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Reagan Russia and the cold war Includes some citations 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 President Ronald Reagan ended the cold war with his strategic defense policies The downfall of the cold war started when Ronald Reagan came into office in 1981 Reagan had two main priorities He wanted to cut taxes and increase defense spending He felt that the United States of America should take a confrontational approach towards Russia Mikhail Gorbachev was the leader of Russia in 1985 He wanted to improve the Russian economy He also wanted to improve relations with the United States Both leaders wanted a margin of safety Reagan took a tough stand against Russia and its allies The soviets could clearly see that when Reagan said he wanted a margin of safety he meant that the United States should be superior to Russia Moscow would not let this happen They wanted equality Reagan also believed that military power and respect for America abroad were inseparable from economic strength However Reagans defense policy resulted in the doubling of the debt of the United States He used the money for new strategic programs and for expensive conventional programs such as expanding the navy from four hundred to six hundred ships 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 The United States of America played a huge role in the ending of the cold war Though we made relations worse we also helped end it Reagans policies made Russians very nervous Sources
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