Reagan and cold war essay

However, the two perspectives are not necessarily diametrically opposed. The economic strength of the US alone was not enough to secure victory, and the US foreign policy was frequently counter-productive. But when the disparity in economic strength was utilised by the US foreign policy it enabled the US to have a clear advantage over its enemy; and this is what happened during the Reagan administration, when the US was able to negotiate from a position of strength in order to force an increasingly desperate Russia into agreeing to US demands. The arms race that was fuelled by the superior US economy that gave the US an enormous power over the USSR and made them eager to resume discussion on arms reductions, as well as the successful détentes and negotiations that led to glasnost and perestroika and the breakup of the eastern-bloc, can all be seen to have been successful acts of foreign policy because they took advantage of the economic power of the United States of America.

In conclusion, efficient UN action was in fact stymied by superpower conflict that was based on both geopolitical and ideological factors. These circumstances led to many brutal proxy wars, such as in Korea, the Congo and Vietnam, which were often even prolonged by superpower divisions. Many peacekeeping missions failed or never left. Atrocious genocides such as in Cambodia and in Guatemala were not prevented by the UN. Rather than acting as a collective security system, the SC mostly remained divided throughout the Cold War. Hence, ‘Divided States’ may have indeed been a more accurate term than ‘United Nations’ (Roberts, Kingsbury, 1993: 10). Yet, the UN was not a complete disaster and undoubtedly the Cold War world was better off with than without it (Weiss, Daws, 2007: 11). Some improvements towards peaceful cooperation were made, largely by simply providing a peaceful platform for global discussion. Throughout the Cold War, the value of the UN developed into one that was different from initially intended, focussing more on aspects such as human rights and self-determination. This is still true to this date and perhaps, it is high time to rethink the role of the UN. Maintaining global peace and security has so far proved impossible; however, it is possible to make small steps forward to hopefully gradually make this world a better place.

Ho spent the summer in Paris trying to lock in the agreement, but the French government was purposely evasive, as it was conspiring to undermine Vietnamese independence.  Ho was nevertheless well received in the French media.  A French reporter who met him noted his “engaging manner and extraordinary gift for making contact,” which “at once brought a warm and direct exchange of views and gave a startlingly fresh ring to commonplace words.” [25]   Ho returned to Vietnam in October and appealed to the Vietnamese people for patience.  The French, however, showed their hand on November 22, 1946.  Using a dispute over control of customs in Haiphong as a pretext, French warships bombarded the unprotected port city, killing at least 6,000 and wounding some 25,000.  On December 19, Ho issued a call for “nationwide resistance”:

Reagan and cold war essay

reagan and cold war essay


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