Ronald Reagan and the End of the Cold War Essay

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The cold war was a post-World War II struggle between the United States and its allies and the group of nations led by the Soviet Union. Direct military conflict did not occur between the two superpowers, but intense economic and diplomatic struggles erupted. Different interests led to mutual suspicion and hostility in a rising philosophy. The United States played a major role in the ending of the cold war. It has been said that President Ronald Reagan ended the cold war with his strategic defense policies.

In the year1949, Germany was divided by the victors of World War II and they occupied different zones. The western regions united to form a Federal republic and the Soviet eastern region became communist East
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Reagan also received increases for the CIA and other intelligence agencies so they could aid anti-Russian forces in Afghanistan and other Third-World countries.6

Reagan's administration did not have strong or consistent policies towards Russia. It was divided between people who favored careful negotiations and people who strongly opposed efforts to deal with "the enemy." The negotiators were centered in the State department. It included George Schultz,
Richard Burt, and Secretary of State Alexander Haig. The other side included
Caspar Weinberger, Richard Perle and Senator Henry Jackson.7

Soviets became frightened by the United States' policies. They were going to negotiate with Reagan at first but because of military buildup, lack of interest in arms control, Soviets were afraid Reagan would attack the nation.
Soviets kept the KGB (Russia's version of the Federal Bureau of Investigation) on alerted from 1981 to 1983 just in case.8

A Russian military plane had shot down a South Korean civilian airliner that was flying over Soviet territory. The plane was traveling from Anchorage,
Alaska to Seoul Korea. Sixty-one Americans were killed on the flight. When the
United States heard about this; Reagan was furious. He denounced that the
"Korean airline massacre" was a "crime against humanity" for which "there was absolutely no justification legal or moral..." 9

Soviets said that they thought it was a spy plane and
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