The Man Who Killed The Cold War Analysis

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Despite his popularity in the US as “The Man Who Beat Communism”, Reagan’s presidency during the 1980s was only a sidekick to Gorbachev in the efforts to end the Cold War. Reagan’s actions against the USSR did not scare the nation into reforms, but Gorbachev’s impact in the Cold War, reforming the Soviet Union and oversight of communism’s peaceful transition into democracy during the late 80s overshadows Reagan’s seemingly token actions, portraying clearly that the only man which can hold the title of the “Man Who Ended the Cold War” with any credibility is Mikhail Gorbachev. The claim that Reagan’s increasing actions against communism and the USSR directly led to the appointment of reformist Mikhail Gorbachev to the post of General Secretary…show more content…
His main policies were “Perestroika”, meaning reform, and “Glasnost”, openness to the rest of the world, both signifying new era to come to the Soviet Union. In his 1991 resignation speech, Gorbachev justified these radical changes by stating that all the previous “half-hearted reforms fell through, one after another...We had to change everything radically”(Feelings of Hope and Faith). This change into a domestic policy focus, was only achieved thanks to Gorbachev efforts in deescalating tensions. He achieved at moderating “President Reagan's suspicion of ‘the evil empire’ and established a sense of personal trust at the Geneva U.S.-Soviet summit”. As college history teacher Matthew Dallek points out in his book about Reagan’s rule, his achievement was “departing from the almost single-minded anti communism that had defined him throughout his political life”. Not the kind of effort akin of a man who ended communism. Once those foreign issues were solved, Gorbachev dedicated himself to implement his reforms into the USSR. They seem quite moderate today, with plans such as implementing a “limited market economy”. But his reforms had many unintended effects which directly led to many Soviet citizens to…show more content…
This claim might be a surprise to someone who buys into the myth that Reagan managed to, as Thatcher stated in a eulogy for him, “break the world free of a monstrous creed without a shot being fired”(Ronald Reagan). But should we trust a statement from a hardline conservative political figure about her close friend? Maybe we should ask the people of Grenada. There sure were some shots fired during its US invasion. And what about all the weaponry supplied by Reagan’s presidency to the Mujahadeen and other anti-communist guerrillas? They sure were used to shoot. Not only were those actions immoral and promoting violence, but at times his presidency participated full-on illegal actions, such as the Iran-Contra scandal. Reagan engaged in the common action which almost every US president followed, he antagonised the Soviets. It is well-know that in his first term he denounced the pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union as an "evil empire." And even after the far more likeable Gorbachev came to power, Reagan still was quite stubborn during negotiations, significantly shown when he repeatedly refused to compromise on the development of his missile defence system, SDI, even if it would greatly alter . Repeatedly as political analyst Strobe Talbott reminds us, “In the 1985 Geneva summit, progress on arms control had foundered over the scrapping of Reagan’s SDI[Strategic Defense
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