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The Cold War, Cuban Missile Crises And Communism

1126 words - 5 pages

The balance of power theory, the concept that if all military powers are equally distributed, no one country can be dominant, and in turn, all other nations are more secure, was fundamentally geared toward the Cold War era. The Cold War, a period of disillusion, confusion, espionage and fear, was dominated by two different entities: NATO and the Soviet Union (USSR). NATO, an intergovernmental organization designed to promote international cooperation and to embody the “balance of power theory”, was paralyzed during the Cold War era due to the rampant rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. The two super powers, while never engaging in direct conflict, hence the term “Cold War”, were in direct competition with each other. The United States of America was a fundamentally democratic nation, a dominant military force and a premier political power in the western hemisphere. The Soviet Union, a socialist, single party state, governed as a single entity by the Communist Party, was the polar opposite to the US. They were not only military rivals, but rivals on a fundamental ideological level. Therefore, these two nations epitomized the two different ideological sides during the Cold War: the Communist and the Democratic, two true poles. The debated peak of this rivalry occurred with the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was, in short, the closest the world has ever come to experiencing a nuclear catastrophe. During the Cold War Era and more specifically during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the role of a “balance of power” seemed to be embodied by the two ideological superpowers, the United States, and the Soviet Union. That is, because of the two rivaling nations, the notion of a “balance of power” played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis and overall in the Cold War Era. Leading up to the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world itself experienced a shift in the balance of power.

II. Tensions

Beginning with an end, the Nazi’s (Nazi Party of Germany) had effectively lost their claim to power with their surrender on May 7th, 1945. A premier power had fallen, a power that had acted as an aggressor in a war that had seen tens of millions dead and the world in complete disarray. With the common enemy gone, the tensions between the US and Russia resurfaced, a palpable tension that would eventually lead to the Cold War and would polarize the two sides. Due to this polarization, the two nations would establish different spheres of influence, one becoming as Winston Churchill famously stated “The Iron Curtain”, the Soviet Block, and the other becoming the purveyor of Capitalism, the protector of Democracy as it were. Though Russia lost over 20 million citizens and was severely damaged economically after the Second World War, Joseph Stalin largely rebuilt the majority of Soviet Industry and created a secure infrastructure that depended on labor and industrialization, a system that would survive well into the late 20th century. Due to...

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