Zbigniew Brzezinski

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Zbigniew Brzezinski
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Warsaw, Second Polish Republic>Poland2017263|28}}Falls Church, Virginia, United States>U.S.Democratic Party (United States)>DemocraticEmilie Benes Brzezinski>1961}}Ian Brzezinski>IanMark BrzezinskiMika Brzezinski>Mika|parents = Tadeusz BrzezińskiLeonia Roman Brzezińska|relatives = Matthew Brzezinski (nephew)McGill University (Bachelor of Arts>BA, Master of Arts)Harvard University (Doctor of Philosophy>PhD)}}Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|z|b|ɪ|ɡ|n|j|ɛ|f|_|b|r|ə|ˈ|z|ɪ|n|s|k|i}} {{respell|ZBIG|nyef|_|brə|ZIN|skee}},NEWS, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski And His Life On The World Stage,weblink Morning Joe, MSNBC, May 30, 2017, 4:12, {{IPA-pl|ˈzbiɡɲɛf kaˈʑimjɛʐ bʐɛˈʑij̃skʲi|lang|Zbigniew Brzeziński audio.ogg}};{{efn|In isolation, Kazimierz is pronounced {{IPA-pl|kaˈʑimjɛʂ|}}.}} March 28, 1928 – May 26, 2017) was a Polish-American diplomat and political scientist. He served as a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1966 to 1968 and was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981. Brzezinski belonged to the realist school of international relations, standing in the geopolitical tradition of Halford Mackinder and Nicholas J. Spykman.Sabine Feiner: Weltordnung durch US-Leadership? Die Konzeption Zbigniew K. Brzezinskis. Westdeutscher Verlag, Wiesbaden 2001WEB, Revisiting the Geo-Political Thinking of Sir Halford John Mackinder: United States–Uzbekistan Relations 1991–2005,weblink Chris, Seiple, November 27, 2006, August 18, 2014,weblink August 28, 2017, dead, mdy-all, Brzezinski was the primary organizer of The Trilateral Commission.Sklar, Holly. "Founding the Trilateral Commission: Chronology 1970-1977". Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management. Boston: South End Press, 1980. {{ISBN|0-89608-103-6}} {{ISBN|0-89608-104-4}} {{OCLC|6958001}} 604 pages. Excerpts available.Major foreign policy events during his time in office included the normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China on Taiwan); the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II); the brokering of the Camp David Accords; the transition of Iran from an important U.S. ally to an anti-Western Islamic Republic led by Khomeini; the United States' encouragement of dissidents in Eastern Europe and championing of human rights in order to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union;Tim Weiner. Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. the arming of the mujahideen in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; and the signing of the Torrijos–Carter Treaties relinquishing U.S. control of the Panama Canal after 1999.Brzezinski served as the Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils. He appeared frequently as an expert on the PBS program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, ABC News' This Week with Christiane Amanpour, and on MSNBC's Morning Joe, where his daughter, Mika Brzezinski, is co-anchor. He was a supporter of the Prague Process.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, June 9, 2008, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation,weblink" title="">weblink May 18, 2011, May 10, 2011, dead, His eldest son, Ian, is a foreign policy expert, and his youngest son, Mark, was the United States Ambassador to Sweden from 2011 to 2015.


Early years

For historical background on these periods of history, see: Zbigniew Brzezinski was born in Warsaw, Poland, on March 28, 1928. His family came from Brzeżany in Galicia in the Tarnopol Voivodeship (administrative region) of then eastern Poland (now in Ukraine). The town of Brzeżany is thought to be the source of the family name. Brzezinski's parents were Leonia (née Roman) Brzezińska and Tadeusz Brzeziński, a Polish diplomat who was posted to Germany from 1931 to 1935; Zbigniew Brzezinski thus spent some of his earliest years witnessing the rise of the Nazis.WEB,weblink Tadeusz Brzezinski, Former Polish Consul-General, Dies, May 25, 2016, From 1936 to 1938, Tadeusz Brzeziński was posted to the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge,Gati (2013) p. 237 and was later praised by Israel for his work helping Jews escape from the Nazis.NEWS, Hoagland, Jim, Zbigniew Brzezinski, foreign policy intellectual who served as Carter's national security adviser, dies at 89,weblink May 27, 2017, The Washington Post, May 26, 2017, In 1938, Tadeusz Brzeziński was posted to Montreal as a consul general. In 1939, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was agreed to by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union; subsequently the two powers invaded Poland. The 1945 Yalta Conference among the Allies allotted Poland to the Soviet sphere of influence. The Second World War had a profound effect on Brzezinski, who stated in an interview: "The extraordinary violence that was perpetrated against Poland did affect my perception of the world, and made me much more sensitive to the fact that a great deal of world politics is a fundamental struggle."{{YouTube|03ApSE6mgHE|Al Jazeera: One on One – Zbigniew Brzezinski}}


