For over four decades, the Cold War defined the state of international relations—determining the wars that were fought, the peace that was reached, and the theories that would define the study of global politics throughout the latter part of the 20th century. Two decades have now passed since the Soviet Union's collapse, but the full story of the end of the Cold War has yet to be told. Using previously unreleased interview materials and its global dissemination and multimedia production capacities, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs intends to tell this story, offering new insights into the final years of the Cold War.
In the period of 1989-90, a small group of American conservative activists visited the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries, in the interest both of spreading their own views of free-market capitalism, and in "training" individuals they perceived as potential leaders in sowing the seeds of this credo in the Soviet-bloc states. The leaders of this group were Robert Krieble, a businessman who had founded the Krieble Institute, which worked in close association with the Free Congress Foundation [FCF]. FCF operated under the stewardship of the American Enterprise Institute Vice President Paul Weyrich, and was dedicated to electing ultra Rightists to the U.S. Congress. Spurred on by their successes in the United States, especially in the South, Krieble and Weyrich saw an opportunity to shape events in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
In late 2010, U.S. Global Engagement Program Director David C. Speedie launched a series of interviews in Moscow with leading Russian dissidents and U.S. foreign policymakers who oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Union. Throughout the winter of 2010/2011, he recorded thought-provoking discussions with Russian parliamentary "reformers" and aides to Boris Yeltsin, as well as Americans who trained and collaborated with these Russian influentials. Working hand-in-hand with high profile public dignitaries such as Yeltsin, these individuals worked from behind the scenes to effect change, making the decisions and reaching the agreements that ultimately led to the Soviet Union's collapse.
The Carnegie Council's U.S. Global Engagement program gratefully acknowledges support for this project from the Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation and Donald M. Kendall.