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To what extend can it be said that the 'West' won the Cold War - Essay Example

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The Winner of the Cold War Introduction ‘Winning the Cold War’ is a very debatable principle since it can be understood as a moral excuse for all the defence and foreign policies of the Western administrations — for instance, military involvement in Nicaragua during Reagan’s term, a tactic which foresaw perhaps combating and winning a major war and unparalleled budgets for peacetime military (Painter 1999)…
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To what extend can it be said that the West won the Cold War
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To what extend can it be said that the 'West' won the Cold War

Download file to see previous pages... Did the West Really Win the Cold War? It has to be explained first what was involved in the end of the Cold War, by determining the major components in the strategy of Gorbachev after 1985 and the unforeseen results of the course of internal and external reform. The policy reforms of Gorbachev occurred in four major domains; in each instance the policy acquired impetus and became more revolutionary commencing around 1987 (Geoffrey 2008). Primarily, the Soviet administration commenced after 1985 to reform features of its military strategy viewed as particularly hostile by the West, and at the same time to alter its method of arms control (Suri 2002). Gorbachev embarked on reassessing military principle, pioneering the notion of ‘reasonable sufficiency at the nuclear level’ (Juviler & Kimura 2009, 139) which indicates that ‘lower nuclear weapons levels would be required’ (ibid, 139) and advancing toward ‘defensive defence at the conventional level’ (Juviler & Kimura 2009, 140), in an effort to suppress the apprehensions of the West about surprise assault. Subsequently, Gorbachev indicated a reform in the ideological scope and proclaimed objectives of Soviet foreign policy, distancing from an idea of global class conflict toward a more broad-minded idea of peace and alliance. Propaganda about peace had contributed in Soviet policy beforehand, but Gorbachev placed a new emphasis on the essence of the United Nations and on ‘human values’ (Keohane, Nye, & Hoffman 1997). The Soviet Union escorted a new ideological approach with actual hints of a real policy reform, for instance, fulfilling its financial obligations to UN peacekeeping activities and collaborating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (Keohane et al. 1997). The last and most remarkable decision by Gorbachev was to modify Soviet policy toward the nations of East Europe (Phillips 2001). In his address in the UN in 1988 he declared that the Brezhnev Doctrine, stating the privilege of the Soviet Union to occupy Eastern Europe within the flag of socialist internationalism, had been discarded (Suri 2002). At some point in 1989 Solidarity made a compromise with the Polish United Workers’ party and adhered to the regime in August; a new multiparty elections and constitution in Hungary were declared in September (Suri 2002). In these two instances the deviation from the rule of the Communist Party was the outcome of an extended course of internal tension and the rise of strong party leaders, but reform was apparently permitted by the Soviet Union (Leffler & Westad 2010). Gorbachev tried to affect the more unruly administration of the German Democratic Republic (Geoffrey 2008). The Brezhnev Doctrine was officially abandoned by the Warsaw Pact when in the 1989 convention foreign ministers highlighted the right of each nation to be independent (Juviler & Kimura 2009). In spite of the recommendation of Gorbachev of large-scale reform in Eastern Europe, it is questionable if he expected, or aimed for, the disintegration of the coalition which took place after the revolutions in 1989 (Juviler & Kimura 2009). The concluding phase in the ending of the Cold War, the steady collapse of the USSR itself and the abandonment of the rule ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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