REAGAN and end of the Cold War (Thatcher, Pope)

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  • Created by: miataylor
  • Created on: 14-05-15 09:31

Reagan - what is the argument?

Reagan ended discredited detente of Carter years which had allowed the USSR to grow stronger. The new 'militarised counter-revolution' approach was introduced in order to squeeze the Soviets into economic submission. Though Gorby tried to stregnthen the USSR politically and economically, Reagan's hard-line stance eventually forced the Soviets to abandon the Cold War.

Inflammatory/belligrent/ grandiloquent

  • Diehard Communist - visceral disdain for Soviet Union. As imoral as it was treacherous and untrustworthy.
  • Detente - 'communist trick.' First Presidential Press, 'one way street...to pursue its own aims.' (Craig and George, matter of convenience to both get what they want.) 'One world Communist State.'
  • 1981 - whether to try to block a natural gas pipline linking Siberia to Western Europe, Reagan vented frustration in closed quarters: 'the Soviets have spoken as plainly as Hitler did in Mein Kampf.'
  • 1982, British Parliment says that Marxist-Leninism is bound to the 'ash heap of history.'
  • 1983, Florida, gives his 'evil empire' speech which is to define his hard-line stand in coming years.
  • Interesting that Cold War rheotic returning to Manichean viewpoint. 'Between right and wrong and good and evil.' Forces of light vs forces of darkness.

Arms - US economy much stronger than Soviets. They wouldn't be able to keep up.

  • $1.6 trillion defence 5 year spending target. Already $400 billion over substantial increase projected by Carter in his final year at White House. 53% increase. THE WEST WON'T CONTAIN COMMUNISM, IT WILL TRANSCEND COMMUNISM.
  • Defence was central to Reagan's foreign policy. As he tells Pentagon, 'defence is not a budget idem...spend what you need.
  • Revived B1 bomber, approved B2 bomber, accelerated MX bomber, Trident, Navy from 450 ships to 600 and substantial funding pumped into CIA.
  • Deploys Pershing II and cruise missiles in Europe.
  • SDI March 1983, action 1984. Fleet of US satellites to shoot Soviet ones down. USSR unable to compete. Reagan off the cuff remarks about 'limited nuclear war in Europe.' Soviets became increasingly alarmed that US had first-strike ability. Tensions heightened.
  • 1 September 1983 Korean Civilian Airliner 269 passengers. 'Wantonly disregard...the value of human life.'
  • NATO military exercise. Kremlin, military high alert. Planes, nuclear ability stand-by at East Germany bases.

Reagan Doctrine.

  • Aid to anti-Communist…

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