Zbigniew Brzezinksi interviewed by Jonathan Power

Indeed during that period, he was seen as the voice that gradually dissuaded Carter of his own more pacific inner convictions. He was responsible for the confrontational tone of accusations against the Soviet Union’s failings on the human rights front, while at the same time playing down the human rights abuses in friendly countries such as Iran and Pakistan. He was the prime White House voice for secretly arming the mujahidin to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan even before the Red Army invaded. It was he who persuaded Carter to block Vance’s instinct to complete what the Soviets wanted - a further freeze on nuclear arms - and instead go for the more demanding course of arms reductions, which badly upset Moscow.

At the same time, he was the only one in the foreign policy apparatus who had worked out a full vision of where he wanted America to lead the world. He was the philosopher-king of the White House. Thus it was he who persuaded Carter that it was possible t...

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