Ending the Cold War: He was relentless in pushing his Strategic Defense Initiative and gave aid to rebels battling Soviet-backed Marxists from Nicaragua to Angola. Those efforts were critical in the ultimate collapse of the Soviet empire and essentially ended the Cold War.
Cold War Termination Thomas R. Maddux Most historians and foreign policy analysts in did not anticipate that within a decade the Cold War would be over and that it would end with relatively little violence and the end of the Soviet Union. Historians did debate the central issues of causation, responsibility, and consequences of the Cold War as it came to its surprising conclusion.
In the leading journal in the field, Diplomatic History, published by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, specialists reviewed many of the Cold War issues including the interaction of impersonal, structural forces such as the economic challenges faced by both sides and the relative policy contributions of major players such as President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Structural forces have received considerably less attention than the players in assessments on the end of the Cold War. There is widespread recognition that a stagnating Soviet economy definitely shaped Gorbachev's policy of perestroika to revive a command economy dominated by the Soviet Communist Party and state.
The American economy inhowever, also looked shaky. Reagan's predecessor, President Jimmy Carter, had battled soaring inflation and an energy crisis driven by shortages of gasoline and rising prices; Americans also lacked confidence in the face of a mounting challenge from the export-driven Japanese economy.
Although Gorbachev struggled to transform the Soviet economy, the American economy revived after a severe recession in and took off into sustained growth, offering a striking contrast to the Soviet scene.
As Soviet party officials attempted to maintain restrictions on use of copiers to limit the circulation of critical writings by Russians, American technology launched the next information revolution with the increasing spread of computers, from the mainframe and minicomputer of business and scientific research to the personal computer of the s.
Cultural forces had less immediate impact on Soviet and American policymakers and remain more elusive with respect to demonstrating their impact on the endgame of the Cold War. Nevertheless, they shaped the long-term competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.
By the Soviet Union had fallen far behind in most significant areas, with a few exceptions such as length of time spent in space by Russian cosmonauts versus American astronauts orbiting the earth in the space shuttle.
The Russians had long since lost out with respect to influence around the globe in areas such as the media, consumer products, and lifestyle. The emerging global interdependence of the late twentieth century brought increasing exposure to American television, Hollywood feature films, McDonald's, and American consumerism.
As the Soviet Union and its eastern European allies struggled to keep their citizens from leaving, the United States once again became a mecca for global immigration. The Soviet Union also had lost the ideological competition, a central feature of the Cold War since its origins.
Although Gorbachev launched glasnost to open the door to new ideas and to reduce the remaining repression in the Soviet system as it struggled with the legacies of Stalinist totalitarianism, the Soviet leader faced a difficult challenge to overcome both the resistance inherent in the Soviet system as well as the stubborn opposition of party officials who had a vested interest in the status quo.
Since Gorbachev emerged from within the party, he also had to grapple with the increasing necessity for a fundamental discarding of Marxist-Leninist doctrine in order to redirect both the economy and the political system in the direction of a European parliamentary system with respect for the rule of law and individual rights.
Reagan, however, never had to make any adjustments in his vigorous articulation of America as the land of freedom, and he never passed up a chance until near the end in to point this out to Gorbachev on issues ranging from human rights to the continuation of the Berlin Wall.
Yet these structural forces did not predetermine when the Cold War would end and how it would end.
The players on both sides, as they interacted with these impersonal pressures, had the most to do with the actual historical dynamics, and the literature has emphasized the role of the players. Early American assessments written by leading U.
Regan, as well as Ronald Reagan, give themselves credit for ending the Cold War. Through a peace-through-strength strategy based on increased defense spending, a shift to the new Strategic Defense Initiative SDI that posed a technological challenge to the Soviet Union, and a willingness to apply significant rhetorical and other pressures against the Soviet empire, Washington brought a successful resolution to the conflict.
The most thorough development of this perspective appears in Peter Schweizer's Victory: Relying extensively on interviews with leading officials including Weinberger, National Security Advisers Robert McFarlane and John Poindexter, and other officials who supported a hard line with respect to the Soviet Union, Schweizer focuses on the development and implementation of a strategic offensive led by William Casey, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Casey's campaign aimed at resisting, weakening, and rolling back the Kremlin's effort to control Afghanistan, to retain a communist regime in Poland and hegemony in eastern Europe, and to increase Soviet access to Western technology and markets in order to modernize the Soviet economy and military forces.
By the time Gorbachev took over as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in Marchthe victory campaign had, according to Schweizer, significantly contributed to the problems that Gorbachev faced, so that he had few alternatives but to seek an accommodation with Reagan.
A second influential perspective puts more emphasis on the contributions of Reagan and Gorbachev and their chief diplomatic advisers, Secretary of State George Schultz and Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, than on Schweizer's hard-liners.
From the Cold War to a New Era, Don Oberdorfer, a distinguished diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post, emphasizes Reagan's shift to diplomacy with respect to Moscow by and the willingness of Gorbachev and Shevardnadze to bring a fresh perspective and approach to Soviet diplomacy.
Although Reagan and Gorbachev never achieved final agreements on all arms control issues, such as strategic missiles and SDI, Oberdorfer gives them credit for making considerable progress toward an end to the Cold War.A second influential perspective puts more emphasis on the contributions of Reagan and Gorbachev and their chief diplomatic advisers, Secretary of State George Schultz and Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, than on Schweizer's hard-liners.
The Reagan-Gorbachev bond clearly created a level of trust that allowed the Soviet leader to focus on internal reforms without putting the confrontation with the West at the top of his agenda, but. Jan 27, · Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that it appears "as if the world is preparing for war.".
Writing in an op-ed published Thursday at TIME magazine, Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in for his role in ending the Cold War, writes that the most pressing problem facing the world is "the militarization of politics and the new arms race.". Reagan reversed the policy of detente and stood firm against the Soviet Union, calling it the Evil Empire and telling Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” in Berlin.
He was relentless in pushing his Strategic Defense Initiative and gave aid to rebels battling Soviet-backed Marxists from Nicaragua to Angola.
Ronald Wilson Reagan (/ˈreɪɡən/; February 6, – June 5, ) was an American politician and actor who served as the 40th President of the United States from to The United States, under former President Ronald Reagan, convinced Saudi Arabia to reduce their oil prices.
In doing so, the U.S.S.R cannot profit from its very own oil products. This move resulted in the depletion of the hard currency reserves of the Soviet Union.