Armageddon: 1983, Reagan and the Strategy of Psychological Warfare – Full Post

Introduction

By the 1980s, after a decade of détente with the Soviet Union during the Nixon and Carter administrations, the incoming administration under Republican President Ronald Reagan dramatically overhauled the foreign policy strategies of its predecessors and ushered in a new foreign policy initiative of containment to thwart the military influence of Moscow being exercised in the ongoing threat to the NATO allies in Western Europe as well as their growing presence in the Middle East and the Caribbean. The Soviet Union had been a consistent threat to Western Europe for at least 29 years since the end of WWII and the partitioning of the spheres of influence between the Warsaw and NATO powers in East and Western Europe post-1949.  According to a 1990 declassified report by the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board on the Soviet arms buildup that was being drastically stimulated during this time-period, “From the late 1970’s to the mid-1980’s, the military forces and intelligence services of the Soviet Union were redirected in ways that suggested that the Soviet leadership was seriously concerned about the possibility of a sudden strike launched by the United states and its NATO allies.”

Continue reading “Armageddon: 1983, Reagan and the Strategy of Psychological Warfare – Full Post”

Armageddon: 1983, Reagan and the Strategy of Psychological Warfare Part One

Introduction

By the 1980s, after a decade of détente with the Soviet Union during the Nixon and Carter administrations, the incoming administration under Republican President Ronald Reagan dramatically overhauled the foreign policy strategies of its predecessors and ushered in a new foreign policy initiative of containment to thwart the military influence of Moscow being exercised in the ongoing threat to the NATO allies in Western Europe as well as their growing presence in the Middle East and the Caribbean. The Soviet Union had been a consistent threat to Western Europe for at least 29 years since the end of WWII and the partitioning of the spheres of influence between the Warsaw and NATO powers in East and Western Europe post-1949.  According to a 1990 declassified report by the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board on the Soviet arms buildup that was being drastically stimulated during this time-period, “From the late 1970’s to the mid-1980’s, the military forces and intelligence services of the Soviet Union were redirected in ways that suggested that the Soviet leadership was seriously concerned about the possibility of a sudden strike launched by the United states and its NATO allies.”

Continue reading “Armageddon: 1983, Reagan and the Strategy of Psychological Warfare Part One”

Resiliency in America

Some of you may remember this post from last year. However, I think it’s important for us to remember our history and since the events I cover most in-depth happened around this time of year, I thought now was a perfect time to review…

Resilience has been defined as, “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress…It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.”

Ever since the founding of our nation, resiliency has been an integral part of the American spirit.  Let’s look at some of the many ways are history proves this.

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Tocqueville and Haidt: Religion and The Guiding Compass of Mores In Democratic Societies

When analyzing American politics, it is astounding to discover that both Alexis de Tocqueville in the 19thcentury and Jonathan Haidt in the 21stcentury shared parallel perspectives about the utility of religious belief in society as a force for cohesion and group cooperation to achieve advantageous ends.  As Haidt argues, “If the gods evolve culturally to condemn selfish and divisive behaviors, they can be used to promote cooperation and trust within the group.  You don’t need a social scientist to tell you that people behave less ethically when they think nobody can see them.”  This is a direct negation of economic interpretations of the human condition and society that sees “cost/benefit” as the strongest determining force of behavior.  In essence, with no guiding or adapting compass to behavior, man is essentially led to live life on the premise of a wealth accumulation paradigm (Note: I use wealth generically) that scientists see as innate to human nature.  Haidt shuts down this assumption by analyzing that arguing something to be innate for scientists is a risky premise to argue from.  Drawing from research of neuro-scientist Gary Marcus, Haidt agrees with Marcus that “‘Nature bestows upon the newborn a considerably complex brain, but one that is best seen as prewired – flexible and subject to change – rather than hardwired, fixed and immutable.’”

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