April 12: U.S. President Franklin D. Rooseveltdies. Cold war was the struggle for power and influence that began at the end of World War II between the Communist nations led by the Soviet Union (the East) and the … Cold War Essay. The American President and the Soviet Communist boss nearly did what only the most brazen peaceniks had been proposing–get rid of the nukes. This was quite a serious challenge and one that resonated with the American people. He was even been accused of “weaponizing” flows of Syrian refugees in order to destabilize the European Union. His latest book, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars, will be published by Oxford University Press in July. targeting:{ Naturally. Reunification after 45 years of division was a cause for celebration in Germany. For more information, visit our Privacy PolicyX. Many persuaded themselves that Nicaragua and Southern Africa really were important venues of superpower competition and that some of the Reagan Doctrine should be supported. By the time the issue was decided, the thundering critique of SDI in America had resonated throughout Moscow. The Cold War was a series of events where anything the west did, the USSR would respond by doing the same. The result of this and many other such intellectual inroads was the 1988 treaty language offered by the Soviets in the negotiations to reduce conventional forces in Europe. At the same time, the Soviet economy faced the continuously escalating costs of the arms race. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the Cold War came to an end, and with it, according to some, so did history. Just get rid of communism, they thought, and they’d start living like their American and European counterparts. West German chancellor Helmut Kohl seized the moment by drafting a ten-point plan for German reunification, without consulting NATO allies or members of his own party. VIDEO: People in Denmark Are a Lot Happier Than People in the United States. He concludes that Gorbachev “seemed to welcome transnational contacts–and not only on technical issues of nuclear arms control. Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! The centrist explanation for the cold war–that the steadfast, long-term, bipartisan support for containment, both military and diplomatic, finally paid off–omits the disarray among many Democrats, and indeed among a large segment of the arms-control community. It also stimulated a clamor about the moral validity of deterrence, something the centrist arms-control community was never prepared to do; it drew the voluble support of many clerics, including the Conference of Catholic Bishops, and innumerable Sunday sermons from Protestant pulpits. A highly symbolic reckoning in the decade came at the Reykjavik summit in late 1986. It argued at length in 1982 for a “common security” framework in which the security of one’s adversary becomes a key consideration in one’s own defense thinking. In the crucial realm of conventional forces, Boserup, his British associate Robert Neild and others (including Americans Forsberg and von Hippel) directly lobbied Gorbachev to explore the new concepts of nonoffensive defense. […] The foundations of the Cold War were broader than just the ideological struggle between capitalism and communism. Its elites chafed at having gone from being one of the world’s great empires to being labeled “Upper Volta with missiles.” Or derided by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and one of the many émigrés who made their fortunes elsewhere, as “Nigeria with snow.” Or, as one Republican Senate staffer once referred to it in conversation, “China’s gas station.” Even for Russians most critical of the Kremlin, the humiliation could be searing. “Ronald Reagan came into office on a Republican platform explicitly pledging the new government to achieve ‘technological and military superiority’ over the Soviet Union,” explains David Cortright, a leader of SANE and SANE-Freeze in the eighties. The U.K.’s quick approval of the Pfizer vaccine means some Britons will get shots starting next week—but in the rest of the world, it’s going to take a while for regular people to get inoculated. The UNITA insurgents in Angola, helped enormously by Reagan, continue to wreak havoc in that country. The Soviet policy elite, beginning in the Brezhnev era but flowering, of course, under Gorbachev, adopted several of the most important initiatives of the Western activists. A. End of The Cold War The Cold War: Menu: BrinkmanShip Brinkmanship is a foreign policy used in the Cold War which is where a country would push a dangerous issue or event to the edge looking for the best outcome for there side. This was manifestly a different agenda from what Reagan had set out to achieve. The three main interpretations of the cold war’s demise reflect, not surprisingly, the right, center and left of US politics. It was an imposition of a foreign system of government ill-suited to Russia’s traditions and historical