In response to BabeParilli's comment:
In response to ccnsd's comment:
So much nonsense here, let's dismantle it piece by piece.
I am glad to see you did some internet research, though you won't admit the obvious. If Chernenko does not die the Soviet Union survives longer because there is no Perestroika and therefore no collapse.
I don't need to do any research to see that Reagan set out to destroy the Soviets economically, and shortly thereafter they were destroyed. You're the one who has to jump through hoops trying to portray that as a coincidence.
You have no way of knowing whether Chernenko would have been deposed or would have enacted reforms based on the crisis brewing, had he not died. Andropov, Chernenko's predecessor, was considered a reformer and wanted Gorbachev to succeed him. Chernenko was so ill, and in charge for so short a time, it is impossible to say he would have adhered to Brezhenev's policies.
Reagan did not spend them into oblivion. They were spending the same under Carter and Ford and Nixon. Reagan spent us into huge debt which had positives but the collapse of the Soviet Union was not one of them. Technically the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 so it would be Bush who beat them not Reagan under your theory.
C'mon, the coup de gras of the Soviet Empire was applied by Reagan. They had been faltering since the mid 70's and Reagan's military spending denied them the option of cutting their own such expenditures to remedy the sinking economy.
Why didn't the Soviets cut back when Carter was president since he was supposedly weak. Why didn't they increase against Reagan when he was spending a fortune. There economy was a mess and it was always a mess. If the economy was enough to kill it it would have died while Stalin was in charge, or Kruschev, or Brezhnev, or Andropov or Chernenko.
Wrong. By all estimates the Soviet economy was quite robust during the Brezhnev years, until the mid 70s. As it began to falter, largely brought on by the expense of the arms race, several remedies were attempted to no avail. Andropov was elected because he was a reformer. Chernenko was a sick man that nobody can even explain why he was elected other than it was his turn. The fact is that economy was in dire straits and Reagan kept the heat on it big-time. Any other conclusion is simply political dishonesty at it's root.
Remember, Reagan based his spending on CIA analysis which everyone now knows to be completely wrong. Reagan thought the Soviets were spending massively more than they actually were. The CIA, as usual throughout it's history, was completely wrong. Reagan spent the money because he was trying to catch up withn the Soviets. We now know we had long since surpassed them.
This is more pure nonsense. The CIA analysis was fairly accurate, if not in precise terms, then certainly in the trends. Even the numbers the USSR gives show this. The ruskie economy was faltering starting no later than1975.
Looking back at the junk they were producing it's almost laughable but Reagan was a true cold warrior. He believed in the domino theory and the CIA told him what he wanted to hear just like it told Bush what he wanted to hear in 2003 about WMD's. Plenty of democrats believed it too, especially if a defense plant was in their district. I don't blame Reagan completely for the deficit. The American people loved it like they still do. Pay for it on your credit card. You convince yourself after the fact that it was for a worthy cause. Maybe it was but the collapse of the Soviet Union was not caused by Reagans deficit spending.
^ Pure political crap here. The Soviets had some 25,000 tanks in E. Germany alone. While they were not as battle worthy or as efficient as our equipment, scoffing at that kind of military muscle is the endeavor of a fool.
Did Reagan cause the Soviets heartburn, of course he did. Supplying the Afghans with weapons certainly killed a lot of Soviet soldiers but that didn't cause the Soviets to lose the war. Heck, with no superpower supplying the Afghani's we can't beat them either. They are tough fighters and they are not afraid of dying because we have killed a lot of them and it does not seem to be improving much there.
This is more indications that you are ignorant on these issues. Nobody is going to completely conquer Afghanistan, ever. The place is inundated with large mountains that shelter insurgents. Nobody has ever ruled that whole place. Reagan's military spending had nothing to do with Afghanistan. It simply kept the pressure of the arms race up against a foe who no longer could afford to play that game.
I actually think Reagans foreign policy was fairly awful. The Beirut fiasco, the embarrasing response to the Falklands war (we actually had parts of the Reagan administration openly support the Argentine dictators) the silly Grenada invasion, supporting violent dictators in central America, supporting the Khmer Rouge for goodness sakes. We supported South Africa and apertheid while Reagan was president also. Don't get me started on the arms for hostages and how that fiasco worked out. The first Bush was great with foreign policy, absolutely brilliant carried us through the 90's. Nixon had his moments too but Reagan was complete amateur hour. Even worse than Bush 2 and Obama and that's saying something.
This has nothing to do with our discussion so I'll leave it alone. Otherwise I would be happy to hand you your azz on some of these issues too.
Even Gorbachev admits the arms race was one of the prime factors in the stagnation of the Soviet economy. Reagan upping the ante could only exasperate that malady and did not allow for reductions in that spending to spur the faltering economy. Denying this is the epitome of political ho-dom. You are what you are.
What? The economy is well known to have been a disaster under Brezhnev. That is why he was replaced with Andropov, someone who was considered a reformer. Chernenko was a Brehznev lackey, nothing more. Unless some secret diary comes out that shows otherwise he was considered a hard liner. A true cold warrior like Brehznev and Reagen. His death was good for the world. There is nothing in his past that predicts Perestroika, at least nothing I am aware of.
The economy was much worse under Gorbachev then his predecessors. He wanted to reform the economy without going capitalist. A pipe dream if ever. If American defense spending killed the Soviet economy then it was under Brehznev's premiership. Since virtually everyone but you agrees the Soviet Union's bad economy took a large turn for the worse under Brehznev. Therefore it was Nixon, Ford and Carter who are the heroes not Reagan.
Where have you read the CIA's estimates are right. Almost no one believes those estimates. When the CIA first started having doubts in the 80's over their previous estimates it was a political bombshell and the administration was not happy with it (either they were angry over being duped or they thought the CIA was right before and wrong now). The defense spending was taking off and no one wanted to make enemies with a popular president.
Gorbachev liked Reagan personally. He managed to get the arms reductions he wanted with Reagan. Gorbachev was a relative peacenick. He has always considered Reagan a good president and a good leader. Unlike his generals he never believed for a second that Reagan would launch a surprise attack against the Soviet Union.
Gorbachez destroyed the Soviet Union from the inside. I have never read a non political piece that believed that. Gorbachev combined free elections (sort of) with free speech and complete economic incompetence. A perfect storm. If Gorbachev could have made any of his hair brained economic ideas work he may have saved socialism, but expecting massive western investment into a centrally planned economic system is ludicrous. Why invest millions into the Soviet Union for minor returns which could be taken at any time by a corrupt beaurocracy when you can invest millions in the west and get a solid return year after year.
By the way, anytime you wish to defend the Reagan's admistration Lebanon policy, Haig and Kilpatricks bungling of the Falklands war, Reagans support of Apartheid and third world dictators, arms for hostages, Iran Contra and the silly Grenada invasion bring it on.
Like I stated before I think the first Bush was a rather underrated president who was brilliant on foreign policy. Much of Clinton's foreign policy success was because of the good work of Bush in devolping good relations with virtually everyone. He was probably the most pro palestinian president in American history. He was very pro Arab and unlike his son he was not liked or trusted by the Israeli's at all and he was an admirer of Mandela. A great moment in Republican party history is when a large block of moderate Republicans joined the democrats in overturning Reagan's veto of the Anti- Apartheid act and as usual Reagan was wrong. The act was not only moral and correct it contributed to the ending of Apartheid and the communists did not take over Africa.