The Cold War refers to the conflict between the Soviet led Communist Bloc and the Western Democracy led by the USA. For more than 40 years the conflict shaped the world with a massive military buildup, a never ending nuclear arms race, intensive espionage and fierce technological competition as each side tried to get the upper hand…
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There were deep rooted ideological, economic and political differences between the two countries before World War 2 and these intensified after the war ended. Ideological differences arose from the fact that the 2 countries had apposing systems of government. Power rivalry ensued after the decline of Europe, with power split between the USSR and USA, both seeking to dominate each other. The Yalta-Potsdam Conference, George Kennan’s Telegram, Berlin Blockade, Korean War, Berlin Wall and U2 Crises were events that were largely responsible for increasing the tension between the two super powers and escalating the Cold War. Finally the Cuban Missile Crises, the event at which the world almost witnessed World War III, was the worst event of the War (Cold War 1945-1960). There is no clear indication as to when the Cold War started. The only reason that kept Soviet and the West together as allies was Hitler. They both wanted to eliminate Hitler’s Nazis but for different reasons. Stalin wanted Germany to fall because he did not want events like the Nazi’s invasion of 1941 to repeat whereas the America and Britain wanted Germany to be Capitalist trading partner and a state that could prevent the spread of Communism in Europe. After 1945, conflicts and misunderstandings arose aggravating the situation between the two super powers of the world. Signs of conflicts were seen in the Yalta Conference of February 1945; when the allies sat down to decide how they would Divide Germany after the war. Germany was supposed to be divided into four zones between USA, Britain, France and USSR. Problem arose as to what type of government will be established in Eastern Europe. At the end of the conference, the allies agreed to set up Democratic governments in the countries by holding free elections, but the way the two sides interpreted ‘democracy’ and ‘free elections’ sow the seeds for a future conflict. Five months later the allies met again at Potsdam. The situation in these few months had changed due to a number of factors; Roosevelt (who was pro Stalin) had died and was replaced by an aggressive anti-communist, President Truman, on the other hand Stalin ordered to arrest Poland’s non-communist leader. So the tension about Eastern Europe at Yalta now surfaced as an open disagreement and the outcomes of the conference remained merely the same (Cold War 1945-63). In 1946, George Kennan, a US diplomat stationed at Moscow sent a ‘long telegram’ to America that the Soviets needed to be stopped. The Telegram informed the Americans about the Soviet ideology. This became the basis for America’s Cold War policy against USSR. Truman Doctrine, was introduced as a result of the telegram which meant that the US should stop the further Communist expansion by any means possible. In March of 1946, Winston Churchill gave a speech in which he said that Eastern Europe was dominated by the Soviet’s totalitarian control and so was cut off from the rest of the world by an ‘iron curtain’. This aggravated the tension so much that Stalin took Churchill’s Speech as a declaration of Cold War. George Marshall, American General after returning from Europe convinced the Congress that the only way to stop the spread of Communism in Europe was to provide economic support to the countries which were very poor and about to turn into Communist States. The Congress
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