Reagan, Russia, and the cold war (Includes some citations)

Essay by katyseanCollege, UndergraduateA, May 2005

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Reagan, Russia, and the cold war (Includes some citations)

The cold war was a post-World War II struggle between the United States and its

allies and the group of nations led by the Soviet Union. Direct military conflict did not

occur between the two superpowers, but intense economic and diplomatic struggles

erupted. Different interests led to mutual suspicion and hostility in a rising philosophy. The United States played a major role in the ending of the cold war. President Ronald Reagan ended the cold war with his strategic defense policies. The downfall of the cold war started when Ronald Reagan came into office in 1981. Reagan had two main priorities. He wanted to cut taxes and increase defense spending. He felt that the United States of America should take a confrontational approach towards Russia. Mikhail Gorbachev was the leader of Russia in 1985. He wanted to improve the Russian economy.

He also wanted to improve relations with the United States. Both leaders wanted a 'margin of safety'. Reagan took a tough stand against Russia and it's allies. The soviets could clearly see that when Reagan said he wanted a 'margin of safety', he meant that the United States should be superior to Russia. Moscow would not let this happen. They wanted equality.

Reagan also believed that military power and respect for America abroad were

inseparable from economic strength. However, Reagan's defense policy resulted in the

doubling of the debt of the United States. He used the money for new strategic programs

and for expensive conventional programs such as expanding the navy from four hundred

to six hundred ships. Reagan also received increases for the CIA and other intelligence

agencies so they could aid anti-Russian forces in Afghanistan and other Third-World


The United States of America played a huge role...