The Space Race and the Arms Race Questions and Answers

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Did nuclear weapons buildup end the Cold War? Did the fear of a nuclear annihilation and the incredible cost of the United States’ military buildup of the 1980s help to make the Cold War too ghastly to contemplate and, simultaneously, too expensive for either side to continue?

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Mike Walter eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Soviet Union surprised everyone by falling apart late in the 20th century. No longer were  they a huge enemy in Eurasia that demanded our constant attention and scared us into continued military buildup. Whatever forces brought down the USSR had a lot to do with ending the Cold War.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I believe the two most important events that led to the eventual end of the "Cold War" were:

  • President Richard Nixon's diplomatic appeals to the Republic of China which eventually led to the relatively friendly relations we have today; and
  • President Ronald Reagan's philosophy of ultra-spending on his Star Wars military programs which nearly bankrupted the Soviet Union in their attempt to keep pace with the U.S.

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wannam eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would certainly agree that the build up of nuclear arms was part of the reason the Cold War ended.  I do not think it was the only...

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