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

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