(Reuters) – Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as US President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser during the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and drove a normalization of relations with China, has died. He was 89.
Brzezinski’s daughter Mika, a host on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, said her father died peacefully on Friday. She did not give the cause of death.
“He was known to his friends as Zbig, to his grandchildren as Chief and to his wife as the enduring love of her life. I just knew him as the most inspiring, loving and devoted father any girl could ever have,” she said on Instagram.
Brzezinski, the hawkish son of a Polish diplomat, was national security adviser for all four years of the 1977-81 Carter presidency. The period saw tumultuous international events, including the
Iranian revolution, the taking of 52 Americans as hostages in Tehran and a failed rescue mission, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Brzezinski was plucked by Carter from the academic world and saw many of the Soviet Union’s foreign policy moves as evidence it could not be trusted.
That placed him at odds with two of Carter’s closest advisers: Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who pushed for a Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT-2) with Moscow, and Defense Secretary Harold Brown, who urged a US-Soviet accord to curb conventional forces in Europe.
When Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, Brzezinski strongly backed arming Afghan rebels.
His hardline stance led Pravda, the Soviet Communist Party newspaper, to denounce him as a “foe of detente.”