The Reagan Doctrine

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The Reagan Doctrine

Stephen Holifield

Dr. Mickey Crews

HIS 1112

July 8, 2012

As Ronald Reagan came into office, he was considered apprehensive of the Soviet Union. Throughout his presidency, he remained centered on the perceived threat to the safety and security of the United States from the Soviet Union and its Communist system. President Reagan rejected how most leaders in Washington perceived the cold war and how it should be handled. First of all, he viewed communism as something that needed to vanish completely because of its inhumane treatment that border-lined insanity. The current plan was to try to “coexist” with the Soviet threat, but Reagan felt that the threat should be conquered. Secondly, Reagan believed that the United States needed unquestionable military strength. He excluded the ideas of having weapons treaties with the Soviets. In his opinion, peace was only attainable by making America stronger than its enemies. Lastly, Reagan went against traditional thinking with the Strategic Defense Initiative. He knew that the only defense against a nuclear attack from the Soviets was to make that attack useless (Dunn 21). Through all of this, one of the effects became the Reagan Doctrine.

The Reagan Doctrine was believed to have been in operation since 1981; however, it just wasn’t named. It was introduced by President Ronald Reagan in his State of the Union address in February 1985. Unlike other presidents that introduced their Doctrines with much fanfare and hype, he subtly introduced his support for anti-communist revolution to end the cold war when he stated, “We must not break faith with those who are risking their lives on every continent from Afghanistan to Nicaragua to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth… Support for freedom fighters is self –defense” (Krauthammer 1). The Reagan Doctrine began providing support to countries that were...
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