The Cold War and the United States Diplomacy Name: Institution: The Cold War and the United States Diplomacy The Cold War was the state of military and political tension between Western countries, especially the United States, its NATO allies, and the communist nations, particularly the Soviet Union and other satellite states. The war began after World War II had got to an end. The Cold War was named so since it did not feature any form of military action. The countries in this war possessed nuclear weapons and any form of war would have led to serious destructions on both divides.
The relative calm between these countries was sometimes followed by high tensions, which would have emanated into a war but did not (Gottfried & Reim, 2003). The following essay will look at what the U. S. did during that time, as well as summarize the situation that required U. S. diplomatic efforts during the president’s time in office. In addition, the essay will describe the effect of these diplomatic efforts for the U. S. and other countries as well as assess, in conclusion, the advantages and disadvantages of the particular doctrine that was followed.
What the President Did During That Time During the cold war, the president was Ronald Reagan. He, together with members of his administration, came up with a strategy designed to oppose the influence that the Soviet Union had in the world. It came to be referred to as the Reagan Doctrine. This also came to be the showpiece of the United States foreign policy in the early 80s until the Cold war ended in 1991 (Gaddis, 2011). Under this Doctrine, the U. S. government provided what is widely known as overt and covert aid” to resistant movements as well as anti-communist guerillas in an effort to ensure that the support the Soviet Union received from Latin America, Asia, and Africa was reduced. This doctrine was started as a means of reducing the influence of the Soviet Union as part of the United States major Cold war strategy. Some of the actions of Ronald Reagan under the Reagan Doctrine included anti-regime propaganda campaigns, training and funding of insurgency groups, and other activities that involved the direct involvement of the U. S. government. This policy was in line with the U.
S. foreign policy of proposing foreign solutions to challenges facing the world (Smith, 2012). Situation That Required U. S. Diplomatic Efforts during the President’s Time in Office The influence of the Soviet Union to various countries in the world, commonly referred to as Satellite countries, led to the United States administering diplomatic efforts. Some of the countries that the Soviet Union had influence on included Poland, Hungary, Cuba, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, Romania, East Germany, North Korea, Angola and Albania (Surhone, Timpledon, & Marseken, 2010).
During this time, the countries were said to be moving along the road of development of the socialists. One of the greatest influences of the Soviet Union to these countries was the supply of military weapons. The union would convince the countries that there was a need to always have some military arms to protect themselves from any external aggression. In addition, the Soviet Union also provided financial aid to some of these countries. Some of the major beneficiaries of the financial aid included Cuba, Bulgaria, and Vietnam. In response, these countries showed their full support to the Soviet Union.
The United States saw these activities as a means of turning countries away from them, and thus had to act (Surhone, Timpledon, & Marseken, 2010). The Diplomatic Doctrine the President Followed, With Reference To Specific Actions or Events That Occurred As discussed above, the doctrine that was used during the Cold War was referred to as the Reagan Doctrine, instituted by the president of the time, Ronald Reagan. The doctrine was announced on 6th February 1985. In his address to the nation, Reagan stated that democracy was not a privilege of the chosen few, but a right for everyone.
He stated that every nation should stand up and defy the aggression instituted by the Soviet Union and secure each and every person’s right given to him at birth. The Reagan doctrine started in Afghanistan. The U. S. starting giving minor military assistance to troops opposed to the Soviet Union in an effort to drive away the Soviets from Afghanistan. Through the CIA, the United States increased its support to Mujahideen, an individual opposed to the Soviet Rule. The U. S. also mobilized China, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to oppose the Soviet rule.
The doctrine was also spread to Nicaragua where Reagan sought to end the Soviet rule in the country. In 1985, Reagan held that providing support to the contras in Nicaragua would help reduce the influence of the Soviet Union in the country. Therefore, he sought to supply financial and food aid to these rebel groups in an effort to improve their strength. These efforts, rather opposed by sections of Reagan administration, proved effective and can be credited to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 (McCormick, 2010). The Effect of These Diplomatic Efforts for the U. S. and Other Countries
The diplomatic efforts had a great effect on the United States and several other countries. Firstly, the efforts helped the United States to regain its power as the world’s superpower. Through influencing other countries to denounce the Soviet rule by supplying military support, food and financial assistance, the U. S. finally managed to oust the Soviet Union. In addition, the diplomatic efforts helped various countries in the world to gain independence from the Soviet Union. For example, the efforts of the United States led to the withdrawal of the Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan in 1988.
In 1989, the diplomatic efforts lead to the Soviet Union ending its arms shipments to the Republic of Nicaragua (McCormick, 2010). The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Particular Doctrine That Was Followed There are several advantages and disadvantages that the doctrine has had on United States. Firstly, as stated above, the United States was able to regain its status as the world’s economic, military and political powerhouse. It acquired the power to dictate what other countries could or could not do. In addition, the U. S. anaged to convince the Soviet Union to significantly reduce its nuclear power. This effectively meant that the Soviet Union could not attack the U. S. using nuclear weapons. However, there were also some disadvantages. The Reagan doctrine led to the United States increasing its federal spending so as to finance these activities. This led to an increase in government deficit, thus leading to increased borrowing. In addition, the opposition from some sections of the Reagan government caused many to consider him a villain rather than a hero (Surhone, Timpledon, & Marseken, 2010).
References Gaddis, J. L. (2011). The Cold War. London: Penguin Books Limited. Gottfried, T. , & Reim, M. (2003). The Cold War. Brookfield, Conn. : Twenty-First Century Books. McCormick, J. M. (2010). American foreign policy and process. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Smith, T. (2012). America’s mission: the United States and the worldwide struggle for democracy in the twentieth century. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Surhone, L. M. , Timpledon, M. T. , ; Marseken, S. F. (2010). Reagan Doctrine. Munchen: VDM Verlag.