Cold War: The Paradox That Was

Essay by Qwoters December 2004

download word file, 6 pages 4.3

Downloaded 87 times

From the last phases of World War II until the collapse of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991, a period of turmoil and conflict dominated the planet known as the Cold War. During that time, this clash was the center of global politics, threatened international peace, and caused a buildup of nuclear arsenals, which today has sparked Operation: Iraqi Freedom. As we now look back at the conflict, it is frightening to see how many times full scale war could have broken out, and even where it did. The Cold War can be separated into three stages according to the time frames: 1945-1949, 1950-1975, and 1976-1991.

The Soviet Union began to expand its influence and power throughout Eastern Europe (and the world) during late World War II, when it won back formerly German-occupied territories such as Estonia, Latvia, Prussia and Eastern Poland. The USSR then set its eyes on Greece and Turkey, where Soviet-led insurgencies were threatening the Britain-restored royal institution.

However, the USSR was stopped short by the US, when President Harry S. Truman passed the Truman Doctrine, allowing for the supply of aid to Greece and Turkey. Eventually, both Greece and Turkey had quashed the revolutionaries, and both joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, established to keep the Soviets and their Warsaw Pact members in check. Another conflict also emerged, known as the Berlin Blockade. After Germany's defeat, the Allies had agreed to dismember Germany to keep from another war, but they all differed in views on how exactly to split it. Winston Churchill even opposed the division in general, fearing great Communist rise. Nonetheless, the Allies eventually agreed on the split, and in turn, to giving the Soviets the greatest share of the country. The Allies also agreed to divide Berlin, into a two, half-Soviet, half-NATO...