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How The Cold War Helped America

1998 words - 8 pages

The Cold War in its length was quite calm, but because of a handful of major events times were very heated and sometimes almost led to full on nuclear war between both sides. One of these earliest events happened on the morning of May 1, of 1960 when CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down by a Soviet surface to air missile. The agent had been on a top secret mission to fly and photograph denied territory from his U-2 spy plane deep inside russia. At the time, President Eisenhower was anxious to avoid a surprise nuclear attack, he was also becoming nervous over rapid Soviet technological advancements. Another major event that infamously occurred during the Cold War was the Cuban Missile Crisis. In October of 1962 an American U-2 spy plane was secretly photographing nuclear missile sites being built by the Soviet Union in Cuban. President John F. Kennedy shortly met with his advisors to discuss the problem he was facing. After many lengthy meetings Kennedy decided that his answer would be to place a ring of ships around Cuba. The purpose of this tactic would be to prevent the Soviet Union from bringing more military supplies to Cuba. Both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Kruschev realized the devastating consequences of a nuclear war and in doing so both sides agreed to deals. The Soviet Union would dismantle their missiles in Cuba only under the circumstance that the US would not invade Cuba and would remove their own missiles from Turkey. Some people argue that this was the closest that anything has ever gotten to nuclear war and that at the time one mistake by any side could trigger it.
When everyone thought the worst was over, during 10 days in November of 1983 the US and Soviet Union nearly started a nuclear war once again. The exercise, known as Able Archer 83 simulated the transition by NATO from a conventional war to a nuclear war, culminated in the simulated release of nuclear warheads against the Soviet Union. NATO changed its readiness condition to DEFCON 1 during Able Archer, the highest level. The Soviets interpreted the simulation as a ruse to conceal first strike and readied their nukes. If any of these events did occur and led to nuclear war the technological, economical and social advancements would never outweigh nuclear winter and nuclear destruction.
Some still argue that even without nuclear war the US lost more during the course of the Cold War than it gained. This is because the US lost a lot of troops during the Korean War as well as the Vietnam War. The Vietnam and Korean war were negative examples of military intervention by the Americans in the name of stopping communist intervention. Although these wars took the lives of many innocent Americans, the benefits of going through the Cold War outweighed the costs in the long run.
Negative events in the name of stopping communism didn’t just happen beyond American borders, they also occurred greatly in the US especially in places such as Hollywood. One of the ways that the...

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