Here is the analysis by a top Russian:
The US Engineered the USSR’s Collapse by Identifying its “Points of Vulnerability”
In the cold war period a whole string of ideological doctrines emerged in the West that served as justification for an anti-Soviet political course. One of the authors of this kind of research was Zbigniew Brzezinski, an American political scientist and statesman of Polish extraction. He established the so-called strategy of “vulnerabilities” in relation to the USSR, and under President Reagan this became the basis of American policy towards our country…….The identification and definition of “vulnerabilities” and the task of organizing ways of converting them into substantial problems for the USSR were entrusted to the US Central Intelligence Agency.is work, first and foremost economists but also experts from the business world who had real experience of business wars with competitors. As a result of large-scale analytical work, the USSR’s “vulnerabilities” in the political, economic, ideological, and other spheres were defined and systematically studied.
Our country’s main “vulnerability,” as defined by the CIA, was its economy. After detailed modelling, the American experts identified its “weakest link”, namely the USSR budget’s extremely high dependence on the export of energy resources. A strategy of provoking the financial and economic bankruptcy of the Soviet state was formulated, envisaging two interconnected objectives: the bringing about of a sharp reduction in revenue to the USSR’s budget from foreign trade, combined with a substantial increase in expenditure on resolving problems created from outside.
A reduction in world oil prices was envisaged as the main measure for reducing the income side of the budget. This was successfully achieved by the mid-1980s when, as a result of US collusion with the rulers of a number of oil extracting countries, an artificial surplus of crude was created on the market and oil prices fell almost by a factor of four.
A growth in the Soviet Union’s expenditure was provoked in several areas: the transition from the strategy of American opposition to the USSR in Afghanistan to the strategy of dragging it deeply into the Afghan war; the incitement of antigovernment demonstrations in Poland and other states in the socialist camp with a view to provoking Moscow into additional expenditures on stabilizing the situation in Eastern Europe; the whipping up of the arms race, among other things by introducing the SDI [Strategic Defence Initiative] bluff, and so forth.
It should be said that at that time the Americans succeeded in achieving their objectives. The outcome of their activity was a substantial excess in the USSR’s expenditure over income, which ultimately provoked a profound economic crisis that extended into the political and ideological spheres. Shortsighted attempts by the Soviet leadership to alleviate the situation through foreign financial aid gave Washington additional levers of influence over Moscow. The “recovery” measures proposed by the West and implemented through the IMF and the World Bank to liberalize foreign trade without a smooth transition from the previous monopoly system led to the final collapse of the economy.
In the assessment of American experts, it was the strategy of “vulnerabilities”, which demonstrated the colossal effectiveness of economic variety of cold war compared with “hot” war,that was decisive in promoting the elimination of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact.