Was Reagan Responsible For The Cold War

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Despite his vehement opposition to detente, President Reagan 's role in ending this phase of the Cold War was virtually non-existent. However, Reagan did play a larger role in the worsening of relations between the superpowers in the aftermath of detente 's failure. As a result, it can be argued that while he cannot be held responsible for ending detente; Reagan to some extent can be held responsible for starting the Second Cold War. First of all, it should be noted that the underlying cause of the end of detente was the USSR 's failure to honour her commitments to international peace and stability, not Reagan. For example, detente aimed to encourage nuclear disarmament while discouraging attempts to expand into the Third World. However, the fact that the USSR had 14 functional missile launch sites armed with SS-20 missiles within the Eastern Bloc was a clear sign that the Brezhnev government had no interest in nuclear disarmament. Furthermore, throughout the 1970s, the USSR had helped Marxist Regimes in…show more content…
On the other hand, Reagan 's increases in defence spending played a massive role in starting the Second Cold War. In 1982, Reagan increased defence spending by 13%. This was followed by an 8% increase in 1983 and a second 8% increase in 1984. By the end of this period, the USA was spending one trillion USD on defence. This terrified the USSR 's leadership, who feared being surpassed by the USA. As a result, relations broke down very quickly, and soon a Second Cold War had started. Reagan 's approach to foreign policy also helped start the Second Cold War. The Reagan doctrine promoted containment of communism. This was made clear when Reagan declared that any Soviet advance on the Persian gulf would be met with a nuclear response. Furthermore, the 1983 invasion of Grenada showed that the USA was willing to violently contain communism. This aggressive approach to foreign policy stirred fear in the Soviet Union, thus contributing greatly to the Second Cold War

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