Who Ended the Cold War, Reagan or Gorbachev?


Reagan’s accomplishments and legacy that was major achievement by Reagan’s “won the Cold War.” This interpretation holds a view about how Reagan won the Cold War. Reagan’s military might and moral courage enabled the United States and its allies to crush Soviet communism. The military capability can pressure authoritarian regimes into collapse the Soviet communism. It is important to assess interpretations of history carefully. It is an endeavor to summarize and assess the main arguments regarding Reagan’s role in bringing about the end of the Cold War that lead to collapse of the Soviet Union.

The democracy was safeguarded while communism was discredited. The Western democracies really is fulfilling objectives in the Cold War that was safeguarding their freedom and avoiding World War III. The materialization of both objectives is what made the end of the Cold War. It is vital to assess the Reagan legacy in relation to both these perspectives of the end of the Cold War. Reagan’s adherents do not claim that he alone was savior for winning the Cold War, but they prioritize his policy of “peace through strength” as the single most critical factor and his personal leadership was indisputable. Political analysts even believe that Reagan’s hard-line policies prompted Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to pursue his reform agenda. Reagan contributed massively to the end of the Cold War.

It is concluded that the main characteristic of the Reagan approach that have been credited with helping win the Cold War and discuss the potentiality that contributed to that result. U.S. strategy actually unfolded during the 1980s. The initial tough approach of the Reagan administration, three other factors also helped bring about a peaceful end to the Cold War. These comprise popular campaigns against the nuclear arms race and for greater freedom in Eastern Europe, the coming to power of Gorbachev, and the tactical flexibility shown by Reagan.

Elements of the Reagan Approach

Those who bestow accolade Reagan with defeating the Soviet Union; they emphasize two basic strands of his leadership. One is the clarity of Reagan’s vision and language, and the other is the pressure applied by his hawkish policies. Clarifying with the first strand, Reagan’s policies appear distinct in part because of how he saw the world. Who observed the Cold War as not just a great-power competition but also a war of ideas; a president’s ideas are part of the explanation for U.S. success or failure. Reagan’s followers believed that he acclaimed for his clarity regarding three issues in particularly:

  1. the weakness of the Soviet system;
  2. the moral failings of communism;
  3. America’s own potential.

Highlighting Soviet Weakness

Reagan holds the view that the Soviet Union could be defeated. The bilateral policy of containment is to keep the Soviet Union under control by compulsion with a view to avoid nuclear war. Its policy did not seek to force the dissolution of the Soviet empire. Ronald Reagan believed that the Soviet economy was so weak that increased pressure could lead the Soviet Union to the path of capitalism. The pristine weakness of an adversary that increased pressure on Soviet Union will produce the desired results.

Expressing Strong Moral Ethics

Political analyst applauded the strong moral language that Reagan used while discussing America’s allies and counterparts. President Reagan shunned traditional diplomatic practice, which dubbed the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” It is possible that Reagan’s condemnation of communism gave encouragement to those citizens in Eastern Europe who were looking for an opportunity to disrupt the yoke of communist regime. It is unlikely that this enthusiasm was necessary with a view to dismantle communism toward the end of the 1980s. Reagan’s clear stand generated goodwill toward the United States among the post-communist Eastern European regimes.

Restoring America’s Confidence

Some analysts have suggested that Reagan’s ethics on the national mood constituted that increased the public’s willingness to stand firm in the fight against communist regime. Reagan’s strong stance concerning the Soviet Union’s internal weakness and America’s economic potentiality are one topic within accounts that achievement with winning the Cold War. These beliefs are given importance because the country was in a more aggressive strategy in dealing with the Soviet Union. The other theme is that Reagan won the Cold War concerns the effects of adopting a more successful strategy. The basic idea is that by competing against the Soviet Union more vigorously in every area. The United States put substantial pressure on the Soviet system than it could withstand.

The Reagan Doctrine

It was the risk of nuclear war, the both superpowers careful to avoid direct military confrontation. The later decades of the Cold War were characterized by proxy struggles. In the late 1970s, the Soviet Union became more assertive in third World war. The United States would be reluctant to intervene after its experience in Vietnam. This policy is known as the Reagan Doctrine. Soviet Union sent in its own military forces to Afghanistan. U.S. aid to the mujahideen fighting against the Soviet invasion raised the costs of the Soviet occupation and may have accelerated the Soviet defeat. U.S. efforts to mobilize opposition to the Soviet invasion had an enormous downside. The Arabs recruited to join the fight in Afghanistan included individuals like Osama bin Laden who would later organize al Qaeda.

New Soviet Leadership

If the pressure introduced by Reagan’s policies was vital to force the Soviet Union to abandon the Cold War competition, one should have seen signs that preceded Gorbachev. It was possible for Soviet leaders to choose different paths in response to the Reagan challenge. The Soviet regime had more than one possible option; the path it took during Reagan’s second term cannot be explained without taking into account Gorbachev’s personal role. Gorbachev demanded a relaxation of international tensions that would free up resources for economic reform. Gorbachev believed that the liberal Soviet posture would lead to a similar relaxation in the United States, which would make it possible to cut Soviet military expenditure. U.S. policy had already begun to moderate before Gorbachev came to power.

The Flexibility of Reagan toward Gorbachev

The vital factor in completing the peaceful end of the Cold War was the spontaneous desire of President Reagan. Reagan had insisted that the dismantling of communism remained his objective. Reagan got to know Gorbachev, especially over a series of summit meetings. Reagan became more open to dealing with the new Soviet leader. Gorbachev had confidence that Reagan would exercise restraint while the Soviet Union struggled with its internal reform process. As Reagan warmed to Gorbachev and their arms control talks, he actually came under criticism from conservative activists who had been among his strongest supporters.

