The Cold War

Essay by mhand27High School, 10th gradeB+, November 2006

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The cold war was unlike any the world had ever seen before. There were no open battles, or two armies facing each other with trenches and a no-mans land in between. Instead, armies of spies fought over breakthrough technology and a new no-mans land had appeared. No one dared to resort to war, when both sides had the power to obliterate a city of a million in a single second. But in October of 1982 the entire world watched in horror as the most significant event the cold war took place. The Cuban Missile crisis threatened to throw the world into a nuclear war of which there was no return

The cold war has been defined as "the protracted geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle that emerged after World War II between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies." (Wikipedia, 06) This struggle stemmed from ideological differences that surfaced after WWII and started a technology, arms and space race unlike any before.

Instead of direct confrontation the US and USSR backed opposing sides in many wars, including the Greek Civil War, Korean War, Vietnam War and the Soviet-Afghan War, along with more peripheral conflicts in Angola, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. There were literally hundreds of significant events, but the Cuban missile crisis was the most important event, hypothetically endangering every single person in the world. To understand the significance of the crisis it is imperative to understand a brief history of Cuba and its relationships with the two superpowers.

In 1890, Cuba gained its independence from Spain, with the support of the US. Then follow a series of corrupt governments backed again, by the USA. Cuba had vast resources, especially of sugar and an opportunity for companies and businesses to flourish. The US took this...