Nation: Cy vs. Zbig

The struggle between Vance and Brzezinski came to a head in April 1978, when the Soviets and their Cuban proxies dramatically escalated their intervention in Ethiopia. Brzezinski urged a show of force; Vance argued that it was not the right time or place to draw the line. For one thing, contended Vance, the Ethiopian government had asked for Soviet-Cuban assistance in repelling an invasion by Somalia. That made it harder to charge Moscow with aggression.

Vance won that round. To this day Brzezinski believes that if he had prevailed two years ago and the...

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