on March 8, 1983, Reagan called the Soviet Union "an evil empire ."  Meeting with leaders of the Afghan Mujahideen in the Oval Office, 1983 After Soviet fighters downed Korean Air Lines Flight 007 near Moneron Island on September 1, 1983, carrying 269 people, including Georgia congressman Larry McDonald , Reagan labeled the act a "massacre" and declared that the Soviets had turned "against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere."  The Reagan administration responded to the incident by suspending all Soviet passenger air service to the United States, and dropped several agreements being negotiated with the Soviets, wounding them financially.  As a result of the shootdown, and the cause of KAL 007's going astray thought to be inadequacies related to its navigational system, Reagan announced on September 16, 1983, that the Global Positioning System would be made available for civilian use, free of charge, once completed in order to avert similar navigational errors in future.  
Under a policy that came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine , Reagan and his administration also provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist resistance movements in an effort to " rollback " Soviet-backed communist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  However, in a break from the Carter Administration policy of arming Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act , Reagan also agreed with the communist government in China to reduce the sale of arms to Taiwan .  Reagan with actress Sigourney Weaver and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia in 1985. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia supplied money and arms to the anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan. Reagan deployed the CIA's Special Activities Division to Afghanistan and Pakistan. They were instrumental in training, equipping and leading Mujahideen forces against the Soviet Army .   President Reagan's Covert Action program has been given credit for assisting in ending the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan,  though some of the United States funded armaments introduced then would later pose a threat to U.S. troops in the 2001 War in Afghanistan .  The CIA also began sharing information with the Iranian government , which it was secretly courting. In one instance, in 1982, this practice enabled the government to identify and purge communists from its ministries, and to virtually eliminate the pro-Soviet infrastructure in Iran.  In March 1983, Reagan introduced the Strategic Defense Initiative , a defense project  that would have used ground- and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles.  Reagan believed that this defense shield could make nuclear war impossible.   There was much disbelief surrounding the program's scientific feasibility, leading opponents to dub SDI "Star Wars" and argue that its technological objective was unattainable.
- Fall '12
- Ronald Wilson Reagan