This essay is a thesis on how the Cold War was in fact a much more heated war than it was made out to be. BY Characters According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,” One apt definition of war is this: war is an actual, intentional and widespread-armed conflict between political communities. ” (http://Plato. Stanford. Dude/entries/war/). This definition did not seem fit for the conflict between capitalism (United States of America), communism (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), and their followers. The struggle was later dubbed the Cold War, referring to its lack of physical conflict.
Though, if every aspect of this struggle is examined, the name “Cold War” doesn’t serve justice to what it stands for. The dispute between communism and capitalism wasn’t limited to political distrust and competition. Thus, the struggle shouldn’t solely be classified as a “Cold War”. There Is no exact date that marks the beginning of the Cold War, but Its deepest roots are found In early sass with the Russian revolution. The people of Russia were unsatisfied with the czarist government in place. In 1917 the government was overthrown and Vladimir Lilac Lenin established a new communist government.
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The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed. Under the new rule, all opposition to the government was eradicated, including external obstruction. The Soviets called for a worldwide revolution against capitalism, which they viewed as an enemy and a threat to their state. This was the first punch thrown in the long fight of the Cold War. It is widely accepted that the intense rivalry of the Cold War begun in the years to follow World War II, more precisely the aftermath of the Yalta Conference. In the didst of World War II, Germany defied a cease-fire agreement between them and the Soviet union.
The Soviets were quick to respond by Joggling the Western allies (France, Great Britain, and later the United States). It seemed that a lasting trust could be formed between the united States and the Soviet union due to their wartime cooperation, but it would deteriorate quickly enough (http:/,sisterly sass. About. Com/ gig/dynamic/offside. HTML? Site=http:AAAwIF2FWIWdbWordbooksthe final days of the war, the leaders of the “Big Three” alliance countries (Great Britain, U. S. and SoAndt Union: Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, respectively) met in Yalta, USSR, in February 1945.
They met to discuss many post-war affairs, including how to set up the United Nations, getting the USSR to declare war on Japan, reparations paid to the Soviets by Germany, and the new borders for many eastern Europe countries. The mood at the conference was that of happiness, but the principals that were celebrated at the time would later lead to great conflict (Warren 30). The US agreed to let the Soviets Influence and control a large portion of Eastern Europe, particularly Poland, In xchangexchangehem declaring war on Japan. This was a great loss for the U.
S, and the communist, at the small price of declaring war on Japan a few short days before the end of the war (http://www. historHistoryu.SofashiDudery/134_Unit8AUnit).HTML U. S. felt lFeltthe Soviets had taken advantage of the conference, and what’s worse communism was spread. The U. S, not in any hurry to start a new war, simply adopted” toughness in his dealings with Moscow” policy, which offered no aid to the Soviets, who were the most devastated by the war. The Soviets saw this as very unfair, and accused the U. S. f tryiFg to dissolve their communist state. The Cold War had begun.
A great divide cut the world in half, and the drawing line was political ideals. During 1945, the Soviets cut off nearly all contacts and ties between the West and Eastern Europe. In a public speech in March of 1946, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stated that, “An Iron Curtain has descended across the continent (of Europe). Behind that line lie all of the capitals of the ancient states of central and eastern Europe … all thAll famous cities and the populations around lie in the Soviet sphere and all are subject … o a veOy high and increasing measure of control from Moscow. The iron curtain analogy became famous for describing the Soviet blockage of the west. From this point on, the Cold War was characterized by distrust, slander, and difference in political ideology. Things would only get worse. Korea was among the countries that became the site of a power vacuum confrontation between the US and the USSR. Korea was under the control of Japan up until the end of World War II, but they gained their independence after Japan surrendered. The Korean government was up for grabs so to speak, for any country o influence. The Soviet Union saw this as an opportunity to spread communism.
The US saw it as a potential “domino affect” area (http://www. historHistoryu.SofashiDudery/ 134_Unit8AUnit).HTML domino affect stated that any communist nation would eventually transform its neighboring countries to communism. With Korea having no government, it was very susceptible to Soviet persuasion. Their ambition in Korea was to transform it to a communist nation under Soviet influence, or a Soviet Satellite (http://historhistory sasst.AboutgiComngigic/offsitoffside sHTML=hSite/ /wmwAAA IFrlBMW cWordbooke Com one flaw with this plan; only half of Korea surrendered to Soviet forces at the end of the war.
