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America and the end of the Cold War - Research Paper Example

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America and the end of the Cold War When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it had impacted the United States and other parts of the world. The demise of the USSR meant the end of the Cold War between the United States and Russia in which the two nations were competing to be world powers…
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America and the end of the Cold War
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Download file to see previous pages The “Cold War” can be defined as “a state of political tension and military rivalry which stops short of full-scale war, especially that which existed between the United States and Russia after World War 2” (www.freedictionary.com) The United States was in favor of capitalism, while the Soviet Union favored Communism. Some countries in Europe and Asia aligned themselves with the United States or the USSR. “During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and United States dominated international politics as opposing superpowers.” (“Notions of Security: Shifting Concepts and Perspectives”12) There were persistent concerns over Soviets infringing on the national security of these nations. The Americans and the Soviets had nuclear weapons. This resulted in the nuclear arms race between the two governments. There were fears of nuclear war but it never transpired.1 Both nations also wanted to be the first in space. This as well as Communist rule left the USSR with an inactive economy for many years. When Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed as president in 1985 his goal was to renew the nation’s economy. He and President Ronald Reagan set out to resolve the policy and arms disagreements between their nations. These issues were resolved peacefully between them. In 1990 Boris Yeltsin was elected as president of Russia. In 1991 the Soviet Union officially came to an end subsequently leading to the fall of Communism. The American public was cautiously optimistic about the end of the Cold War because no one was certain that the new form of government in Russia would last.2 “Communism went out with a whimper, not a bang, hobbling the victory dance.” (Allen & Schweikart 768) The United States and Russia no longer felt threatened by each other. “The expectation of violence between the two major strategic powers has been drastically reduced.” (Reisman860) Immediately after the Cold War ended President George H.W. Bush began the process of reducing military forces. Unfortunately this resulted in economic problems. Aerospace and shipbuilding companies were nearly bankrupt. There were fewer defense contractors. Soldiers, airmen and sailors were laid off.3 The Recession of the early 1990’s followed not long after this happened. Bush felt that the world had changed for the better as a result of the fall of Communism and felt that Russia and other former Communist nations had to cooperate. In 1991, Congress provided financial help to Russia and other nations so that they could destroy their nuclear weapons. 4 Russia had a seat at the United Nations Security Council that the Soviet Union held previously. The United Nations was able to forge ahead with a new focus once the Cold War was over. Russia (Allen & Schweikart) During the Cold War the primary focus of the United States Intelligence Agency had been the military threat the Soviet Union and its allies imposed upon the nation. When the Cold War ended it “called into question the continued efficacy of U.S intelligence activities in the post Cold War world.” (DeConcini1) The agency knew that there may be potential for a threat but many officials felt that U.S. intelligence needed to help American international firms to compete for business in other countries. They felt that this would protect national security. During the Bush and Clinton administrations private businesses were not supported by intelligence agencies. Former Director of Central Intelligence Robert ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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