why and how did the united states win the cold war?
this is homework help anyone know the reason why and how the united states won the cold war?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
They were spending as much as 25% of their GNP on the military, and their economic growth rate was near 0%. Plus the Soviets suffered from a sharp fall in currency earnings in the 1980s because of a downward slide in world oil prices.
That coupled with Reagan's escalation of the arms race to include space, as in "star wars", finally broke the Soviet's back and forced them into negotiation with the west.
End of the Cold War
Main article: Cold War (1985-1991)
By the early 1980s, the Soviet armed forces were the largest in the world by many measures—in terms of the numbers and types of weapons they possessed, in the number of troops in their ranks, and in the sheer size of their military-industrial base. However, the quantitative advantages held by the Soviet military often concealed areas where the Eastern bloc dramatically lagged behind the West. This led many U.S. observers to vastly overestimate Soviet power. (LaFeber 2002, 340)
By the late years of the Cold War, Moscow had built up a military that consumed as much as twenty-five percent of the Soviet Union's gross national product at the expense of consumer goods and investment in civilian sectors. (LaFeber 2002, 332) But the size of the Soviet armed forces was not necessarily the result of a simple action-reaction arms race with the United States. (Odom) Instead, Soviet spending on the arms race and other Cold War commitments can be understood as both a cause and effect of the deep-seated structural problems in the Soviet system, which accumulated at least a decade of economic stagnation during the Brezhnev years. (see Economy of the Soviet Union) Soviet investment in the defense sector was not necessarily driven by military necessity, but in large part by the interests of massive party and state bureaucracies dependent on the sector for their own power and privileges. (LaFeber 2002, 335)
By the time Mikhail Gorbachev had ascended to power in 1985, the Soviets suffered from an economic growth rate close to zero percent, combined with a sharp fall in hard currency earnings as a result of the downward slide in world oil prices in the 1980s. (LaFaber 2002, 331-333) (Petroleum exports made up around 60 percent of the Soviet Union's total export earnings.) (LaFeber 2002, 332) To restructure the Soviet economy before it collapsed, Gorbachev announced an agenda of rapid reform. (see perestroika and glasnost) Reform required Gorbachev to redirect the country's resources from costly Cold War military commitments to more profitable areas in the civilian sector. As a result, Gorbachev offered major concessions to the United States on the levels of conventional forces, nuclear weapons, and policy in Eastern Europe.
However, many U.S. Soviet experts and administration officials doubted that Gorbachev was serious about winding down the arms race. (LaFeber, 2002) But the new Soviet leader eventually proved more concerned about reversing the Soviet Union's deteriorating economic condition than fighting the arms race with the West. (Palmowski) The Kremlin made major military and political concessions; in response Reagan agreed to renew talks on economic issues and the scaling-back of the arms race. The East-West tensions that had reached intense new heights earlier in the decade rapidly subsided through the mid-to-late 1980s. In 1988, the Soviets officially declared that they would no longer intervene in the affairs of allied states in Eastern Europe. In 1989, Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan.
In December 1989, Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush declared the Cold War officially over at a summit meeting in Malta.  But by then, the Soviet alliance system was on the brink of collapse, and the Communist leaders of the Warsaw Pact states were losing power. In the USSR itself, Gorbachev tried to reform the party to destroy resistance to his reforms, but, in doing so, ultimately weakened the bonds that held the state and union together. By February 1990, the Communist Party was forced to surrender its 73-year old monopoly on state power. By December of the next year, the union-state also dissolved, breaking the USSR up into fifteen separate independent states.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The US had more money to develop military technologies. The USSR couldn't keep up.
Remember though, the US won the "cold" arms race against Russia, but they lost the proxy war against Russia in Vietnam.
- AngelaLv 44 years ago
Not sure what you're looking for but thinking it might be Containment.. Check out the link to wikipedia in my source.. Hope that was of more help then the other responses.