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The Cold War was a critical juncture that fundamentally altered the world. For nearly fifty years, the Cold War dictated the landscape of foreign policy as two superpowers squared off. While not being a traditional “hot” war, the United States and the Soviet Union fought a proxy war that spanned decades and administrations. Compromise, poise and skillful diplomacy ultimately saw the end of the Cold War in 1989. However, decades after the Cold War “officially” ended, the implications and remnants of the showdown between two superpowers still loom large today. The resulting actions and inactions continue to define American foreign policy and carry substantial merit in present day.
Our foreign policy took into account our assets and valued our freedom, sovereignty, and democratic autonomy. The Cold War taught us that many of our concerns are shared by our global community and the decisions of the United States closely affect it. This sentiment was echoed in the fact that many nations take a stand on an issue once the United States has established a position. More so, every action the United States takes will have a reaction simply because the interconnectedness of the United States and the world. The growing need for a grand strategy meant requiring our nation to examine all the potential outcomes beforehand as to not disrupt the global community. Recognizing that our power was accompanied by tremendous responsibilities demonstrated the ripple effect of our actions and inactions abroad. Thus, the importance of crafting a grand strategy-a statement of our nation's essential objectives in world politics and the means we sought to achieve our objectives-was paramount.
Following the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold Wa...

... middle of paper ... moment as the Bush administration openly criticized the Chinese government's actions, but later chose to engage China, even going so far as urging the nation to part ways with Communism. This cautious approach was rooted in the compromise and deescalation strategies of other Presidential administrations during the Cold War. During the Cuban missile crisis, President John F. Kennedy’s administration agreed to withdraw the United States’ Jupiter missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviet Union removing its missiles from communist Cuba. Later on, in the 1980’s, President Ronald Reagan’s commitment to place missiles in Europe under the Strategic Defensive Initiative in response to Soviet missile deployments was done with compromise in mind. It was the hope that President Reagan’s move to render retaliation obsolete and encourage disarmament would ease tensions.

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