Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski Polish: Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzeziński,born March 28, 1928) is a Polish American political scientist, (geostrategist), and statesman who served as United States (National Security Advisor) to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.
Major foreign policy events during his term of office included the (normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China) (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China); the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II); the brokering of the Camp David Accords; the transition of Iran from an important U.S. client state to an anti-Western Islamic Republic,( encouraging dissidents in Eastern Europe and emphasizing human rights in order to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union;the financing of the mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet deployment of forces there) and the arming of these rebels to counter the Soviet invasion; and the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties relinquishing overt U.S. control of the Panama Canal after 1999.
Brzezinski is currently Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils. After his victory in 1976, Carter made Brzezinski National Security Advisor. Earlier that year, major labor riots broke out in Poland, laying the foundations for Solidarity. Brzezinski began by emphasizing the "Basket III" human rights in the Helsinki Final Act, which inspired Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia shortly thereafter.
Brzezinski had a hand in writing parts of Carter's inaugural address, and this served his purpose of sending a positive message to Soviet dissidents. The Soviet Union and Western European leaders both complained that this kind of rhetoric ran against the "code of détente" that Nixon and Kissinger had established. Brzezinski ran up against members of his own Democratic Party who disagreed with this interpretation of détente, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Vance argued for less emphasis on human rights in order to gain Soviet agreement to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), whereas Brzezinski favored doing both at the same time. Brzezinski then ordered Radio Free Europe transmitters to increase the power and area of their broadcasts, a provocative reversal of Nixon-Kissinger policies. West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt objected to Brzezinski's agenda, even calling for the removal of Radio Free Europe from German soil.
The State Department was alarmed by Brzezinski's support for East German dissidents and objected to his suggestion that Carter's first overseas visit be to Poland. He visited Warsaw, met with Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski (against the objection of the U.S. Ambassador to Poland), recognizing the Roman Catholic Church as the legitimate opposition to communist rule in Poland.
By 1978, Brzezinski and Vance were more and more at odds over the direction of Carter's foreign policy. Vance sought to continue the style of détente engineered by Nixon-Kissinger, with a focus on arms control. Brzezinski believed that détente emboldened the Soviets in Angola and the Middle East, and so he argued for increased military strength and an emphasis on human rights. Vance, the State Department, and the media criticized Brzezinski publicly as seeking to revive the Cold War.
Brzezinski advised Carter in 1978 to engage the People's Republic of China and traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for the normalization of relations between the two countries. This also resulted in the severing of ties with the United States' longtime anti-Communist ally the Republic of China.