As president of the United States, Ronald Reagan initiated a sweeping and unprecedented program of covert action and economic warfare initiatives that acted to greatly weaken the Soviet economy, its support for "wars of liberation," and its hold on its power in Eastern Europe, former top Reagan administration officials said.
The elements of these programs were contained in top-secret national security directives signed by Reagan in 1982 and 1983, these sources told United Press International.
"Any kind of covert action program had to be expressed in a presidential finding," after consultations with attorneys, a former Reagan White House official explained.
He said that one of the most important National Security Council (NSC) findings was NSDD-32, which authorized covert U.S. support of the Polish free union, Solidarity, and other anti-Soviet institutions in Poland to weaken and neutralize Soviet influence in that country.
Another finding, NSDD-66, authorized the United States to wage economic and resource war on a "strategic triad" of resources deemed critical to the survival of the Soviet economy, including technology, trade, and credits, according to former senior Reagan administration officials. This especially targeted Soviet imports of advanced Western technology and also Russia's oil industry, upon the earnings of which Moscow depended for the bulk of its hard currency, these sources said.
Other measures included covert support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan who were resisting Soviet forces that had occupied the country in 1979. …