After attending Loyola High School in Montreal,NEWS, Kristian, Gravenor, Zbigniew Brzezinski's Montreal recollections,weblink Coolopolis, February 13, 2007, August 22, 2008, Brzezinski entered McGill University in 1945 to obtain both his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees (received in 1949 and 1950 respectively). His Master's thesis focused on the various nationalities within the Soviet Union.NEWS, "Agenda for constructive American-Chinese dialogue huge": Brzezinski,weblink Tang, Yong, People's Daily, March 20, 2006, December 30, 2010, THESIS, Brzezinski, Zbigniew, 1950, Russo-Soviet Nationalism, McGill University, Brzezinski's plan for pursuing further studies in the United Kingdom in preparation for a diplomatic career in Canada fell through, principally because he was ruled ineligible for a scholarship he had won that was open to British subjects. Brzezinski then attended Harvard University to work on a doctorate with Merle Fainsod, focusing on the Soviet Union and the relationship between the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin's state, and the actions of Joseph Stalin. He received his Ph.D. in 1953; the same year, he traveled to Munich and met Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, head of the Polish desk of Radio Free Europe. He later collaborated with Carl J. Friedrich to develop the concept of totalitarianism as a way to more accurately and powerfully characterize and criticize the Soviets in 1956.Gati (2013) p. 208For historical background on major events during this period, see:
  • (History of Poland (1945–89)GomuÅ‚ka's road to socialism (1956–70)|History of Poland: GomuÅ‚ka's road to socialism (1956–70)), and
  • 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
As a Harvard professor, he argued against Dwight Eisenhower's and John Foster Dulles's policy of rollback, saying that antagonism would push Eastern Europe further toward the Soviets.Gati (2013) p. xxi The Polish protests followed by the Polish October and the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 lent some support to Brzezinski's idea that the Eastern Europeans could gradually counter Soviet domination. In 1957, he visited Poland for the first time since he left as a child, and his visit reaffirmed his judgement that splits within the Eastern bloc were profound. He developed his ideas he called "peaceful engagement." Brzezinski became a naturalized American citizen in 1958.WEB, Brzezinski, Zbigniew 1928–,weblink Social networks and archival context, University of Virginia, May 10, 2017, In 1959, Harvard awarded an associate professorship to Henry Kissinger instead of Brzezinski.NEWS,weblink Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter, Dies at 89, Lewis, Daniel, May 27, 2017, The New York Times, May 27, 2017, 0362-4331, A1, He then moved to New York City to teach at Columbia University. Here he wrote Soviet Bloc: Unity and Conflict, which focused on Eastern Europe since the beginning of the Cold War. He also taught future Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who, like Brzezinski's widow Emily, is of Czech descent, and who he also mentored during her early years in Washington.BOOK, Albright, Madeleine, Madam Secretary (book), Madam Secretary, Hyperion, 2003, 57, He also became a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and joined the Bilderberg Group.Gati (2013) p. 12During the 1960 U.S. presidential elections, Brzezinski was an advisor to the John F. Kennedy campaign, urging a non-antagonistic policy toward Eastern European governments. Seeing the Soviet Union as having entered a period of stagnation, both economic and political, Brzezinski predicted a future breakup of the Soviet Union along lines of nationality (expanding on his master's thesis).Brzezinski continued to argue for and support détente for the next few years, publishing "Peaceful Engagement in Eastern Europe" in Foreign Affairs,JOURNAL, Zbigniew, Brzezinski, William, Griffith, Peaceful Engagement in Eastern Europe, Foreign Affairs, 39, 4, Spring 1961, 647, 10.2307/20029518, and he continued to support non-antagonistic policies after the Cuban Missile Crisis on the grounds that such policies might disabuse Eastern European nations of their fear of an aggressive Germany, and pacify Western Europeans fearful of a superpower compromise along the lines of the Yalta Conference. In a 1962 book Brzezinski argued against the possibility of a Sino-Soviet split, saying their alignment was "not splitting and is not likely to split."File:Wehrkundetagung 1964 Brzezinski Kleist Strauss.jpg|thumb|The conference venue at the Hotel Regina during the second Wehrkunde-Begegnung in 1964. Pictured are, among others, Zbigniew Brzezinski (far left) as well as Ewald von Kleist and Franz-Josef StraussFranz-Josef StraussIn 1964, Brzezinski supported Lyndon Johnson's presidential campaign and the Great Society and civil rights policies, while on the other hand he saw Soviet leadership as having been purged of any creativity following the ousting of Khrushchev. Through Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, Brzezinski met with Adam Michnik, future Polish Solidarity activist.{{Citation needed|date=May 2017}}Brzezinski continued to support engagement with Eastern European governments, while warning against De Gaulle's vision of a "Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals." He also supported the Vietnam War. In 1966, Brzezinski was appointed to the Policy Planning Council of the U.S. Department of State (President Johnson's October 7, 1966, "Bridge Building" speech was a product of Brzezinski's influence). In 1968, Brzezinski resigned from the council in protest of President Johnson's expansion of the war. Next, he became a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Hubert Humphrey.For historical background on events during this period, see: Events in Czechoslovakia further reinforced Brzezinski's criticisms of the right's aggressive stance toward Eastern European governments. His service to the Johnson administration, and his fact-finding trip to Vietnam, made him an enemy of the New Left.For the 1968 U.S. presidential campaign, Brzezinski was chairman of the Humphrey's Foreign Policy Task Force.Brzezinski called for a pan-European conference, an idea that would eventually find fruition in 1973 as the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe.Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Détente in the '70s", The New Republic (January 3, 1970), p. 18. Meanwhile, he became a leading critic of both the Nixon-Kissinger détente condominium, as well as George McGovern's pacifism.Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Meeting Moscow's Limited Coexistence", The New Leader, 51:24 (December 16, 1968), pp. 11–13.

