Absurd Cold War Stories That Just Don't Make Sense
Absurd Cold War Stories That Just Don’t Make Sense

Absurd Cold War Stories That Just Don’t Make Sense

Khalid Elhassan - September 30, 2021

Absurd Cold War Stories That Just Don’t Make Sense
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Medium

1. An Extra Terrestrial Attack Could Have Stopped the Cold War

President Ronald Reagan was the Happy Cold Warrior. A staunch conservative and anticommunist, he went about with a sunny disposition and demeanor that did little to mask his implacable detestation of communism and opposition of the Soviet Union. His single minded focus on challenging what he termed “The Evil Empire”, and dragging the USSR into an arms buildup competition that its rickety economy could not sustain, contributed greatly to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. However, there was one field where he was more than happy to cooperate with the Soviets.

As Mikhail Gorbachev recounted, he was strolling around a garden with Reagan during the 1985 Geneva Summit, when the POTUS blurted out of the blue: “What would you do if the United States were suddenly attacked by someone from outer space? Would you help us?” Gorbachev replied that the Soviets would help us out against ET. That greatly pleased the American president – apparently, the threat of alien attack had been gnawing at Reagan, a lifelong sci-fi nerd, for years. So turns out that extraterrestrials might have united humanity to stop the Cold War in order to face a common enemy.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

American Rifleman – US M16: A Half Century of America’s Combat Rifle

Associated Press – Newspaper Reports Ex-Soviet KGB Defector Oleg Lyalin Dead

BBC – On This Day: 1971, I Arrested a KGB Super Spy

Boing Boing – US Air Force Proposal: Pause the Earth’s Rotation So Nukes Would Miss Targets

Cracked – 5 Cold War Stories That Reveal It Was a Total Clown Show

Defense Media Network – The Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Oplan 314/316, and Khrushchev’s Decision

Dormandy, Thomas – Opium: Reality’s Dark Dream (2012)

Ellsberg, Daniel – The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (2017)

Gaddis, John Lewis – The Cold War: A New History (2005)

Gunivore – History of the M16 Rifle

Halberstam, David – The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (2008)

Hari, Johann – Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs (2016)

History Collection – FRACTURE JAW: The Plan to Nuke North Vietnam

Los Angeles Times, November 7th, 1999 – The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy

NPR, January 2nd, 2012 – What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits

Pew Pew Tactical – A (Not So) Brief History of the M16

Small Arms Review – The M16 in Vietnam

Smithsonian Magazine, November 25th, 2015 – Reagan and Gorbachev Agreed to Pause the Cold War in Case of Alien Invasion

Summers, Harry G. – On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (1995)

Time Magazine, August 28th, 2012 – Malcolm Browne: The Story Behind the Burning Monk

Vanity Fair, June 1st, 2008 – Lost in Enemy Airspace

We Are the Mighty – America Wanted to Stop Earth’s Rotation During Cold War

Wikipedia – M16 Rifle

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