Examine the complexities of the triumphant conclusion of the acrimonious cold war. Mindful of domestic scandals and the turbulence throughout the Middle East, evaluate the milestones and troublesome legacies of this formative era.
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The Cold War with the former Soviet Union dominated American foreign relations for almost half a century. By the 1980s however, the tottering Russian economy was on the verge of collapse. Challenged by demands for autonomy among its east European surrogates and beset by the Russian struggle for supremacy within the communist world with China, a new opportunity to build upon the precedent of Dtente now loomed. Conservative Ronald Reagan, a former Hollywood actor and corporate advertiser blithely indifferent to the specific details of executive leadership swept to victory over the hapless Jimmy Carter. Reagan proposed reducing the scope of government by abandoning many of the economic reforms of his predecessors while a series of corruption scandals undermined his detachment from executive leadership. Encouraged by his alter-ego, British Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher, Reagan developed a personal relationship with reformist Russian Premier Mikhail Gorbachev who sought to restructure Russian autocracy. Reagans muddled intervention in the Middle East and Central America were suddenly transformed by the efforts to improve bilateral relations with the nations foremost adversary. This initiative continued under the more carefully nuanced leadership of George Bush during whose presidency the Soviet Union collapsed opening a new era of political and economic changes throughout Europe. The legacy of providing weapons to the volatile Persian Gulf region led to an invasion of Iraq which annexed its prosperous former nineteenth province Kuwait. In a swift military operation, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown plunging the region into increased internecine warfare