Histoire CS2 - American involvement in world affairs (1980-1991)
How did the USA win the Cold War?

1. The USA from confrontation to negotiation with the USSR (1980-1988)
• President Reagan’s ‘military build-up
- More than containment: President Reagan resumed the arms race to destroy the USSR he labelled the “evil empire”.
- A new deterrent: the 1983 Strategic Defence Initiative used US military & technological supremacy in the space and arms race to shield the USA from Soviet missiles. Although dubbed ‘Star Wars’ (fiction > science), it ended the arms race as the USSR couldn’t follow up.
• strengthens America
‘America is back’ using its:
- powerful potential hard power to end Soviet totalitarian model and nuclear deterrence, so ending the Cold War (according to Reagan who forgot Gorby’s contribution)
- inspiring soft power to spread its liberal model worldwide and call for the destruction of the Iron Curtain, symbolized by the Berlin wall (built in 1961).
• & ends the arms race (1985-1991)
- Reagan initiated the talks to reduce US and Soviet nuclear arsenal & signed the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty to eliminate medium & short-range missiles.
- paving the way for the Strategic Arms Reductions Treaties signed by his successor President G.H. Bush in 1991 (START I) and 1993 (START II) reduced the number of long-range nuclear weapons.

2. The collapse of the Soviet model (1989-1991)
• The official end of the Cold War (Malta Summit 2-3 December 1989)
US new president George Bush & Soviet leader announced the shift from confrontation to co-operation and reduction in troops and nuclear weapons (STARTs) => end of hot & cold wars & new era of world peace
• The collapse of communism 1989-1991
- Thanks to new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev who initiated domestic (political transparency = glasnost, & economic opening = perestroika) & foreign (non-intervention) reforms since 1985,
=> communism collapsed in Eastern Europe in 1989 and in 1991 Soviet Republics became independent: USSR collapse => weakened Russia.
=> US victory by Soviet self-destruction
=> A worldwide US soft power
American model, way of life (capitalism, democracy, consumer society) spreading in former communist countries of Eastern Europe which enthusiastically -or not, shifted to market economy and multiparty systems.