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Reagan and Nixon on Foreign Policy

Reagan and Nixon on Foreign Policy

Sample Answer 

Reagan and Nixon on Foreign Policy

Both President Reagan and President Nixon were exemplary leaders whose styles of leadership should be emulated even today. However, their methods were different from each other, especially in foreign policy. Regan believed in arming the United States against the Soviet Union. President Reagan’s administration funded anti-communism movements all around the world, which included aiding anti-communist rebels in Angola, the muhajaden in Afghanistan, and the contras who wanted to overthrow the Nicaragua Marxist government.

On the other hand, President Nixon focused on policies that would disarm the country for the sake of peace. For example, in 1972, Nixon signed an agreement with the Soviet Union following the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty talks (SALT 1). Nixon also visited China to start the process of normalizing the relationship with the country (Collins, 2000).


Collins, M. (2000). Personality and Political Leadership Explored: Richard Nixon and the Family Assistance Plan. Mick Collins. Retrieved


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Reagan and Nixon on Foreign Policy

The 1970s and 1980s brought remarkable changes for the Untied States. The Cold War between the US and its allies versus the Soviet Union and its allies/clients was still the dominant international issue. China was also going to start emerging as a major world power. Nixon was dealing with Vietnam and then Watergate—one of the pivotal scandals of modern history. Reagan would bring a new national spirit, and he would tackle economic problems by deregulation and moderating taxes—and he would be dealing with a very new type of Soviet leadership.

Reagan and Nixon on Foreign Policy

Reagan and Nixon on Foreign Policy

Discuss lessons in leadership with the examples of President Nixon and President Reagan:

Choose and discuss (in a full paragraph or two) one of the following two topics related to the 1960s and 1970s, especially to the terms of Presidents Nixon and Reagan.

Discuss lessons in leadership with the examples of President Nixon and President Reagan:

  • Identify a leadership example from President Nixon’s handling of the Watergate issue, and another example from Reagan’s presidency.
  • Give two lessons in leadership—one from each example. They can be positive lessons or negative lessons (good things to do; things not to do, etc). Discuss how these lessons can apply to those in business or politics or some other realm.
  • Identify the source(s) where you read about these issues.

Discuss Presidents Nixon and Reagan as Cold Warriors:

  • Identify a strategy or policy from the Nixon presidency that related to the Cold War, and another from the Reagan presidency.
  • In hindsight, describe your views of each approach and how effective (or not) each approach was.
  • Identify the source(s) where you read these issues.

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