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Reagan and Russia

Courtesy Reuters

President Reagan won his office in part because he convinced the electorate that the Soviets had hoodwinked all Administrations of the last decade. He proposed to reverse the unfavorable trend of U.S.-Soviet power relations and, quite simply, to "stand up to the Russians." For the last two years, the Reagan Administration has been trying to translate into policy the basic ideas its members brought into office. To an unprecedented degree, these basic ideas have remained unchanged despite pressures that inevitably drive every President facing the realities of domestic and international politics toward the pragmatic center. Despite various adjustments and adaptations, both the domestic and foreign policies of the Reagan Administration, like the Reagan campaign, continue to display the characteristics of an ideological crusade.

In foreign policy President Reagan has subordinated almost all decisions to the East-West conflict as the central axis of American international concerns. Yet after almost

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