The Bush administration took pains to reassure the Soviet government that the United States would not seek to take advantage of the turmoil in the Warsaw Pact countries. After the revolutions in Eastern Europe, the Soviet empire collapse. Presidents Reagan recognized the opportunities created by Gorbachev’s rise to power and showed the flexibility to move U.S. policy onto a new track. Reagan accelerated the ending the Cold War by not sticking dogmatically to the hard-line approach but also exercising influence by his presidency.

Learning from Sharing Unique achievement

The Reagan era was a golden time for public opinion in the United States and Western Europe. Those who consider Reagan as a protagonist they want to bestow him the great achievement for ending the Cold War. Conversely who want to discount Reagan’s role and accord recognition to Gorbachev for peace and human rights movements? According to the eyes of Reagan’s staunch followers, the West came out success in the Cold War through a combination of military might, economic pressure, and unyielding bargaining stance. These elements of the Reagan approach did contribute to the end of the Cold War.

The end of the Cold War thus corroborates the findings of various studies on interstate negotiation. Gorbachev’s endeavors to change Soviet grand strategy then really started the process of ending the Cold War. Therefore, President Reagan’s capability to observe that Gorbachev was different and to make tactical adjustments in his approach, made it possible to change the mood of U.S.-Soviet relations. Reagan and Gorbachev deserve much of the achievement they have been bestowed.

How Reagan won the cold war

During Reagan’s second term, when he cooperated Gorbachev’s reform measures and pursued arms-reduction agreements with him Many conservatives denounced his apparent change of heart. The Soviet Union indeed suffered from debilitating economic problems. Historically it is common for nations to experience poor economic performance. The food shortages and technological backwardness were sufficient causes for the destruction of a large communist regime. Gorbachev had one redeeming quality. He was a decent and relatively open-minded fellow.

Finally Gorbachev realized that he had a choice to continue a no-win arms race, which would utterly cripple the Soviet economy and give up the struggle for global hegemony. It will establish peaceful relations with the West, and work to enable the Soviet economy to become prosperous like the Western economies. The INF treaty was in fact the first stage of Gorbachev’s surrender in the Cold War. Reagan’s defense strategy and his diplomacy were vital factors in ending the Cold War. The political analyst opined that both Reagan and Gorbachev deserve credit” because while Soviet Communism might have imploded eventually.

President Ronald Reagan left as his greatest legacy to the world a role in accelerating the end of the Cold War. The global competition between the United States and the Soviet Union continue for 46 years involving the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars and led to building of the most destructive weapons ever known. Gorbachev’s swift ascension on March 11, 1985, was a critical moment on the road to the end of the Cold War. The Soviet Union was still a nuclear-armed superpower, and it was in nuclear weapons that Reagan and Gorbachev then took important steps toward ending the Cold War.

The US Russian Relationship in the Post-Post-Cold War World

It is clearly in the interest of both the United States and Russia that are fully integrated into this post-post-Cold War international landscape. Russia built up security and stability in the regions it borders. Russia is now a potential partner in addressing today’s global challenges. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia is the part of the solution to such threats as terrorism, proliferation and environmental hazard.

It was the first and foremost duty for prevention of nuclear war. The United States and Russia are still engaging in bilateral arms control, like the Treaty of Moscow. The United States and Russia must deal with the political and physical residue of the Cold War. Both have unique opportunity to perform any major job jointly. The most vital and challenging task at this stage is to address a long-term positive program for the bilateral connection. The relationship must be based on new opportunities for cooperation. Russia has a vital role to play in the diversity of global energy supplies and could become a key player in stabilizing global oil prices.

The United States and Russia could cooperate jointly in the economic development of the different regions that has been experiencing socio-economic depression. Americans and Russians look for new areas of cooperation that must be pragmatic. There is a differences continue in areas such as trade, non-proliferation policy, human rights, and Chechnya. The United States and Russia will have to settle these differences.

Russia needs to complete its transformation into a democratic, market-oriented state. Russian leaders must recognize that this is the key to Russian prosperity, and continue integration with the West and with international political and economic forum. In the economic domain, the EU is consolidating its interactions with Russia. Both the EU and the United States are working with Russia to meet the criteria necessary for WTO membership.

Three observations on U.S.-Russian relationship in the post-post-Cold War world

First, it will take tough and sustained endeavor to make the U.S.-Russian relationship work. Both sides must recognize that the two countries are unequal in virtually every measure of wealth and power including population and military might.

Second, there is no reason why the United States and Russia can’t maintain friendly relationship. The two countries are not rivals. They do not share a disputed border. There is no history of ethnic hatred between them, and there is no longer a fundamental clash of principles. Americans and Russians must still overcome the strong legacy of suspicion on both sides.

Third, the United States and Russia must attach priority on economic and commercial aspect of the relationship, including energy policy.


There is no alternative of consensus among the leading global leaders for maintaining peace and tranquility. The unabated arms race among the leading nations of the world is causing global unrest. If the arms race had been restricted, the global resource could be used for human welfare. From this perception, President Regan took bold measures to end the cold war by entangling Gorbachev. The Reagan era was a golden time for public opinion in the United States and Western Europe. Reagan’s followers bestow him the great achievement for ending the Cold War. Conversely, who want to belittle Reagan’s role and accord recognition to Gorbachev for peace and human rights movements? According to the eyes of Reagan’s staunch followers. Reagan undaunted approach contribute to the end of the Cold War. Reagan and Gorbachev deserve much of the achievement what have been bestowed.


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