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Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair

Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
Cold War: End of the Cold War- Reagan Era & Iran Contra Affair
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Ronald Reagan & Foreign Affairs


Objectives:
• Analyze the ways that Ronald Reagan challenged communism and the Soviet Union

• Explain why communism collapsed in Europe and in the Soviet Union

• Describe other foreign policy challenges that faced the United States in the 1980s

Why it Matters:
President Ronald Reagan believed that the United States had lost its way in the wake of the Vietnam War. Rather than détente, he felt the United States should seek to roll back Soviet rule in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Reagan believed that peace would come through strength. Although they initially increased tensions between the two superpowers, Reagan’s foreign policies contributed to the end of the Cold War.

Directions:
Complete the readings and tasks at hand in order to answer the essential question






Reagan Challenges Communism
President Reagan believed that the United States needed to weaken communism by challenging it as much as possible without provoking war. To this end, he devised policies aimed at toppling communist nations, ranging from building new nuclear missile systems to funding covert operations against Soviet troops and allies around the globe.

Directions/ Task:
As you read this section and the following documents, create a flow chart- to sequence major events related to the fall of communism in Europe and the Soviet Union.

Document A: Reagan Builds up the US Military
Under Reagan, the United States committed itself to the largest peacetime military buildup in its history. Reagan dedicated billions of dollars to the development and production of B-1 and B-2 bombers, MX missile systems, and other projects. In spite of massive protests by the nuclear freeze movement in the United States and abroad, the Reagan administration placed a new generation of nuclear missiles in Europe.
Reagan supported this massive military buildup, in part, because he did not believe that the Soviet Union could afford to spend as much on defense as the United States could. Reagan felt this applied particularly to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a proposed program in which land and space-based lasers would destroy any missiles aimed at the United States before they could reach their targets. Some dubbed the missile program “Star Wars”, after the popular science-fiction movie trilogy, and claimed that it was unrealistic.

Directions/ Questions
1. Listen to Reagan’s speech about “Star Wars” and describe what our strategy is, and why?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hGLBA65tZg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDCzpAuWM1w

2. Look at the Chart below. Reagan’s foreign policy stance caused defensive spending to increase dramatically. How much did defense spending increase between 1979 and 1988?


3. Essential Question: What were Reagan’s foreign policies, and how did they contribute to the fall of communism in Europe?






Document B: Reagan Aids Anticommunists

Reagan also sought to weaken the Soviet Union by supporting anticommunist rebellions around the globe. To this end, the United States funded and trained the mujahedeen, anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan. Reagan’s advisers believed that with US help, these guerrillas could drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. In 1988, Soviet forces finally began to withdraw after years of fierce Afghan resistance.
Closer to home, Secretary of State Alexander Haig feared that the newly formed Sandinista government in Nicaragua provided the Soviets with a “safe house” in America’s backyard. To counter this threat, the administration backed a group of anticommunist counterrevolutionaries, known as the Contras. At the same time, the United States supported a right-wing government in El Salvador as it battled leftist rebels. Many human rights activists strongly objected to this policy; even US Ambassador Robert White described the legal system in El Salvador as “rotten” and called for the United States to suspend aid to the nation. Instead, Congress made funding for El Salvador’s government dependent on the nation making progress on human rights.
In 1983, Reagan acted to counter another perceived threat in the Western Hemisphere. Members of a radical leftist movement with some help from Cuba had violently ousted the Grenadian prime minister. On October 25, 2983, US troops invaded Grenada to prevent the island nation from becoming a communist outpost and to protect the lives of American medical students. Even though the legal grounds for this invasion proved questionable, most Americans approved of Reagan’s decision.

Questions:


1. Watch the clip on Soviet Invasion in Afghanistan and create a list of sequential events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM25EVU_s3w



2. Watch: President Reagan: Address on Central America, April 27, 1983; and summarize his speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_aCYBF5rlY

3. Watch the Film on Reagan’s speech to invade Grenada and summarize what he says: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZe44yMV1tw



4. Why did Socialist governments in Afghanistan, Central America, and Grenada alarm foreign policy official in the United States?


