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Why did relations between the Soviet Union and the USA change in the years 1970-1985?

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Introduction

Q) Why did relations between the Soviet Union and the USA change in the years 1970-1985? You may use the following to help you with your answer: * The 1979 soviet invasion of Afghanistan. * The 'Zero Option' * Deployment of missiles in Europe * Strategic Defence initiative Between the years 1979 - 1985, relations between the Soviet Union and the USA, changed, and we can look at many reasons as to why this was the case. For example up until 1979, the superpowers were in a period of 'Detente'. Detente was simply a period of extended Co-operation and agreement. So relations had slightly improved up until 1979. Sadly this improvement of relations came to a Holt, as the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. ...read more.

Middle

In 1981 Ronald Reagan was elected president. By him becoming president, it only worsened things, as he was very supportive of anti - Communist forces in places such as Afghanistan. Reagan also proposed the 'zero option'. This was basically the deployment of new US intermediate range missiles in Western Europe in return for soviet dismantlement of comparable forces. There are some Historians who think Reagan knew that Brezhnev would refuse, which meant he could therefore build bigger and greater weapons. This 'zero option' only helped contribute to worsened relations a great deal, and by the Soviet rejecting 'zero option' it gave Reagan the opportunity to accuse the Soviet Union of being an evil empire, but Yuri Andropov responded and called Reagan insane and a liar. ...read more.

Conclusion

Leaders kept changing meaning the Super Powers did not have the time to relate to each other and make an effort to improve relations. Say the minute a leader came in, and they actually agreed on something, then, that leader would die, and they would have to start again. On overall, all of the factors I have mentioned above all contribute to a worsening of relations between the Soviet Union and the USA. It seems that each thing happens one after the other and they are not positives steps. When Brezhnev was in charge, the war in Afghanistan was going on, and after his death, you might expect relations to improve, but then Reagan announces 'zero option' and so on. So between the years 1979-1980 it seems that relations worsened, and the levels of trust between the USA and the Soviet Union worsened. ...read more.

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