insistence on greatness, unity, and the subservience of the individual to a strong, centralized state. An American presidential election became rife with Russianesque conspiracy theories, fake news, absurdity, and the steady, strategic flow of kompromat (compromising information). During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the Soviet leaders were suspicious of Reagan’s motives for upgrading America’s longstanding program to research ballistic missile defenses under the Strategic Defense Initiative, but they did relatively little in their military preparations (aside from howling about it). Looking back at America’s longest war and the fall of the Soviet Union, Martin Malia writes, “The Cold War did not end because the contestants reached an agreement; it ended because the Soviet Union disappeared.” When Gorbachev reached for the pen to sign the document officially terminating the USSR, he discovered it had no ink. The Cold War ideological distortions became widely accepted beliefs not because they were true or right, but because they served powerful particular interests. And when you pull off a gamble like that, and pull it off so spectacularly that you help elect a new U.S. president who has already positioned himself as Putin’s junior partner, well, what’s left of Western moral supremacy? Reagan had been crippled by the Iran/contra scandal, which threatened for a time to bring down his presidency. For the Soviet Union, however, the “arms race” had the opposite effect of bleeding the Soviet economy and intensifying its internal contradictions until it imploded in 1989. Copyright (c) 2020 The Nation Company LLC. “I remember having a drink with a senior Reagan Administration official the night the zero option was announced,” she recalled. Their rhetoric never failed to be cloaked in terms of US security interests, above all else. Gorbachev’s public position on Star Wars reflected the view of many of the American scientists who opposed the program: If you want to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, then eliminate nuclear weapons. Congress was not only acting to restrain the President, as it did in the seventies, but actually initiated arms-control policies with far-reaching consequences–as with the space-weapons bans. It is now ten years since the Berlin wall crumbled, but the question of how and why the cold war was concluded still lingers. The rise of the nuclear freeze campaign in the early eighties was both an outcome of this growing stigma and a spur that galvanized further public outrage. Thirty-six nuclear freeze referendums were passed in November 1982. It was a citizens’ crusade that in part questioned the very legitimacy of elite decision-making, and this constituted a threatening political movement. Large numbers (e.g., 48 percent in October 1984) believed it would escalate the arms race, and occasionally, even large majorities deemed it too expensive to deploy–ideas that came directly from the professional opposition. Even SDI was just a twist on a very old theme. Afghanistan was important, but the bulk of US aid to the mujahedeen came in the late eighties, most prominently after March 1986, a year after Gorbachev came to power with the intention of withdrawing Soviet troops from Afghanistan. tn_articleid: [67909], Their argument pivots on the intimidating qualities of the US arsenal (especially the Strategic Defense Initiative, or “Star Wars”); NATO’s deployment of Euromissiles as a rejoinder to the Soviet Union’s installation of SS-20 nuclear missiles aimed at Europe; the Reagan Doctrine of battling leftist regimes in Southern Africa, Central America and Afghanistan; and the grandiloquent campaign for personal freedom. By the eighties, Pugwash-convened task forces had addressed the whole range of arms issues besetting the superpower rivalry–nuclear testing, ballistic missile defense, conventional forces, nuclear doctrine–and provided Soviet scientists with insights on arms control that they may not have found elsewhere. John TirmanJohn Tirman is executive director of the MIT Center for International Studies. This subject file focuses on the history of the Cold War, a strategic and ideological conflict that opposed the Western bloc, led by the United States, and the Eastern bloc, led by the Soviet Union, from 1945 to 1989. A large demonstration in Central Park on a sunny summer day and articles in policy journals were one thing, and possibly negligible; thirty-six victories in thirty-nine referendums–including eight of nine states–was something Washington took to heart. Our use of cookies West did, the conflict was to depreciate the hyperbolic claims of “... Supposedly Marxist regimes, Gorbachev announced the delinking of SDI in America had resonated Moscow... One single event a Lot Happier than people in Denmark are a Lot Happier than people Denmark... Revolution and other study tools and mail-order brides, a nonoffensive defense design a! 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