5. Essential Question: What were Reagan’s foreign policies, and how did they contribute to the fall of communism in Europe?


Document C: Gorbachev Pursues Reform

In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev ushered in a new Soviet era by perusing the twin policies of glasnost and perestroika. Glasnost meant “a new openness”, and perestroika stood for reforming the Soviet System- for instance, by moving away from a socialist of state-controlled economy. Gorbachev’s reforms created an opening for a shift in relations between the two superpowers.
Gorbachev started these reforms mostly because the Soviet Union’s economy lay in shambles. The nation faced regular shortages of food. Its factories and workers could not compete with their Western counterparts. A huge chunk of the Soviet economy’s money went toward paying for the military. The war in Afghanistan had drained Soviet resources Gorbachev realized that his nation could not match the military buildup initiated by the Reagan administration.

Questions/ Task:
1. Watch the film on Gorbachev's Policies of Glasnost and Perestroika Explanation and Significance – and you tell me the significance of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obPy5zDhOPY

2. Essential Question: What were Reagan’s foreign policies, and how did they contribute to the fall of communism in Europe?

Document D: Tear Down This Wall!

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke at the Brandenburg Gate, near the Berlin Wall, in West Berlin, Germany. His speech acknowledged the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts at reform in the Soviet Union. However, Reagan was not satisfied with Gorbachev’s limited measures. He challenged the Soviet Union leader to show a real commitment to reform by tearing down the Berlin Wall that had stood between East and West Berlin since 1961. This wall symbolized the division between communism and democracy.

In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: “We will bury you”. But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind- too little food. Even today, the Society Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity (courtesy) and peace. Freedom is the victor.
And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.
Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet State? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together; that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Questions
1. How does Reagan support his statement “Freedom is the victor”? Highlight supporting arguments
2. How does Reagan challenge Gorbachev to prove that his reforms are not “token gestures”?
3. What did the wall signify?
4. In Reagan’s speech how does he say essentially that the American Way is better than the Soviet Way?
5. Write a response letter to Ronald Reagan as Gorbachev. What emotions do you feel after hearing the speech? Are you mad? Sad? Happy? Etc…

Document E: The Two Leaders Meet
Gorbachev’s policies and personality helped soften the Soviet Union’s international image. Reagan responded to this change by moderating his own stance toward the Soviet Union. While the two nations had held no summits during Reagan’s first four years in office, their leaders met four times between 1985 and 1989. During their final meeting in Moscow, Regan and Gorbachev toasted each other at a state dinner toured the sights like old friends, and held join press conference. At the press conference, a reporter asked Reagan about his description of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire”. Reagan responded, “I was talking about another era.” Then, Gorbachev allowed President Reagan to address students at Moscow State University on the benefits of the free-enterprise system and democracy:

“Your generation is living in one of the most exciting times in Soviet history. It is a time when the first breath of freedom stirs the air and the heart beats to the accelerated rhythm of hope, when the accumulated spiritual energies of a long silence yearn to break free… We do not know what the conclusion of this journey will be, but we’re hopeful that the promise of reform will be fulfilled… leading to a new world of reconciliation, friendship, and peace.”- Ronald Reagan, May 31, 1988

Even before this summit, the two nations had signed a historic nuclear arms pact and had begun negotiations on the START I Treaty, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world.

Questions/ Task:
1. What policies toward communism did President Ronald Reagan pursue?


Document F: Communism Ends in Eastern Europe &
In a little over three years’ time after Reagan’s speech in Moscow, the Cold War had come to an end. The Berlin Wall came down; Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary held democratic elections; and the Soviet Union disintegrate into numerous separate republics. Time Magazine observed “It was one of those rare times when the tectonic plates of history shift beneath men’s feet, and nothing after is quite the same.”
More so than any other event, the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized the end of communism in Europe. For decades, the wall had blocked travel from communist East Berlin to democratic West Berlin. Guards shot those who attempted to escape over the wall to West Berlin. Then, in November 1989, following the fall of East Germany’s communist government, East Germany authorities opened the wall’s gates. Thousands climbed atop the wall; some even took sledgehammers and chipped away at the barricade. Within a year, East and West Germany would reunite as one single nation. Communists also lost power in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Bosnia in 1989, in Albania in 1990s; and Yugoslavia in 1991.

