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The Cold War was a period of
geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...

geopolitical
tension between the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
and their respective allies, the
Western Bloc The Western Bloc, also known as the Anti-Communist Bloc, Capitalist Bloc and the American Bloc, was a coalition of the countries that were allied with the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United S ...
and the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
, which began following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span the 1947
Truman Doctrine The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy with the primary goal of containing Soviet geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth ...
(12 March 1947) to the 1991
Dissolution of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskovo Sojúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. (1988–1991) was the process of internal political, ...
(26 December 1991). The term ''
cold war The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
'' is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two
superpowers A superpower is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Co ...

superpowers
, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as
proxy war A proxy war is an armed conflict between two states or non-state actorNon-state actors include organizations and individuals that are not affiliated with, directed by, or funded through the government. The interests, structure, and influence o ...
s. The conflict was based around the ideological and geopolitical struggle for global influence by these two superpowers, following their temporary
alliance An alliance is a relationship among people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and ...
and
victory The term victory (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...
against
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
in 1945. Aside from the nuclear arsenal development and conventional military deployment, the struggle for dominance was expressed via indirect means such as
psychological warfare Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PsyOp), have been known by many other names or terms, including Military Information Support Operations (MISO is a traditional Japanese cuisine, Ja ...
, propaganda campaigns,
espionage Espionage or spying is the act of obtaining secret Secrecy is the practice of hiding information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both it ...
, far-reaching
embargoes Economic sanctions are commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of v ...
, rivalry at sports events and technological competitions such as the
Space Race The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, whi ...
. The Western Bloc was led by the United States as well as the other
First World The concept of First World originated during the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, ...
nations of the Western Bloc that were generally
liberal democratic Liberal democracy, also referred to as Western democracy, is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is tru ...
but tied to a network of the authoritarian states, most of which were their former colonies. The Eastern Bloc was led by the Soviet Union and its
Communist Party A communist party is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and part ...
, which had an influence across the
Second World The Second World is a term used during the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federa ...
. The US government supported right-wing governments and uprisings across the world, while the Soviet government funded communist parties and revolutions around the world. As nearly all the colonial states achieved independence in the period 1945–1960, they became
Third World The term "Third World" arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Western European nations and their allies represented the "First Wor ...

Third World
battlefields in the Cold War. The first phase of the Cold War began shortly after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The United States and its allies created the
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
military alliance in 1949 in the apprehension of a Soviet attack and termed their global policy against Soviet influence ''
containment '' Containment is a geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth's geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...

containment
''. The Soviet Union formed the
Warsaw Pact The Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO), officially the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, commonly known as the Warsaw Pact (WP), was a collective defense Collective security can be understood as a security arrangement ...
in 1955 in response to NATO. Major crises of this phase included the 1948–49
Berlin Blockade The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective all ...
, the 1927–1949
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
, the 1950–1953
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It b ...

Korean War
, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the 1956
Suez Crisis The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression ( ar, العدوان الثلاثي, Al-ʿUdwān aṯ-Ṯulāṯiyy) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,Also known as the Suez War or 1956 War ...
, the
Berlin Crisis of 1961 The Berlin Crisis of 1961 (german: Berlin-Krise) occurred between 4 June – 9 November 1961, and was the last major politic-military European incident of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Sovie ...
and the 1962
Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis of 1962 ( es, Crisis de Octubre), the Caribbean Crisis (), or the Missile Scare, was a 1-month, 4 day (16 October – 20 November 1962) confrontation between the United States and the ...
. The US and the USSR competed for influence in
Latin America * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no , image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg , area = , population = ( est.) , density = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2018 , ethnic ...

Latin America
, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
, and the
decolonizing states of Africa
decolonizing states of Africa
and
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
. Following the
Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis of 1962 ( es, Crisis de Octubre), the Caribbean Crisis (), or the Missile Scare, was a 1-month, 4 day (16 October – 20 November 1962) confrontation between the United States and the ...
, a new phase began that saw the
Sino-Soviet split The Sino-Soviet split was the breaking of political relations between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), caused by Doctrine, doctrinal divergences that arose from their different interpretati ...
between China and the Soviet Union complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while France, a Western Bloc state, began to demand greater autonomy of action. The USSR invaded Czechoslovakia to suppress the 1968
Prague Spring#REDIRECT Prague Spring The Prague Spring ( cs, Pražské jaro, sk, Pražská jar) was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic ( Czech and sk, Česk ...
, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the
civil rights movement The 1954–1968 civil rights movement in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North ...
and
opposition to the Vietnam War Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War{{native name, vi, Chiến tranh Việt Nam , partof = the Indochina Wars and the Cold War , image ...
. In the 1960s–70s, an international
peace movement A peace movement is a social movement which seeks to achieve ideals, such as the ending of a particular war (or wars) or minimizing inter-human violence in a particular place or situation. They are often linked to the goal of achieving world peac ...
took root among citizens around the world.
Movements Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Movement (short story), "Movement", a short ...
against nuclear arms testing and for
nuclear disarmament Nuclear disarmament is the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons. It can also be the end state of a nuclear-weapons-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated. The term denuclearization is also used to describe the ...
took place, with large anti-war protests. By the 1970s, both sides had started making allowances for peace and security, ushering in a period of
détente and Raúl Castro Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (; ; born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban retired politician who served as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the one-party A one-party state, single-part ...
that saw the
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) were two rounds of bilateral conferences and corresponding international treaties involving the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or ...
and the US opening relations with the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
as a strategic counterweight to the USSR. A number of self-proclaimed Marxist regimes were formed in the second half of the 1970s in the
Third World The term "Third World" arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Western European nations and their allies represented the "First Wor ...

