Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, is remembered today as the man who presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of an empire. Taking it back to 1989, Gorbachev is reminded of that era, and how issues then, resonate with top issues now– ‘Afghanistan, arms control and the difficulty building trust between Moscow and Washington.’ The U.S. is trying to exit Afghanistan while also ensuring that the central government in Kabul does not collapse, a very similar situation for the Soviet Union three decades ago. Two years before the collapse of the empire, the U.S. and Soviets were on opposite side; U.S. backing Mujahideen fighters, and the Soviets backing the government of Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah.
Gorbachev has warned Russia and the U.S. about the ramifications of having a second Cold War. The persistent mistrust between the two countries has been amplified since the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election with accusations pertaining to Russian involvement. Gorbachev believes the countries have already taken the first steps toward destruction, and the smallest event could set off a massive conflict. He believes the more communication that takes place between Russia and the U.S., the better.