The Trilateral Commission

File:Trilateral.svg|thumb|right|The Trilateral CommissionThe Trilateral CommissionIn his 1970 piece Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era, Brzezinski argued that a coordinated policy among developed nations was necessary in order to counter global instability erupting from increasing economic inequality. Out of this thesis, Brzezinski co-founded the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, serving as director from 1973 to 1976. The Trilateral Commission is a group of prominent political and business leaders and academics primarily from the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Its purpose was to strengthen relations among the three most industrially advanced regions of the capitalist world. In 1974, Brzezinski selected Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter as a member.


File:Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and National Security Council Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. - NARA - 175514.tif|thumb|Secretary of State Cyrus VanceCyrus VanceJimmy Carter announced his candidacy for the 1976 presidential campaign to a skeptical media and proclaimed himself an "eager student" of Brzezinski.JOURNAL, Brauer, Carl, November 1, 1988, Lost In Transition,weblink The Atlantic, Washington, D.C., Atlantic Media, March 27, 2014, Brzezinski became Carter's principal foreign policy advisor by late 1975. He became an outspoken critic of the Nixon-Kissinger over-reliance on détente, a situation preferred by the Soviet Union, favoring the Helsinki process instead, which focused on human rights, international law and peaceful engagement in Eastern Europe. Brzezinski was considered to be the Democrats' response to Republican Henry Kissinger.John Maclean, "Advisers Key to Foreign Policy Views", The Boston Evening Globe (October 5, 1976) Carter engaged his incumbent opponent for the presidency, Gerald Ford, in foreign policy debates by contrasting the Trilateral vision with Ford's détente.BOOK, Vaughan, Patrick G., Leopoldo, Nuti, The Crisis of Détente in Europe: From Helsinki to Gorbachev, 1975–1985, Taylor & Francis, 2008, 11–25, Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Helsinki Final Act, 0-415-46051-4, After his victory in 1976, Carter made Brzezinski National Security Advisor. Earlier that year, major labor riots broke out in Poland, laying the foundations for Solidarity. Brzezinski began by emphasizing the "Basket III" human rights in the Helsinki Final Act, which inspired Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia shortly thereafter.Michael Getler, "Dissidents Challenge Prague – Tension Builds Following Demand for Freedom and Democracy", The Washington Post (January 21, 1977).Brzezinski assisted with writing parts of Carter's inaugural address, and this served his purpose of sending a positive message to Soviet dissidents.Zbigniew Brzezinski, Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977–1981 (New York, 1983), p. 123. The Soviet Union and Western European leaders both complained that this kind of rhetoric ran against the "code of détente" that Nixon and Kissinger had established.Seyom Brown, Faces of Power (New York, 1983), p. 539."Giscard, Schmidt on Détente", The Washington Post (July 19, 1977). Brzezinski ran up against members of his own Democratic Party who disagreed with this interpretation of détente, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Vance argued for less emphasis on human rights in order to gain Soviet agreement to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), whereas Brzezinski favored doing both at the same time. Brzezinski then ordered Radio Free Europe transmitters to increase the power and area of their broadcasts, a provocative reversal of Nixon-Kissinger policies.David Binder, "Carter Requests Funds for Big Increase in Broadcasts to Soviet Bloc", The New York Times (March 23, 1977). West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt objected to Brzezinski's agenda, even calling for the removal of Radio Free Europe from German soil.Brzezinski, Power and Principle, p. 293.The State Department was alarmed by Brzezinski's support for dissidents in East Germany and objected to his suggestion that Carter's first overseas visit be to Poland. He visited Warsaw and met with Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski (against the objection of the U.S. Ambassador to Poland), recognizing the Roman Catholic Church as the legitimate opposition to communist rule in Poland.David A. Andelman, "Brzezinski and Mrs. Carter Hold Discussion with Polish Cardinal", The New York Times (December 29, 1977).By 1978, Brzezinski and Vance were more and more at odds over the direction of Carter's foreign policy. Vance sought to continue the style of détente engineered by Nixon-Kissinger, with a focus on arms control. Brzezinski believed that détente emboldened the Soviets in Angola and the Middle East, and so he argued for increased military strength and an emphasis on human rights. Vance, the State Department, and the media criticized Brzezinski publicly as seeking to revive the Cold War.{{Citation needed|date=May 2017}}Brzezinski advised Carter in 1978 to engage the People's Republic of China and traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for the normalization of relations between the two countries. This also resulted in the severing of ties with the United States' longtime anti-Communist ally the Republic of China (Taiwan).{{Citation needed|date=May 2017}}For historical background on this period of history, see: 1979 saw two major strategically important events: the overthrow of U.S. ally the Shah of Iran, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Iranian Revolution precipitated the Iran hostage crisis, which would last for the rest of Carter's presidency. Brzezinski anticipated the Soviet invasion, and, with the support of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China, he created a strategy to undermine the Soviet presence. Using this atmosphere of insecurity, Brzezinski led the United States toward a new arms buildup and the development of the Rapid Deployment Forces—policies that are both more generally associated with Reagan's presidency now.{{Citation needed|date=May 2017}}On November 9, 1979, Brzezinski was woken at 3{{nbsp}}am by a phone call with a startling message: The Soviets had just launched 250 nuclear weapons at the United States. Minutes later, Brzezinski received another call: The early-warning system actually showed 2,000 missiles heading toward the United States.WEB, The 3 A.M. Phone Call,weblink March 1, 2012, National Security Archive, George Washington University, February 11, 2017, As Brzezinski prepared to phone President Jimmy Carter to plan a full-scale response, he received a third call: It was a false alarm. An early warning training tape generating indications of a large-scale Soviet nuclear attack had somehow transferred to the actual early warning network, which triggered an all-too-real scramble.Brzezinski, acting under a lame duck Carter presidency—but encouraged that Solidarity in Poland had vindicated his style of engagement with Eastern Europe—took a hard-line stance against what seemed like an imminent Soviet invasion of Poland. He even made a midnight phone call to Pope John Paul II (whose visit to Poland in 1979 had foreshadowed the emergence of Solidarity) warning him in advance. The U.S. stance was a significant change from previous reactions to Soviet repression in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.{{Citation needed|date=May 2017}}Brzezinski developed the Carter Doctrine, which committed the U.S. to use military force in defense of the Persian Gulf. In 1981 President Carter presented Brzezinski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After power

