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Nato And The Warsaw Pact Essay

1237 words - 5 pages

There are always at least two sides in any conflict. In World War I it was the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. In World War II it was the Axis and Allied powers. In World War III it would have been the nations of NATO and the nations of the Warsaw pact. Luckily, the later never developed; there was no World War III. However, this was not due to lack of trying as throughout the later part of the 20th century the two factions previously mentioned, characterised by the Warsaw pact and the acronym NATO respectively, were at each others throats in a tense, bloodless struggle that came to be known as the Cold War; a war during which no shots were fired, but was a thousandfold more dangerous than any other conflict. This potentially catastrophic struggle for world domination was caused by diverse international factors, however, one of the largest of said factors was the division of the world into two camps; the NATO countries and the Warsaw pact nations, or, as George bush said it, "the Cold War began with the division of Europe" (1), which was what these two factions accomplished. What, then. were the circumstances that surrounded the creation of these two entities and how exactly did they contribute to the tensions during the Cold War? These are the very questions that shall be examined in this essay, beginning with a brief explanation of the creation of the organizations referred to as NATO and the Warsaw Pact and the circumstances surrounding their creations.
After World War II, the state of international diplomacy seemed bright: the major powers were allied together, Japan and Germany had been defeated, and all the soldiers could return home. With the USSR and the US as allies, it seemed that war was now a thing of the past. This soon changed, however, as East-West relations continued to deteriorate. "Because they faced a common enemy in Hitler, the Grand Alliance became a marriage of necessity forged by the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union" (2) and with the war over the differences between the communism of the USSR and the capitalism of the US became more and more apparent. What followed was a serious set of political faux pas and incidents that served to confound East-West relations in the postwar world. Two major incidents that set the stge for the coming rivalry were the Czechoslovakian crisis and the Berlin Blockade. The Czechoslovakian crisis refers to the Soviet coup that occurred in the state of Czechoslovakia in 1948 where the leaders of the government were deposed and pro-Soviet leaders were appointed. This resulted in the "American Senate (voting)....to extend the Marshall Plan (, which was a plan of economic aid to Europe,)....in the hope of preventing communist success elsewhere" (3). The Berlin blockade was far more serious as it involved "the Soviets...(imposing) a blockade on all road and rail traffic into the former national capital" (4) of West Berlin, which was under allied control. These two incidents,...

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