END of the COLD WAR - STAR WARS and ITS EFFECTIVENESS in WEAKENING the USSR

the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) - aka 'Star Wars' - and its effectiveness in weakening the Soviet Union in relation to the ending of the Cold War

a2 history with edexcel

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  • Created on: 29-06-12 14:54
Preview of END of the COLD WAR - STAR WARS and ITS EFFECTIVENESS in WEAKENING the USSR

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What was Star Wars and how effective was it in weakening the USSR?
1. What impression do you get of Reagan's foreign policy from the Spitting Image clip?
Warmonger
Anti-Soviet rhetoric
Felt deterrence was the same as holding a gun
75 year old with his hand on the nuclear button was scarier than Halloween
2. What was Reagan's attitude towards MAD?
Fundamentally, morally against MAD
Uncomfortable
3. In view of his attitude towards MAD, explain how accurate the Spitting Image portrayal of
him was.
It was inaccurate as he wanted to avoid nuclear war and elongate MAD
4. How did Reagan hope his Strategic Defence Initiative would work?
Hoped his SDO would destroy Soviet nuclear weapons before they strike the US
Laser beams
5. What praise/criticisms did it face from both the USSR and some in the West?
Too high a cost, too high tech, too high sky
Wanted to stop the danger of nuclear weapons that Roosevelt started
The heavens are for wonder, not for war
Nuclear explosion might have been seen as unrealistic at one point
6. What was Thatcher's view of SDI?
Also critical
Firm believer in the nuclear deterrent
7. How did the USA win Margaret Thatcher's support for SDI?
Said there might be something to it with 300 million in British industries/ companies (bribery, of a
sorts)
8. Explain whether you think Reagan's SDI escalated or helped to end the Cold War?
The USSR were on alert
Western systems on extreme scrutiny ­ banks and hospitals
Soviet Union ­ accept US superiority and seek peace or become bankrupt trying to keep up

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