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Undoubtedly the foreign policy of the United States has been marked by its multi-faceted scope of intentions policy shifts and images throughout the last two centuries Though it remains a relatively young country it has been a major factor in weighing the balance of power in the world during peacetime and in periods of war Ronald Reagan perhaps more than any other president of the United States has shifted this balance of power to a point where the international community is no longer divided in two This makes him from a foreign policy perspective one of the most interesting presidents in the history of the United States In 1823 the Monroe Doctrine advocated American isolationism Then came the Truman Doctrine A few decades later the Soviet Unions nuclear capabilities succeeded that of the United States SALT II was a failure and the domino effect assured the collapse of democracies around the world Thus was the situation when Ronald Reagan assumed power in 1981 Immediately though the newly initiated president took a much harder approach to communism He was incredulous of containment policy 1 reluctant to negotiate treaties with the Soviet leaders on the basis of distrust and as opposed to former presidents regarded the Cold War as winnable This brought about the space program SDI His anti-Soviet rhetoric reflected his innate desire to depart from dtente and embark on a much sterner course In the first few years of his presidency military spending reached levels not seen since the Korean War American-Soviet relations were cold indeed and the prospects of arms limitations seemed dim Reagans clearest departure from 1970s policy was to be found in what some observers dubbed the Reagan doctrine The Reagan doctrine was premised on the assumption that direct military economic and political pressure against communist governments would strain the Soviet Unions military and economic system to a point where they could not compete The questions remain however
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