Reagan and Gorbachev - IV. Ronald Reagan and the End of the...

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Ronald Reagan and the End of the Civil War a. Contrasting Views i. Published Soviets to Reform ii. No Effect iii. When Reagan comes to power, he embodies a new thinking about the Cold War. In the 1970s we had peaceful coexistence. Reagan envisions this new Cold War, with a new characteristic; ultimately he ends up with all of these arms control agreements with Gorbachev, but did not start this way. The Cold War ended in spite of what he did, but another view is that Reagan did affect the end greatly. Reagan perceptively pushed the Soviets to the end. The idea that Reagan played such a great role is the concept that he pushed the Soviets intentionally to the brink of reform. iv. If we look at Reagan as being responsible, he did have this plan to wear the soviets down, and he wanted to do that by building up American strength. He wanted to run the Soviets into the ground by having a new arms race. Reagan thinks that US have a strong economy; the Soviets are funding all of these communist regimes around the world. v. One idea is that Reagan knew what he was doing vi. The other idea is that Reagan is a lucky bystander, Reagan didn’t have any conscious plan, he made moves, but he couldn’t anticipate the moves that were made as a reaction. That this was a domestic matter, that the Soviets were failing on their own. That actually, Reagan was being reckless by acquiring more weapons, but was increasing the chances of a nuclear war. Reagan’s policies actually increased the likelihood of nuclear war and alienated our allies. That the arms race was unnecessary and hurt the US economy. That SDI was unworkable and dangerous. vii. In the Third World, Reagan’s policies were not only unsuccessful, but immoral and corrupt. Iran Contra – made a deal to free the hostages from Iran and in exchange we paid the Iranians. Critics point to Reagan b. Dual Nature of Reagan Foreign Policy i. Reagan One – all about hostility and confrontation with the Soviets. Gives this evil empire speech. Not good when you call your adversaries evil. ii. Reagan Two – Reagan is the peacemaker and now it is all about embracing the Soviet reforms. Talks about scaling things down and reducing nuclear weapons. His second term as president. Ironically, both of these policies are extremely powerful. The dangerous confrontation that people expected from Reagan One never happened. c.
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This note was uploaded on 08/27/2011 for the course GOVT 312L taught by Professor Dennis during the Summer '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Reagan and Gorbachev - IV. Ronald Reagan and the End of the...

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