All of Korea below the 38th parallel line surrendered to US forces. This division was not meant to stay permanent, but the US hesitated to withdraw completely. US intelligence observed the Soviet Red-Army fortifying the 38th parallel on the northern side (Warren 68). The ambitions of the North and the Soviets were very clear, if Korea was to be united, it would in a way the Soviets see fit. On June 25th 1950, with the use of Soviet guns and tanks, North Korea began an invasion of South Korea. It took only two short days for US president Harry S. Truman to order a naval blockade on the North and immediately send 65,00 troops to the south.
Early in the war, North Korea would denounced the war and warned that they would take action if the war came close to Chinese land, particularly the Yalu River. Yale came to be a great scapegoat for the Chinese to attack the US. On November 26th 1950, “200,000 Chinese “volunteers” crossed the Yalu River iYaleRed counter-offensive” (http://www. history. sfaHistory/ SofasryDude4_Unit8A. htmlUnits HTMLa turning point in the war in that before this ttack, it seattackthat the UN and US forces had secured North Korea and could re- unite them under a non-communist government with the south.
UN forces had captured the North Korean capitol of Pyong yang, Ponghey were forced to abandon it to fght the Chifight. The war continued in this stalemate fashion. Counter-attacks were waged; capitols were controlled, and liberated over and over. It took two years of brutal fghting and fightingof delegations before the war was ended. On July 27th 1953, the I-IN, communist China and North Korea signed an armistice that established a de-militarizDe militariesthe 38th parallel. The war was over, but the world paid a heavy price.
Over 55,000 US and 3,000 UN troops were killed, and another 103,000 US and 11,000 UN troops were injured. It is estimated that the Koreans and Chinese suffered over one million casualties. This war had many other impacts on the Cold War and the world at large than Just casualties: The US defense budget increased from $14 billion in 1951 to $54 billion in 1953 (Warren 78). The Soviet Union failed to communize alcommuniona, which was a setback for them and a victory for the US and free enterprise. It also convinced the western population that communist nations ere bent on western domination (http://historyl 900history sassgiBoutamCom gigfsite. htmoffsidehtHTML//Site. worlAAAoIF.FWIW TWordbook WComwas also a defining moment in the Cold War, as quoted by Journalist Mel Elfin, ” … transformed the CoTransformed a political and ideological struggle into a military one”. The Cold War was burning up. Cuba was one of America’s closest allies. Many large US businesses and their factories were located in Cuba, and there was abundant trade between the two countries. It was hard to believe at the time that the most climactic and defining vent of the Cold War would occur here.
The relationship between the US and Cuba started to deteriorate familiarly with the USSR, when a revolution swept across the country. Revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and his army of rebels overthrew the standing government. Fearing that new leader Castro would set a communist government in place, the US applied economic pressure, hoping that would persuade Cuba against it. This seemed like a great idea, on account that Cuba’s government Scuba’srgely influenced by the US prior to the Cuban revolution. The US implemented an embargo on all goods coming and going to
Cuba in 1960 (Encarta). Castro rIncarnateto bend to US pressure, and ironically developed closer relations with the USSR. The US was getting scared. In a feeble attempt to rid Castro of power, us-trained Cuban exiles were shipped to the Bay of Pigs in Cuba to begin an invasion. After crushing the resistance, Castro responded by declaring Cuba a communist nation. arose between the Arosed the Soviets over Berlin. After World War II, Germany was divided into four zones each controlled by one of the four allies of the war. Berlin was also divided into four zones, as was the rest of Germany.
The French, American, and British quarters were capitalist, and the Soviet quarter was communist. At first, people could travel freely between West Germany (capitalist) and East Germany (communist). Yet, there was a problem with this for the Soviets. East Germans were all flocking in search of a better life in West Germany. Their economy was slumping, and the US was gaining a great deal of insider information from the fleeing East Germans. According to James Warren, “Berlin was like a bleeding sore to the Soviet Union. ” The Soviets had a simple solution, build a wall enclosing East Berlin from apitalist West Gerfatalist
This kept all of eastern Berliners out of West Berlin. All that attempted to escape to western Berlin were shot on sight. The Berlin wall solved some problems for the Soviets, such as ensuring the end of the exodus to West Germany, and a show of its power and resolve. What the Berlin wall did not help was the arms race and military inferiority the Soviets had compared to the US. Nikita Khrushchev,Nikkeieader of the USSR at the time, was getting more pressure from internal politicians, and communist China to show more force to the US.