Third World
, including
Angola , national_anthem = "Angola Avante "Angola Avante" (, ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...
,
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
,
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...
and
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest Sovereign state, country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean Sea, Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and th ...
. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the
Soviet–Afghan War The Soviet–Afghan War was a conflict wherein insurgent groups known collectively as the Mujahideen ''Mujahideen'', or ''Mujahidin'' ( ar, مُجَاهِدِين, mujāhidīn), is the plural form of ''mujahid'' ( ar, مجاهد, mujā ...
in 1979. The early 1980s was another period of elevated tension. The United States increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when it was already suffering from
economic stagnation Economic stagnation is a prolonged period of slow economic growth Economic growth can be defined as the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economics, economy over time. Statisticians convent ...
. In the mid-1980s, the new Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician, lawyer, and statesman. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
introduced the liberalizing reforms of ''
glasnost In the Russian language Russian (, tr. ''russkiy yazyk'') is an East Slavic language The East Slavic languages constitute one of the three regional subgroups of Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languag ...
'' ("openness", c. 1985) and ''
perestroika Perestroika (; russian: links=no, перестройка, p=pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə, a=ru-perestroika.ogg) was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) ...
'' ("reorganization", 1987) and ended Soviet involvement in Afghanistan in 1989. Pressures for national sovereignty grew stronger in Eastern Europe, and Gorbachev refused to militarily support their governments any longer. In 1989, the fall of the
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continenta ...
after the
Pan-European Picnic The Pan-European Picnic (german: Paneuropäisches Picknick; hu, páneurópai piknik; sk, Paneurópsky piknik) was a peace demonstration held on the Austrian-Hungary, Hungarian border near Sopron, Sopron, Hungary on 19 August 1989. The opening of ...
and a peaceful wave of revolutions (with the exception of
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...
and
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...
) overthrew almost all communist governments of the Eastern Bloc. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union itself lost control in the Soviet Union and was banned following an abortive coup attempt in August 1991. This in turn led to the formal dissolution of the USSR in December 1991, the declaration of independence of its constituent republics and the collapse of communist governments across much of Africa and Asia. The United States was left as the world's only superpower. The Cold War and its events have left a significant legacy. It is often referred to in popular culture, especially with themes of espionage and the threat of nuclear warfare. For subsequent history see International relations since 1989.


Origins of the term

At the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, English writer
George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950) known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed ...

George Orwell
used ''
cold war The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
'', as a general term, in his essay "You and the Atomic Bomb", published 19 October 1945 in the British newspaper ''
Tribune Tribune () was the title of various elected officials in ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the ...
''. Contemplating a world living in the shadow of the threat of
nuclear warfare Nuclear warfare (sometimes atomic warfare or thermonuclear warfare) is a military conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercena ...
, Orwell looked at
James Burnham James Burnham (November 22, 1905 – July 28, 1987) was an American philosopher and political theorist. He chaired the philosophy department at New York University; His first book was ''An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis'' (1931). B ...
's predictions of a polarized world, writing: In ''
The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one ...

The Observer
'' of 10 March 1946, Orwell wrote, "after the Moscow conference last December, Russia began to make a 'cold war' on Britain and the British Empire." The first use of the term to describe the specific
post-war In Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, co ...
geopolitical confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States came in a speech by
Bernard Baruch Bernard Mannes Baruch (August 19, 1870 – June 20, 1965) was an American financier and statesman A statesman or stateswoman typically is a politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization ...
, an influential advisor to Democratic presidents, on 16 April 1947. The speech, written by a journalist
Herbert Bayard Swope Herbert Bayard Swope Sr. (January 5, 1882 – June 20, 1958) was an American editor "Quarters of the news editor", one of a group of four photos in the 1900 The Seattle Daily Times—Editorial Department".">The Seattle Times">The Seattle Da ...
, proclaimed, "Let us not be deceived: we are today in the midst of a cold war." Newspaper columnist
Walter Lippmann Walter Lippmann (September 23, 1889 – December 14, 1974) was an American writer, reporter and political commentator. With a career spanning 60 years he is famous for being among the first to introduce the concept of Cold War, coining the ter ...
gave the term wide currency with his book ''The Cold War''. When asked in 1947 about the source of the term, Lippmann traced it to a French term from the 1930s, .


Background


Russian Revolution

While most historians trace the origins of the Cold War to the period immediately following World War II, some argue that it began with the
October Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence ...

October Revolution
in
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
in 1917 when the
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (Russian language, Russian: Большевики, from большинство ''bolshinstvo'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvo'' (большинство), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also know ...
took power. In
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...
, the British, French and
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. ...
s had composed the major Allied Powers from the start, and the US joined them as a self-styled Associated Power in April 1917. The
Bolshevik The Bolsheviks (Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (росс ...

Bolshevik
s seized power in Russia in November 1917 and fulfilled their promise to withdraw from WWI, and German armies advanced rapidly across the borderlands. The Allies responded with an economic blockade against all of Russia. In early March 1918, the Soviets followed through on the wave of popular disgust against the war and accepted harsh German peace terms with the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (also known as the Peace of Brest in Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and depende ...
. In the eyes of some Allies, Russia now was helping Germany to win the war by freeing up a million German soldiers for the Western Front and by
relinquishing much of Russia's food supply, industrial base, fuel supplies, and communications with Western Europe.
According to historian Spencer Tucker, the Allies felt, "The treaty was the ultimate betrayal of the Allied cause and sowed the seeds for the Cold War. With Brest-Litovsk the spectre of German domination in Eastern Europe threatened to become reality, and the Allies now began to think seriously about military intervention," and proceeded to step up their "
economic warfare Economic warfare, or economic war, is defined by the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' as involving "an economic strategy based on the use of measures (e.g. blockade) of which the primary effect is to weaken the economy of another state". In military ...
" against the Bolsheviks. Some Bolsheviks saw Russia as only the first step, planning to incite revolutions against capitalism in every western country, but the need for peace with Germany led Soviet leader
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
away from this position. In 1918 Britain provided money and troops to support the anti-Bolshevik "White" counter-revolutionaries. This policy was spearheaded by Minister of War
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Winston Churchill
, a committed
British imperialist
British imperialist
and
anti-communist Anti-communism is a political movement and ideology opposed to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet U ...

