To What Extent Did The Us Escalate The Cold War?

2211 words - 9 pages

The cold war wasn't a war in essence. It was a continued state of competition, inconsistency and tension, mainly between the two superpowers, the United States and Soviet Union, including their allies as well. The war started in the mid 1940s and went up to early 1990s. Throughout this period, the war was not that of wars and attacks on one another, but more of a verbal war, in which both the countries tried to upstage one another through various techniques such as acquiring new weapons, surveillance weapons, the development of and acquiring new techniques and strategies, media and propaganda, and above all, a competition in each and everything. Over the years it's been scrutinized and debated as to actually who was the reason behind the escalation. Was the U.S behind what is termed the "Domino Effect" in the war, or was it the USSR? Looking over what the historians say, some of my own points, and a general overview of the war, clearly puts one in the argument to state that the US were the reason behind the escalation of the cold war. To what extent though? We will further discuss. As we skim through the history pages and read page after page of the cold war and the continued conflict between the USSR and the US, we are forced to think over who was doing what and to what extent?There were several events and episodes which were fuel to the fire burning between the two countries, a fire of mistrust and suspicion. There are events such as the Bolsheviks' challenge to capitalism which was to be brought about through the ruthless banishment and overthrow of the capitalists' regimes, to replace it with communism. Then there was Russia's withdrawal from World War I, US interruption when Russia was supporting the White Army in the Russian civil war, and then to top it all, The United States completely refused to acknowledge the Soviet Union till the year 1933. There were other such incidences such as the Treaty of Rapallo, which fueled the fire and deepened the feelings of distrust and suspicions among the two countries. In his book, The Specter of Communism, Melvyn Leffler writes "American officials had concluded as early as 1940 that they could not live in a world dominated by totalitarian nations, even if these powers refrained from attacking the United States." This shows the countries unwillingness to tolerate a communist state, let alone one that might overpower them.Their paranoia with communism was so great that they ended up setting up an entire committee which had no purpose other than to find people who supported communism. The House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was established in 1938 to hunt down communist sympathizers, be it civilians, public employees, or anyone else for that matter. With the rising tension with the USSR the support for the group grew against all rationality. The committee had the power to subpoena individuals to court and hold people in contempt against congress. There were many times that the organization...

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