Brzezinski left office concerned about the internal division within the Democratic party, arguing that the dovish McGovernite wing would send the Democrats into permanent minority. Ronald Reagan invited him to stay on as his National Security Adviser, but Brzezinski declined, feeling that the new president needed a fresh perspective on which to build his foreign policy.NEWS, 'Reagan poprosił Brzezińskiego, by został także jego doradcą',weblink June 1, 2017,, May 29, 2017, He had mixed relations with the Reagan administration. On the one hand, he supported it as an alternative to the Democrats' pacifism. On the other hand, he also criticized it as seeing foreign policy in overly black-and-white terms.{{citation needed|date=May 2017}}He remained involved in Polish affairs, critical of the imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981, and more so of the Western European acquiescence to its imposition in the name of stability. Brzezinski briefed U.S. vice-president George H. W. Bush before his 1987 trip to Poland that aided in the revival of the Solidarity movement.{{citation needed|date=May 2017}}In 1985, under the Reagan administration, Brzezinski served as a member of the President's Chemical Warfare Commission. From 1987 to 1988, he worked on the U.S. National Security Council–Defense Department Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy. From 1987 to 1989 he also served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.{{citation needed|date=May 2017}}In 1988, Brzezinski was co-chairman of the Bush National Security Advisory Task Force, endorsing Bush for president, and breaking with the Democratic party. Brzezinski published The Grand Failure the same year, predicting the failure of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in a few more decades. He said there were five possibilities for the Soviet Union: successful pluralization, protracted crisis, renewed stagnation, coup (by the KGB or Soviet military), or the explicit collapse of the Communist regime. He called collapse "at this stage a much more remote possibility" than protracted crisis. He also predicted that the chance of some form of communism existing in the Soviet Union in 2017 was a little more than 50% and that when the end did come it would be "most likely turbulent". In the event, the Soviet system collapsed totally in 1991 following Moscow's crackdown on Lithuania's attempt to declare independence, the Nagorno-Karabakh War of the late 1980s, and scattered bloodshed in other republics. This was a less violent outcome than Brzezinski and other observers anticipated.{{citation needed|date=May 2017}}In 1989, the Communists failed to mobilize support in Poland, and Solidarity swept the general elections. Later the same year, Brzezinski toured Russia and visited a memorial to the Katyn Massacre. This served as an opportunity for him to ask the Soviet government to acknowledge the truth about the event, for which he received a standing ovation in the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Ten days later, the Berlin Wall fell, and Soviet-supported governments in Eastern Europe began to totter. Strobe Talbott, one of Brzezinski's long-time critics, conducted an interview with him for TIME magazine entitled Vindication of a Hardliner.{{citation needed|date=May 2017}}In 1990, Brzezinski warned against post–Cold War euphoria. He publicly opposed the Gulf War,{{citation needed|date=May 2012}} arguing that the United States would squander the international goodwill it had accumulated by defeating the Soviet Union, and that it could trigger wide resentment throughout the Arab world. He expanded upon these views in his 1992 work Out of Control.{{citation needed|date=May 2017}}Brzezinski was prominently critical of the Clinton administration's hesitation to intervene against the Serb forces in the Bosnian war.weblink" title="">Brzezinski on isolation: former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski warns of the failures of Clinton foreign policy, Insight on the News, August 21, 1995 He also began to speak out against Russia's First Chechen War, forming the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya. Wary of a move toward the reinvigoration of Russian power, Brzezinski negatively viewed the succession of former KGB agent Vladimir Putin after Boris Yeltsin. In this vein, he became one of the foremost advocates of NATO expansion. He wrote in 1998 that "Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.""The New Great Game: Why Ukraine Matters to So Many Other Nations". Bloomberg. February 27, 2014. He later came out in support of the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia during the Kosovo war.A conversation about Kosovo with Zbigniew Brzezinski {{webarchive|url= |date=October 8, 2012 }} Charlie Rose, March 25, 1999

