Contributions to the End of the Cold War

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We Have Arrived, at the End of the War On Christmas Day 1991, at 7:35 p.m., the Soviet flag flying over the Kremlin was lowered and replaced by the new Russian Federation flag. The USSR officially ceased to exist on December 31, 1991. The fall of the Soviet Union signified the end of the Cold War (Nye 2). Obviously, this was a huge moment in our world’s history; a 44-year-old tension between two of the most powerful countries in the world, which almost brought us to a combative war, was destroyed. But how did something that seemed so improbable one decade previously occur so peacefully? The reform by Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan’s coercion as well as reform, and the failures in the Soviet Union and its fall were all factors that…show more content…
He was ensuring that Soviet leaders would never think they could defeat the US and that they would prepare for successful negotiations (Kaplan 15). In order to show clear superiority over the Soviet Union, he increased defense and research spending that would back up foreign policy goals such as suppressing communism (Matlock 61). One of the important initiatives that Reagan took was the Strategic Defense Initiative. This was essentially a program he launched that was responsible for the research and development of a space-based system to defend the United States from any weapon of mass destruction (Fitzgerald 25). The purpose of the program was to deter attacks from Soviet forces, provide the United States with capability to respond to any Soviet forces, and to ensure that peace would be kept between the Soviet Union and America (Reagan). The Strategic Defense Initiative had a major impact on the Soviet foreign policy because it hinted at a race involving major arms, spending, and defense in which the Soviet Union could not afford to compete with the United States (Fitzgerald 416). Though it was never a success, the rapid research and build-up of technology the Americans had pulled off intimidated the Soviet Union, which ultimately responded with rash decisions and increased spending, making the failing
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