The Foreign Service Journal, December 2011

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 45 earlier. It should therefore be seen as another reason for communism’s col- lapse. This is not as farfetched as it may seem. It’s a claim made by many Rus- sians, and by Andras Simonyi, a former Hungarian ambassador to the United States who led a rock band in Budapest during the Cold War. In a 2003 talk titled “How Rock Music Helped Bring Down the Iron Curtain,” delivered at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Simonyi said “Rock ‘n’ roll, culturally speaking, was a decisive element in loos- ening up communist societies and bringing them closer to the world of freedom.” The Beatles never performed in the Soviet Union, but they had fans at the highest levels of Russian society. When Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa met in 1987 with Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, they acknowledged that they, too, were Beatles fans. Gorbachev’s public en- dorsement ended three decades of of- ficial Soviet anti-rock policy. Cultural Exchanges: A Powerful Investment The end of the Cold War and col- lapse of communism came after more than 30 years of exchanges between the West and the So- viet Union. The Soviet elite who traveled to the West, as well as many who remained at home, came to realize how far behind their country lagged and howMarxism-Lenin- ism had failed them, and they began to expect more than the communist system could provide. The resulting widespread discontent provided fuel for Gorbachev’s reforms, the eventual rejection of the Soviet system, and the end of the Cold War. It is worth noting that the cost of those exchanges was minuscule in com- parison with U.S. expenditures for defense and intelli- gence over the same period. ■ F OCUS Rock ’n’ roll and jazz also helped open up the Soviet Union. AFSA Resource Marketplace Find the Most-Requested Resources from the Overseas Briefing Center Online at 1. FSI’s Transition Center 2. U.S. Department of State Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) 3. Security Overseas Seminars: PSOS, ASOS, SAA, SOS, SOS 4. Transition Center Training home page for eligible family members and members of household (MOH) 5. International Jobs - Working Overseas 6. Country Information (Bidding Resources) 7. Transition Center Courses 8. Preparing to Go Overseas 9. Pets and International Travel 10. Foreign Service Assignment Notebook: What Do I Do Now? 11. U.S. Department of State Career Transition Center (CTC) 12. Personal Post Insights 13. Elementary School Stuff 14. Arrange Medical Clearance and Immunizations 15. High Stress Assignment Outbrief Program