National Security Advisor

{{further|Presidency of Jimmy Carter#Foreign policy}}President Carter chose Brzezinski for the position of National Security Adviser (NSA) because he wanted an assertive intellectual at his side to provide him with day-to-day advice and guidance on foreign policy decisions. Brzezinski would preside over a reorganized National Security Council (NSC) structure, fashioned to ensure that the NSA would be only one of many players in the foreign policy process.Justin Vaïsse, Zbigniew Brzezinski: America's Grand Strategist (2018) ch 6.Initially, Carter reduced the NSC staff by one-half, and decreased the number of standing NSC committees from eight to two. All issues referred to the NSC were reviewed by one of the two new committees, either the Policy Review Committee (PRC) or the Special Coordinating Committee (SCC). The PRC focused on specific issues, and its chairmanship rotated. The SCC was always chaired by Brzezinski, a circumstance he had to negotiate with Carter to achieve. Carter believed that by making the NSA chairman of only one of the two committees, he would prevent the NSC from being the overwhelming influence on foreign policy decisions it had been under Kissinger's chairmanship during the Nixon administration. The SCC was charged with considering issues that cut across several departments, including oversight of intelligence activities, arms control evaluation, and crisis management. Much of the SCC's time during the Carter years was spent on SALT issues. The Council held few formal meetings, convening only 10 times, compared with 125 meetings during the eight years of the Nixon and Ford administrations. Instead, Carter used frequent, informal meetings as a decision-making device—typically his Friday breakfasts—usually attended by the Vice President, the secretaries of State and Defense, Brzezinski, and the chief domestic adviser. No agendas were prepared and no formal records were kept of these meetings, sometimes resulting in differing interpretations of the decisions actually agreed upon. Brzezinski was careful, in managing his own weekly luncheons with secretaries Vance and Brown in preparation for NSC discussions, to maintain a complete set of notes. Brzezinski also sent weekly reports to the President on major foreign policy undertakings and problems, with recommendations for courses of action. President Carter enjoyed these reports and frequently annotated them with his own views. Brzezinski and the NSC used these Presidential notes (159 of them) as the basis for NSC actions.Vaïsse, ''Zbigniew Brzezinski' (2018) ch 6.From the beginning, Brzezinski made sure that the new NSC institutional relationships would assure him a major voice in the shaping of foreign policy. While he knew that Carter would not want him to be another Kissinger, Brzezinski also felt confident that the President did not want Secretary of State Vance to become another Dulles and would want his own input on key foreign policy decisions. Brzezinski's power gradually expanded into the operational area during the Carter Presidency. He increasingly assumed the role of a Presidential emissary. In 1978, for example, Brzezinski traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for normalizing U.S.–PRC relations. Like Kissinger before him, Brzezinski maintained his own personal relationship with Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Dobrynin. Brzezinski had NSC staffers monitor State Department cable traffic through the Situation Room and call back to the State Department if the President preferred to revise or take issue with outgoing State Department instructions. He also appointed his own press spokesman, and his frequent press briefings and appearances on television interview shows made him a prominent public figure, although perhaps not nearly as much as Kissinger had been under Nixon.

Ending détente

{{expand section|date=June 2008}}Presidential Directive 18 on U.S. National Security, signed early in Carter's term, signaled a fundamental reassessment of the value of détente, and set the United States on a course to quietly end Kissinger's strategy.WEB,weblink Unclassified Memorandum from National Security Council,, August 27, 1977, December 31, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink July 21, 2011, dead, mdy-all,

Nuclear strategy

{{expand section|date=June 2012}}Presidential Directive 59, "Nuclear Employment Policy", dramatically changed U.S. targeting of nuclear weapons aimed at the Soviet Union. Implemented with the aid of Defense Secretary Harold Brown, this directive officially set the United States on a countervailing strategy.{{Clarify|date=August 2009}}Nuclear Employment Policy {{webarchive|url= |date=April 3, 2013}}{{Failed verification|date=January 2012}}" (PDF)

Arms control

{{expand section|date=June 2012}}{{see also|Arms Control}}File:Carter Brezhnev sign SALT II.jpg|thumb|350px|President Jimmy Carter and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT IISALT II{{clear}}


Brzezinski was on the faculty of Harvard University from 1953 to 1960, and of Columbia University from 1960 to 1989 where he headed the Institute on Communist Affairs. He was Senior Research Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.WEB, Zbigniew Brzezinski, PhD,weblink Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, February 11, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink October 25, 2015, dead, mdy-all, As a scholar, he developed his thoughts over the years, fashioning fundamental theories on international relations and geostrategy. During the 1950s he worked on the theory of totalitarianism. His thought in the 1960s focused on wider Western understanding of disunity in the Soviet Bloc, as well as developing the thesis of intensified degeneration of the Soviet Union. During the 1970s he proposed that the Soviet system was incapable of evolving beyond the industrial phase into the "technetronic" age.By the 1980s, Brzezinski argued that the general crisis of the Soviet Union foreshadowed communism's end.

