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Role of Ronald Reagan
The start of Reagan's Presidency in Jan 1981 has been heralded by the
American Right as marking a fundamental shift in US foreign policy to a
more aggressive, strident and anti-communist approach.…read more

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Militarised counter-revolution
· Massive increase in military spending, justified by Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan and USSR decision to deploy SS-20 nuclear missiles in E.
Europe.
· Defence spending increased by 13% in 1983 and over 8% following 2 years.
· Stealth bomber and Trident submarines developed.
· SDI (an anti-ballistic missile system in space) central to arms build up.
· Would require vast sums of money and resources.
· USSR would face bankruptcy if they were to keep pace with this
development.
AIM= to regain US militant supremacy which would allow
the USA to gain more meaningful concessions through a
position of strength.…read more

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The Reagan Doctrine
· Tried to halt growth of Soviet influence in 3rd world countries by sending
aid to anti-communist insurgents and governments.
· Example... In Nicaragua the doctrine was used to supply aid to the Contras
(right wing guerrilla group) who were fighting against the communist govt.
of the Sandinistas.
· Example... In El Salvador the US supported an unpopular right-wing govt.
who were facing a growing popular revolt by the left.
· Increase in CIA operations & other methods to support counter-
revolutionary groups, e.g. "Radio Free Europe" & US loans cut off to Polish
govt. when they banned Solidarity.
AIM: to weaken the Soviet Union "at the edges", by
providing enough aid to ensure that Soviet support for
revolutionary regimes would entail a much greater cost.…read more

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Reaction to the Reagan Doctrine
· Not always popular in the wider world...
· Criticised by liberals in the West as a threat to the
freedom of people to choose their own destiny.
· Some governments supported by the US had a
very poor record on human rights, e.g. the
Marcos govt. in the Philippines.
· But did show US were prepared to take forceful
action against communist expansion.…read more

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Role of Thatcher
· Harsh attacks on communism led Soviet press
to dub her as the "Iron Lady".
· Of vital importance to Reagan's policies...
Without European missile
bases the threat of nuclear
attack on Soviet territory
would have been much
diminished.…read more

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