Question(s)
1. Essential Question: What were Reagan’s foreign policies, and how did they contribute to the fall of communism in Europe?

Document G: Soviet Union Breaks Apart

In August 1991, hard liners in the Soviet Union attempted to stage a coup in a last gasp attempt to maintain communist rule. But when millions of Russians, led by Boris Yelstin, rallied in the streets in support of Gorbachev, the coup fell apart. Not long afterward, the Communist Party lost power, and the Soviet Union separated into 15 independent republics. Boris Yelstin became the new leader of the largest new republic, the Russian Federation.
Historians do not totally agree on what cause the Soviet Union to collapse. Most acknowledge that Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost opened the floodgates to rebellions against Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Likewise, they note that his policy of perestroika fostered a challenge to communist rule within the Soviet Union. Yet, a number of scholars give Reagan credit for bringing an end to the Cold War. By dedicating America to a massive arms buildup, they argue he hastened the collapse of the Soviet economy. In turn, this compelled Gorbachev to promote reform at home and relinquish control of Eastern Europe.
The key rival competitor, and enemy of the United States for so many years had suddenly disappeared. {resident George H.W Bush met and signed agreements with first Gorbachev and then Yeltsin ti scale down and even eliminate certain types of nuclear weapons. Bush and Yelstin issued a joint statement in 1992 pledging friendship and cooperation. The long Cold War; which had absorbed so much of the energy and resources of the Soviet Union and the United States since 1945, was finally over.

Question(s)
1. What key actions and events brought about the end of the Cold War?

2. Essential Question: What were Reagan’s foreign policies, and how did they contribute to the fall of communism in Europe?

Document H: Trouble Persists in the Middle East
Even as the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States continued to confront problems in the Middle East. In 1982, Reagan sent a group of 800 United States Marines to Lenanon as part of an international force trying to bring peace to a nation torn by civil war. On Octovber 23, 1983, a truck loaded with thousands of pounds of explosives smashed through barriers at the headquarters of the United States Marines in Beiruit, Lebanon’s capitol, and into a four story building that housed hundreds of military personnel. The explosion killed 241 marines. Reagan withdrew the remaining marines in February 1984. The incident illustrated, once again, the complicated nature of Middle Eastern politics.
During the 1980s, the United States often clashed with Libya. Led by Muammar al-Qaddafi, whom Reagan describes as “the mad dog of the Middle East”, Libya supported terrorist groups. In 1986, following a terrorist attack on a Berlin nightclub, which Reagan blamed on Qaddafi, US war planes bombed Libya. The air raid killed one of Qaddafi’s daughters. Even though Qaddafi was unharmed, his criticism of the United States dwindled.
The first day of Reagan’s presidency had started with a breakthourhg in the Middle East. Twenty minutes after he took the oath of office on January 20, 1981- Iran released all 52 Americans it had held hostage since 1979. But during his second term, the Iran-Contra affair badly tarnished Reagan’s reputation.
The Iran –Contrad Affair began when the United States sold weapons to Iran in 1985 in exchange for Iran’s promise to pressure terrorist groups in Lebanon to release some American hostages. The plan didn’t work, and it contradicted the adminsitration’s policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists. Then, the administration used the money from the sale to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, despite the fact that in 1983 Congress had banned sending funds to the Contras. News of these deals came out in 1986. President Reagan accepted responsibility for the actions of his administration, he never admitted however, to ordering his aides to support the Contras. Ultimately, several leading administration officials and a top aide, Oliver North, were convicted on charges stemming from the scandal. In spite for this, Reagan left office with extremely high approval ratings.

