The ascent to power of Ronald Reagan was to prove crucial in the lead up to the end of the cold war. Ronald Reagan devised a grand defense strategy, popularly called the Star Wars initiative. The implementation of this strategy would give the United States a decisive advantage over their superpower rival. The Soviet Union on the other hand neither had the resources nor the political will to respond to this threat – due mainly to their uncertain economy and growing domestic unrest. Thus, Reagan’s brain child, the Star Wars initiative, proved an important factor in putting an end to the Soviet Union. In Michael Gorbachev, the Soviet Union had a reformist and practical leader. He saw the folly of continuing the cold war efforts and drafted policies facilitating a transfer to more democratic and capitalistic forms of government.