So, Kennedy wasn't going to the moon for the science, because it was visionary, but because he wanted to beat the Soviets, nothing more.
Well, a little bit more. Things like the Bay of Pigs were detracting from the luster of Camelot and the "space race" was a nice way to divert people's attention. However, on the one hand the results were good -- we went to the moon with all that means. On the other hand, the results were bad. We got to the moon in a way that did not establish continuous Earth-Moon transportation. We went too fast. And that is why we haven't been back, nor could we go now if we wanted to.
But the real reason I replied was, "Reagan's effect on the cold war was to end it sooner by a few years.". Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the USSR was doomed. Maybe it was just on the ropes and would have survived if given a breather. You say "If Reagan had only made moderate build ups of the military, the Soviet Union would have only lasted 5 years at most more than it did." That may be true. But a lot can happen in five years. A new leader that the people will actually follow. A chance for the economy to become more consumer centered and alleviate many of the problems that brought the USSR down. Many things could have happened. Including the USA and USSR becoming friendly, becoming trading partners -- communism doesn't seem to be stopping us with respect to China.
So, if you think that something had some effect, say so. But don't claim unrealized potentials as facts, it actually weakens your arguments.
EDIT: *Square brackets, angled brackets, bah! Standards are great, that's why everyone has their own.*
This message has been edited by --Pete from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Feb 21, 2003 11:58 AM