anti-communist
. France, Japan and the United States
invaded An invasion is a Offensive (military), military offensive in which large numbers of combatants of one geopolitics, geopolitical Legal entity, entity aggressively enter territory (country subdivision), territory owned by another such entity, gene ...
Russia in an attempt to topple the new Soviet government. Despite the economic and military warfare launched against it by Western powers, the Bolshevik government succeeded in defeating all opposition and took full control of Russia, as well as breakaway provinces such as Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Western powers also diplomatically isolated the Soviet government. Lenin stated that the Soviet Union was surrounded by a "hostile capitalist encirclement" and he viewed diplomacy as a weapon to keep Soviet enemies divided. He set up an organization to promote sister revolutions worldwide, the
Comintern The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International, was an international organization founded in 1919 that advocated world communism, headed by the Soviet Union. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress to "str ...
. It failed everywhere; it failed badly when it tried to start revolutions in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
,
Bavaria Bavaria (; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language ...
, and
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
. The failures led to an inward turn by Moscow. Britain and other Western powers—except the United States—did business and sometimes recognized the new Soviet Union. By 1933, old fears of Communist threats had faded, and the American business community, as well as newspaper editors, were calling for diplomatic recognition. President
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
used presidential authority to normalize relations in November 1933. However, there was no progress on the Tsarist debts Washington wanted Moscow to repay. Expectations of expanded trade proved unrealistic. Historians Justus D. Doenecke and Mark A. Stoler note that, "Both nations were soon disillusioned by the accord." Roosevelt named William Bullitt as ambassador from 1933 to 1936. Bullitt arrived in Moscow with high hopes for Soviet–American relations, but his view of the Soviet leadership soured on closer inspection. By the end of his tenure, Bullitt was openly hostile to the Soviet government, and he remained an outspoken anti-communist for the rest of his life.


Beginnings of World War II

In the late 1930s,
Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin * ka, link=no, იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე სტალინი. ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Unio ...

Stalin
had worked with Foreign Minister
Maxim Litvinov Maxim Maximovich Litvinov (; born Meir Henoch Wallach-Finkelstein; 17 July 1876 – 31 December 1951) was a Russian revolutionary and prominent Soviet politician. A strong advocate of diplomatic agreements leading towards disarmament Disarmame ...
to promote
popular fronts A popular front is a broad coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a com ...
with capitalist parties and governments to oppose
fascism Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europ ...

fascism
. The Soviets were embittered when Western governments chose to practice
appeasement Appeasement in an international context is a diplomatic policy of making political or material concessions to an aggressive power (international relations) , power in order to avoid conflict. The term is most often applied to the foreign pol ...
with
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
instead. In March 1939 Britain and France—without consulting the USSR—granted Hitler control of much of
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
at the
Munich Agreement The Munich Agreement ( cs, Mnichovská dohoda; sk, Mníchovská dohoda; german: Münchner Abkommen) was an agreement concluded at on 30 September 1938, by , the , the , and the . It provided "cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territ ...
. Facing an aggressive Japan at Soviet borders as well, Stalin changed directions and replaced Litvinov with
Vyacheslav Molotov Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov. (; né Skryabin;. (OS 25 February) 9 March 1890 – 8 November 1986) was a Russian politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik, and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s onward. He served as Cha ...
, who negotiated closer relations with Germany. After signing the
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , long_name = , image = Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27337, Moskau, Stalin und Ribbentrop im Kreml.jpg , image_width = 200 , caption = Joseph Stalin, Stalin and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Ribbentrop shaking hands after the signing of the pact in the Mos ...
and
German–Soviet Frontier Treaty The German–Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty was a second supplementary protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , long_name = , image = Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27337, Moskau, Stalin und Ribbentrop im Kreml.jpg , image_width = 200 , capti ...
, the Soviet Union forced the
Baltic countries The Baltic states ( et, Balti riigid, Baltimaad; lv, Baltijas valstis; lt, Baltijos valstybės), also known as the Baltic countries, Baltic republics, Baltic nations, or simply the Baltics, is a geopolitical term, typically used to group the ...

Baltic countries
—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—to allow it to station Soviet troops in their countries. Finland rejected territorial demands, prompting a Soviet invasion in November 1939. The resulting Winter War ended in March 1940 with Moscow Peace Treaty, Finnish concessions. Britain and France, treating the Soviet attack on Finland as tantamount to its entering the war on the side of the Germans, responded to the Soviet invasion by supporting the USSR's expulsion from the League of Nations. In June 1940, the Soviet Union forcibly annexed Soviet occupation of the Baltic states (1940), Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It also seized the Romanian regions of Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Hertsa region. But after the German Army invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 and declared war on the United States in December 1941, the Soviet Union and the Allied powers worked together to fight Germany. Britain Anglo-Soviet Agreement, signed a formal alliance, broadened to a Anglo-Soviet Treaty of 1942, military and political alliance in 1942, and the United States made an informal agreement. In wartime, the United States supplied Britain, the Soviet Union and other Allied nations through its Lend-Lease Program. Stalin remained highly suspicious, and he believed that the British and the Americans had conspired to ensure that the Soviets bore the brunt of the fighting against Germany. According to this view, the Western Allies had deliberately delayed opening a second anti-German front in order to step in at the last minute and shape the peace settlement. Thus, Soviet perceptions of the West left a strong undercurrent of tension and hostility between the Allied powers.


End of World War II (1945–1947)


