President Ronald Reagan 's Strategic Defense Initiative

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Thirtythree years ago President Ronald Reagan issued an astonishing reversal of America’s national security strategy. Rather than basing American security on the presumption that an attack by one superpower on the other would result in the unleashing of a catastrophic retaliatory strike, Reagan committed the United States to pursuing a strategy of defending against offensive missiles. The plan he set to action was the Strategic Defense Initiative(SDI) or “The Star Wars Plan.” This was a system of base ground units and orbital deployment platforms.

Reagan himself did not like that the nation’s strategic doctrine was based on the threat of annihilating the whole population of the Soviet Union. This was referred to as MAD (Mutual
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He realized the Soviet Union was not the unstoppable super power that their propaganda lead the populace to believe. European and American investigations support that the Soviet economy was “43% the size of the United States” from 1989-90. It is known that he was also very concerned about the SDI due to his belief that if the U.S. gained “technological superiority” combined with their already superior economy they would become far more ahead of the soviets and become out of reach. The U.S. knew this and began to play the cold war with possibly one of the riskiest poker faces’ of all time.

America was able to use the Soviet’s own problems against them and by adding the SDI to the equation this created unrest and more to handle. Gorbachev came to office greeted by a stagnant economy and a political structure that made reform nearly impossible. His first move was political openness, or as the Russians referred to it as, “Glasnost.” This started by eliminating “stalinistic repression traces such as the banning of books, the secret police and freeing political prisoners.” Newspapers had a freedom to print more openly, even about the government, and for the first time not just the communist party could compete in elections.

The pressure from a less and less communist world helped Gorbachev ease his conscious in the decision of

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