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"The Same Agenda, Different War" Assignment: How Is The War On Terror And The Cold War Similar?

2357 words - 9 pages

The defensive and military strategies the United States government used to win the cold war have been studied and criticized by people over the years. Whether the decisions made and defensive policies introduced did more harm then good is hard to determine. What is not hard to see is the outcome of the Cold War, which is a world with less communism, and the United States victorious once again. The United States continues its War on Terror implementing the same policies and strategies used to win the Cold War. The enemy may be different but the threat the enemy poses and the policies used to counter the threat continue to be the same. This similar threat is a continuation from the early part of the Cold War. The threat encompasses the uncertainties of America's future wellbeing and the fears associated with the possibility of mass killings as a result of a nuclear war. The United States deals with this threat in the same ways by preparing for disasters, continuing to use defense manuals to pass information to the public, and trying to prepare the American public for the threats they are facing. Many newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times and the Detroit Free Press, have explored the similarities between the two wars. Government websites such as FEMA and the Office of Homeland Defense include information about the war and ways to prepare. The political ideologies and military strategies used in the Cold War continue to influence the way the United States handles the War on Terror. These include strategies for preparing the American public, for increasing defense spending, and for forming alliances.The strategy for preparation of the public is again in the form of defense manuals, which are almost copies of older defense manuals from the Cold War. In the 1950's the Federal Civil Defense Administration started using defense manuals to teach and train the American people on the home front to prepare them for attacks from the Russians or their communist allies. Recently, the United States government initiated the Department of Homeland Security to address the possibility of a terrorist attack on the home front. The Department of Homeland Security was officially created on October 8, 2001 in direct response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This department immediately distributed copies of its new handbook, titled, "Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness." The booklet provides a "step-by-step outline on how to prepare a disaster supply kit, emergency planning for people with disabilities, how to locate and evacuate to a shelter," and disaster specific information for both man-made and natural disasters (FEMA). In addition, it provides information on a nuclear attack, how to prepare, how to find shelter and recommendations for an emergency kit. Similarly, the civil defense manual of the 1950's and 1960's provided information on nuclear attacks and how to make things such as emergency kits and a bomb shelter....

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