoucheBag Says:

    So, can we admit that Reagan didn’t single handedly scare the Soviets into submission? The place would have fallen apart no matter who was in office.

  3. Stephen Green Says:

    I suggest you read the entire article before making a fool of yourse, Douchebag.

    Or is that redundant?

  4. Dean Says:

    I’m of an age to remember the reactions to the “Team B” exercise of the mid-1970s.

    That exercise, wherein folks like Richard Pipes were asked to examine CIA intel and provide a different set of analyses, was pilloried by liberals (more than just the Left) during the 1980s, when many of its members wound up in the Reagan Administration.

    The idea that there might be another set of eyes was bad enough. The idea that those eyes might come in “ideologically blinkered” as one critic put it was anathema and unconscionable.

    One chap, who wound up in the Clinton Administration, argued that if there was a “Team B”, there should have been a “Team C”, which would put as positive spin as possible on all the evidence. (Positive in this case meaning the Soviets were NOT mean, nasty, etc., but interested in cooperating, liberalizing, etc.)

    This is apart, of course, from the bureaucratic defense mechanisms that automatically become engaged when any outsider starts looking at the intel community’s operations….

  5. DrSteve Says:

    I think what BD’s trying to say is that s/he places no value on the 10-20 extra years of freedom several scores of millions of people got to experience before Soviet Socialism was abandoned. Nor on the fact that we didn’t have to witness a potentially dangerous backlash/power consolidation/regional (maybe nuclear) blackmail as its leaders desperately tried to hang on.

    Sure, Carter/Mondale and Mondale/Ferraro would have brought us exactly the same outcome.


    Walesa and Sharansky have already explicitly told us what we needed to know about the credit Reagan deserves.

  6. Dean Says:

    And that’s why their misperceptions must be corrected. They must be taught that it was GORBACHEV (who was not inevitable) who freed the USSR, and not Reagan who freed Eastern Europe (which was inevitable anyway).

    Then, they must be taught to LOVE Big Brother.

    And France.

  7. Reid Says:

    If any of you want to know why the Soviet Union had to end sooner rather than later, I suggest you read Ken Alibek’s “Biohazard”, the inside story of the Soviet Union’s biowarfare program.

    Those guys were cooking up some nasty sh** in there. But, of course, the useful idiots didn’t believe any of it, even after the proof offered by the anthrax outbreak due to an accidental release of biowarfare agents in Sverdlovsk that the Soviet’s lamely blamed on “tainted meat”.

    Every day the Soviet Union endured was another day for risks of proliferation to mount (Alibek relates, for example, how he witnessed North Korean researchers being given a tour of his facilities).

    It’s nothing short of a miracle that the demise of the Soviet Union was as mild as it was. Reagan’s application of just the right pressure at just the right time saved the day.

  8. Tcobb Says:

    What gets me is that it seems like the majority of the folks who claim that Reagan had little or nothing to do with the downfall of the Soviet Union because it was “inevitable,” seem to favor moving the US more in line with the command-style economies. Wasn’t the economic model used by the USSR the reason why its collapse was inevitable, or did I just miss something?

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