Arms buildup and the Soviet Union. The perceived threat from the Soviet Union increased Reagan's commitment to strengthen the military position of the United States. Military spending grew by more than $100 billion during his first term, with the bulk of that money spent on nuclear weapons, such as the cruise missiles that were based in Western Europe. In 1983, the president proposed the most controversial element of his military buildup plan — the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a space-based system that would have the capability to destroy incoming missiles. Critics of SDI dubbed it "Star Wars" and stated that the project did not seem technologically feasible, was far too expensive, and violated the SALT I antiballistic missile provisions. Relations with the Soviet Union were decidedly cool until Reagan's second term. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev — a proponent of
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