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16. The ‘Second’ Cold War, 1981–5  

This chapter focuses on the so-called ‘second’ Cold War spanning the years 1981–5. Ronald Reagan came to power on the back of a general rightwards shift in the political mood. He concentrated on a presentational role in government and pursued a simple foreign policy. He dismissed détente as a communist trick, was initially determined to resist the spread of the Soviet Union’s influence wherever it threatened and, going beyond that, wanted to carry the new Cold War into the Soviet camp. The chapter first considers US–Soviet relations during the new Cold War, paying attention to ‘Reaganomics’, before discussing the crisis in Poland in 1980–2. It then explores the issue of nuclear weapons control and the ‘Year of the Missile’ and concludes with an assessment of the war in Afghanistan up to 1985.

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Cover International Relations Since 1945

5. Soviet–American Relations: Avoiding Hot War and the Search for Stability  

This chapter examines US–Soviet relations during the Cold War as well as the question of the genuineness of efforts by the United States and the Soviet Union to achieve disarmament and resolve troublesome disputes. It begins with a discussion of the German question, noting that Germany’s future position was vital to the future of Europe and a particular concern of the Soviets. It then considers the progress of arms control and peace efforts by the United States and the Soviet Union, before concluding with an analysis of the relationship of arms control to the use of armaments in hot war and to some aspects of fighting the Cold War.

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Cover International Relations Since 1945

9. The Eastern and Western Blocs in the 1960s  

This chapter provides an overview of the Eastern and Western blocs in the 1960s. It first considers US–Soviet relations from the Cuban Missile Crisis to détente spanning the period 1963–71, focusing on the talks between Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy regarding the Test Ban Treaty, before discussing the superpowers’ relations with China. It then explores unity and division in Eastern Europe and in the Western bloc, taking into account the European Economic Community (EEC), NATO, and the Western economies in the 1960s. It also analyses the rise of European détente, covering topics such as progress on pan-European contacts and the emergence of Ostpolitik.

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Cover International Relations Since 1945

19. The Decline of the Cold War, 1985–9  

This chapter examines the decline of the Cold War during the period 1985–9. It begins with a discussion of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s ‘new diplomacy’, a more flexible, less ideological foreign policy based on his belief that ‘a less confrontational stance towards the outside world would provide greater security than endless rearming’. It then considers Gorbachev’s reforms, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in December 1987 by Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, and US–Soviet relations under George H. W. Bush and Gorbachev. It also analyses the end of the Cold War in less developed countries such as Afghanistan, Angola, and Cambodia, before concluding with an assessment of the demise of Soviet communism in Eastern Europe.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

21. US Predominance and the Search for a Post-Cold War Order  

This chapter focuses on the predominance of the US and the search for order in the post-Cold War period. George H. W. Bush, who came to power in January 1989, concentrated on world affairs and had a series of foreign successes before the end of 1991. Bush’s cautious, pragmatic, approach carried both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, he escaped any major disasters abroad and avoided antagonizing the Soviet Union or rekindling the Cold War. On the other, he seemed to be undynamic and at the mercy of events—he failed to provide a sense of overall direction to US foreign policy once the Cold War ended. The chapter first considers US foreign policy in the 1990s, before discussing the Gulf War of 1990–1, US–Soviet relations in the 1990s, US policy towards the ‘rogue states’ during the time of Bill Clinton, and ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Somalia and Haiti.