After the Cold War by Arthur I. Cyr (auth.)

By Arthur I. Cyr (auth.)

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The end of the Cold War also has terminated the role of the UN as an arena in which that Soviet–American contest was engaged. Nato also has been primarily a creature of the Cold War, al­ though here one of the great unfolding ironies is that Europeans seem increasingly to look to the military organization as a mechanism to keep the Americans involved across the Atlantic. The European Union has become frustrated with the potential role of peacemaker. This has taken place at a time when nationalist sentiments, a main incentive for creating the Community institutions in Western Europe in the first place, have been given new life in Eastern Europe as a result of the end of the diplomatic as well as military bipolarity imposed by Moscow and Washington.

2 Ronald Reagan deserves to be remembered as the first President since Eisenhower to complete two terms in office, a major accomplishment, and like that predecessor he was exceptionally adept at public relations, evid­ enced by the capacity to accomplish relatively long tenure in the White House with strong public support intact. President Reagan’s completion of his terms with broad popularity provided a sense of continuity, and perhaps renewed legitimacy, after two decades of social and political in­ stability and turmoil.

Communism versus freedom, Soviet bloc military power versus Nato military power, even the relatively benign and uncontroversial goal of European economic integration, have all been challenged in a world which has not been turned completely upside down, but has been significantly changed as a result of the end of the Cold War. Outside of the realms of the demagogue and the dictator, the world is a complex place to try to describe in terms which are both realistic and appealing to democratic electorates.

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