Only Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev could have ended the Cold War. So says Jack Matlock, who knew the key players and saw that triumph of diplomacy as an eyewitness. He served as our ambassador to the Soviets during the last years of the U.S.S.R and as senior director for European and Soviet affairs on the National Security Council. Matlock spent decades observing Russia as a diplomat and top-level policy thinker. Here, he explains how to avoid geopolitical conflict and how we should think about Vladimir Putin.
Octavian Report: To what extent were Reagan and Gorbachev as people essential to ending the Cold War?
During a 35-year career as a diplomat, Jack Matlock served, among many other appointments, as Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and Senior Director for European and Soviet Affairs on the National Security Council Staff.