Two Centuries of U. S. Foreign Policy: The Documentary Record

By Stephen J. Valone | Go to book overview

DOCUMENT 65
Reagan and the Soviet Union

At a press conference on 29 January 1981 President Ronald Reagan indicated that he would take a harder line in dealing with the Soviet Union which began a process that would ultimately lead to the end of the Cold War.65


GOALS OF THE SOVIET UNION

Q. Mr. President, what do you see as the long-range intentions of the Soviet Union? Do you think, for instance, the Kremlin is bent on world domination that might lead to a continuation of the cold war, or do you think that under other circumstances détente is possible?

The President. Well, so far détente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims. I don't have to think of an answer as to what I think their intentions are; they have repeated it. I know of no leader of the Soviet Union since the revolution, and including the present leadership, that has not more than once repeated in the various Communist congresses they hold their determination that their goal must be the promotion of world revolution and a one-world Socialist or Communist state, whichever word you want to use.

Now, as long as they do that and as long as they, at the same time, have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that, and that is moral, not immoral, and we operate on a different set of standards, I think when you do business with them, even at a détente, you keep that in mind.


FURTHER READINGS

Gaddis John Lewis, The United States and the End of the Cold War ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Garthoff Raymond L., Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan ( Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1994).

Johnson Haynes, Sleepwalking through History: America in the Reagan Years ( New York: Norton, 1991).

____________________
65
Public Papers of the Presidents: Administration of Ronald Reagan, 1981 ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982), 57.

-170-

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