Assigment 4 - Questions Contemporary World - Assignment Example

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Mutual assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy whereby an extensive use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two or more opposing sides can lead to complete destruction of both the attacker and defender (Brown, 11). The…
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Assigment 4 - Questions Contemporary World
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Question Mutual assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy whereby an extensive use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two or more opposing sides can lead to complete destruction of both the attacker and defender (Brown, 11). The concept of mutual assured destruction started playing a critical role in 1962 as far as military operations were concerned. The year saw the Defense Secretary of the US under President Kennedy’s administration-Robert McNamara, set out a speech to the American Bar Foundation of flexible nuclear response (Brown, 17). Basically, the administration was focused on stockpiling enough nuclear weapons and arsenal to prevent the country in case of an attack from the Soviet Union. The resulting outcome would be so immense that the enemy would be assured of “total destruction”. This led to the establishment of the philosophy of nuclear deterrence (Brown, 31). The concept of MAD was not only put into practice by the US/USSR but also the Cuban. The concept almost came into practice eight months after McNamara’s speech by the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, the conflict was solved amicably without military intervention.
Question 2
The Korean and Vietnam’s proxy wars played vital roles in the duration of the Cold war. The Vietnam War was major accredited to the latter stages of the development and the start of the cold war. On the other hand, the Korean War mainly contributed to the causes and development of the Cold War. These two wars exhibit some similarities and some contrasts mainly in the causes and development. These include;
The Korean war was fought in the early 1950’s. It was characterized by heightened tension that resulted to communist threat to Asian borders. Coincidentally, Korean war coincided with China’s involvement in Cold War. Importantly, the war leads to massive increase in Cold war tensions hence the concept of McCarthyism.
This war mainly occurred between the period of late 60s and early 70s hence did not contribute to the cold war.
The war brought China in the limelight following the decision by US to cross Chinese borders. The stalemate that existed between the two countries signified change in leadership for USSR, hence reduced tension between the countries.
The Vietnam was part of the US containment policy. In this regard, it foreshadowed the end of détente thereby contributing the continuation of the Cold War.
Question 3
The ideas of Glasnost and Gorbachev played a vital role in shaping the current status of Europe. The ideas of Glasnost and Gorbachev were characterized by openness and played a major role in political and economic restructuring of Europe (Gibbs, 17). It is worth noting that these ideologies deviated from the old centralized control and communists that had dominated major parts of the continent. The Gorbachev initiative that was very effective was his decision to abandon Soviet control of the Communist nations of the Eastern Europe. Since World War II, nations within USSR opted to maintain these states together for reasons of national security. However, after taking power Gorbachev declared that each and every state within USSR was free to choose its own course without outside interference. Glasnost on his part ended the strict censorship of the 1960s and 1970s hence promoting political dissidents in the process (Gibbs, 29). These two ideologies dominated Europe and contributed to significant political changes such as fall of the Berlin Wall. The social forces that rose as a result of Glasnost and Gorbachev ideologies resulted to the end of the post-World War II division between West and East Germany. The Germans started appreciating the need of living together in harmony hence the fall of the Berlin War.
Question 4
Some may argue that the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan was improper. However, the fact remains that the war had already taken place and had left a mark in the world history. The invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union was basically motivated by the geopolitical interest in the region. In addition, the Soviet Union was committed to advancing their socialist ideology and they could do this through friendly regimes. As a result, the Afghanistan’s centrist government was overthrown by left-wing military officers led by Nur Mohammad Taraki with the help of the USSR troops (Kakar, 73). The Soviet Union was also strategic and invasion of Afghanistan was one of the strategies to deter US interference in the USSR’s backyard by gaining foothold in Southeast Asia.
Work cited
Brown, Timothy C. When the Ak-47s Fall Silent: Revolutionaries, Guerrillas, and the Dangers of Peace. Stanford, Calif: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 2000. Print.
Duiker, William J., Contemporary World History, fifth edition. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage, 2010
Garthoff, Raymond L. A Journey Through the Cold War: A Memoir of Containment and Coexistence. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution Press, 2001. Internet resource.
Gibbs, Joseph. Gorbachevs Glasnost: The Soviet Media in the First Phase of Perestroika. College Station: Texas A&M Univ. Press, 1999. Print.
Kakar, M H. Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 1997. Internet resource. Read More
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