20TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIBERATION AND REUNIFICATION OF EUROPE – PART 1

Introduction

On September 18, 2009, Timbro and the Information on Communism-organization in Sweden celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Liberation and Reunification of Europe by holding a seminar in Stockholm. It celebrated some of the freedom fighters (among them President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II) of the 1980s and a number of events that played an important role in the struggle for freedom and democracy.

This multipart blog post honors the seminar and is especially devoted to the American preparations for victory in the Cold War in the beginning of the 1980s.

William P. Clark, a lawyer and rancher, a long time associate of President Ronald Reagan, was appointed Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs on January 4, 1982. Clark was to remain in the position until late 1983 and came to be a leading force in preparing for American cold war victory.

He aimed at a more coordinated national security strategy and in March of 1982 the president signed a national security decision directive (NSDD 32), that would transform U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union. It was proactive and broke with the past. Ronald Reagan made clear that he would not accept domination by Moscow of its satellites.

The principal objectives were a covert support of underground anticommunist movements behind the Iron Curtain. Psychological operations would be directed at the region with radio broadcasts of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

Furthermore the United States would use trade and diplomacy to loosen the grip of Moscow.

The Polish Crisis

The Polish crisis offered good opportunities to put the rules laid down in the directive to work. Martial law had been introduced in Poland in December of 1981. Polish General Woyciech Jaruzelski had taken over power supported by Moscow. In late January 1982 he in the Polish parliament he declared that martial law would continue. Over 4,000 opponents to the regime had been interned. But demonstrations continued as in Gdansk on January 31, 1982, and in February the regime had to arrest at least additional 3,000.

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