The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987, required an elimination of all intermediate-range nuclear weapons by the United States and Soviet Union. This was a significant moment towards resolution with an old enemy, it was the first time both the Soviet Union and United States agreed to remove an entire class of weapons from their armory. This bargain was one of the first stepping stones in Gorbachev’s attempt to improve the Soviet Union’s poor international relations which he believed hindered the health of its civilian economy. Gorbachev’s reforms did not sit well with some communist leaders, which led to a coup in 1991. The coup was unsuccessful but proved fatal for Gorbachev’s ability to hold the reigns of the state. He eventually was forced to resign and signed a decree that broke the up the Union. The end of the Soviet Union symbolized the ending of a chapter in American politics. International relationships were structured by the Cold War, which was now officially over. “For the United States, it was had been the defining element in its foreign policy, the impetus for two major was and the occasion for an unprecedented level of peacetime military mobilization.” (404) An unexpected moment in the United States occurred with the conclusion of this superpower rivalry. Policies that once shaped family life, economy and politics had to be redefined, introducing a new age in American history.