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1980’s US HISTORY Arms Race USSR - War in Afghanistan Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”) By Sarah Nichols.

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Presentation on theme: "1980’s US HISTORY Arms Race USSR - War in Afghanistan Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”) By Sarah Nichols."— Presentation transcript:

1 1980’s US HISTORY Arms Race USSR - War in Afghanistan Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”) By Sarah Nichols

2 the Arms Race – Major Events – Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945)– End of war with Japan – A-Bomb and H-Bomb testing by USA – 1945 and 1952 respectively – A-Bomb and H-Bomb testing by USSR in 1949 and 1954 respectively – 1960’s concept of Mutually Assured Destruction “MAD” – Estimate of 40,000 warheads in 1986 – Others join in creating nuclear weapons – Britain (1952), France (1960), China (1964), India and Pakistan(1998) Causes -Nuclear warhead technology, Post WWII tensions -Belief that power and number of nuclear warheads were related -Idealist tensions between Capitalism and Communism

3 Results and consequences – Diversion of Billions of dollars into weapons systems – SALT I (1969), SALT II (1979) which were talks to discuss disarmament – Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (2002) – Reduced nuclear to 1700 for each of USA and USSR – guess that is better than the 20,000+ weapons that existed previously for the USA and USSR – Termination of SALT II voluntary compliance in 1986 because of tensions between the US and the USSR

4 USSR Invades Afghanistan Causes – Russia installs communist government leader in Afghanistan which causes anger at anti-religion communist leaders in Afghanistan – Inability of Afghan forces to defend the Communist government in power lead to increased tensions – Installation of Kamal as a puppet USSR leader, but with no popular support Russia was forced to provide a security force – US intervenes secretly by supplying the Rebel groups with weapons These rebel groups would later split into factions and some of them would later become what is today the Taliban and other extremist groups

5 Major Events – Amin’s attempt to eliminate Muslim traditions – Declaration of Jihad against Amin’s government and the small force of Russians – Withdrawal in 1989 when Gorbachev became convinced that the war could not be won and Afghanistan had become the USSR’s “Vietnam”

6 Results and Consequences – The cold War gets ‘hot’ through a series of proxy wars, such as in Korea and Vietnam – US supporting rebel groups is successful and spawns a series of other, similar endeavors that would later lead to distrust of the US gov’t and scandals – Crippled Russian economy – US Grain embargo in 1980 – Covert operations by USA to arm Mujahedeen (these arms were used against the US post 2001)

7 Strategic Defense Initiative “Star Wars” Causes – Fear of Attack – Arms Race – Tensions with the Soviet Union – Tensions in Afghanistan and the US supplies the rebels despite having no official political ties to the Afghanistan rebels Events: -Increasing numbers of Nuclear Weapons and Mobility of Nuclear Weapons -Realization of Mutually Assured Destruction -The US asks itself how many warheads do we need to maintain first strike capabilities? (1960’s)

8 Results and Consequences SALT Talks Breakdown in 1986 due to the fact that the US wouldn’t abandon the Star Wars project Contravened the Anti-Ballistic Missile section of the SALT treaties – ended adherence to SALT II (1986) Increased tensions and was thought to impact the Stand-Off of First Strike capabilities Causes a rift between the president and Congress because its so expensive Although the US never developed a ground or space based laser that was successful The failure of the talks showed that the US had to be prepared for compromise in order to avoid war

9 Concluding statement The US and the USSR’s indirect conflict with each other over weapons disarmament, idealist principles and territory set the stage for 20 th and 21 st century American foreign policies and conflicts such as the war in Afghanistan as well as foreign relations with Russia.

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