Later years

File:Obama with former National Security Advisers 2010.jpg|thumb|300px|Former National Security Advisers meet with President Barack Obama in 2010. Seated at the table, from left, are Brent Scowcroft, Bud McFarlane, Colin Powell, Dennis Ross, Sandy Berger, Frank CarlucciFrank CarlucciAfter his role as National Security Adviser came to a close, Brzezinski returned to teaching but remained an influential voice in international relations. Polish politician Radek Sikorski wrote that to Poles, Brzezinski was considered "our statesman" and his was one of the most revered voices in Poland: "During the decades when Poland was stuck against her will behind the Iron Curtain, he and the Polish pope were the two most important voices for a free Poland abroad. After liberation, he acted as an adviser and champion of the new democracies on their way to rejoining Western institutions."NEWS, Sikorski, Radek, Radosław Sikorski, For Poles, Zbigniew Brzezinski was our American statesman,weblink June 1, 2017, The Washington Post, May 27, 2017, Though he rose to national prominence as a member of the Carter administration, Brzezinski avoided partisan politics and sometimes voted Republican. In 1988, he endorsed Republican George H. W. Bush for president.NEWS, Luce, Edward, Lunch with the FT: Zbigniew Brzezinski,weblink June 1, 2017, Financial Times, January 13, 2012, Brzezinski argued against the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was outspoken in the then-unpopular opinion that the invasion would be a mistake. As recalled by David Ignatius, "Brzezinski paid a cost in the insular, self-reinforcing world of Washington foreign policy opinion, until it became clear to nearly everyone that he (joined in this Iraq War opposition by Scowcroft) had been right."NEWS, Ignatius, David, David Ignatius, Zbigniew Brzezinski was an intrepid advocate of the 'liberal international order',weblink June 1, 2017, The Washington Post, May 29, 2017, He later called President George W. Bush's foreign policy "catastrophic." Brzezinski was a leading critic of the George W. Bush Administration's conduct of the War on Terror. In 2004, Brzezinski wrote The Choice, which expanded upon his earlier work,The Grand Chessboard(1997), and sharply criticized George W. Bush's foreign policy. In 2007, in a column in The Washington Post, Brzezinski excoriated the Bush administration, arguing that their post-9/11 actions had damaged the reputation of the United States "infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks" and destroyed any chance of uniting the world to defeat extremism and terrorism.NEWS, Brzezinski, Zbigniew, Terrorized by 'War on Terror',weblink June 1, 2017, The Washington Post, March 25, 2007, He later stated that he had "visceral contempt" for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who supported Bush's actions in Iraq.He defended the book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John Mearsheimer.Obama advisor raises concerns, Ynet, September 15, 2007.In August 2007, Brzezinski endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He stated that Obama "recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world"Alec MacGillis, Brzezinski Backs Obama, Washington Post, August 25, 2007. and that "What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and people."Eric Walberg, The real power behind the throne-to-be {{webarchive|url=|date=September 10, 2009}}, Al-Ahram, July 24–30, 2008. In September 2007 during a speech on the Iraq war, Obama introduced Brzezinski as "one of our most outstanding thinkers," but some pro-Israel commentators questioned his criticism of the Israel lobby in the United States. In a September 2009 interview with The Daily Beast, Brzezinski replied to a question about how aggressive President Obama should be in insisting Israel not conduct an air strike on Iran, saying: "We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?"Gerald Posner, How Obama Flubbed His Missile Message, The Daily Beast, undated. This was interpreted by some supporters of Israel as supporting the downing of Israeli jets by the United States in order to prevent an attack on Iran.Brzezinski: U.S. must deny Israel airspace {{webarchive|url= |date=September 25, 2009}}, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 21, 2009.Jake Tapper, Zbig Brzezinski: Obama Administration Should Tell Israel U.S. Will Attack Israeli Jets if They Try to Attack Iran {{webarchive|url= |date=October 18, 2009}}, ABC News, September 20, 2009. On October 1, 2009, Brzezinski delivered the Waldo Family Lecture on International Relations at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.WEB, Tayla, Thursday, September 24,weblink, August 14, 2019, In 2011, Brzezinski supported the NATO intervention against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan Civil War, calling non-intervention "morally dubious" and "politically questionable".WEB,weblink PBS: Turmoil in Arab World: Deepening Divisions or Turning a New Page?, In early 2012, Brzezinski expressed disappointment and said he was confused by some of Obama's actions, such as the decision to send 2,500 U.S. troops to Australia, but supported him for re-election.File:MSC 2014 Brzezinski Kleinschmidt MSC2014.jpg|thumb|Brzezinski at the Munich Security ConferenceMunich Security ConferenceOn March 3, 2014, between the February 22 ousting of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and the March 16, Crimean referendum, Brzezinski authored an op-ed piece for The Washington Post entitled "What is to be done? Putin's aggression in Ukraine needs a response."WEB,weblink Zbigniew Brzezinski: After Putin's aggression in Ukraine, the West must be ready to respond, March 3, 2014, Washington Post, May 25, 2016, He led with a link on Russian aggression; he compared Russian President Vladimir Putin's "thuggish tactics in seizing Crimea" and "thinly camouflaged invasion" to Adolf Hitler's occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938, and characterized Putin as a cartoon Benito Mussolini, but stopped well short of advocating that the U.S. go to war. Rather, he suggested that NATO should be put on high alert and recommended "to avert miscalculations". He explicitly stated that reassurances be given to "Russia that it is not seeking to draw Ukraine into NATO."According to Ignatius and Sikorski, Brzezinski was "deeply troubled" by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and worried over the future. Two days after the election, on November 10, 2016, Brzezinski warned of "coming turmoil in the nation and the world" in a brief speech after he was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service from the Department of Defense. On May 4, 2017, he sent out his final Tweet, saying, "Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse."

Personal life

Brzezinski was married to Czech-American sculptor Emilie Benes (grand-niece of the second Czechoslovak president, Edvard Beneš), with whom he had three children. His younger son, Mark Brzezinski (b. 1965), is a lawyer who served on President Clinton's National Security Council as an expert on Russia and Southeastern Europe, and served as the U.S. ambassador to Sweden (2011–2015). His daughter, Mika Brzezinski (b. 1967), is a television news presenter and co-host of MSNBC's weekday morning program, Morning Joe, where she provides regular commentary and reads the news headlines for the program. His elder son, Ian Brzezinski (b. 1963), is a Senior Fellow in the International Security Program and is on the Atlantic Council's Strategic Advisors Group. Ian also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO (2001–2005) and was a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton.WEB, Ian Brzezinski, Atlantic Council,weblink 2016, February 11, 2017,

Public life

Brzezinski was a past member of the Atlantic Council and the National Endowment for Democracy.WEB,weblink Democracy, Totalitarianism, and the Culture of Freedom, October 15, 2009, National Endowment for Democracy, National Endowment for Democracy, March 27, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 28, 2014, mdy-all, At the time of his death, he was a member of the Council on Foreign RelationsWEB,weblink Membership Roster – Council on Foreign Relations,, January 28, 2012, and the International Honorary CouncilWEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, Europejska Akademia Dyplomacji : European Academy of Diplomacy : : Dyplomacja – Zbigniew Brzeziński, February 2, 2014, of the European Academy of Diplomacy.

Film appearances

Brzezinski appeared as himself in several documentary films and TV series, such as: the 1997 film Eternal Memory: Voices from the Great Terror, directed by David Pultz; Episodes 17 (Good Guys, Bad Guys), 19 (Freeze) and 20 (Soldiers of God) of the 1998 CNN series Cold War produced by Jeremy Isaacs; the 2009 documentary (Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace); and the 2014 Polish biopic Strateg (The Strategist) directed by Katarzyna Kolenda-Zaleska and produced by TVN. The 2014 Polish film Jack Strong features Krzysztof Pieczyński as Brzezinski.


{{Wikinews|Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski dies aged 89}}Brzezinski died at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, on May 26, 2017 at the age of 89.WEB,weblink Carter adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski dies at 89, Politico, May 26, 2017, MAGAZINE,weblink Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Atlantic, May 26, 2017, James Fallows, His funeral was held June{{nbsp}}9 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C.NEWS, Pogrzeb Zbigniewa Brzezińskiego odbędzie się 9 czerwca,weblink June 1, 2017,, June 1, 2017, pl, Former President Carter and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright were among those who gave eulogies, while attendees included international diplomats and emissaries; journalists Carl Bernstein, Chuck Todd and David Ignatius; 100-year-old Gen. Edward Rowny; former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice; and former National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster. "If I could choose my seatmate, it would be Dr. Brzezinski," Carter said of his international flights on Air Force One. Former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, aged 94, was unable to attend, but a note he sent was read during a eulogy: "The world is an emptier place without Zbig pushing the limits of his insights."NEWS, Flegenheimer, Matt, Washington Remembers Brzezinski, and a Very Different Era,weblink June 9, 2017, The New York Times, June 9, 2017,


Honorary degrees{| border"1" border"1" cellpadding"4" cellspacing"0" style"width:100%; margin:0.5em 1em 0.5em 0; border:1px #056 solid; border-collapse:collapse;"

! style="background:#f5f5f5; width:20%;"| Location !! style="background:#f5f5f5; width:20%;"| Date !! style="background:#f5f5f5; width:40%;"| School !! style="background:#f5f5f5; width:20%;"| DegreeNew York}} 1979 Fordham University DoctorateHTTPS://FORDHAM.LIBGUIDES.COM/C.PHP?G=279582&P=1863748>TITLE=RESEARCH GUIDES @ FORDHAM: FORDHAM UNIVERSITY HISTORY: FORDHAM COMMENCEMENT SPEAKERS 1941-PRESENTLAST=SHEN,, Massachusetts}} 9 June 1986 Williams College Doctor of Laws (LL.D)HTTPS://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/1986/06/09/US/WILLIAMS-COLLEGE-CAUTION-ON-SCIENCE-IS-OFFERED.HTML>TITLE=WILLIAMS COLLEGE: CAUTION ON SCIENCE IS OFFEREDVIA=NYTIMES.COM, HTTPS://COMMENCEMENT.WILLIAMS.EDU/HONORARY-DEGREES/>TITLE=HONORARY DEGREES, Commencement, Poland}} 1990 John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin DoctorateHTTP://WWW.KUL.PL/HONORARY-DOCTORATES,ART_158.HTML>TITLE=KUL - UNIVERSITY - HONORARY DOCTORATES, Lithuania}} 1998 Vilnius University DoctorateHTTPS://WWW.VU.LT/EN/ABOUT-VU/HONORARY-DOCTORS>TITLE=HONORARY DOCTORS, Vilnius University, Azerbaijan}} 7 November 2003 Baku State University Doctorate{{expand list|date=June 2018}}





Further reading

  • Avner, Yehuda, The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership, The Toby Press, 2010, {{ISBN|978-1-59264-278-6}}
  • Andrianopoulos, Gerry Argyris. Kissinger and Brzezinski: The NSC and the Struggle for Control of U.S. National Security Policy, Palgrave Macmillan (June 1991), {{ISBN|0-312-05743-1}}
  • Firestone, Thomas. "Four Sovietologists: A Primer." National Interest No. 14 (Winter 1988/9), pp. 102–107 on the ideas of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Stephen F. Cohen] Jerry F. Hough, and Richard Pipes.]
  • Gati, Charles, ed. (2013), Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Johns Hopkins University Press, {{ISBN|1421409763}}.
  • Lubowski, Andrzej. Zbig: The Man Who Cracked the Kremlin (2013) weblink
  • Patrick Vaughan (1999) "Beyond Benign Neglect: Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Polish Crisis of 1980." Polish Review (1): 3–28
  • Vaïsse, Justin. Zbigniew Brzezinski: America's Grand Strategist (2018) scholarly biography
  • Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm: Untold Stories of Polish Heroes from World War II", Chapter: "Father and Son: Tadeusz and Zbigniew BrzeziÅ„ski", Hamilton Books 2018, {{ISBN|978-0-7618-6983-2}}


{{external media| float = right| video1 = Interview for Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. (March 31, 1983)| video2 = Interview for War and Peace in the Nuclear Age at WGBH Open Vault (November 19, 1986)| video3 = Interview for Rutherford Living History at Duke University (March 29, 2007)| audio1 = Interview for Vietnam: A Television History at WGBH Open Vault (July 11, 1983)| audio2 = Interview for Center for Strategic & International Studies (2012)}}

Major works by Brzezinski

  • The Permanent Purge: Politics in Soviet Totalitarianism. Harvard University Press, 1956.
  • (iarchive:sovietblocunityc00brze|Soviet Bloc: Unity and Conflict). Harvard University Press, 1967. {{ISBN|978-0674825451}}
  • Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era. New York: Viking Press, 1970. {{ISBN|978-0313234989}}
  • Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977–1981. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1983. {{ISBN|978-0374236632}}
  • Game Plan: A Geostrategic Framework for the Conduct of the U.S.-Soviet Contest. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986. {{ISBN|978-0871130846}}
  • (iarchive:grandfailureb00brze|Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century). New York: Collier Books, 1990. {{ISBN|978-0020307303}}
  • (iarchive:outofcontrolglob00brze|Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 21st Century). New York: Collier Books, 1993. {{ISBN|978-0684826363}}
  • (The Grand Chessboard|The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives). New York: Basic Books, 1997. {{ISBN|0465027253}}.
  • :Subsequently translated and published in nineteen languages.
  • (iarchive:choiceglobaldomi00brze|The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership). New York: Basic Books, 2004. {{ISBN|978-0465008001}}
  • (Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower). New York: Basic Books, 2007. {{ISBN|978-0465002528}}
  • (iarchive:americaworldconv00brze|America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy). New York: Basic Books, 2008. {{ISBN|978-0465015016}}
  • (iarchive:strategicvisiona0000brze|Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power). New York: Basic Books, 2012. {{ISBN|978-0465029549}}

Other books and monographs

  • Russo-Soviet Nationalism. M.A. Thesis, McGill University, 1950.
  • Political Control in the Soviet Army: A Study on Reports by Former Soviet Officers. New York: Research Program on the U.S.S.R., 1954.
  • Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy. Co-authored with Carl J. Friedrich. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956.
  • (iarchive:ideologypowerins0000brze|Ideology and Power in Soviet Politics). New York: Praeger, 1962.
  • (iarchive:politicalpowerus00brze|Political Power: USA/USSR), with Samuel Huntington. New York: Viking Press, April 1963. {{ISBN|0-670-56318-8}}
  • (iarchive:alternativetopar00brze|Alternative to Partition: For a Broader Conception of America's Role in Europe). Atlantic Policy Studies, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965.
  • The Implications of Change for United States Foreign Policy. Department of State, 1967.
  • International Politics in the Technetronic Era. Sofia University Press, 1971.
  • (iarchive:fragileblossomcr0000brze|The Fragile Blossom: Crisis and Change in Japan). New York: Harper and Row, 1972. {{ISBN|0060104686}}
  • American Security in an Interdependent World, with P. Edward Haley. Rowman & Littlefield, September 1988. {{ISBN|0-8191-7084-4}}
  • In Quest of National Security. Co-authored with Marin Strmecki. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, September 1988. {{ISBN|0-8133-0575-6}}
  • The Soviet Political System: Transformation or Degeneration. Irvington Publishers, August 1993. {{ISBN|0-8290-3572-9}}
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, bibliography and drawings = Zbigniew BrzeziÅ„ski, bibliografia i rysunki. Łódź: Correspondance des arts, 1993.
  • Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Documents, Data, and Analysis. Co-authored with Paige Sullivan. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1996. {{ISBN|1-56324-637-6}}
  • The Geostrategic Triad: Living with China, Europe, and Russia. Center for Strategic & International Studies, December 2000. {{ISBN|0-89206-384-X}}

Selected articles, essays and reports

Articles Essays Reports

See also

External links

{{Commons category|Zbigniew Brzeziński}} {{Carter cabinet}}{{NSAA}}{{Cold War}}{{international relations theory}}{{Authority control}}

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