How much credit should history give Reagan for ending the Cold War?
I give him a lot of credit. The Cold War’s end was coming anyway, but it would not have happened when and how it did if Reagan had not been there at that time to work with Gorbachev and to help Gorbachev as he did. We were trying to help him save the Soviet Union. We weren’t saying you have to give up the Soviet Union. We just said communism is a disaster. That’s an important distinction. I’ll never forget the last meeting that we had with Gorbachev at Governor’s Island in December 1988. It was after the election, so George H.W. Bush was the President-elect and he joined Reagan for the meeting. We weren’t looking for another summit with Gorbachev, but Gorbachev had come to speak to the United Nations and he wanted it. Brent Scowcroft was there as the new National Security Advisor to replace me. It was mostly a chance for Gorbachev to say goodbye to Reagan and hello to President Bush. It was warm and friendly. The Russians had just announced the unilateral troop reduction at the U.N. an