Zbigniew Brzezinski

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Zbigniew Brzezinski, born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1928, the son of a diplomat posted to Canada in 1938, serves as Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and is Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C. Brzezinski is said to be a protege of both Nelson A. Rockefeller and Paul H. Nitze (see Nitze School), his CSIS profile states. [1]

In the private sector, Brzezinski serves as an "international advisor of several major US/global corporations." He is a "frequent participant in annual business/trade conventions" and is President of Z.B. Inc. "(an advisory firm on international issues to corporations and financial institutions). Also a frequent public speaker and commentator on major domestic and foreign TV programs, and contributor to domestic and foreign newspapers and journals."[2]

Brzezinski's career with the U.S. Government spans several presidents: advisor to John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson; policy advisor to James Earl Carter, Jr.; and George Herbert Walker Bush's co-chair on the National Security Advisory Task Force (1988).[3]

He earned his B.A. (1949) and M.A. (1950) at McGill University and his Ph.D. at Harvard University (1953). He holds honorary degrees from several universities.[4]

Taliban-al Qaeda Machinator?

In a 1997 interview for CNN's Cold War Series, Brzezinski hinted about the Carter Administration's proactive Afghanistan policy before the Soviet invasion in 1979, that he had conceived.

Interviewer: How did you interpret Soviet behavior in Afghanistan, such as the April revolution, the rise of... I mean, what did you think their long-term plans were, and what did you think should be done about it?
Brzezinski: I told the President, about six months before the Soviets entered Afghanistan, that in my judgment I thought they would be going into Afghanistan. And I decided then, and I recommended to the President, that we shouldn't be passive.
Interviewer: What happened?
Brzezinski: We weren't passive.
The National Security Archive, Interview with Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, for CNN's Coldwar Series, June 13, 1997

7 months after the interview for the CNN series, Brzezinski, in a interview for the French publication, Le Nouvel Observateur, was more forthright, and unapologetically claimed to be the mastermind of a feint which caused the Soviet Union to embark upon a military intervention to support their client government in Kabul, as well as training and arming extremists, which later became the Taliban government.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Le Nouvel Observateur, Interview with Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paris, January 15-21, 1998, translated by Bill Blum - [5]

Higher Educational Institution Affiliations

  • 1949-50 - McGill University; B.A. and M.A.
  • 1953 - Harvard University; Ph.D.
  • 1953-60 - Harvard University, faculty
  • 1960-89 - Columbia University, faculty

Public/Political Positions Held

  • 1966-68 - Member of the Policy Planning Council of the Department of State
  • 1968 - Hubert H. Humphrey presidential campaign, chairman of the Foreign Policy Task Force
  • 1973-76 - Trilateral Commission, Director
  • 1976 - James Earl Carter, Jr. presidential campaign, foreign policy advisor
  • 1977-80 - James Earl Carter's NSA
  • 1985 - Ronald Reagan's Chemical Warfare Commission , member
  • 1987-88 - NSC-Defense Department Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy, member
  • 1988 - George H. W. Bush National Security Advisory Task Force, member
  • 1987-89 - President Reagan's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, member

Source for Timelines: Jeri Charles Associates, a speaker's booking agency; Brzezinski webpage

Published Works

  • The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives
  • The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the 20th Century
  • Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 20th Century
  • Power and Principal: The Memoirs of the National Security Advisor


External links

  • International Board, U.S./Middle East Project, accessed October 25, 2009.
  • Editorial Board & Staff, Journal of Democracy, accessed September 24, 2007.
  • Directors, Academy of Political Science, accessed April 15, 2008.
  • Strategy Document January 1992, NED, accessed February 23, 2009.
  • International Advisory Board, Orange Circle, accessed April 5, 2011.