[…] Back channels are as old as diplomacy itself and often become useful where normal diplomacy fails because they can be easily disavowed. One famous example was the relationship between Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Dobrynin. Their secret negotiations ushered in a period of reduced superpower tensions, or detente, between the United States and the Soviet Union during the early 1970s.
But another type of back channel has also long existed: from the leader of one country to the political opposition in another. In fact, newly declassified Russian documents reveal that Soviet leaders had back channels to a wide range of American politicians in and out of power, and tried to use them to influence American policy. Läs artikel