Saturday Interview

Former-Soviet-leader-Mikhail-Gorbachev

Former-Soviet-leader-Mikhail-Gorbachev

SPIEGEL: Mikhail Sergeyevich, during your inaugural speech as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, you warned of nuclear war and called for the “complete destruction of nuclear weapons and a permanent ban on them.” Did you mean that seriously?

Gorbachev: The discussion about disarmament had already been going on for too long — far too long. I wanted to finally see words followed by action because the arms race was not only continuing, it was growing ever more dangerous in terms of the number of weapons and their destructive capacity. There were tens of thousands of nuclear warheads on different delivery systems like aircraft, missiles and submarines.

SPIEGEL: Did you feel the Soviet Union was under threat during the 1980s by the nuclear weapons of NATO member states?

Gorbachev: The situation was that nuclear missiles were being stationed closer and closer to our adversary’s borders. They were getting increasingly precise and they were also being aimed at decision-making centers. There were very concrete plans for the use of these weapons. Nuclear war had become conceivable. And even a technical error could have caused it to happen. At the same time, disarmament talks were not getting anywhere. In Geneva, diplomats pored over mountains of paper, drank wine, and even harder stuff, by the liter. And it was all for nothing.

SPIEGEL: At a meeting of the Warsaw Pact nations in 1986, you declared that the military doctrine of the Soviet Union was no longer to plan for the coming war, but rather to seek to prevent military confrontation with the West. What was the reason behind the shift in strategy?

Gorbachev: It was clear to me that relations with America and the West would be a lasting dead end without atomic disarmament, with mutual distrust and growing hostility. That is why nuclear disarmament was the highest priority for Soviet foreign policy.

@ SPIEGEL

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About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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11 Responses to Saturday Interview

  1. David B. Benson says:

    But Putin, on the other hand…

    Like

  2. David B. Benson says:

    Cooler today, as in the days of yore.

    Like

  3. Den says:

    Hotter here, 95 😦

    Like

  4. David B. Benson says:

    @ the Birch & Barley after 42 minutes.

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  5. º¿carol says:

    Egads, I need to proof read! “BUT I’M NOT 70 YEARS OLD!,” I was supposed to say, I AM 70 years old. An excuse, I use the “I’m 70” all the time now, then I laugh. Seventy is nothing, I’m still on a roll. I just don’t WANT to be on a roll. Shoot, I don’t want to just sit in a chair and watch everyone else do the work in my life. As long as I can keep going, I’ll keep going. Still going to whine though, THAT’S BECAUSE I’M 70!

    Like

  6. º¿carol says:

    I met Jim on Arianna’s first blog, just before she launched Huffington Post. Met Jim 9/29/2004. (I keep records, lol.)

    I was 59 years old, Micki was 60, Gerald was 65, or maybe 64.

    Jim was a baby. He was probably 48.

    Like

  7. David B. Benson says:

    Sunset not so angry but there is still plenty of smoke to the west.

    Like

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