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Topic: Lessons of the cold war - Essay Example

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The Cold War was a conflict that occurred between the world’s two biggest superpowers, The United States and the Soviet Union, in approximately the period from the close of the Second World War (in which the two were allies), until the breakup of the Soviet Union into Russia…
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Essay topic: Lessons of the cold war
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Download file to see previous pages uclear weapons (Brooks 449), engaging in proxy conflicts such as wars in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and generally believed that each side’s existence was anathema to the existence of the other side.
The United States is widely considered to be the “winner” of the Cold War for several reasons. Firstly, there is simple geography: if you look at a map, the United States exists now exactly as it did during the years of the Cold War (in fact, it actually grew somewhat during the conflict, adding Hawaii and Alaska as states as opposed to protectorates or territories), whereas the Soviet Union dissolved as a political entity, becoming Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, and several other smaller states between the Black and Caspian Seas (Brooks 450). More importantly, however, was the fact that the political ideology of Russia shifted – the one-party, communist government ended, the economy was capitalized, state run corporations became privately owned and so on. So, the state of the Soviet Union and the form of government and economy that it represented both ended, while the United States remained the lone Superpower.
There are various explanations of how the Cold War was “won” or “lost” without recourse to a nuclear war. One of the major theories is that the Untied State’s more efficient and productive economy simply outpace the Soviet one, leading the Soviet government to either fall behind militarily or socially – both of which would have leaded to the downfall (Brooks 449). The classic explanation can be summarized as ‘the United States could make tanks and cars, the Soviet Union, one or the other.’ Any explanation that fails to take into account Soviet leadership, however, is somewhat naïve. The fact is that Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, genuinely sought openness and freedom for his people, and allowed them freedom to choose what type of economy they wanted, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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