The only reason that the Cold War did come to an end, of course, was that, essentially, the Soviet Union went bankrupt before the United States. Both sides had spent obscene amounts of their national income on military expenditures which robbed their people of money which could and should have been spent on life-affirming programs.
The President frankly declared that if the expansion of state-controlled economies (such as the communists') was not stopped, and an open world marketplace restored for private businessmen, depression would occur and the government would have to intervene massively in the society (54).
LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945-1992. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.
For example, the author writes that the Americans helped bring detente to an end because they had become disillusioned with the actions taken by the Soviets which seemed to defy the spirit of detente:
The problem with such a focus is that it ignores the fact that the Americans were involved in just as many activities which served their own self-interest and ignored the rights of indigenous people around the world.
Of course, that devising is still in the process of unfolding. The Soviet Union has collapsed, and the United States is increasingly aware of its reduced clout, if not its impotence, in affecting its goals around the world.
The major point is that neither was right or wrong in a moral sense. Both were guilty of massive immoral actions around the world, though it is true that the Soviets were "more immoral" in mistreating their own people and the people under their control in Eastern Europe.
One conclusion of Lafeber's book is that the economic, political, strategic, ideological and military aspects of each side's involvement were so intertwined that once the Cold War was under way in earnest, stopping it was impossible. Each side by that time simply had too much invested in too many ways to try to back out of the conflict. Both sid