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The end of the Cold War

The end of the Cold War - The end of the Cold War Dtente...

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The end of the Cold War: Détente, for realists, was indicative of the weakness of the US – the US could no longer sustain the global economic system, and was facing economic downturn at home. Fortunately, this also coincided with Soviet weakness, so the USSR did not gain much relative to the US. In the 1980’s, the US began to bounce back – coupled with election of Reagan, who took a more confrontational posture vs the USSR – this led to increased military buildup and the proposal of the SDI (Star Wars) system – this was a major threat to the USSR – for realists, the USSR had to begin to play catch up, thinking the US was actually making progress on this system – it increased its defense spending in the early 1980’s, but was backwards economically – in essence, the USSR could not afford a new arms race. For realists, the US basically bankrupted the Soviets, who could no longer continue to spend for arms. Reagan played an important role here in the military buildup, which coincided with a failing Soviet economy and the entanglement in Afghanistan.
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