Political Science Research Paper on Ronald Reagan’s Doctrine

Ronald Regan’s Doctrine

Sponsoring anticommunist guerrillas who are trying to over-throw the pro-Soviet regimes

The increase of the threats the Communist system posed on World peace and development was persistent. By the time Ronald Reagan assumed Office in 1981, there was a poor relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union due to the coercive policies that previous U.S presidents employed in dealing with the Communist leadership. After the former President Carter’s regime used radical polices that created more tension between the United States and Russia during the Cold war, Ronald Reagan was compelled to use crafty methods as elements of his hawk-eyed approach rather than compromise or negotiate. He was able to achieve major milestones in his approach such as exposing the weaknesses in the Soviet system and magnify the potential of the United States the favorites to give the country more confidence and eliminate any fears and unrest from the public (Edwards, 2010).

Most of the commentaries claim that the 40th American President won the Cold war since his legacy was the most effective of the preceding styles of leadership. Unlike his predecessors, Reagan is reputed for his moral frankness and the decision to increase his military strength. His accomplishments that made him most popular included the success of fall of the Berlin. The purpose of this paper is to distinguish Reagan’s policies from his predecessors by the impact and results it caused to World peace in both the United States as well as European States affiliated to the Soviet Union. This paper focuses on Reagan’s Doctrine because it proved the most effective of the rest of the policies that previous presidents employed in the efforts to contain the Communist system of government whose threats consequently led to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by both super powers during the Cold War of the 20th Century.

The structure of Reagan’s Doctrine

Finding weak-points in the Soviet system

Reagan, unlike the former presidents (both Democrats and Republicans), believed the Soviet union could actually be defeated without necessarily relying on long-term solutions. According to Knopf (2014), the president noted that the Soviet economy was very weak and was convinced the western Democracy will quickly destroy Leninism in his time as president. With increased and persistent pressure on the weak economy, he speculated, it would bring the seemingly impregnable system to the brink of failure. He decided to create a situation where the enemy’s only reasonable option was to quit due to the realization of the threat to the existence of their state (Sharp, 2012 and Knopf, 2014).

Strong Moral judgment

Reagan garnered popularity and fame from his strong moral language and judgment especially when addressing issues concerning allies and adversaries. He influenced his administration to adopt the tendency of the realist theory in international relations believing and justifying the fact that every state strove to establish their power and achieve their self-interests. This strategy challenged the moral legitimacy of the Soviet leaders and ruined their self-confidence (Nakamura, 2010). The impact of Reagan’s language extended to the citizens in Eastern Europe who sought to over-throw the communist government. He literally boosted the morale of the rebels seeking to get free from the York of communism and encouraged them in their pursuit to seize power and ensure the collapse of the Soviet system (Sharp, 2012).


Impact of Reagan’s Doctrine

Increased Activism

There was an increase of massive protests arising all over Europe and the United States over the news of the development of nuclear weapons by the super-powers. Reagan, in the effort to convince the Americans, mentioned that the United States to arm itself with nuclear weapons for defense and securing the possibility of winning a nuclear war. Although the peace movements did not get their demands approved, they ensured the ending of the possibility of a nuclear attack and the need for nuclear weapons (Sharp, 2012). Instead, Reagan’s administration resorted to negotiations and talks geared towards consensus and peace agreements (Knopf 2014).

A new Soviet Leadership

The rise of Mikhail Gorbachev among other leaders made the greatest difference in ensuring the end of the Cold War and assured in a new era of peace. Gorbachev was the fourth Soviet leader (after Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko) within four years during Reagan’s full terms in office ending in 1989. He was more cooperative and lenient to Reagan’s administration than his predecessors (Edwards, 2010). The personal relationship that developed between the two leaders (with five meetings between 1985 and 1988) ensured the swift transition to the signing of peace agreements.


Ronald Reagan’s doctrine was crafty but very efficient in providing the United States with the opportunities it desired to take into control. He, for instance, got the United States the rights for revenge missions such as the invasion of the United States on the Soviet troops in Afghanistan and Vietnam. Regan’s doctrine also brought scandals such as the Iran Contra where the United States supplied Iran with weapons to help them over-throw a dictatorial communist regime. This paper sought to determine Ronald Reagan’s success in eliminating the threat that Communism posed on the safety and peace of World. It determines how his style of leadership and adoption of the language policy support of rebels through military power was effective in initiating the end of the Cold war. The guerrillas that sought to over-throw their respective dictatorial governments got aid from Reagan’s administration in accordance to his policy dubbed Doctrine. In the end, President Reagan’s system proved most effective of all the other preceding regimes.


Jeffrey W. Knopf. (2014). Did Reagan Win the Cold War?: Journal of the Center for Contemporary Conflict. Strategic Insights, Volume II, Issue 8

Kennon H. Nakamura. (2010). United States Public Diplomacy. Diane Publications of Data.

Lee Edwards (2010). Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. Journal of Heritage Lecturers. Published by the heritage foundation.

Paul Sharp. (2012). American Diplomacy. Library of Congress Publications of Data