In the midst of a chaotic year of economic and political reforms, Communist Party General Secretary (and head of state) Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the politburo on the delicate issue of the Soviet military presence throughout Europe. Conventional Soviet military thinking was that any troop buildup by NATO countries must be met by tit-for-tat by the Warsaw Pact countries; to act otherwise was….
In the spring and summer of 1989, Chinese protestors occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing in order to achieve some political concessions from the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev continued to follow along their path of political reforms with glasnost' (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). In September 1989, Prime….
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the October 1986 weekend summit at Reykjavik, Iceland with President Ronald Reagan after progress in arms negotiations had slowed following their first meeting in Geneva the previous November. At the conclusion of two days of intense bargaining in what they had described only as an “interim summit” prior to a more substantial proposed meeting in….
Since 1949, when the Soviet Union first successfully tested an atom bomb, the national security policies of both the US and the Soviets derived from a doctrine of deterrence rather than one of defense against attack. By deploying enough weapons to insure the destruction of the country that launched a nuclear strike, the Cold War rivals adopted a policy of mutual assured destruction (MAD) to….
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the October 1986 weekend summit at Reykjavik, Iceland with President Ronald Reagan after progress in arms negotiations had slowed following their first meeting in Geneva the previous November. The meeting was billed as an “interim summit” in preparation for a more substantial one in Washington. At the conclusion of two days of intense bargaining….
Ronald Reagan began his presidency in 1981 confident that the policy of détente with the Soviet Union—initiated by Richard Nixon in May 1972 and terminated in January 1980 by Jimmy Carter as a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan—was misguided. During his first three years in office, Reagan substituted a confrontational approach that he mediated occasionally with pragmatic….