Ronald Reagan was elected in 1981 and re-elected in 1985. He entered US presidency after the Détente policy of 1962 to 1979, a policy that he considered as being a sign of American weakness and vulnerability. In a 1981 conference, he said: "So far détente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims. Their goal must be the promotion of world revolution and a one world communist or socialist state." Instead of the Détente, Reagan wished for a peace built by America’s economic and military power.
When Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union he wanted the war to end. He first tried to increase Soviet troops to end the war quickly. However, this didn't work. By 1988 Gorbachev realized the war was costing Soviet troops and hurting their economy. He signed a peace treaty to end the war.
SDI – anti ballistic missiles. | In order for the USSR to keep pace with them they would face bankruptcy. American military supremacy – allow the USA to gain more meaningful concessions. | It would require vast sums of money and resources.Soviets could respond. | The Reagan Doctrine | The policy of spending assistance to anti-Communist insurgents and governments.
I will be talking about President Reagan’s Doctrine and some of what happened during his administration. President Reagan was our 40th President (Jan.1981-Jan.1989). During his time in office, the United States used their diplomatic resources to stop Soviet expansionism in the developing world. President Reagan wanted to overthrow pro-Soviet regimes, so his administration focused on supporting proxy armies to stop the Soviet influence (Roskin, 1999, p. 58). One of President Reagan’s biggest achievements was the end of the Cold War.
If the United States cannot respond to a threat near our own borders, why should Europeans or Asians believe that we're seriously concerned about threats to them? If the Soviets can assume that nothing short of an actual attack on the United States will provoke an American response, which ally, which friend will trust us then? (Reagan, 2012). This statement had to do with his concern over the events that were happening in Central America, which during this time had the Pro Soviet Sandinista government running Nicaragua which in had just ridded itself a previous dictatorship in 1979. This was also problematic because in 1981, Sandinista-supported Marxist guerrillas launched an offensive against the government of El Salvador, which was pro-American (Russell, 2010).
, highlighting that he believed without the use of atomic weapons, the Cold War was not an inevitability. Despite the pre-existing tensions between East and West, the use of atomic weaponry amplified the Soviet’s paranoia causing Stalin to authorise ‘a crash Soviet program to catch up’ , signifying the start of the Cold War which would shape the course of the twentieth century. A key significance of the use of atomic weapons in 1945 was the ethical implications that using such weaponry held. As Stalin stated ‘war is barbaric, but using the A-bomb is superbarbarity’ . Stalin’s view is supported by Admiral D Leahy, who in his memoirs writes ‘we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages’ This quote holds a substantial amount of weight to my argument due to Admiral D Leahy’s position as Roosevelt and Truman’s chief of staff, it would be expected for a man of such status to hold a view in support of America’s actions.
During the Harry Truman presidency there were many impacts on the American and Soviet relations because of the atomic weapons, the Marshall Plan or the Berlin Blockade. The United States pushed the Soviet empire to its knees and won the Cold War. No, the USSR collapsed of its own rotting weight, and Japan won the Cold War. Option three: A brilliant Kremlin leader, besieged at home and long misunderstood abroad, perceived the irrelevance of superpower military competition to the overarching new challenges of global security and engineered a strategic retreat toward sanity in East-West relations. The deterioration of relations within the Grand Alliance led to the undeclared conflict known as the Cold War.
_____ Reagan’s “Star Wars” plan for defensive missile systems in space Effect a. Led to a breakoff of arms-control talks, U.S. economic sanctions against Poland, and growing anxiety in Western Europe b. Brought about an overwhelming Republican victory in the 1984 presidential election c. Resulted in the failure of the American marines’ peacekeeping mission in 1983 d. Helped curb affirmative action and limit the right to abortion e. Led to sharp cuts in both taxes and federal social programs in 1981 f. Strained relations with America’s European allies g. Curbed inflation and spurred economic growth but also caused sky-high deficits and interest rates 9. _____ The huge federal budget deficits of the 1980s 10. _____ Reagan’s and Bush’s appointments of conservative justices to the Supreme Court 11.
However, other factors such as: people power, role of the Pope, Gorbachev and Reagan must not be overlooked - as mentioned by Williamson ‘breaking the Soviet economy was a lobby not a strategy.’ By 1980’s it was evident that Eastern Europe was unable to compete with the West in terms of industrial production or arms, as the ‘Soviet bloc was suffering a steady economic, ideological, moral and cultural decline.’ (Williamson source 10) The decline of the Soviet Union was due to ‘its own economic inefficiencies and inability to match the West’s economic growth,’ Williamson highlights the economic pressures USSR faced and therefore backs up the statement that the war came to an end as a result of this. As picked up by McMahon (source 12) ‘vowed to remove Soviet troops from Afghanistan’ this implies that the war was an additional cost and hence a further economic burden. Additionally, the final straw in terms of economic pressures was Reagan’s SDI, this ultimately was the tipping point which pushed USSR to its edge and it was unable to match defence spending- leaving it no choice but to call an end to the war. Williamson stresses this point: ’developing the SDI, Reagan challenged the USSR… it simply could not keep pace’ therefore economic pressure was a major factor
Kennedy decided to the blockade. Khrushchev backed down, saying that he would remove the nuclear weapons from Cuba in exchange for a pledge from the U.S to lift the blockade and renounce plans to invade Cuba. Kennedy agreed to remove the missiles in Turkey, but that this part of the agreement was to be kept secret. In 1991 internal problems split the Soviet Union leaving the U.S as the world’s superpower. It ended to cold war.