Questions/ Tasks:
1. What was the Iran-Contra Scandal; what affect did it have?
2. Watch Ronald Reagan’s Address on the Iran-Contra Affair and summarize what the President says: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R67CH-qhXJs
3. Essential Question: What were Reagan’s foreign policies, and how did they contribute to the fall of communism in Europe?


Overall:
1. During Reagan’s first term, Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”, but in his second term, he developed a working relationship with Gorbachev. What accounts for this change in strategy?
2. Why did Reagan order an air raid on Libya?
3. Essential Question: What were Reagan’s foreign policies, and how did they contribute to the fall of communism in Europe?

The Cold War Around the World:
How Did It Effect Each Country?


Directions:
Learning about the Cold War can help you brush up on your world geography. On your blank political map, locate these Cold War trouble spots. On this sheet, give a capsule summary of the conflict and the date when it occurred, from the end of World War II to 1970

1. Two Chinas- policy problems



2. Iran 1946, 1953



3. Greece



4. Turkey Tensions



5. Marshall Plan
6. Iron Curtain



7. Korea



8. Berlin



9. Vietnam



10. Guatemala



11. Poland



12. Hungary



13. Suez Canal



14. Cuba


15. Lebanon



16. Cambodia

KEY: The Cold War Around the World:
How Did It Effect Each Country?


Directions:
Learning about the Cold War can help you brush up on your world geography. On your blank political map, locate these Cold War trouble spots. On this sheet, give a capsule summary of the conflict and the date when it occurred, from the end of World War II to 1970

1. Two Chinas- policy problems
a. Mainland China and Taiwan (Formosa): Mao Ze Dong and his Communists take control of mainland China, 1949: Chang Kai-Shek, and his Nationalists flee to Formosa; the “China lobby” accuses Democrats of “Losing China”; the US moves to protect Formosa from Communist China’s threats, 1950s
2. Iran 1946, 1953
a. Soviets refuse to remove their troops at the end of the war in 1946; the CIA engineers a coup to oust nationalist Mossadeq, put back Shah Reza Pahlavi, 1953
3. Greece
a. US sends aid under the Truman Doctrine to help democratic Greek government defeat guerilla war against communists, 1947
4. Turkey Tensions
a. Turkey received aid under the Truman Doctrine to resist Soviet pressures for joint control of Dardanelles, 1947
5. Marshall Plan
a. Massive US economic aid to Western Europe so its economies would recover from the war and not be susceptible to Communist agitation

6. Iron Curtain
a. Soviets install Soviet dominated governments in Eastern Europe after World War II- Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania

7. Korea
a. 1950-53, UN war (mostly with US forces) to push back North Korean invasion of South Korea

8. Berlin
a. Soviets blockade and Western airlift, 1948; crisis of 18958 when Khrushchev demanded withdrawal of all Western troops; Berlin wall built 1961

9. Vietnam
a. 1950-54, US gives aid to French to fight Ho Chi Minh and his communist Vietminh forces; Eisenhower , Kennedy gives aid and send advisors to the South Vietnamese government in their fight against Communist Viet Cong and North Vietnam; Johnson escalates war; Nixon starts troop withdrawals

10. Guatemala
a. CIA supports rebels who oust democratic elected Arbenz government and set up a military dictatorship, on pretext of Arbenz being “nearly Communist-1954


11. Poland
a. Riots against Soviet control 1956

12. Hungary
a. Soviet tanks crush uprising, 1956, US protests



13. Suez Canal
a. Egypt takes over the canal; Israel attacks Sinai Peninsula, France and Britain take canal, US and USSR support a UN cease fire and condemnation of Britain, France, and Israel-1956


14. Cuba
a. Castro drives out Batista, 1959, alienates US with Communist reforms and appointments, turn to Soviet Union for support; Bay of Pigs botched invasion of Cuban exiles supported by US 1960; 1962 missile crisis


15. Lebanon
a. US troops invade to hold off supposed Communist threat 1958

16. Cambodia
a. Nixon escalates Vietnam War by sending US troops into Cambodia 1970

Map Key




















Total Pages
14 pages
Answer Key
N/A
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