Episode 22 - Star Wars: 1980-1988. Reagan's 1983 "Evil Empire" speech sets the tone for a more aggressive US posture against the Soviet Union, and the costly arms race is renewed. He hopes that space-based anti-missile systems known as
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) could render nuclear weapons obsolete, but the Soviet Union is concerned of upsetting the MAD paradigm that had kept the world safe. Gorbachev assumes power in the Soviet Union, setting to reform the Soviet economy and
encourage greater openness. He bonds well with both Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, charismatic to Soviet sensibilities, but the SDI issue prevents arms control agreements being made in Geneva Summit or Reykjavik. The weakness of the Soviet system is revealed
by the Chernobyl disaster and Mathias Rust's Red Square stunt. Knowing the Soviet Union could not compete with SDI without the economic welfare of its people being severely curtailed, whose exposure to popular culture and foreign media has led to raised expectations,
Gorbachev eventually agrees to a landmark agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Disarmament commences, under the maxim of doveryai, no proveryai. Interviewees include Donald Regan, Sir Charles Powell, Roald Sagdeev and Mikhail Gorbachev.
|Episode 22 - Star Wars: 1980-1988|
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