Cold War Ideology and Policies Billie Jo Wallace Axia College of University of Phoenix Professor Shaun Sullivan January 13, 2007 Cold War Ideology and Policies The Cold War is a term used to describe a mostly nonviolent conflict primarily between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States (US) beginning in 1945. The USSR’s military might and the US’s nuclear capabilities defined the Cold War. Neither country was willing to start an all out war. The USSR and the US were allies during WWII although they were never friendly.
The two countries became allies only because of a common enemy, Hitler (Trueman (n. d. )). Near the end of WWII, world alliances and international relations changed dramatically. The most prominent, powerful allies during WWII were Britain, France, the US, and the USSR. After WWII, the USSR and the US reigned as the world’s superpowers. WWII left most of Europe economically and environmentally devastated. The USSR, under Stalin’s rule, tried to take advantage of Europe’s weakened state by expanding communist territories.
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Britain and France sided with the US. In 1947, the US adopted The Truman Doctrine and then the Marshall Plan to stop the USSR from taking over Greece and Turkey by providing economic aid (Davidson, 2006). The idea behind The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan was containment rather than a violent war. However, Stalin was not contained. Stalin’s aggressions against Hungary in 1947 and Czechoslovakia in 1948 increased hostilities between the USSR and its former allies.
These aggressive acts caused the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949, a defensive alliance between the US, Canada, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Davidson, 2006). During August of this same year, the USSR developed nuclear capabilities (Davidson, 2006). This put the USSR and the US in a state of stalemate. With both countries having nuclear capabilities, the destruction of the world was a real possibility. During 1950, a war between North and South Korea seemingly sprang out of nowhere.
Russia and China allied in favor of communist North Korea and the US favored anti-communist South Korea. This conflict heated up the arms race between the USSR and the US (Trueman, (n. d. ). This conflict did not officially end until 1953 (Davidson, 2006). The USSR and the US remained the world’s superpowers with each having nuclear capabilities. The Cold War left the US highly alert to its global effect. With other nations having the same nuclear capabilities, the US realized that world peace must be obtained. This realization forever changed US international policies and alliances for the good. References