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The Strategic Defense Initiative

Ronald Reagan, NATO Europe, and the Nuclear and Space Talks, 1981-1988



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The Strategic Defense Initiative by Ralph L Dietl
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The Nuclear and Space Talks revolutionized arms control. The Cold War endgame commenced with the umbrella negotiations' that linked START and INF negotiations to a regulation on the weaponization of space. This volume reveals a US grand strategy to replace deterrence with a collective security order. An entente of the superpowers was needed to transform bipolarity. The US planned the replacement of mutually assured destruction by mutually assured security. A global astrodome was to protect a nuclear disarmed world. The Franco-German special relationship in European affairs had to be amended by a US-SU special relationship to replace classic bloc politics. The Reagan Administration planned a global zero agenda, a joint development of a global protective system and a creation of a Common House of Europe. In brief, the superpowers prepared `the velvet revolution' that eliminated the Cold War structures. Neither containment nor convergence offers a valid explanation of the Cold War endgame. Co-creation is the key to decipher the end of the Cold War. NATO Europe challenged the transformation of bipolarity. The European NWS resisted to a multilateralization of strategic arms control. In Europe the classic Cold War thinking survived the fall of the Iron Curtain. European conservatism contributed to the geopolitical catastrophe of the first order: the downfall of the Soviet Union. The Reagan Administration developed a Grand Strategy to end the Cold War. The US-SU co-creation of an astrodome was meant to ease a global zero agenda. A global collective security structure under the United Nations was to replace deterrence. The superpower project collapsed due to the penetration of US decision-making by NATO Allies. The European NWS totally objected to a multilateralization of strategic arms control to preserve their relative position in the international system.

Author Biography

Ralph L. Dietl is senior lecturer in international and European history at Queen's University Belfast.
Release date NZ
August 15th, 2018
Country of Publication
United States
Lexington Books
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