After a failed attempt to overthrow castro khrushchev

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After a failed attempt to overthrow Castro, Khrushchev secretly sent nuclear missiles to Cuba The U.S. successfully blockaded Cuba & Khrushchev removed the ICBMs in exchange for the removal of American ICBMs in Europe The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the USA & USSR came to nuclear war
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From 1965 to 1973, the USA became involved in the Vietnam War When communist leader Ho Chi Minh gained independence for Vietnam, the USA feared communism in SE Asia
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Vietnam was divided into a communist North & a democratic South In South Vietnam, communists known as the Vietcong worked to unify North & South Vietnam To contain communism, the USA sent troops to Vietnam starting in 1965
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The American military used bombing raids, pesticides, & search-and-destroy missions to fight the communists Despite these efforts, the U.S. was unable to defeat the communist enemy The Vietnam War was expensive, hurt the U.S. economy, & became unpopular with anti-war protestors in the USA. In 1973, the USA withdrew from Vietnam & 2 years later communists unified Vietnam
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America’s failure in Vietnam led to a change in Cold War policies The USA abandoned its containment policy & began looking for ways to improve relations with Cold War enemies
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In the 1970s, Richard Nixon’s policy of détente (easing Cold War tensions) replaced brinkmanship In 1972, Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit & recognize communist China Nixon’s visit to China put pressure on the Soviet Union to negotiate with the USA
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In 1972, Nixon met with Soviet leader Brezhnev to discuss arms reduction The USA & USSR signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) which limited the number of ICBMs each nation could possess By the 1970s, the USA & USSR seemed willing to peacefully coexist
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But, détente ended in 1979 when the USSR invaded Afghanistan to put down an anti-communist uprising
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The United States cut off all trade with the USSR & sent military & economic aid to Afghan rebels The U.S. viewed the attack as an attempt to spread communism into South Asia & the Middle East
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The USSR fought in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, but was unable to defeat the Afghan resistance The war exhausted Soviet economy & proved as unwinnable as Vietnam was for the United States The war renewed tensions between the USA & USSR
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Essential Question : What were the important Cold War events of the 1960s & 1970s?
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End of Cold War
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In the 1980s, two new leaders changed the direction of the Cold War: U.S. President Ronald Reagan & Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev Reagan took a strong stand against communism & the Soviet Union Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” He sent over 500 ICMBs to Western Europe to protect NATO allies Reagan’s goal was to win the Cold War & restore America’s position as a dominant super power He spent $2 trillion to increase the size of the American military
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Reagan’s most ambitious program was the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), called Star Wars, to protect the U.S. from Soviet nuclear attacks
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Christopher Reinemann
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