The Difficult Foreign Policy Issues Faced by Late Twentieth Century Presidents

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The 20th century consisted of many difficult and controversial foreign policy decisions. From President Jimmy Carter, elected in 1977, to President Ronald Regan elected in 1981. Carter attempted at peacemaking efforts to help bring stability to the Middle East, but faced the challenge of the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979. He shaped his foreign policy through integrity, morality, and honest, to bring trust in the government to the American citizens as the previous president, Richard Nixon made the people lost their trust in the government. Ronald Regan supported a conservative foreign policy and greatly increased military spending, putting the United States in huge deficit. Ronald Regan is also given credit for the end of the Cold War, and …show more content…
This was considered his biggest foreign policy crisis, and damaged his presidency, as he was considered to handle the situation inappropriately. Carter also made attempts to improve relations with the Soviet Union, but instead exacerbated the situation, and Carter’s commitment to human rights divided the United States and the Soviet Union further. Matters worsened when Carter tried to pass SALT II, limiting weapons further then set by SALT I.
Ronald Regan, elected in 1981, took a tough stand on communism, and is credited for the downfall of communism and the Soviet Union. As the polish government cracked down on Solidarity, an independent labor party, Regan abandoned the policy on détente, and “called for economic sanctions to force the communist-backed government to end martial law.” Regan’s foreign policy also called aid to Latin America, as he feared communism would take over their weak economy. Aid was also sent to the Middle East as religious conflicts threatened the already unsound region. In 1984 however, Regan withdrew the American forces, admitting the attempt a failure. Terrorism also played a role in shaping Regan’s policy as Terrorism continued on its rise, raising global concern.
Regan ran for a second term and won the election of 1984. He then reshaped his foreign policy to accommodate the changes of the Soviet Union. In 1985, a new leader emerged in the Soviet Union, Mikhail