Claiming Victory of the Cold War
What has been termed as “the long peace” by some has proven to be the most intense time period in world history. A historical rarity, two superpowers fought rigorously across the globe for support, each carving out their own sphere of influence. The bi-polar of international affairs resulted in an arms buildup between the United States and the Soviet Union; including weapons that exceeded the atomic bomb, then the most effective and destructive weapon in price and devastation. Yet, to everyone’s surprise, the Cold War abruptly ended in 1990 with the collapse of the Soviet Union under its own economic weakness, its political conflict, and military farce. A decade later, we ask: Who can claim victory for the Cold War, if anyone? Could America, the champion of capitalism and democracy, the state that still stands tall as the present states of the former Soviet Union remain in economic and political turmoil? Could the Soviet Union, who for nearly half a century, successfully checked the power of the United States, and attained its own quadrant of loyalty from Eastern Europe? For approximately 45 years, the two forces brought the globe into its tension, making the prospect and fear of the nuclear , and claim victory for the Cold War. The United States lost just as much as the Soviet Union in the post Cold War era, when, presumably, it should have been the lone superpower, unchecked and free to do as it so pleased.
The Cold War, ignited by post WWII tensions, heightened to near nuclear Armageddon following the Cuban Missile Crisis, and consisted of flexible tensions and a massive arms race. Never was a formal declaration of war announced; rather it remained a war of words, a clash of ideologies, a quest for world hegemony in which the other superpower constantly played the role as hindrance. In order to give such a question its proper justice, we must first explore the world near the end and directly following the second world war, the landscape, which in fact, birthed the Cold War.
The second World War against Nazi aggression was fought by the Allies on two fronts; The British and Americans pushing from the West, the Soviets, alone, fighting German troops on the East. By 1945, without aid from the US or the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union began to gradually push the Nazi forces back West, as he other Allies pushed from the beaches of Normandy. Soviet troops would eventually occupy much of Eastern Europe, to the dismay of Roosevelt and Churchill. At Yalta, Stalin assured free elections in the region following the unconditional surrender of Germany. At Yalta, also, is where the Soviets, along with the English pledged support towards the United States in the Pacific Ocean.
It was at this point in the war that the United States and the Soviet Union began competition, and possibly even earlier since the implementation of Lend Lease. Firstly, the United States, without informing Joseph Stalin,...