With the resurgence of Cold War tensions, the Reagan administration took a hardline stance against the Soviet Union and a focus on causing the country to collapse. The result was National Security Directive 32 that proposed a strategy to, “… to encourage long-term liberalizing and nationalist tendencies within the Soviet Union and allied countries.” (Office of the President) National security was a serious concern due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the apparently increasing Soviet aggression. As a result, the directive is to cause the satellite states in the Soviet bloc to desire independence and rejection of communist philosophy and government. It would destabilize the Soviet Union from within, and would create a military victory for the United States without direct action. Therefore, the main goal is to turn all these nations into American allies.
This security directive highlights the major shift the Reagan administration brought to the foreign policy of the United States. Instead of a peaceful coexistence, the idea is to win the Cold War by making the Soviet Union unable to survive as a nation state through a destabilization of its unity. The consequence of a weaker Soviet Union would make it easier to collapse under the limitations of its society and government ending the Cold War quickly. Continuing, these limits are due to the tight control of the government that made it slow to react to sudden economic upheavals like the loss of satellite state. Infighting weakens any political system and this caused the Soviets to deal with their domestic issues resulting in less expansion. Overall, the foreign policy approach of undermining the Soviet Union as a nation served as a means to end the Col...
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...e the Cold War conflict and chose to end the arms race that had defined the past twenty years.
The clear result of American foreign policy was the end of the Cold War through the ending of the nuclear conflict. In addition, there was the decision not to engage the Soviet Union on other fronts while attempting to maintain diplomacy. There was also political pressure designed to incite rebellion that resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union as the instability weakened its political sovereignty. Whether or not the focus was on coexistence or victory, the ultimate goal was the end of the Cold War and the danger it put on the rest of the world. When all the United States foreign policy was organized together, a clear narrative presented itself: the choices in foreign policy built upon the previous ones resulting in the resolution of the Cold War conflict.
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