Wartime conferences regarding post-war Europe

The Allies disagreed about how the European map should look, and how borders would be drawn, following the war. Each side held dissimilar ideas regarding the establishment and maintenance of post-war security. Some scholars contend that all the Western Allies desired a security system in which democratic governments were established as widely as possible, permitting countries to peacefully resolve differences through international organizations. Others note that the Atlantic powers were divided in their vision of the new post-war world. Roosevelt's goals—military victory in both Europe and Asia, the achievement of global American economic supremacy over the British Empire, and the creation of a world peace organization—were more global than Churchill's, which were mainly centered on securing control over the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean, ensuring the survival of the British Empire, and the independence of Central and Eastern European countries as a Buffer state, buffer between the Soviets and the United Kingdom. The Soviet Union sought to dominate the internal affairs of countries in its border regions. During the war, Stalin had created special training centers for communists from different countries so that they could set up secret police forces loyal to Moscow as soon as the Red Army took control. Soviet agents took control of the media, especially radio; they quickly harassed and then banned all independent civic institutions, from youth groups to schools, churches and rival political parties. Stalin also sought continued peace with Britain and the United States, hoping to focus on internal reconstruction and economic growth. In the American view, Stalin seemed a potential ally in accomplishing their goals, whereas in the British approach Stalin appeared as the greatest threat to the fulfillment of their agenda. With the Soviets already occupying most of Central and Eastern Europe, Stalin was at an advantage, and the two western leaders vied for his favors. The differences between Roosevelt and Churchill led to several separate deals with the Soviets. In October 1944, Churchill traveled to Moscow and proposed the "percentages agreement" to divide Europe into respective Sphere of influence, spheres of influence, including giving Stalin predominance Romania in World War II, over Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria and Churchill carte blanche White Terror (Greece), over Greece. This proposal was accepted by Stalin. At the Yalta Conference of February 1945, Roosevelt signed a separate deal with Stalin regarding Asia and refused to support Churchill on the issues of Poland and Reparations. Roosevelt ultimately approved the percentage agreement, but there was still apparently no firm consensus on the framework for a post-war settlement in Europe. At the Second Quebec Conference, a high-level military conference held in Quebec City, 12–16 September 1944, Churchill and Roosevelt reached agreement on a number of matters, including a plan for Germany based on Henry Morgenthau Jr.'s original proposal. The memorandum drafted by Churchill provided for "eliminating the warmaking industries in the Ruhr and the Saar ... looking forward to Morgenthau Plan, converting Germany into a country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character." However, it no longer included a plan to partition the country into several independent states. On 10 May 1945, President Truman signed the US occupation directive Morgenthau Plan, JCS 1067, which was in effect for over two years and was enthusiastically supported by Stalin. It directed the US forces of occupation to "...take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany". Some historians have argued that the Cold War began when Operation Sunrise (World War II), the US negotiated a separate peace with Schutzstaffel, Nazi SS General Karl Wolff in northern Italy. The Soviet Union was not allowed to participate and the dispute led to heated correspondence between Franklin Roosevelt and Stalin. Wolff, a war criminal, appears to have been guaranteed immunity at the Nuremberg trials by Office of Strategic Services (Office of Strategic Services, OSS) commander and future Central Intelligence Agency, CIA director Allen Dulles when they met in March 1945. Wolff and his forces were being considered to help implement Operation Unthinkable, a secret plan to invade the Soviet Union which Winston Churchill advocated during this period. In April 1945, President Roosevelt died and was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman, who distrusted Stalin and turned for advice to an The Wise Men (book)#The "Wise Men", elite group of foreign policy intellectuals. Both Churchill and Truman opposed, among other things, the Soviets' decision to prop up the Polish Committee of National Liberation, Lublin government, the Soviet-controlled rival to the Polish government-in-exile in London, whose relations with the Soviets had been severed. Following the End of World War II in Europe, Allies' May 1945 victory, the Soviets effectively occupied Central and Eastern Europe, while strong US and Western allied forces remained in Western Europe. In Allied-occupied Germany, Germany and Allied-occupied Austria, Austria, France, Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States established zones of occupation and a loose framework for parceled four-power control. The United Nations Conference on International Organization, 1945 Allied conference in San Francisco established the multi-national United Nations (UN) for the maintenance of world peace, but the enforcement capacity of its United Nations Security Council, Security Council was effectively paralyzed by the ability of individual members to exercise United Nations Security Council veto power, veto power. Accordingly, the UN was essentially converted into an inactive forum for exchanging polemical rhetoric, and the Soviets regarded it almost exclusively as a propaganda tribune.


Potsdam Conference and surrender of Japan

At the Potsdam Conference, which started in late July after Germany's surrender, serious differences emerged over the future development of Germany and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. The Soviets pressed their demand made at Yalta, for $20 billion of reparations to be taken from Germany occupation zones. The Americans and British refused to fix a dollar amount for reparations, but they permitted the Soviets to remove some industry from their zones. Moreover, the participants' mounting antipathy and bellicose language served to confirm their suspicions about each other's hostile intentions and to entrench their positions. At this conference Truman informed Stalin that the United States possessed a powerful new weapon. The US had invited Britain into its atomic bomb project but kept it secret from the Soviet Union. Stalin was aware that the Americans were working on the atomic bomb, and he reacted to the news calmly. One week after the end of the Potsdam Conference, the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Shortly after the attacks, Stalin protested to US officials when Truman offered the Soviets little real influence in occupation of Japan, occupied Japan. Stalin was also outraged by the actual dropping of the bombs, calling them a "superbarbarity" and claiming that "the balance has been destroyed...That cannot be." The Truman administration intended to use its ongoing nuclear weapons program to pressure the Soviet Union in international relations. Following the war, the United States and the United Kingdom used military forces in Greece and Korea to remove indigenous governments and forces seen as communist. Under the leadership of Lyuh Woon-Hyung, working secretly during the Japanese occupation, committees throughout Korea were formed to coordinate the transition to Korean independence. Following the Japanese surrender, on August 28, 1945, these committees formed the temporary national government of Korea, naming it the People's Republic of Korea (PRK) a couple of weeks later. On September 8, 1945, the United States government landed forces in Korea and thereafter established the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGK) to govern Korea south of the 38th parallel north. The USAMGK outlawed the PRK government. The military governor Lieutenant-General John R. Hodge later said that "one of our missions was to break down this Communist government." Thereafter, starting with President Syngman Rhee, the U.S supported authoritarian South Korean governments, which reigned until the 1980s.


Beginnings of the Eastern Bloc

During the opening stages of World War II, the Soviet Union laid the foundation for the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
by Military occupations by the Soviet Union, invading and then annexing several countries as Republics of the Soviet Union, Soviet Socialist Republics, by agreement with Germany in the
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , long_name = , image = Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27337, Moskau, Stalin und Ribbentrop im Kreml.jpg , image_width = 200 , caption = Joseph Stalin, Stalin and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Ribbentrop shaking hands after the signing of the pact in the Mos ...
. These included eastern Poland (Territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union, incorporated into the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Byelorussian SSR and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Ukrainian SSR), Latvia (which became the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, Latvian SSR), Estonia (which became the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, Estonian SSR), Lithuania (which became the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, Lithuanian SSR), part of eastern Finland (which became the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic, Karelo-Finnish SSR) and eastern Romania (which became the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldavian SSR). Central and Eastern European territories that the Soviet army liberated from Germany were added to the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
, pursuant to the Percentages Agreement between Churchill and Stalin. The Soviet Union converted the territories it occupied into satellite states, such as: * People's Republic of Albania (11 January 1946) * People's Republic of Bulgaria (15 September 1946) * Polish People's Republic (19 January 1947) * People's Republic of Romania (13 April 1948) * Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (9 May 1948) * Hungarian People's Republic (20 August 1949) * East Germany, German Democratic Republic (7 October 1949) The Soviet-style regimes that arose in the Bloc not only reproduced Soviet Planned economy, command economy, but also adopted the brutal methods employed by Joseph Stalin and the Soviet secret police in order to suppress both real and potential opposition. In Asia, the Red Army had overrun Manchuria in the last month of the war, and it went on to occupy the large swathe of Korean territory located north of the 38th parallel. As part of consolidating Stalin's control over the Eastern Bloc, the NKVD, People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), led by Lavrentiy Beria, supervised the establishment of Soviet-style secret police systems in the Bloc that were supposed to crush anti-communist resistance. When the slightest stirrings of independence emerged in the Bloc, Stalin's strategy matched that of dealing with domestic pre-war rivals: they were removed from power, put on trial, imprisoned, and in several instances, executed. British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Winston Churchill
was concerned that, given the enormous size of Soviet forces deployed in Europe at the end of the war, and the perception that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was unreliable, there existed a Soviet threat to Western Europe. After World War II, US officials guided Western European leaders in establishing their own secret security force to prevent subversion in the Western bloc, which evolved into Operation Gladio.


