A Brief Look at Richard Nixon

Decent Essays
Oftentimes, a deciding factor for a president’s reputation is his involvement in foreign affairs. Though Richard Nixon’s terms have been deservedly cast into a bad light, historians still quarrel about his international policy. Interestingly enough, the very traits which made him so despised as a public officer—his paranoia, lying, backstabbing, distrust, opacity, etc.—these traits made him an fascinating figure on the global stage. Instituting a policy coined “détente,” he sought separate peaces with the Soviet Union and China so as to subversively convert these communist foes into allies. He also wished to bring “peace with honor” to the Vietnam War through a practice nicknamed “Vietnamization.” To accomplish these two tasks, Nixon consolidated them under a single goal: the reduction of military spending. To accomplish that goal, President Richard Nixon relied on the dirty tactics he knew best and almost succeeded. The problem? His dirty tactics got in the way. Détente is a fascinating policy in and of itself. In order to draw the two challenging superpowers closer to America, Nixon decided that he would have to play off the mutual fears of the other. In other words, he told both China and Russia the same things and just substituted in the opposite country’s name. In the end, a shaky peace was established between the heretofore-irreconcilable ideologies of Communism and Capitalism. Through it came a flood of treaties and agreements which paved the way towards
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