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Reagan and Gorbachev

            When the "Iron Curtain" descended across Europe at the end of the Second World War, crisis after crisis between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union brought the world to the brink of nuclear confrontation many times. Thus reminding the world that until the two poles of a bi-polar world could either peacefully accept the others existence or watch one pole give way, the potential for starting the Third World War seemed imminent. .
             The two superpowers met head on many times which usually led to heightened tensions around the globe. One example is the blockade placed by the Soviets on all major routes into Berlin, which led to the Berlin Air Lift of 1948. Another example of clashing between the two superpowers was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The Soviet's were trying to further their own agenda by placing nuclear weapons on Cuban soil just ninety miles from the coast of the United States. This was something the United States could not stand for and under containment policy stood strong against the Soviets, which ultimately led to the removal of the offensive missiles. Surrogates were also used throughout the Cold War by both superpowers to either further an agenda or frustrate the others agenda. The Soviet's were trying to broaden their sphere of influence while the United States was trying to contain communism at all costs. As for the use of surrogates a few examples are Korea, Vietnam, Angola, and many more so called wars of liberation, which in reality were communist inspired uprisings.
             The reunification of Germany in 1990 marked the end of 45 years of political and military confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. This was a political event that was not anticipated by anyone and that is why it was probably one of the greatest surprises of the 20th century. In the following pages I will describe and evaluate the respective impacts of President Reagan and Gorbachev in bringing an end to the Cold War.

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