Lessons of the Cold War
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Lessons of the Cold War
NAMING OF COLD WAR (1945-1991)
Cold war was a state of military and political tension after the Second World War, between western capitalist countries, and the eastern block mainly USSR, which was communist in character (Towle 160). The name signifies there was no active fighting, involving bloodshed, but there was an innate, underlying and seething hostility rampant in the air, secret meetings and conspiracies to destroy one another. This was done mainly by keeping a diplomatic façade, and trying to outdo one another by weapon stock building and research and innovation in this arena. USA and USSR were the two superpowers involved in this combat. Nuclear strength on both sides, military deployment, proxy wars, psychological warfare, media manipulation, spy system development and space race were some of the most characteristic features of this cold war.
USA AS WINNER WITHOUT NUCLEAR WARFARE
Although USA was the first to detonate an atomic bomb, in the post second world war era, in 1945, and it had a pioneering global role to play in the Manhattan project, its subsequent strategies and attitudes in the cold war era, proved to be relatively stable and peaceful. USA, through its policy of containment/stoppage through strategic maneuvers, halted the soviet union control at the military, political, economic and ideological levels. President Kennedy managed to take action during the Cuban missile crisis, through a naval blockade, in 1962. Although USA, had its ambitious self-interest, it nevertheless, was prepared to take temperate and diplomatic stances whenever required, thus at least avoiding a bloody and destructive war (Michael 18).
MAJOR LESSONS OF COLD WAR AND THEIR IMPACT ON CURRENT AFFAIRS
Cold war is an indefinite and continuous phenomenon. Back logs, unresolved issues, hidden or potential conflicts are numerous and can keep cropping from time to time. As the saying goes, life is a continuous war which needs to be fought, personal or whatever collective levels. This also includes spiritual war too. But war is not for war itself. It is fought for resolution of the war or conflict and to bring peace. Hence preventive measures or cold war with a diplomatic façade are some strategies which avoid the extreme form of war, i.e. destruction and bloodshed. This has a lot of impact on current affairs, particularly for resolution of Middle-eastern and afghan conflicts and wars. The western world is a mastermind behind all this, and it has led to massive genocide. This can partially be stopped, by the cold war method. USSR or the broken soviet republics, have gone into the background now, due to the regressive mode of cold war.
DRAWBACKS OF COLD WAR (PAST MISTAKES)
The goals of cold war have shown some discrepancies, reflecting on its drawbacks. What were the main or primary aims or objectives of the cold war? It was mainly to combat communism with capitalism. USA was a capitalistic nation with noble ideals like individualism, liberty, equality and fraternity. This has created hope amongst people, excellent infrastructure and opportunities, but not for the reasons of global or universal freedom achievement. The superpowers still pull the strings and control the masses, by brainwashing them with these glamorous institutions and big talk, and some show of figureheads like sugar daddies who appease children with soft toys. So the drawback of cold war persists, waiting to be uplifted by a higher consciousness (John 71).
WAR-ON-TERROR AS BY-PRODUCT OF COLD WAR
Cold war has produced many terrorist organizations and activities, by the mastermind of superpowers. This is most rampant in middle eastern afghan conflicts. Terrorism and anarchy go hand in hand in Somalia. This is the most glaring current problem today. The masses are destroyed, without a direct war or confrontation. They live in continuous fear.
COLD WAR AS A SAFETY MEASURE FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE CONFLICTS
The only safety provided by cold war is that it avoids an extreme situation by keeping up a diplomatic facade. So it can help in the current and future conflicts which results in killings by terrorist factions. But cold war is a strategy which needs a further strategy to control the masterminds who control the global game of politics and keeps the masses suppressed.
John Lewis Gaddis. We Know Now: Rethinking Cold War History. Oxford University Press. 1997. Print.
Towle, Philip. Cold War. In Charles Townshend. The Oxford History of Modern War. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. 2000. Print. p. 160.
Michael Cox. Beyond the Cold War: Superpowers at the Crossroads. University Press of America. 1990. Print. p. 18.