Ronald Reagan's Contras During The Civil War In Nicaragua

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“Ronald Reagan owned the first eight years of the 1980’s. He set the national agenda, defined most of the terms of the national dialogue, and dominated what passed for national political debate… he had more pervasive impact on the country than anyone since Franklin D. Roosevelt” (Reagan 1). So when Reagan began supporting the Contras during the Nicaraguan Civil War it was a major political topic. The civil war in Nicaragua became a personal mission for Reagan. Reagan saw the Contras as freedom fighters that wanted democracy and did anything in his power, legally or illegally, to keep them from losing the fight. Faced with the problem of foreign democratic issues, Ronald Reagan’s administration chose to secretly trade with Iran for American …show more content…
After the Soviet Union began to back the Sandinistas Congress became furious that the United States was risking war to back the Contras. This started to become a major problem for Reagan and his administration. With Congress on edge and the press gaining information on the United States’ involvement in Nicaragua Reagan realized he needed to make a change. Reagan contacted his lead officials and together the made decisions on what the best plan of action would be “The White House decision making center for covert operations and contracting-out strategy lay within a tiny team of select State, Defense, CIA, and NSC officials known as the “208 Committee”…Oliver North, the workaholic organizer of secret Contra supply missions and Iran arms deals, was one of its most active members”. (Secret Teams). Reagan along with others such as North and National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane created a sort of “shadow government” (American). This shadow government ran and operated very similarly to the CIA only without any kind of checks or balances. They ran black ops’ and secured tactical locations for the Contras. …show more content…
Yet there was a much more responsible, and legal way of dealing with funding issues for the Contras. Iran had been embargoed by the United States and any kind of deal made with Iran was considered illegal. Reagan’s administration had been breaking laws and traded with an enemy of the United States, this outraged the American people as a whole because Reagan had been publicly denying that the United States had not been apart of weapons for hostages trading. Although “Polls showed that only 14 percent of Americans believed the president when he said he had not traded arms for hostages.”(American) which was a major to hit to Reagan’s numbers at the time. A legal solution is what should have been done to prevent such a major political nightmare for Reagan’s administration. Reagan had already convinced Congress to give the Contras 100 million dollars along with having provided arms and supplies to the Contras. Once Congress had decided that enough support had been given Reagan should have realized that dealing illegally with Iran, and providing excess monetary rewards to the Contras would eventually cause a major problem for him, but that of course is retrospect. Once Congress stopped allowing funding, and direct operational support from the CIA, Reagan could have simply gone along with what they were

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