Containment and the Truman Doctrine (1947–1953)


Iron Curtain, Iran, Turkey, and Greece

In late February 1946, George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow to Washington helped to articulate the US government's increasingly hard line against the Soviets, which would become the basis for US strategy toward the Soviet Union for the duration of the Cold War. The telegram galvanized a policy debate that would eventually shape the Presidency of Harry S. Truman, Truman administration's Soviet policy. Washington's opposition to the Soviets accumulated after broken promises by Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov, Molotov concerning Europe and Iran. Following the WWII Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, the country was occupied by the Red Army in the far north and the British in the south. Iran was used by the United States and British to supply the Soviet Union, and the Allies agreed to withdraw from Iran within six months after the cessation of hostilities. However, when this deadline came, the Soviets remained in Iran under the guise of the People's Republic of Azerbaijan and Kurdish separatism in Iran, Kurdish Republic of Mahabad. Shortly thereafter, on 5 March, former British prime minister Winston Churchill delivered his famous "
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continenta ...
" speech in Fulton, Missouri. The speech called for an Anglo-American alliance against the Soviets, whom he accused of establishing an "iron curtain" dividing Europe from "Szczecin, Stettin in the Baltic Sea, Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic". A week later, on 13 March, Stalin responded vigorously to the speech, saying that Churchill could be compared to Adolf Hitler, Hitler insofar as he advocated the racial superiority of List of territorial entities where English is an official language, English-speaking nations so that they could satisfy their hunger for world domination, and that such a declaration was "a call for war on the USSR." The Soviet leader also dismissed the accusation that the USSR was exerting increasing control over the countries lying in its sphere. He argued that there was nothing surprising in "the fact that the Soviet Union, anxious for its future safety, [was] trying to see to it that governments loyal in their attitude to the Soviet Union should exist in these countries". Soviet demands to Turkey regarding the Dardanelles in the Turkish Straits crisis, Turkish Straits Crisis and Black Sea Soviet territorial claims against Turkey, border disputes were also a major factor in increasing tensions. In September, the Soviet side produced the Nikolai Vasilevich Novikov, Novikov telegram, sent by the Soviet ambassador to the US but commissioned and "co-authored" by
Vyacheslav Molotov Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov. (; né Skryabin;. (OS 25 February) 9 March 1890 – 8 November 1986) was a Russian politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik, and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s onward. He served as Cha ...
; it portrayed the US as being in the grip of monopoly capitalists who were building up military capability "to prepare the conditions for winning world supremacy in a new war". On 6 September 1946, James F. Byrnes delivered a Restatement of Policy on Germany, speech in Germany repudiating the Morgenthau Plan (a proposal to partition and de-industrialize post-war Germany) and warning the Soviets that the US intended to maintain a military presence in Europe indefinitely. As Byrnes admitted a month later, "The nub of our program was to win the German people ... it was a battle between us and Russia over minds ..." In December, the Soviets agreed to withdraw from Iran after persistent US pressure, an early success of containment policy. By 1947, US president Harry S. Truman was outraged by the perceived resistance of the Soviet Union to American demands in Iran, Turkey, and Greece, as well as Soviet rejection of the Baruch Plan on nuclear weapons. In February 1947, the British government announced that it could no longer afford to finance the Kingdom of Greece (Glücksburg), Kingdom of Greece in Greek Civil War, its civil war against Communist-led insurgents. The Federal government of the United States, US government responded to this announcement by adopting a policy of
containment '' Containment is a geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth's geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...

containment
, with the goal of stopping the spread of Communism. Truman delivered a speech calling for the allocation of $400 million to intervene in the war and unveiled the
Truman Doctrine The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy with the primary goal of containing Soviet geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth ...
, which framed the conflict as a contest between free peoples and totalitarian regimes. American policymakers accused the Soviet Union of conspiring against the Greek royalists in an effort to Domino theory, expand Soviet influence even though Stalin had told the Communist Party to cooperate with the British-backed government. (The insurgents were helped by Josip Broz Tito's Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia against Stalin's wishes.) Enunciation of the Truman Doctrine marked the beginning of a US bipartisan defense and foreign policy consensus between Republican Party (United States), Republicans and Democratic Party (United States), Democrats focused on containment and Deterrence theory, deterrence that weakened during and after the Vietnam War, but ultimately persisted thereafter. Moderate and conservative parties in Europe, as well as social democrats, gave virtually unconditional support to the Western alliance, while Eurocommunism, European and Communist Party USA, American Communists, financed by the KGB and involved in its intelligence operations, adhered to Moscow's line, although dissent began to appear after 1956. Other critiques of the consensus policy came from Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, anti-Vietnam War activists, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the anti-nuclear movement.


