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The Origins and Early Form of the Arms Race - Research Paper Example

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The Origins and Early form of the Arms Race The origin of the arms race during the cold war really began and ended with one invention: the atomic bomb. This was a weapon that had first been theorized about in the 1930s.1 World War II, however, assured that the development of this weapon was given highest priority, and its development was a top priority of both the Russian and American governments…
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The Origins and Early Form of the Arms Race
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Download file to see previous pages These technological developments, however, only occurred because of vast systems of ideology and doctrine that convinced both sides they needed to adopt and aggressive postures towards each other. To truly understand the arms race, it is essential to understand the doctrines and philosophies that led to the perception of its necessity. The United States and the Soviet Union were allies during the Second World War, but even before the close of the that conflict significant cracks began to emerge – Truman and Stalin were already spoiling for a conflict as of the Potsdam Conference prior to the close of the war. His journal entries at that point contain subtle threats. In one time, Stalin and Truman had a frank discussion, in which Truman refers to Stalin’s questions as “dynamite,” before referring to the fact that Truman had “some dynamite too, which I’m not exploding now.”3 This clearly speaks to veiled threats – Stalin making some, before Truman refers to the fact that he has a secret weapon more powerful than the Soviet Union. So even as of World War II, both the Soviets and Americans were convinced they would be in conflict with each other – they were certain that their ideologies were too divergent, their interests too opposed to each other, and the world simply too small to accommodate the both of them. This represents the earliest beginning of the Cold War and the arms race. The arms race became further reinforced by the differing doctrines of both countries The first doctrine that the United States adopted towards the Soviet Union after the close of the Second World War was the Truman Doctrine, a doctrine essentially of containment of Soviet Union, which the United States believed was highly imperialist.4 The Soviet Union, for its own part, believed that a spreading proletariat revolution was a necessity, and heavily encouraged communist revolutions in a variety of countries, including successful revolutions in North Korea, Vietnam, China, as well as the de facto annexation of much of eastern and central Europe through the conflict of the Second World War. This further reinforced the idea in each country that they would eventually come into conflict with each other. It seemed almost certain. But this conflict would be different from any that came before it, because it would involve nuclear weapons, something against which there was no effective defense. Previous systems of weaponry could be battled – to destroy a city through bombing would take massive waves of bombers, which could be destroyed, thus limiting damage. With the advent of atomic weapons, however, this all changed. If a single airplane flew through a defense, it could obliterate a city. There was no way to defend against this new kind of weapon, which meant the only way to stop it from being used was through deterrence. Each side had to be absolutely certain that if it used atomic weapons, they would have atomic weapons used against them. This brought about a troubling strategy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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