Answer to Question #110304 in History for Elle

Question #110304
Discussion Question: In this article, the author describes two personalities that Ronal Reagan expressed in his policies towards the Soviet Union during his presidency. On the one hand, you have the Reagan who initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative and denounced the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” On the other hand, you have Ronald Reagan who embraced détente by working with Gorbachev to ease Cold War tensions. Which of these two Reagans do you believe had the greatest impact on bringing about an end to the Cold War? Please explain your response.
Expert's answer

As for me, the “second Reagan” had stronger impact on the end of the Cold War, because Reagan proposed a missile defense system called the Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI. This was basically a missile defense shield in which lasers and other state-of-the-art technology would neutralize incoming missiles. Although the project relied on technology that was not yet available, the project sparked fear in the Soviets and gave the U.S. an advantage in negotiating.

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