Ronald Reagan, peacenik?

For a nuanced view of President Reagan’s dealings with the Soviet Union, check out Oliver Kamm’s blog. Kamm gives Reagan his full due for bringing about the collapse of the Soviet Union through his Strategic Defense Initiative, but argues that Reagan also pursued “a utopian vision of nuclear disarmament that matched the most fervent wishes of the peace campaigners who demonstrated against him.” While admiring his flexibility, Kamm contends that Reagan went too far and that Margaret Thatcher had to push him back toward a more coherent and reputable vision. The rest, says Kamm, is history.
Kamm concludes: “My own interpretation of this idiosyncratic record is that, having established his anti-Communist credentials, Reagan’s ‘soft diplomacy’ approach worked well at exactly the time it was needed. It was puzzling, but effective, and probably no one else could have done it.” Read the whole thing and see whether you agree. Via Natalie Solent.

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