Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan having served at the same time of the Cold War between the US and the Russians even though Margaret Thatcher came in late. They both had a common interest in their political career; this was to end the Cold war. A part from ending the Cold War, economically, they both had one goal, reviving the economy of their countries to its best and preaching war against drugs.
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Socially both were in forefront of fighting each other. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher fought for Capitalisms while Gorbachev fought for Communisms. Gorbachev, born 2 March 1931, took over the General Secretary of the Central Union Committee of the Soviet Union from Chernenko who died in office after serving the union for 13 months in March 11, 1985.
This was a time when the government’s system was unsystematic despite its efforts to improve in industrialization and economic growth so as to reach the western standards. So Gorbachev set his goal of reviving the Soviet economy after remaining stagnant for many years under the rule of Brezhnev. To achieve his goals, he proposed a vague programme of reforms which was adopted later in April Plenum of the Central Committee. After adaptation, he insisted on fast modernization from inside the country and also increased the productivity in industrialization and agriculture wise.
By doing so, in the mid-to-late 1980s, he introduced a program called Perestroika, Glasnost, Demokratizatsiya, Uskoreniye. Perestroika’s main purpose was to restructure itself and overcome the economic problems, the Glasnost purpose was to lets its citizens to freely give out their opinions, Demokratizatsiya was to encourage democracy within the nation while Uskoreniye was to improve the economy of the Soviet Union all this was launched on 27th Congress of the CPSU in February 1986.
Gorbachev created good relations with Western leaders such as West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, underscoring the common interests of Soviets and Europeans by discussing missile reductions. So he used this opportunity to try to end the Cold War.
On the other hand Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America who was known to be a conservative, was also busy trying his best to improve the economy of the US by aiming to lower the federal regulations and taxes. By 1984, the economy of the US was still strong despite the recession in 1980’s. Like Gorbachev who came up with Perestroika, Glasnost, Demokratizatsiya, Uskoreniye, Reagan came up with his policy of “Reagonomic” which was based on the idea of cutting taxes in order to encourage savings and investment. His economic idea was based on libertarian idea of Chicago School of Economics and Milton Friedman whom his idea was also borrowed by Margaret Thatcher.
Being in office in 1981, he issued National Security Decision Directive 11-82, (NSDD11-82). Its main target was to make sure that there was economic spending warfare against the Soviet. To be stronger, he aided those nations whom were seen to have conflicts with the Soviet Union such as the Mujahideen of Afghanistan by giving them anti-aircraft missiles to fight the Soviet invaders.
An educated man he was, Gorbachev knew very well that if the two nations, the United States and the Russians continued to pile up their weapons, the situation could be worse leading to accidents or foreseen circumstances. He based this new argument on Richard Nixon when the former president visited Moscow: "Even if one country would constantly be arming itself, and the other would do nothing, then this first country still would gain nothing. For the weak side may simply detonate all its nuclear devices, even on its own territory, and it would mean suicide for it and a slow killing for the adversary."
Gorbachev made a request for a summit with Reagan so as to discuss the impact the Reagan regime that had affected the Soviet Military spending and economy. Like Reagan, Margaret Thatcher was also very active in the economy of the British and was a very close ally of President Reagan and these was evidenced by the way he defended Reagan Administration with their plans of Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) known by the media as “Star Wars”. Margaret Thatcher fully supported the SDI even though at some point, she contradicted with the Reagan’s view of moving the world entirely of nuclear weapons.
Gorbachev did not like the idea and Margaret Thatcher realized that and knew with the stand of Gorbachev, she could end up being used as a weapon to President Reagan hence creating enemies between the two nations so she stressed on having a good relationship with the Americans. In December 22, 1984, Margaret Thatcher paid Reagan a visit at Camp David whereby they discussed so many agendas of which she also told Reagan about Gorbachev of whom she praised to be a charming and open minded unlike other earlier Russian leaders. She then briefed him about Russians concerns and the implications of the “Star Wars” for the NATO doctrine of the nuclear deterrence.
Through this discussion with Margaret Thatcher, Reagan who had labeled the Soviet Union as “The evil empire” had their first summit meeting with Gorbachev in November 1985. What they were to discuss about was the Arms even though some other issues came up like how to put to an end to the Cold War. Each times the US and Soviet had contacts, Margaret Thatcher had closer look on their happenings and negotiations getting some private briefings from Reagan’s National Security Adviser. Through these meetings, there was hope of ending the Cold War and both developed some warm relationships. In October 1986, the summit between Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik ended in a stalemate. Margaret Thatcher decided to visit Camp David for the second time in 1986 giving in her declaration affirming the doctrine of deterrence.
In June 12, 1987, during his speech at the Brandenburg Gate commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin, Reagan gave a challenge to the Gorbachev, then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union the American terms which were meant to end the Cold War which were, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” This remarks led to the Soviet being forced to agree as they watched their empire collapse that night in 1989.
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