Ronald Reagan


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  • Created by: Terrie
  • Created on: 07-06-12 19:29

Ronald Reagan -

-former Hollywood filmstar

-elected in 1980

-made his dislike of USSR apparent by calling it the ‘Evil Empire’

-believed that Détente had allowed USA to lose face to USSR – returned back to aggressive anti soviet foreign policy 

-Reagan Doctrine- gave USA the right to support any country against Communism - showed the SU that the US was prepared to take forceful action against communism and its expansion.

-was supported by European leaders and also Japan and Canada

-What made Reagan’s approach more effective was the support he received from Margaret Thatcher. The two leaders shaped the view of the USSR as the ‘evil empire’ and Thatcher was labelled by the SU as the ‘iron lady’. Her agreement to allow US nuclear missiles to be based in Britain was of vital importance in putting pressure on the Soviet Union.

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Escalating the Arms Race

--expanding USA’s armed forces – new weapon systems – B-1 nuclear bomber  - developed neutron bomb

-increased US defence budget by $32.6 billion –make defence too expensive for USSR

  1983: boldest plan – escalate arms race into space - launched Strategic Defence Intiative; ‘star wars’

– trillion dollar project which would build satellite anti-missile system which would orbit Earth to form laser shield around USA – make them immune from first strike/ nuclear attack from Soviet missiles

 -changed nature of war and balance of power = frightened USSR – walked out of START talks-also frightened Europeans – made Soviet attack on Europe more likely + may result in nuclear war limited to Europe

1984-basing new modern Pershing and Cruise Missiles in European countries- strengthen NATO forces- intermediate nuclear weapons which could not be spotted by enemy radar

-Despite this: 1982 – USA and USSR began new ‘START’ talks in Geneva = Strategic Arms Reduction Talks

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Other forms of undermining USSR

-Gave $3.2 billion to help support anti-com forces Mujahiddin in Afghanistan War + stinger anti aircraft missiles to shoot down helicopters

-stop western and Japanese technology getting into USSR

-More US radio stations- RADIO FREE EUROPE - were used to encourage those living in Eastern Europe to protest against their communist governments.

-Financial aid to communist countries which protect human rights

-1981: imposed economic sanctions on Poland and USSR

-secret help for reform movements in Poland, Hungary and Czechslovakia

-secret alliance with Pope John Paul 11 to keep solidarity alive; undermine Polish Gov and make USSR lose grip on Poland

-1987: Ronald Reagan; ‘tear down this wall’

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