Marshall Plan and Czechoslovak coup d'état

In early 1947, France, Britain and the United States unsuccessfully attempted to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union for a plan envisioning an economically self-sufficient Germany, including a detailed accounting of the industrial plants, goods and infrastructure already removed by the Soviets. In June 1947, in accordance with the
Truman Doctrine The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy with the primary goal of containing Soviet geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth ...
, the United States enacted the Marshall Plan, a pledge of economic assistance for all European countries willing to participate, including the Soviet Union. Under the plan, which President Harry S. Truman signed on 3 April 1948, the US government gave to Western European countries over $13 billion (equivalent to $189.39 billion in 2016) to rebuild the economy of Europe. Later, the program led to the creation of the OECD#Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, Organisation for European Economic Co-operation. The plan's aim was to rebuild the democratic and economic systems of Europe and to counter perceived threats to European balance of power, Europe's balance of power, such as communist parties seizing control through revolutions or elections. The plan also stated that European prosperity was contingent upon German economic recovery. One month later, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, creating a unified United States Department of Defense, Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the United States National Security Council, National Security Council (NSC). These would become the main bureaucracies for US defense policy in the Cold War. Stalin believed that economic integration with the West would allow
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
countries to escape Soviet control, and that the US was trying to buy a pro-US re-alignment of Europe. Stalin therefore prevented Eastern Bloc nations from receiving Marshall Plan aid. The Soviet Union's alternative to the Marshall Plan, which was purported to involve Soviet subsidies and trade with central and eastern Europe, became known as the Molotov Plan (later institutionalized in January 1949 as the Comecon, Council for Mutual Economic Assistance). Stalin was also fearful of a reconstituted Germany; his vision of a post-war Germany did not include the ability to rearm or pose any kind of threat to the Soviet Union. In early 1948, following reports of strengthening "reactionary elements", Soviet operatives executed a 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état, coup d'état in
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
, the only Eastern Bloc state that the Soviets had permitted to retain democratic structures. The public brutality of the coup shocked Western powers more than any event up to that point, set in motion a brief scare that war would occur, and swept away the last vestiges of opposition to the Marshall Plan in the United States Congress. The twin policies of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan led to billions in economic and military aid for Western Europe, Greece, and Turkey. With the US assistance, the Greek military Greek Civil War, won its civil war. Under the leadership of Alcide De Gasperi the Italian Christian Democracy (Italy), Christian Democrats defeated the powerful Italian Communist Party, Communist–Italian Socialist Party, Socialist alliance in the Italian general election, 1948, elections of 1948.


Espionage

All major powers engaged in espionage, using a great variety of spies, Double agent, double agents, Mole (espionage), moles, and new technologies such as the tapping of telephone cables. The most famous and active organizations were the American CIA, the Soviet KGB (preceded by international operations of the Soviet NKVD, Ministry of State Security (Soviet Union), MGB, and GRU (Soviet Union), GRU), and the British MI6. The East German Stasi was formally concerned with internal security, but its Main Directorate for Reconnaissance operated espionage activities around the world. The CIA secretly subsidized and promoted anti-communist cultural activities and organizations. The CIA was also involved in European politics, especially in Italy. Espionage took place all over the world, but Berlin was the most important battleground for spying activity. Although to an extent disinformation had always existed, the term itself was invented, and the strategy formalized by a black propaganda department of the Soviet KGB. Based on the amount of top-secret Cold War archival information that has been released, historian Raymond L. Garthoff concludes there probably was parity in the quantity and quality of secret information obtained by each side. However, the Soviets probably had an advantage in terms of Human intelligence (intelligence gathering), HUMINT (human intelligence or interpersonal espionage) and "sometimes in its reach into high policy circles." In terms of decisive impact, however, he concludes: :We also can now have high confidence in the judgment that there were no successful "moles" at the political decision-making level on either side. Similarly, there is no evidence, on either side, of any major political or military decision that was prematurely discovered through espionage and thwarted by the other side. There also is no evidence of any major political or military decision that was crucially influenced (much less generated) by an agent of the other side. According to historian Robert Louis Benson, "Washington's forte was Signals intelligence, 'signals' intelligence--the procurement and analysis of coded foreign messages." leading to the Venona project or Venona intercepts, which monitored the communications of Soviet intelligence agents. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Moynihan wrote that the Venona project contained "overwhelming proof of the activities of Soviet spy networks in America, complete with names, dates, places, and deeds." The Venona project was kept highly secret even from policymakers until the Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy, Moynihan Commission in 1995. Despite this, the decryption project had already been betrayed to the USSR by Kim Philby and Bill Weisband in 1946, as was discovered by the US by 1950. Nonetheless, the Soviets had to keep their discovery of the program secret, too, and continued leaking their own information, some of which was still useful to the American program. According to Moynihan, even President Truman may not have been fully informed of Venona, which may have left him unaware of the extent of Soviet espionage. Clandestine atomic spies from the Soviet Union, who infiltrated the Manhattan Project at various points during WWII, played a major role in increasing tensions that led to the Cold War. In addition to usual espionage, the Western agencies paid special attention to debriefing Eastern Bloc emigration and defection, Eastern Bloc defectors. Edward Jay Epstein describes that the CIA understood that the KGB used "provocations", or fake defections, as a trick to embarrass Western intelligence and establish Soviet double agents. As a result, from 1959 to 1973, the CIA required that East Bloc defectors went through a counterintelligence investigation before being recruited as a source of intelligence. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the KGB perfected its use of espionage to sway and distort diplomacy. Active measures were "clandestine operations designed to further Soviet foreign policy goals", consisting of disinformation, forgeries, leaks to foreign media, and the channeling of aid to militant groups. Retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin, former head of Foreign Counter Intelligence for the KGB (1973–1979), described active measures as "the heart and soul of Soviet intelligence".Interview of Oleg Kalugin on CNN
During the Sino-Soviet split, Sino-Soviet Split, "spy wars" also occurred between the USSR and PRC.


Cominform and the Tito–Stalin Split

In September 1947, the Soviets created Cominform to impose orthodoxy within the international communist movement and tighten political control over Soviet Satellite state, satellites through coordination of communist parties in the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
. Cominform faced an embarrassing setback the following June, when the Tito–Stalin Split obliged its members to expel Yugoslavia, which remained communist but adopted a Non-Aligned Movement, non-aligned position and began accpting money from the United States. Besides Berlin, the status of the city of Trieste was at issue. Until the break between Tito and Stalin, the Western powers and the Eastern bloc faced each other uncompromisingly. In addition to capitalism and communism, Italians and Slovenes, monarchists and republicans as well as war winners and losers often faced each other irreconcilably. The neutral buffer state Free Territory of Trieste, founded in 1947 with the United Nations, was split up and dissolved in 1954 and 1975, also because of the détente between the West and Tito.


