Tauseef Ahmed United States History May 13th 2004 Why did the Cold War End? One of the main events of the war-filled twentieth century was the Cold War a state of tension between the United States of America and the Soviet Union from nineteen forty five, at the beginning of the Soviet expansion of communism in newly formed countries after Word War II, opposed by the United States to nineteen eighty nine with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The main focus of this research will be to state the reasons as to why this hugely acknowledged war comes to an end. It was the most unexpected event that happened and the credit must be given to the leaders on both sides. The Cold War eventually came to an end in 1989 as a result of Gorbachevs Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (reconstruction) policies; the Soviets declining communist economy, the costly arms race, and the freedom issues among Baltic Republics, Poland, and East Germany within the Soviet bloc itself. When Mikhail Gorbachev became the General Secretary of the Soviet Union in 1985, he was determined to end corruption in the Soviet economy and get the U.S.S.R. back on its feet.
To achieve this goal he announced two new policies Glasnost and Perestroika. Glasnost or openness was the policy that ended the strict censorship, allowed Soviet citizens to speak openly about their societys problems and issues, and abandoned the ban of books and foreign radio broadcasts. The significance of this new policy was that it helped Soviet Union become a more open society and the media freedom brought many issues in front of the government. The second policy, Perestroika or reconstruction was introduced to help reform the Soviet economy by ending inefficiency and corruption in the system. The policy also promoted private enterprise, according to which the production prices and costs became more efficient. Planning was decentralized so local factories had more power of making decisions. According to this policy multi-candidate elections would be held, although each participant had to be member of a communist party.
During the Cold War, the United States resolved to take a shot at the Soviet Union by siding with Afghanistan and taking great measures to stop Soviet influence and communist ideology. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to expand its influence in the Middle East with the absence of American influence. At this point in the Cold War the United States and Soviet Union were ...
These were major steps to reform the Soviet Union and eventually this movement toward openness helped end the Cold War. The all new Sinatra Doctrine was also introduced by Gorbachev in 1989 renouncing the Brezhnev Doctrine. Introduced by Alexander Dubcek in 1968, the Brezhnev Doctrine declared that every socialist country in Soviet bloc belonged to the Soviet Empire. It was only the Soviet Union that could make decisions for the socialist republics and no self determination would be allowed in any of these republics. Sinatra Doctrine was named after Frank Sinatras song My Way because the purpose of this doctrine was to let the people in the Soviet republics go their own way. It declared that Soviet republics had no right to get involved in each others internal affairs.
Soviet Union also withdrew and stopped supporting countries, including Cuba, to spread communism. The Sinatra Doctrine signifies the end of the Soviet Empire in 1989, just the opposite of what Gorbachev wanted to achieve from this policy by introducing it. The declining economy of the Soviet Union from 1960s to 1980s was also one of the main reasons that the Cold War ended peacefully in 1989. Due to the less money spent on technology the Soviet Union became weaker. As it was now illegal to censor information and communication networks and hard to control what came from fax machines and to jam radio and TV signals, more and more people got to know about the free West. By this, the personal expectations rose especially concerning the freedom rights and economic systems.
So, the economic declines also resulted in political unrest in the Soviet bloc. This declining economy hurt the Soviet businesses and now less people were interested in investing money in Soviet projects. The lives of normal people were also affected as the prices of various household items increased enormously and the lives of workers were also harmed because there was now less income available. Apart from technology issues there were other major economic flaws in the Soviet Union. In April 1986 a nuclear power plant exploded in Chernobyl, killing hundreds of civilians and causing damage which was worth around a billion dollars. Russian oil sales to abroad were also reduced so the government reduced the import of consumer goods.
Globalisation pertains to the aggregate processes of political, economic, social and environmental interdependence of various economies . This means changes in the previous interaction patterns among European countries that have been limited to the confines of national regulatory and geographic boundaries. Globalisation then results to the mutual widening of the scope of international relations ...
This left Soviet citizens with less to buy and government revenues were also going down. The government soon realized that more money was being spent than the revenues generated. To make up for this, the government started printing more money, which was a sign of increasing inflation. Then people started putting money into banks as they couldnt spend it all and the money in the banks was wasted by the Soviet government as it wasnt invested in worthy projects. The government also tried to increase private farming by offering land to new farmers. However, few people were interested in agriculture as they were not sure if private farming was permanent and so this project also failed. Sometimes the production capabilities were unable to meet the demand of the planner. Growth targets were predicted badly by the Soviets and the economy showed no signs of progress. However, when Gorbachev came to power, his ideas provided little hope of improvements.
According to a recent explanation, the Soviet economy didnt start declining in the 1980s, but it had been going down for the last two decades. It was just the change of perspective of the Soviet leaders in the 1980s they realized that the Soviet economy was declining fast and that it wouldnt be possible for the economy to make profits unless some steady changes were made. After the Soviet leaders realized that they would never catch up with the Americans, they were convinced to make a deal with the United States. However, the New Thinking of Gorbachev can be credited for the change in perspectives of Soviet leaders in the 1980s. One of the other main reasons that helped to bring an end to the war was the arms race. The U.S.A kept pressure on the Soviet Union to spend more and more money than its economy could maintain.
After World War II, the Soviet Union's economy had declined. Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, felt compelled to do something to reverse the economic decline and decay. Gorbachev believed that the Soviet Union needed a change and he wanted his nation to catch up with the economic advances of other nations. "Gorbachev's aim had been to strengthen the political and economic systems ...
The policies of arms buildup and Reagan Doctrine pressured the Soviet Union. The Reagan Doctrine was created to summarize the goal of Reagan administration which was to support any anti-communist uprising wherever they may be. Although the Soviet authorities tried to spend consistent money on arms and defense, it was no where near enough to compete with the American defense powers. As the arms race was hurting the Soviet economy, Gorbachev started to prepare himself to negotiate with the United States. At the 1986 summit in Iceland, Reagan and Gorbachev agreed destroy all intermediate missiles in Europe. They also considered eliminating all nuclear missiles on both sides, but Gorbachev demanded Reagan to end his Strategic Defense Initiative plan which Reagan refused to do and the deal was left unconcluded. However, in 1987 they did agree to the Range Nuclear Forces treaty, in which all intermediate missiles in Europe were removed.
START I and START II treaties were also signed between the two sides. In these treaties MIRVs were removed from certain areas. The treaty of Conventional Forces in Europe was also signed which reduced the number of troops, tanks, and military aircraft in Europe. Both Reagan and Gorbachev were coming ever closer to ending the arms race. Gorbachevs New Thin ….