Capitalist America vs Communist Soviet Union
The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) was an agreement signed by the United States and the Soviet Union stating that they would cease development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) as well as limit the amount of certain weapons each country could have.
This decreased the chance of high-caliber weapons playing a role in the war and also decreased the casualty potential.
In Helsinki, Finland, a total of 35 Western states signed an agreement stating that they would attempt to establish better relations with the Communist bloc.
It was a new beginning for the Western world to attempt to get along with Communists and end the war and violence that had been taking place. Better relations would stop the Cold War.
In Vienna, Leonid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter signed an extension of SALT I, limiting the amount of nuclear development as well as transportation. Although the treaty banned new missles, the U.S. kept their Trident and cruise missile programs and the U.S.S.R. kept 308 heavy ICBM launchers.
SALT II decreased the chance of nuclear warfare in the present and future by limiting nuclear development and the amount of nuclear weapons each country could have.
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and supported the Marxist-Leninist Democratic Republic against the Mujahideen guerilla movement, which recieved support from over eight countries.
This added on to the indirect warfare being used throughout the war. Once again, the US and USSR fought by supporting opposite sides of other countries at war.
President Jimmy Carter put a trade embargo on Soviet grain and weapons.
It ended the detente policy and increased tensions between the US and Soviet Union and made the West paranoid of how close the Soviets were to oil-soaked countries.
Despite being invited to the 1980 Summer Olympics, the US refused to participate. This was an attempt by Jimmy Carter to make a statement to the Soviets because of their involvement in Afghanistan.
This contributed, along with other actions, to the Middle East becoming a violent area.
Throughout his presidency, Reagan aided countries fighting against communism to compete with Communist governments backed by the Soviet Union. During this time, he sent the CIA to train Mujaheddin forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the Soviets. He also sided with the Chinese in order to cease weapons trade with Taiwan
This was another act of indirect warfare between America and the Soviet Union and later came back to haunt America in its war with Afghanistan.
President Ronald Reagan disagreed with the detente policy and put new policies into effect. He also ordered a massive military build-up and resurected the B-1 Lancer program, which Carter ended. Additionally, it led to the production of the MX missile.
This increased tensions with the Soviet Union, esspecially from a military standpoint, and pushed the USSR to launch the SS-20.
Reagan stated that as the world developed into a free, democratic world, Marxism-Leninism would not even have made a slight impact on history. His exact words were, "The forward march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history."
This insulted Soviet-controlled Afghan people and fuelled the war.
Reagan created a defense project in order the prevent the US from being hit by nuclear missles. His plan was to use ground and space-based systems, which sounded so unrealistic, other countries referred to it as "Star Wars".
Reagan's aide believed that the SDI accelerated the end of the war.
Soviet fighter planes took down a Korean aircraft carrying over 250 people, including a Georgia congress representative. As a result, Reagan prohibited Soviet passenger air service to the US and cut off negotiations being made with the Soviet Union.
This fuelled the war and tensions between the US and USSR and led to GPS being available for civilian use.
Gorbachev attempted to restructure the Soviet government so that the socialist government would be more efficient to the people. He also allowed freedom of religion, which was very popular.
This eased the tension between the Soviets and the outside world; they saw that Gorbachev was trying to create peace and inprove foreign relations.
Gorbachev's introduced policies that he thaught would help to establish an open lifestyle; one where people could speak their minds and opinions without government persecution for it.
This, along with Perestroika allowed the world to see that the Soviet Union was focusing less on war and more on developing itself as a country, which helped end the war.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty required that the US and USSR remove all intermediate or shorter range nuclear weapons by the set deadline. By the time the deadline was reached, almost 2,700 missiles were eliminated.
This once again decreased the chances of nuclear war and the tensions between the Soviet Union and America.
The Berlin Wall was destroyed at the beginning of George H.W. Bush's presidency.
This loosened tension in Europe against the Soviets by allowing Gemany to circulate freely.
Bush and Gorbachev, with the urging of many European countries, meet to discuss negotiations, but no agreements were signed. Although, Gorbachev assured the world that the Soviet Union would not declare nuclear war on the United States and that they hope to grow into a long era of peace.
This was seen as a HUGE success and helped bring about the end of the war.
The Soviet Union began to separate after START and President Bush and Gorbachev declared a strategic partnership between the two countries.
After the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia began to let go of its hostage governments in the west and focused more on itself.
In Moscow, Russia, Bush and Gorbachev meet to sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which reduced both countries' nuclear weapons by 35% over 7 years, and cut Soviet ICBMs by 50%.
This resolved the nuclear weapons conflict and was a major step towards the end of the war.
Gorbachev's progress with the Soviet government opening sparked many Soviet civilians to rebel once he had left power. These uprisings, along with Gorbachev's policies, eventually led to the fall of the Soviet Union itself.