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Condoleezza Rice at the NSC

Condoleezza Rice became the NSC director for Soviet and East European affairs in the Bush Administration in 1989. Brent Scowcroft, a retired general, who was also the President's National Security Advisor talked her into coming on board. Later that year she was promoted to senior director and special assistant to the President. This was at the time when the Soviet empire was beginning to crumble due to the Reagan strategy of simply out-spending the creaking, tottering Soviet system on arms. The Soviet system (a Marxist system) could not sustain high military expenditures that wreaked havoc on the Russian standard of living.

Ultimately, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989-91 during the first Bush administration and Condoleezza Rice was there, not just to observe, report, and conjecture - as she would have had she remained in the halls of academe. But she was at the elbow of the president to advise him on this subject that had gripped her interest since she had been an undergraduate and Denver University.

The Collapse of the Soviet Union also meant the liberation of Eastern Europe as well as the unification of Germany. Condoleezza Rice was instrumental in helping develop U.S. policy that shaped a free, but united European Union. She decided to leave the NSC in 1991. She was so highly prized by the Bush Administration that President Bush himself asked her to stay on. But she returned to Stanford to return to teaching.

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