Berlin Blockade and Airlift

The United States and Britain merged their western German occupation zones into Bizone, "Bizonia" (1 January 1947, later "Trizonia" with the addition of France's zone, April 1949). As part of the economic rebuilding of Germany, in early 1948, representatives of a number of Western European governments and the United States announced an agreement for a merger of western German areas into a federal governmental system. In addition, in accordance with the Marshall Plan, they began to re-industrialize and rebuild the west German economy, including the introduction of a new Deutsche Mark currency to replace the old Reichsmark currency that the Soviets had debased. The US had secretly decided that a unified and neutral Germany was undesirable, with Walter Bedell Smith telling General Eisenhower "in spite of our announced position, we really do not want nor intend to accept German unification on any terms that the Russians might agree to, even though they seem to meet most of our requirements." Shortly thereafter, Stalin instituted the
Berlin Blockade The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective all ...
(24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949), one of the first major crises of the Cold War, preventing food, materials and supplies from arriving in West Berlin. The United States, Britain, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and several other countries began the massive "Berlin airlift", supplying West Berlin with food and other provisions. The Soviets mounted a public relations campaign against the policy change. Once again the East Berlin communists attempted to disrupt the Berlin Blockade#December elections, Berlin municipal elections (as they had done in the 1946 elections), which were held on 5 December 1948 and produced a turnout of 86.3% and an overwhelming victory for the non-communist parties. The results effectively divided the city into East and West, the latter comprising US, British and French sectors. 300,000 Berliners demonstrated and urged the international airlift to continue, and US Air Force pilot Gail Halvorsen created "Operation Vittles", which supplied candy to German children. The Airlift was as much a logistical as a political and psychological success for the West; it firmly linked West Berlin to the United States. In May 1949, Stalin backed down and lifted the blockade. In 1952, Stalin repeatedly Stalin Note, proposed a plan to unify East and West Germany under a single government chosen in elections supervised by the United Nations, if the new Germany were to stay out of Western military alliances, but this proposal was turned down by the Western powers. Some sources dispute the sincerity of the proposal.


Beginnings of NATO and Radio Free Europe

Britain, France, the United States, Canada and other eight western European countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty of April 1949, establishing the NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). That August, the RDS-1, first Soviet atomic device was detonated in Semipalatinsk, Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, Kazakh SSR. Following Soviet refusals to participate in a German rebuilding effort set forth by western European countries in 1948, the US, Britain and France spearheaded the establishment of West Germany from the Bizone, three Western zones of occupation in April 1949. The Soviet Union proclaimed Soviet occupation zone, its zone of occupation in Germany the East Germany, German Democratic Republic that October. Media in the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
was an Eastern Bloc media and propaganda, organ of the state, completely reliant on and subservient to the communist party. Radio and television organizations were state-owned, while print media was usually owned by political organizations, mostly by the local communist party. Soviet radio broadcasts used Marxist rhetoric to attack capitalism, emphasizing themes of labor exploitation, imperialism and war-mongering. Along with the broadcasts of the BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Voice of America to Central and Eastern Europe, a major propaganda effort begun in 1949 was Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, dedicated to bringing about the peaceful demise of the communist system in the Eastern Bloc. Radio Free Europe attempted to achieve these goals by serving as a surrogate home radio station, an alternative to the controlled and party-dominated domestic press. Radio Free Europe was a product of some of the most prominent architects of America's early Cold War strategy, especially those who believed that the Cold War would eventually be fought by political rather than military means, such as George F. Kennan. American policymakers, including Kennan and John Foster Dulles, acknowledged that the Cold War was in its essence a war of ideas. The United States, acting through the CIA, funded a long list of projects to counter the communist appeal among intellectuals in Europe and the developing world. The CIA also Secrecy, covertly sponsored a domestic propaganda campaign called Crusade for Freedom.


German rearmament

The rearmament of West Germany was achieved in the early 1950s. The main promoter was Adenauer, with France the main opponent. Washington had the decisive voice. It was strongly supported by the Pentagon (the US military leadership), and weakly opposed by President Truman; the State Department was ambivalent. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 changed the calculations and Washington now gave full support. That also involved naming Dwight D. Eisenhower in charge of NATO forces, and sending more American troops to West Germany. There was a strong promise that West Germany would not develop nuclear weapons. Widespread fears of another rise of Militarism#Germany, German militarism necessitated the new military to operate within an alliance framework, under
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
command. In 1955, Washington secured full German membership of NATO. In May 1953, Beria, by then in a government post, had made an unsuccessful proposal to allow the reunification of a neutral Germany to prevent West Germany's incorporation into NATO. The events led to the establishment of the ''Bundeswehr'', the West German military, in 1955.


Chinese Civil War, SEATO, and NSC-68

In 1949, Mao Zedong's People's Liberation Army defeated Chiang Kai-shek's United States-backed Kuomintang (KMT) Nationalist Government in China. The KMT moved to Taiwan. The Kremlin promptly created an alliance with the newly formed People's Republic of China. According to Norwegian historian Odd Arne Westad, the communists won the Civil War because they made fewer military mistakes than Chiang Kai-Shek made, and because in his search for a powerful centralized government, Chiang antagonized too many interest groups in China. Moreover, his party was weakened during the Second Sino-Japanese War, war against Japan. Meanwhile, the communists told different groups, such as the peasants, exactly what they wanted to hear, and they cloaked themselves under the cover of Chinese nationalism. Confronted with the Chinese Communist Revolution, communist revolution in China and Soviet atomic bomb project, the end of the American atomic monopoly in 1949, the Truman administration quickly moved to escalate and expand its
containment '' Containment is a geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth's geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...

containment
doctrine. In NSC 68, a secret 1950 document, the National Security Council instituted a Machiavellian policy while proposing to reinforce pro-Western alliance systems and quadruple spending on defense. Truman, under the influence of advisor Paul Nitze, saw containment as implying complete rollback of Soviet influence in all its forms. United States officials moved to expand this version of containment into
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
, Africa, and
Latin America * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no , image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg , area = , population = ( est.) , density = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2018 , ethnic ...

Latin America
, in order to counter revolutionary nationalist movements, often led by communist parties financed by the USSR, fighting against the restoration of Europe's colonial empires in South-East Asia and elsewhere. In this way, this US would exercise "power projection, preponderant power," oppose neutrality, and grand strategy, establish global hegemony. In the early 1950s (a period sometimes known as the "Pactomania"), the US formalized a series of alliances with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines (notably ANZUS in 1951 and Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, SEATO in 1954), thereby guaranteeing the United States a number of long-term military bases.


Korean War

One of the more significant examples of the implementation of containment was US intervention in the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It b ...

