First 317 words of the document:
Each side feared the spread of the other idea. When one tried to extend its influence or support
it was seen as a threat by the other side.
The formation of the alliances demonstrated the fear and mistrust felt between the two
Superpowers what was an alliance of defence to one side was seen as an alliance preparing for
attack to the other.
The nature of the Cold war was that the Superpowers preferred to challenge each other in less
Mutually Assured Destruction meant that the Superpowers built up their arms to the extent
where if combined they could destroy the world several times over. Both sides knew the dire
consequences of nuclear war and so the arms race imposed much fear to each side and greatly
increased Cold War tensions.
Détente was in the interests of the Superpowers, as both wanted to cut expenditure on arms, as
nuclear war was becoming increasingly expensive and both had huge stockpiles of weapons.
Furthermore both Superpowers wanted to spend more of their money on their domestic
policies the US on its `war on poverty' and the SU on improving standards of living.
The Afghan War was a turning point in Détente, as it brought back the old threat of the Soviet
Union exercising its control and power over other countries.
Gorbachev introduced his reforms because he knew that if the Soviet Union was to survive he
had to reduce expenditure due to the failing economy, known as `Perestroika' (economic
restructuring). The most obvious way of reducing expenditure was through arms reductions and
limitations, and in order to achieve these Gorbachev would have to make agreements with US,
which would be more successful if he showed signs of `Glasnost' (openness).