Before the Fall

When the tumultuous events of 1989-1991 upset world political calculations, it was believed that the American government had been taken by surprise. The demise of communism, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the rise of conflict in Eastern Europe quickly presented new challenges to American foreign policymakers. Robert Hutchings, then director of European affairs for the National Security Council, argues that none of this happened by default or by chance. In this interview, he begins to describe the challenge that the American government made to Gorbachev's new thinking, and the outcome of that challenge.

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