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"To What Extent Were Gorbachev's Policies the Catalyst to the Fall of the USSR?"

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Introduction

History Coursework/ Internal Assessment "To What Extent Were Gorbachev's Policies the Catalyst to the Fall of the USSR?" Andr�s Jim�nez Candidate # 0149-042 E. History HL Word Count: 1968 (without bibliography or appendices) Colegio Anglo Colombiano Contents 1. Plan of the Investigation............................................3 2. Summary of Evidence..............................................3 3. Evaluation of Sources..............................................4 4. Analysis..............................................................4 5. Conclusion...........................................................7 6. Bilbiography.........................................................8 7. Appendices 1/2/3...................................................9 8. Appendices 4/5.....................................................10 To What Extent were Gorbachev's policies the catalyst to the fall of the USSR? Plan of the investigation- The objective of this investigation is to discuss the following question: 'To what extent were Gorbachev's policies the catalyst to the fall of the USSR', primarily based upon looking at the perestroika (restructuring), and glasnost (openness; transparency) policies, contrasted with the US policy towards the USSR. The idea is to make an analysis into the years of Regan's government, through the years of Gorbachev's government (1986-1989) and the result of his government management as exposed by Gorbachev himself, in his publications, against an American source describing this nation's policy. Alternate sources can also reinforce or oppose the different concepts, while helping solve the question stated. The full concept, after observing, comparing and contrasting the two main sources and supporting them with the others is to resolve the question and to review the fall of the USSR from different historical perspectives. Summary of evidence- The evidence used for this investigation varies according to the historical roots of each. ...read more.

Middle

This is a contradictory invitation into "more socialism, more democracy", as it invites to neoliberalism, decentralization, "recognition of political diversity" and the elimination of the party's leading role. As results of his policies, Gorbachev contradicts his concept of self-criticism, as he states conclusions which do not coincide with statistics; he states "soviet society is in movement and will not stop", and merely facing few problems: "There are people who don't know how to work...in perestroika. We must teach them."11 Historians even coincide in the excess criticism being a demoralizer. Gorbachev continues to make emphasis on the positive need for glasnost to keep the soviet machine running, through newspapers and the 'intelligentsia'12, and incentive and increasing independence for economical restructuring. However, Gorbachev's promoted intelligentsia brought forth a fatal Glasnost at the XIX party conference, as explained by Gill13. Gorbachev's brainchild, for some historians a "reform out of control", cost the party elections feeling that the party had lost its way and sense of purpose. Schweizer, on the other hand claims that, much before Gorbachev, the USSR was lost, and because of US foreign policy. "American policy...was a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union14, he begins. Initially, he gives credit to the USSR's own problems: " by the 1980's economic difficulties became intractable". He sets this as an ideal start point for the 'Reagan Doctrine'15, as he explains William Casey16 stated: "They're bad off, struggling; the situation is worst than we imagined. ...read more.

Conclusion

A campaign to reduce dramatically Soviet hard currency earnings by driving down the price of oil with Saudi cooperation and limiting natural gas exports to the West. A sophisticated and detailed psychological operation to fuel indecision and fear among the Soviet leadership. A comprehensive global campaign, including secret diplomacy, the reduce drastically Soviet access to western high technology. A widespread technological disinformation campaign, designed to disrupt the Soviet economy. An aggressive high-tech defense buildup that by Soviet accounts severely restrained the economy and exacerbated the resource crisis.30 _____________ Appendix 3 At the Mossad headquarters, Casey met with Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Hoffi, the chief of the Israeli agency. Several deputies were also present. The Mossad was one of the most respected and efficient intelligence agencies in the world. Not only did it have enormous capabilities in the Middle East but it also had developed quite a network in Central Europe. With the cooperation of �migr�s from Poland, the Soviet Union, and Hungary, the Mossad ran a "ratline" from Albania to Poland, then into the heart of Russia.31 Appendix 4 Herb Meyer, [Casey's] special assistant, tasked with drawing up a vulnerability assessment of the Soviet economy, had stumbled across some interesting information. The Soviets had been selling gold heavily throughout 1981-in a very soft market. In 1980 they had sold 90 tons, their usual amount. But by early November of 1981, they had cashed in 240 tons, and the volume was increasing. "It was a telltale sign to both of us", recalls Meyer, "that they were in big trouble." __________ Appendix 5 'Solidarity' propaganda poster 1 Translation from spanish version. ...read more.

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