After WWII ended, the United States entered into a war that lasted for over four decades, and was unlike any war we had fought previously. Not a single shot was fired, because the cold war was a war fought with the threat of annihilation by both sides. This war was a war between the United States and the USSR, the Soviet Union. The purported reason behind the cold war was that both countries, the U.S. and the Soviet Union had very different kinds of government, the Soviet Union’s communism, and the United States democracy. Each country believed their form of government would be the best government for the whole world and their types of government were very different. The Communists formed the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) in the effort to begin a revolution for the purpose of overthrowing capitalism. Lenin and Stalin set up a totally state controlled economy. Due to the fact that socialism and capitalism are so opposite from democracy, the United States believed this form of government was a threat to the American freedom and way of life.
Both the United States, Soviet Union and several other nations continually competed for potential military superiority. This competition was evidenced in increases in conventional weaponry, increases in nuclear arsenals, technological innovations including computers, satellites and space travel. Nuclear delivery systems first started as propeller and jet bomber aircraft, short range nuclear missiles, to missiles that were capable of striking other continents, to the more technologically advanced satellite systems. As this Cold War escalated both the United States and the Soviet Union each had nuclear weapons enough to wipe out the whole world, the policies behind the cold war were aimed at prevention of the firing of these weapons of mass destruction.
In the aim of preventing the other country from using nuclear weapons by both countries, the Arm’s race began. Each country was trying to make sure they had the most powerful nuclear weapons. In the hope of keeping the Cold War from becoming a nuclear war, the “policy of containment” was put into place. In other words the U.S. thought that the best we could do was to contain communism and keep it from growing. Eventually it was realized that if a full scale nuclear war began it would end in the destruction of the world.
The North American Treaty (NATO) was formed during this time and in response to capitalism, the Soviet Union and its allies formed the Warsaw Pact. The cold war had a great impact on all Americans, even children. I can remember my mother telling me stories about hiding under her desk in frequent nuclear drills. She and her classmates were taught to “duck and cover” in case of a nuclear attack. They would take cover under their desks. My father was raised in a community with a Strategic Air Command base which flew bombers with nuclear weapons 24 hours/365 days a year. His home town was surrounded...