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By Joe-Doody Oct 22, 2014 701 Words

Soviet Union policies towards the USA were aimed at relaxing the tensions between them (45) I disagree with this statement as I feel that most soviet policies were not to relax the tension between the USA and the USSR but it was to increase tension in order to achieve their goal to become and equal superpower with the USA or to become even stronger than the USA.I feel that Relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were driven by a complex ideological, political, and economic factors, which led to shifts between cautious cooperation and often bitter superpower rivalry over the years, they were never really both relaxed at any given time with both being wary of the other constantly. An example to back up my opinion would be the Cuban missile crisis; this was a 13-day confrontation in October 1962 between the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side and the United States on the other side. The crisis is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict. The soviets in an attempt to combat the USA’s nuclear missile sites in turkey (which was in range of the USSR) placed nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba which was only a few miles of the coast of the USA. This showed that the USSR policy was not to relax the tension between the two nations but to increase the tension in order to achieve their goal of becoming a world superpower. Another point would be the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR in 1979. This was seen as an expansion of communism by the USA and created tensions between the two nations. The USA and its allies were heavily critical of the USSR’s invasion on Afghanistan and imposed economic sanctions and trade embargoes against the Soviet Union, called for a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and stepped up its aid to the Afghan insurgents. 4 years after the invasion of Afghanistan tensions between the two nations rose again with the KAL 007 incident, in 1983 a Korean passenger aircraft on its way to Seoul from new York was shot down by a USSR aircraft and killing all 269 passengers including a US politician. Originally the USSR denied knowledge of the incident, but later admitted the shooting, claiming that the aircraft was on a spy mission. The Politburo said it was a deliberate provocation by the United States to test the Soviet Union's military preparedness, or even to provoke a war. The White House accused the Soviet Union of obstructing search and rescue operations. This incident was considered as one of the tensest moments in the cold war as it sparked an escalation of anti-Soviet sentiment, particularly in the United States. These points support the disagreement of the statement as they show that the USSR were not aiming at creating a relaxed tensions between the USA and USSR but to achieve their aim of becoming an superpower equal to the USA. There are arguments to support the statement such as efforts to move towards détente and Gorbachevs policies. One of the main moves towards relaxed tensions was the INF talks in 1987 where the treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges, defined as between 500-5,500 km (300-3,400 miles). This showed significant steps towards détente and relaxed tensions as it was a huge step in the disarmament of the nation’s playing down the idea of a ‘cold war’. In conclusion I feel even though the Soviet regime proclaimed a policy of detente and sought increased economic cooperation and disarmament negotiations with the West. The Soviet stance on human rights and its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 created new tensions between the two countries. These tensions continued to exist until the dramatic democratic changes of 1989-91 led to the collapse during this past year of the Communist system and therefore the soviet union fell short of the USA and were not able to achieve their aim of equality as a superpower as tensions were usually at a high and never reached a significant era of low tensions. Joe Doody

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