Reagan and the Second Cold War

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Reagan and the Second Cold War

What was his view of the USSR?

  • Fighting communism was the his main policy. He made it clear that he would confront the USSR whenever possible. 
  • He called the USSR an 'evil empire' in a speech to a religious community.

What were his aims when he came to power?

  • Reagan wanted to be tougher to the USSR then Carter was.
  • He wanted to eradicate the humiliation of the loss of the Vietnam war.
  • He was determined not to be intimidated by the Soviet weaponary.

What was his defense policy?

  • 100MX missiles and 100 long range and supersonic bombers
  • Construction of a bomber that was invisible to the Soviet radar
  • 6 Trident nuclear submarines
  • Strengthening of the military communication system
  • Neutron bombs
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Reagan's Policies

NUTS (Nuclear Utilisation Target Selection):

  • This gave the idea that nuclear war targets could be identified and their destruction would be limited. Created the idea that there could be a victor in nuclear war.
  • Destroyed the MAD theory that said that if one country fired, the ther would fire back.

Zero Option:

  • Cancel all deployment of new intermediate missiles in West Europe in return for Soviet dismantling comparable forces.
  • Bhreznev refused to agree with this policy.

SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative):

  • A high tech weapon.
  • Missiles could be destroyed by reflecting a laser from a satellite in space.
  • It never actually got built but nevertheless it was a threat to the Soviets.
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