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History As It Happens

Nov 24, 2022

After some of the coldest years of the Cold War came a thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations that witnessed historic summits and the signing of groundbreaking disarmament pacts. In this episode, historian William Inboden discusses the pillars of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy and why, in his view, his strategy of “peace through strength” brought about a peaceful end to the Cold War and a world without Soviet Communism. By bolstering U.S. alliances and supporting anti-Communist insurgencies throughout the Third World, Inboden contends the Reagan administration’s statecraft pressured the USSR to produce a reform-minded leader willing to negotiate. In 1985, that was Mikhail Gorbachev. In Inboden's work is an argument that Republicans today would be wise to reclaim Reagan's approach of engaging with the world and embracing multilateral agreements and collective security alliances.