Search Results for Cold War

Soft Power in a Cold War: Challenges of Reaching out to the Soviets

The “Iron Curtain” was a term used to denote the efforts of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to block its citizens from contact with the West. It persisted from the end of World War II until the end of the Cold War. Throughout those decades, the U.S. endeavored to breach the Curtain and reach […]

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“The Cold War Was Truly Over” — The 1986 Reykjavik Summit

After the 1985 Geneva Summit, where President Ronald Reagan and leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, met for the first time, the Reykjavik Summit, held on October 11-12, 1986, presented an opportunity to try to reach an agreement between the two sides on arms control. While Gorbachev wanted to ban all ballistic missiles and limit the talks […]

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George Kennan — Containment and the Cold War

George Frost Kennan was, and still remains, a very controversial and legendary figure in American diplomatic history. As a historian, political scientist, and diplomat, Kennan focused most of his career on Russian culture and history. Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant diplomats of his day, he was collegial with his staff and, despite […]

 Taking the Chill off the Cold War: The First Reagan-Gorbachev Summit

The Geneva Summit of 1985 was the first meeting between President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev to talk about the arms race, particularly the Strategic Defense Initiative, and to establish personal relations between the leaders of the world’s superpowers.  Held November 19, 1985 at a chateau owned by the Aga Khan, the first meeting went over […]

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Frenemies: Warm Encounters with Cold War Soviets

Just because the war between the two superpowers was cold didn’t mean that relations between U.S. and Soviet diplomats had to be frosty. While there were certainly some testy times, U.S. diplomats report that their relationships with Soviets were sometimes warm, funny, and congenial — especially if the Soviet officer was trying to convince them […]

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Returning the Crown of Saint Stephen to post-Cold War Hungary

For centuries, it was the national symbol of a nation. For decades, it was kept in Fort Knox for safekeeping. The Crown of Saint Stephen dates back to the year 1000, when Stephen, a devout Christian and the patron saint of Hungary, became King and Pope Sylvester II gave him the crown as a gift. From […]

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Dean Acheson – Architect of the Cold War

Dean Gooderham Acheson served as Secretary of State under President Truman from 1949-1953. Noting his enormous influence, historian Randall Woods described Acheson as “a primary architect” of the Cold War. A lifelong Democrat, he began his career in public service as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. He was appointed Under Secretary […]

Stranded in the Cold War Siberian Winter

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) marked a turning point in relations between the U.S. and the USSR. Signed in December 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the treaty came into force on June 1, 1988 and was the first treaty to ever destroy nuclear missiles, rather than just cap the number each side could possess. It eliminated  intermediate range missiles […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Europe, Humorous, Military, Russia/Soviet Union, Women and Minority FSOs
Frank Carlucci, Cold Warrior

Frank Carlucci III is best known for his tenure as Secretary of Defense under the Reagan administration, yet in his 2000 interview with Charles Stuart Kennedy, Carlucci narrates his journey through the Foreign Service, CIA, and prominent defense roles that span the course of the Cold War. Carlucci discusses the Congo’s volatile communist regime under Patrick Lumumba, […]

Khrushchev Visits America – A Cold War Comedy of Errors, Act II

In September of 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited the United States on an unprecedented goodwill trip spanning several days, thousands of miles and which was covered by a huge press corps. In stark contrast to the finely orchestrated tours and campaign stops that are common nowadays, the visit was a series of flubs and […]

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