America's Role in the Collapse of the Soviet Union

Some people like to think America won the Cold War. They seem to enjoy the fantasy that America's strength defeated the Soviet Union. Isn't the reality that the Soviet Union collapsed due to its internal weakness? Isn't crediting America with winning the Cold War like crediting a runner with winning a race whose opponent collapsed short of the finish line from a fatal aneurysm?

Nowadays, even liberal Democrats applaud Reagan for bringing the Soviet Union to its knees.
- Mark Moyar, The World Fears Trump’s America. That’s a Good Thing., NYT, Dec. 9, 2016

As Victor Sebestyen points out,

when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet empire collapsed, it was Eastern Europeans who liberated themselves; outsiders had little to do with it, despite the triumphalism in the West.
- VICTOR SEBESTYEN, The New Cold War That Isn’t, NYT, MARCH 21, 2014

President Trump’s maxim that “economic security is national security” comes with an important corollary: A strong manufacturing base is critical to both economic prosperity and national defense.
Policies advanced by the administration under this banner include corporate tax cuts... a significant increase in the military budget.... ...
And Reagan’s “Peace through strength” inspired an unprecedented rebuilding of the military that brought the Soviet Union to its knees.
- Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy, America’s Military-Industrial Base Is at Risk, NYT, Oct. 4, 2018

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