Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Myth of TriumphalismRethinking President Reagan's Cold War Legacy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Beth A. Fischer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178172

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178172.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Moscow Calls Off the Arms Race

Moscow Calls Off the Arms Race

Chapter:
(p.102) 5 Moscow Calls Off the Arms Race
Source:
The Myth of Triumphalism
Author(s):

Beth A. Fischer

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813178172.003.0006

Told from the Kremlin’s perspective, this chapter debunks the myth that Reagan’s military buildup—and SDI in particular—compelled the Soviets to agree to arms reductions and then to collapse. In reality, the US buildup had a negligible effect on the USSR. By the 1980s Soviet reformers believed nuclear arsenals were of little value: they were costly, could not be used, and incited fear in the West, which prompted the United States to increase its arsenal. The USSR would be more secure, they reasoned, if arsenals were greatly reduced, if not eliminated. Moreover, although some Soviet scientists were initially worried about SDI, this concern dissipated as scientists determined Reagan’s plan was not feasible. In short, for a variety of strategic, financial, and ethical reasons Moscow sought to end the arms race. It therefore did not build its own SDI-style system, nor did it match increases in US defense expenditures, as triumphalistsassume. The Reagan administration’s policies did not compel the Soviet Union to disarm and then collapse.

Keywords:   Soviet reformers, New Thinking, Arms race, Perestroika, Soviet military doctrine, Doctrine of sufficient defense

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .