Reagan's Foreign Policy, and the Soviet Union
Analysis the Reagan foreign policy, and how it consistently confronted the Soviet Union in ways that forced it to spend huge amounts of money on defense. Makes the argument that this is the main reason that the Soviet Union collapsed.
# 60349 | 2,800 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2004 |
Published on Aug 16, 2005 in History (U.S. Presidency) , International Relations (Cold War) , Political Science (Communism) , European Studies (Collapse of the Soviet Empire) , European Studies (General)
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This paper highlights the portions of Ronald Reagan's foreign policy that confronted the Soviet Union in ways that forced the United States to spend large amounts of money. The foreign policy issues that are examined include Afghanistan, The Iran-Contra Affair, Reagan's support of Eastern-European Dissidents and Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, (also known as "Star Wars"). Afghanistan is heavily analyzed, with a breakdown of significant historical points, such as the introduction of the US-made Stinger missile, which stripped the USSR of air superiority. The Iran-Contra affair is included as a way to demonstrate Reagan's willingness to confront communism everywhere. This was a marked policy shift from Jimmy Carter and caught the USSR off guard. The Strategic Defense Initiative is analyzed and is linked to an increased amount of money being spent by the USSR on research and development. The support of dissidents by Reagan is looked at as well, with the conclusion that with relatively little amounts of effort, Reagan's foreign policy fomented large amounts of political opposition to the Soviet Union in Eastern European satellite countries. This caused the Soviet Union to spend money combating this problem as well, with their spy apparatus. Definitive numbers are given that explain just how much the Soviet Union spending increased while Reagan was in office.
From the Paper:"In the 1980's, a swirling of events converged to form a perfect storm that met the conditions for bringing down what Ronald Reagan termed the "evil empire." The first incident was that Old School communists in the Politburo sought to make an impression in Central Asia, but found stalwart resistance in The Gipper. Second, Reagan's abrupt shift from Carter's lax foreign policy took the Soviets by surprise, with the new administration's desire to challenge communism on every front possible; out of this desire came the ill-fated support of the contras, along with the hugely successful backing of Eastern European dissidents, namely the Solidarity movement in Eastern Europe. The third event in Reagan's foreign policy shift that took the world by surprise was the administration's renunciation of the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction; Reagan took the steps of beginning a Ballistic Missile Defense program, which he coined the Strategic Defense Initiative. The Soviets, with few options of recourse, were forced to make concessions that led to the implosion of the "evil empire" shortly afterward. Thus, by applying a policy of confrontation of spreading Communism, bleeding the Soviets in Afghanistan by supporting the mujahideen, and abruptly announcing a paradigm shift in American foreign policy with the Strategic Defense Initiative, Ronald Reagan certainly hastened, if not caused the downfall of the USSR."
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Reagan's Foreign Policy, and the Soviet Union (2005, August 16) Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/reagan-foreign-policy-and-the-soviet-union-60349/
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