Nixon goes to China and in a masterstroke of diplomacy turns a two-power Cold War into three-power triangular diplomacy, giving the United States the leverage for Détente, a chance for a soft landing for the Cold War in the 1970s. But Watergate destroys not only the Nixon administration; it reduces American morale and determination to its lowest point during the entire conflict. The Soviet perception of American weakness leads to their invasion of Afghanistan, and the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon unleashed in a picturesque German town named Fulda.
And then, seemingly overnight, the situation reverses itself: engaged in their own quagmire in Afghanistan, mired in the Brezhnev Stagnation, and plagued by an embarrassing series of fossilized leaders, the Soviets fall ever farther behind. And across the Atlantic, America’s oldest President brings youthful vigor, renewed optimism and unprecedented resolve to a dying national identity, and decides on a plan to resolve the forty-year running stalemate and end the Cold War with a win.