There was nly one way to balonlye the far superior and closer proximate military force of the US to the weaker Soviets; place nuclear weapons off the coast of the US. That is precisely what was done. The Soviets recognized the newly formed and building tension between the US and Cuba as a perfect opportunity to capitalize on their plan of evening the weight of their military. It is not a surprise that Castro accepted this plan, after all the actions the US had taken against Cuba. In 1960, the Soviets began secretly shipping nuclear weapons and technology to Cuba. In 1962, the US began to speculate these actions.
In September of the same year, US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy “warned the Soviets that ‘the gravest issues would arise’ should they place offensive weapons (a phrase widely understood to mean nuclear weapons) in Cuba (Encarta). On OctobIncarnate, Kennedy had the proof he needed that the Soviets were supplying Cuba with Nuclear weapons. Photographs were taken of nuclear bases under construction, and bombers capable of nuclear strike. The placement and technology of these nuclear bases put most of the US in nuclear strike range. “This was the Cold War at its most perilous point” (Warren 147).
The Soviet Union had the bargaining chip they were so desperate for. The US immediately began looking at its options. The first plan was to invade Cuba along with an air strike to take out the nuclear bases out of commission before they could do any harm. The consequences of this were stacked too high, though. A failed attack would definitely mean nuclear warfare. A successful raid would rid the danger only temporarily. It was almost certain that the Soviets would construct more bases elsewhere, or attack nearby allies of the Soviet Union (Warren 147). The plan that came to be was a complete naval blockade of Cuba.
Any ships approaching the Island would be carefully inspected for nuclear weapons. The Soviets respected the would do next. The answer was much obliged by Kennedy and his executive committee. The Soviets proposed a deal to the US, promise never to invade Cuba, and remove all of their missile bases from neighboring Turkey, and the Soviets would disassemble the nuclear bases and never assemble them again in the western hemisphere. This was agreed on October 27, 1962. The Cuban missile crisis defined the Cold War and its (in this example potential) deadliness. It brought the world to the brink of nuclear warfare.
As President Kennedy addressed it, “… if we make a mistaIf there may be 20 million dead. ” The crisis was a rude awakening to the US and Soviet Union. They realized that a nuclear holocaust had almost been sparked because of their distrust in one another. No event in the Cold War post-Cuban missile crisis would reach this level of severity. The Cold War was different than any other struggle. It was something that was never seen in the world. There were no battles fought on either side’s soil, and there was no powerful spark to ignite total war. There was no declaration of war, or head on collisions.
Names like “The Communist War” or “Capitalist War” did not seem fit, because of these reasons (and lack of their support). A name like “The Communist War” would imply direct military collisions and irresolvable and unavoidable conflicts between the US and Soviet Union only mended by military action. This statement is commonly agreed on as incorrect. Supposedly, there were differences and conflicts, but they weren’t acted on by military actions. Thus, the name “Cold War” was adopted. This was named and was meant to infer that this was the “not so war-like” war. Yet, after analyzing turning point events of the Cold War such as the Korean
War, the construction of the Berlin wall and the Cuban missile crisis, this definition seems hardly accurate. In the Korean War alone, over 275,000 men were killed or injured that weren’t from neither North nor South Korea, but other parts of the globe, engulfed with Cold War ambitions, motives or insecurities. The Berlin wall was constructed in the name of the Cold War, and it devastated a total region, bringing a lack of food, shelter and stability for over twenty years. The Cuban missile crisis endangered every life in the United States, with one Cold War motivated flex of ilitary muscle.is easy to see after careful examination that the Cold War was much more than a difference of political ideals. It was a different type of war, but not to the extreme of being classified as cold. A more fitting summarization of the Cold War might be; a forty-year-old ideological difference and political distrust led to the exponential escalation of many world affairs. How would you classify this? Certainly cold would not serve Justice. A more accurate name would have been the Ideological War, referring to its roots of conflict buried in differences in government ideas.