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The Reagan Years. 1981-89. Ronald Reagan: President, 1981-89 Casper Weinberger: Secretary of Defense, 1981-87. A harder stance towards the U.S.S.R. Reagan administration placed competition and possibility of war with Soviet Union at center of its defense & foreign policy.

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Ronald Reagan: President, 1981-89
  • Casper Weinberger: Secretary of Defense, 1981-87
a harder stance towards the u s s r
A harder stance towards the U.S.S.R.
  • Reagan administration placed competition and possibility of war with Soviet Union at center of its defense & foreign policy.
    • Pursued large build-up of U.S military forces
    • Took a more active stance towards combating Communist insurgencies.
reagan doctrine
Reagan Doctrine
  • Called for helping anti-Communist movements around the globe. Examples:
    • Nicaragua: aid for the contras (anti-Sandinista guerillas).
    • Afghanistan: aid for mujaheddin tribesmen.
    • Angola: aid for UNITA
increased defense spending
Increased defense spending
  • Military budgets increased for six straight years (FY1980-85).
  • Reagan Administration spent about $2.4 trillion.
  • Defense budgets rose to $290-300 billion annually.
money spent on
Money spent on…
  • Maintenance, training, and compensation.
  • New weapons systems.
    • B-1 bomber
    • Trident II missile
    • MX missile
    • new ships
strategic defense initiative
Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Announced March 1983.
  • a/k/a “Star Wars”
  • Sought to develop a system to destroy incoming missiles
other effects
Other effects…
  • 1980-86: U.S. national debt doubled.
    • Debt service payments tripled.
  • Waste & fraud in defense procurement reaches alarming levels.
    • $400-$500 for a hammer?
arms control strategic arms reduction talks start
Arms control: Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START)
  • U.S.-U.S.S.R. negotiations from 1981-91.
  • Almost produce an agreement during Reagan-Gorbachev meeting at Reykjavik, Iceland, 1986.
    • Summit fails on issue of SDI
  • START talks produce treaty in 1991
reagan nato
Reagan & NATO
  • U.S.: Gets allies to continue deployment of Pershing II & GLCM’s, and to spend more for defense.
    • Army and USAF get NATO to adopt “AirLand Battle” as common doctrine to for defeating a Warsaw Pact invasion.
  • Allies: push U.S. on negotiations to reduce theater nuclear and conventional forces.
december 1987 inf treaty
December 1987: INF Treaty
  • U.S. & U.S.S.R. agreed to eliminate all their intermediate-range (300-3,400 mile) ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.
  • Included provisions for on-site inspections.
  • All such missiles and related equipment destroyed by May 1991.
u s involvement in latin america
U.S. involvement in Latin America
  • El Salvador: American aid and advisors sent to help the government
    • Fighting the Frente Martí Liberación Nacional (FMLN) since 1979.
  • Nicaragua: Began helping groups opposed to the Sandinista regime (contras).
october 1983 grenada
October 1983:Grenada
  • Soldiers from U.S. and Caribbean nations invade.
    • Follows a coup
    • Concern about expanding Cuban and Soviet influence.
    • Anxiety regarding U.S. medical students.
problems in the middle east
Problems in the Middle East
  • Israel & Lebanon
  • Muammar Gaddafi & terrorism
  • The Persian Gulf
1982 israel invades lebanon
1982: Israel invades Lebanon
  • Goal to drive out Palestinian groups.
  • U.S. sent Marine expeditionary unit to help enforce a ceasefire.
  • October 23: truck bomb blows up the Marine barracks
    • 220 soldiers die, 241 total.
terrorist incidents on the rise
Terrorist incidents on the rise
  • Attacks & hijackings double, 1983-85.
    • Led to 1,000 U.S. casualties
  • Most famous incident: 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro
    • After event, US Navy jets force down plane carrying hijackers to Tunisia.
1986 u s libyan tensions rise
1986: U.S.-Libyan tensions rise
  • Naval incidents.
  • West Berlin bombing tied to Gaddafi.
  • Reagan orders bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi.
    • Mostly military targets destroyed, 200 casualties.
problems in the persian gulf
Problems in the Persian Gulf
  • Iran: fundamentalist Islamic state, hostile to U.S. interests.
    • Funding terrorist movements.
  • Region large producer of oil.
1980 88 iran iraq war
1980-88: Iran-Iraq War
  • Iraq received more foreign assistance, including official U.S. aid.
  • Both sides attacked Gulf shipping.
u s looks to saudi arabia as a regional ally
U.S. looks to Saudi Arabia as a regional ally.
  • Saudis had influence over other Mid-East nations, and indirectly over Palestinians.
    • supported mujaheddin in Afghanistan
  • Spent money to buy American arms, and allowed U.S. to build bases on Saudi soil.
attacks on gulf shipping rise
Attacks on Gulf shipping rise.
  • 1987-88: U.S. Navy deploys to Gulf and Red Sea to protect tanker shipping.
    • Destroys Iranian gunboats and other vessels, missile sites, and attacks bases.
    • Iran responds with mine laying.
  • Worst U.S. goof: shooting down an Iranian airliner.
u s s stark
U.S.S. Stark
  • U.S. frigate fired upon by an Iraqi fighter.
    • Resulted in 37 deaths.
second term problems for the reagan administration
Second-term problems for the Reagan Administration
  • Budget and debt issues.
  • Congressional opposition.
  • Lax oversight of subordinates leads to political crisis.
iran contra affair
Iran-Contra Affair
  • Administration officials arrange secret arms sales to Iran, some proceeds diverted to contras.
  • Hope to release hostages in Lebanon, influence Hezbollah.
  • Violated U.S. law that prohibited arms sales to the contras, and Administration’s own stated policy not to negotiate with terrorists.
changes in the soviet union
Changes in the Soviet Union
  • Mikhail Gorbachev: General Secretary of the Communist Party, 1985-91.
    • Sought better relations with the West
    • Pursued internal reforms (perestroїka,glasnost).
gorbachev foreign policy highlights
Gorbachev: Foreign Policy Highlights
  • 1986, meets with Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland. Though fails in near term, ultimately leads to:
    • INF Treaty, 1987
    • START Treaty, 1991
  • 1988, announces U.S.S.R.:
    • Will pull troops out of Afghanistan.
    • Will allow Eastern bloc countries to determine affairs.
    • Will unilaterally begin reducing conventional forces in Europe.
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