"in August 1988 a payoff came in a moment of perfect irony. Frank Carlucci, now Reagan’s secretary of defense, went to Moscow for meetings with his counterpart, Soviet defense minister Dmitri Yazov, and he lectured generals and admirals at the Voroshilov military academy. “How is it you know so much about us?” one of them asked Carlucci. “We have to do it from satellites,” he replied. “It would make it a lot easier for us if you’d just do what we do and publish your military budget.” The room exploded in laughter, and afterward Carlucci asked his Russian escort officer what was so funny. “You don’t understand,” the Russian said. “You attacked the heart of their system”—secrecy. The face-to-face contacts between American and Soviet military chiefs made the Russians realize two things. First, the Americans did not want to kill them. Second, they might be every bit as strong as the Americans in nuclear missiles, but it made no difference whatsoever. They were far weaker in every other regard. They knew then that their closed system, built on secrecy and lies, could never defeat an open society."