|Originally posted by spark1:|
Politicians all mis-speak often. Now it seems every mistake is caught and recorded as a “gotcha” moment. They all seem to get lost when ad-libbing. Didn't the President just say that all troops would be our of Afganistan by year end?
I think that Reagan did pull off one of the biggest bluffs in history with his “Star Wars” proposal. That may have pushed the USSR over the edge but who knows?
The "Star Wars" program, or missile defense system, wasn't a misspeak, so I'm not sure how it's related.
That program didn't push the Soviet Union over the edge as much as the entire Cold War did. Their economy simply couldn't sustain the level of military spending. It started with the space race not long after WWII. The USSR now knew we had atomic bombs and the will to use them, so the next step was to not only develop atomic bombs of their own, but demonstrate their superior ability to deliver them anywhere in the world. That was the idea behind the beginning of the space race, which took on a life of it's own. In 1961, Kennedy set the U.S. goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him to earth. Up until then, we had lagged behind the Soviets in every step of the space race. Landing on the moon first would be the only way would could leap frog them technologically and try to demonstrate technical superiority.
After the Apollo 11 landing, the space race was effectively over, but the cold war raged on. It was a decades long period of space and military buildup on both the part of the U.S. and Soviet Union, with the Soviets growing a much larger nuclear stockpile than the U.S. during the cold war - and it eventually bankrupted them.