The Differences Between Fighting Communism for American Presidents

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The Differences Between Fighting Communism for American Presidents Many years passed between the presidential terms of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan yet the fight against Communism endured. Each president had his unique way of defining the importance of fighting Communism, Nixon attempted to contain the spread of Communism while Reagan tried to transcend it. Nixon succeeded when using intelligent and friendly diplomacy in China and the Soviet Union, yet failed in Southeast Asia with his 'Vietnamization' program. Reagan found little success in the application of his foreign policy, which was mainly based on the raising of defense spending. Nixon and Reagan had different foreign policies and very different methods of carrying …show more content…
With this message, President Reagan put America on the offensive for fighting against Communism, which differed from Nixon, who took the less violent approach to solving the problem. Nixon had failed to ameliorate the problem in Vietnam through Vietnamization because he decided to invade Cambodia on April 30, 1970 therefore extending the war to peripheral countries rather than shrinking U.S. involvement as was originally planned. The Cambodia Incursion sparked much anti-war action at home and the infamous Kent State University incident ensued, where four students were killed. The result of the Cambodia Incursion consisted of the Communist North Vietnamese moving into the area occupied by the Americans, thus moving closer to the South Vietnamese army and indicating the failure of the attempted containment. It took Nixon one more lesson to change his foreign policy, this time the South Vietnamese invaded Communist bases in Laos in February 1971 and fought without the help of American troops. It resulted in failure by the South Vietnamese and "by the middle of the year, the Communists controlled more of Laos than before" (LPW, 466). The change that followed in foreign policy for Nixon resulted in a string of international successes at containing Communism, by realizing that there were five economic superpowers in the world: U.S., Japan, China, Russia, EEC. His first move was to befriend China and

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