One of the most serious Cold War events was the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. It occurred in a dangerous standoff between the Soviets and the US when the latter discovered the secret deployment of Soviet nuclear missiles in Communist Cuba. Only sensible decision making by the US President (Kennedy) and the Soviet leader (Khrushchev) who ignored the advice of "hawks" prevented a nuclear holocaust. Events that led to the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union were triggered by the policies of the Reagan administration which stepped up military spending that the ailing economy of the Soviet Union was unable to match. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up a communist regime resulted in a costly war for the Russians and proved to be the last straw.”
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy used an aggressive strategy of lies, personal attacks, and propaganda in an aggressive attempt to gain power. McCarthy continued to look for communists in government till the end of his power and ultimate censure. McCarthy would follow up on the slightest hint of left wing involvement in government. McCarthy's strategy became known throughout the world as McCarthyism. From the very outset McCarthy had the backing of a small but strategically located group of conservative Republicans to whom the Communist issue had long been important. The one thing that made McCarthy so powerful was his strong support from other conservatives. In 1954 McCarthy went after the largest military branch at the time in our nation, the army, looking for communists. McCarthy attacked the army with trumped up charges and used circumstantial evidence to support his findings. The Republicans were under increasing pressure to withdraw support for McCarthy by the president and they were also losing votes at home. McCarthy's quest for power ultimately destroyed him. McCarthy is a g