Reagan's strategy of peace through strength at the end of the cold war

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

Both the United States and the Soviet Union fought together as they were against Axis power during the World War II. Despite being in unison against the Axis powers, their relationship was tense as the United States were worried about the Soviet Union communism3. The United States was also concerned with the nature of ruling of the then Russian leader Stalin. The war was being referred to the as cold war as the two parties that is the United States, and the Soviet Union were afraid of engaging each other directly. The war erupted because of conflicts between capitalism and communism which were being perceived by the United States and the Soviet Union respectively4. America was afraid of the Soviet Union Communism which was threatening to have control of the world5. Therefore, the American indirectly fought the totalitarian and communist Soviet Union from expanding to the Western Bloc. This is because the United States was currently the worldwide leaders of the free-market capitalist. The cold war between the two allies, the United States and the Soviet Union was triggered by United States hostility towards communism idea of the Soviet Union as well as their lack long-term defiance of not recognizing USSR as part of the international community. The containment policy The containment policy was George Kennan idea. George Kennan was an American diplomat who worked in the United States embassy located in the Soviet Union. The ideas were first suggested to President Truman. George Kennan told Truman than containment was the only surest way of dealing with the threat of Soviet Union6.

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He advised the Truman not to directly threaten the Soviet Union Communism but come up with strategies for containing the spread of communism indirectly and dearly fight its spread. The containment policy was then passed to Ronald Reagan, an American president who sued the containment policy as a means of counteracting the policies of the Soviet Union7. Before this policy, other policies had been in existence before the use of the containment policy such as the non-interventionism policy. The non-interventionism policy was established by President George Washington. To deal with the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States, President Ronald Reagan made use of the foreign containment policy8. It was a policy which was based on the use of military power to preserve tranquility9. Upon its establishment, the containment foreign policy was appalled.

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“The Soviet Union was continually expanding its empire but was suffering from serious political, economic, and spiritual weakness13. ” As a result, President Ronald Reagan focused on utilization of the Soviet Union weakness via application of the increasing United States economic, political as well as military power to have the Soviet Union, which was a treat, on negotiation table on terms which favors the Western Bloc14. Reagan then directed his top national security official who was the United States CIA director, Defense Secretary as well as adviser of National Security in coming up with a plan of implementing peace through strength strategy to terminate the cold war by having the United States winning the war15. The developed plan for implementing the peace through strength strategy was based on two key objectives. To bring the cold war into a quick end, the United States planned to apply peace through strength strategy with the aim of either altering the rapid expansion of Soviet Union control as well as military power.

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This order was initially considered impossible by George Kannan, a containment guru but he was proved wrong by President Ronald Reagan administration. The NSDD-73 directive was effected by the immediate institution of a multifaceted foreign policy in the United States that involved the adoption of drives purposely made to damage the economy of the Soviet Union such as significantly reducing their oil prices in the United States and its allies. Outcomes of Implementation of Reagan's Strategy of "Peace through Strength Implementation of Reagan's Strategy of Peace through Strength contributed to the United States winning in the cold war20. The aggressive, as well as rhetoric military, policies applied by President Ronald Reagan in his containment strategy enhanced relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States thus contributing to the end of the cold war between the two blocs.

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By implementing his containment strategies through a series of National Security Decision Directives, President Reagan helped in termination of the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States21. Therefore, it led to the achievement of the United States goals of having control of the world through having capitalism which was their idea dominating the entire world. End of the cold war The cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States ended with Moscow losing whereas Washington won the battle. Majority of the ancient leaders of the Soviet Union passed on thus making Mikhail Gorbachev assumed the power to control the Soviet Union Empire. The assumption of power by Mikhail Gorbachev brought about openness and restricting25. Furthermore, the relations that existed between the Soviet Union and the United States significantly improved hence encouraging termination of the long-lasting cold war.

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Furthermore, by mid-1990s. majority of the Soviet Union republics attained their independence hence giving rise to inherent uncertainties within the Union as the various republics started attempting overthrowing, the leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev. This led to permanent fall of the Soviet Union on December 8, 1991, as the union became distinct. The end of the cold war as also characterized by reform of communism by the Soviet Union leader, Mikhail Gorbachev30. His reformation turned into revolution run from below rather from above hence resulting in the fall of the union. Hence it collapsed. The Soviet Union could not remain to be the superpower will a low competitive edge. Their reduced competitive edge made them be overthrown by the western side. Having being overthrown, the cold war ended as the United States engaged in the cold war with the intention of overthrowing the Soviet Union from the superpower.

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The strategies used by President Ronald Reagan also contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union34. The strategies also made the union collapse as they aimed destruction the Soviet Union economies which were the key factor behind its power. Weakness in the leadership of Gorbachev made the Soviet Union collapse as well as internal turmoil and globalization hence making the cold war to cease. References Fitzgerald, Frances.  Way out there in the blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the end of the Cold War. Simon and Schuster, 2001. Ideas do not float freely: transnational coalitions, domestic structures, and the end of the cold war.  International organization 48, no. Suri, Jeremi. Explaining the End of the Cold War: A New Historical Consensus?.  Journal of Cold War Studies 4, no.

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