Korean War
. In June 1950, after years of mutual hostilities, Kim Il-sung's Korean People's Army, North Korean People's Army Operation Pokpoong, invaded South Korea at the 38th parallel north#Korea, 38th parallel. Stalin had been reluctant to support the invasion but ultimately sent advisers. To Stalin's surprise, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 82 and United Nations Security Council Resolution 83, 83 backed the defense of South Korea, although the Soviets were then boycotting meetings in protest of the fact that Taiwan, not the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
, held a permanent seat on the council. A United Nations Command, UN force of sixteen countries faced North Korea, although 40 percent of troops were South Korean, and about 50 percent were from the United States. The US initially seemed to follow containment when it first entered the war. This directed the US's action to only push back North Korea across the 38th Parallel and restore South Korea's sovereignty while allowing North Korea's survival as a state. However, the success of the Inchon landing inspired the US/UN forces to pursue a rollback strategy instead and to overthrow communist North Korea, thereby allowing nationwide elections under U.N. auspices. General Douglas MacArthur then advanced across the Division of Korea, 38th Parallel into North Korea. The Chinese, fearful of a possible US invasion, sent in a large army and defeated the U.N. forces, pushing them back below the 38th parallel. Truman publicly hinted that he might use his "ace in the hole" of the atomic bomb, but Mao was unmoved. The episode was used to support the wisdom of the containment doctrine as opposed to rollback. The Communists were later pushed to roughly around the original border, with minimal changes. Among other effects, the Korean War galvanised
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
to develop a military structure. Public opinion in countries involved, such as Great Britain, was divided for and against the war. After the Korean Armistice Agreement, Armistice was approved in July 1953, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung created a highly centralized, Totalitarianism, totalitarian dictatorship that accorded his family unlimited power while generating a pervasive cult of personality. In the South, the American-backed dictator Syngman Rhee ran a anti-communist mass killings, violently anticommunist and authoritarian regime. While Rhee was April Revolution, overthrown in 1960, South Korea continued to be ruled by a military government of former Japanese collaborators until the re-establishment of a multi-party system in the late 1980s.


Crisis and escalation (1953–1962)


Khrushchev, Eisenhower and de-Stalinization

In 1953, changes in political leadership on both sides shifted the dynamic of the Cold War. Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated president that January. During the last 18 months of the Truman administration, the American defense budget had quadrupled, and Eisenhower moved to reduce military spending by a third while continuing to fight the Cold War effectively. After Death and state funeral of Joseph Stalin, the death of Joseph Stalin, Georgy Malenkov initially succeeded him as leader of the Soviet Union only to be quickly removed and replaced by Nikita Khrushchev. On 25 February 1956, Khrushchev shocked delegates to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Soviet Communist Party by On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, cataloguing and denouncing Stalin's crimes. As part of a new campaign of de-Stalinization, he declared that the only way to reform and move away from Stalin's policies would be to acknowledge errors made in the past. On 18 November 1956, while addressing Western dignitaries at a reception in Moscow's Polish embassy, Khrushchev infamously declared, "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you", shocking everyone present. He would later say he had not been referring to nuclear war, but the historically fated victory of communism over capitalism. In 1961, Khrushchev boasted that, even if the Soviet Union was currently behind the West, its housing shortage would disappear within ten years, consumer goods would be made abundant, and the "construction of a communist society" would be completed "in the main" within no more than two decades. Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, initiated a "New Look (policy), New Look" for the
containment '' Containment is a geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek γῆ ''gê'' "earth, land" and πολιτική ''politikḗ'' "politics") is the study of the effects of Earth's geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...

containment
strategy, calling for a greater reliance on nuclear weapons against US enemies in wartime. Dulles also enunciated the doctrine of "massive retaliation", threatening a severe US response to any Soviet aggression. Possessing nuclear superiority, for example, allowed Eisenhower to face down Soviet threats to intervene in the Middle East during the 1956
Suez Crisis The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression ( ar, العدوان الثلاثي, Al-ʿUdwān aṯ-Ṯulāṯiyy) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,Also known as the Suez War or 1956 War ...
. US plans for nuclear war in the late 1950s included the "systematic destruction" of 1,200 major urban centers in the Eastern Bloc and China, including Moscow, East Berlin and Beijing, with their civilian populations among the primary targets. In spite of these threats, there were substantial hopes for detente when Nikita Khrushchev#Early relations and U.S. visit (1957–1960), an upswing in diplomacy took place in 1959, including a two-week visit by Khrushchev to the US, and plans for a two-power summit for May 1960. The latter was disturbed by the 1960 U-2 incident, U-2 spy plane scandal, however, in which Eisenhower was caught lying to the world about the intrusion of American surveillance aircraft into Soviet territory.


Warsaw Pact and Hungarian Revolution

While Joseph Stalin, Stalin's death in 1953 slightly relaxed tensions, the situation in Europe remained an uneasy armed truce. The Soviets, who had already created a network of mutual assistance treaties in the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
by 1949, established a formal alliance therein, the
Warsaw Pact The Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO), officially the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, commonly known as the Warsaw Pact (WP), was a collective defense Collective security can be understood as a security arrangement ...
, in 1955. It stood opposed to NATO. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 occurred shortly after Khrushchev arranged the removal of Hungary's Stalinist leader Mátyás Rákosi. In response to a popular uprising, the new regime formally disbanded the ÁVH, secret police, declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to re-establish free elections. The Soviet Army invaded. Thousands of Hungarians were arrested, imprisoned and deported to the Soviet Union, and approximately 200,000 Hungarians fled Hungary in the chaos. Hungarian leader Imre Nagy and others were executed following secret trials. From 1957 through 1961, Khrushchev openly and repeatedly threatened the West with nuclear annihilation. He claimed that Soviet missile capabilities were far superior to those of the United States, capable of wiping out any American or European city. According to John Lewis Gaddis, Khrushchev rejected Stalin's "belief in the inevitability of war," however. The new leader declared his ultimate goal was "peaceful coexistence". In Khrushchev's formulation, peace would allow capitalism to collapse on its own, as well as giving the Soviets time to boost their military capabilities, which remained for decades until Gorbachev's later "new thinking" envisioning peaceful coexistence as an end in itself rather than a form of class struggle. The events in Hungary produced ideological fractures within the communist parties of the world, particularly in Western Europe, with great decline in membership as many in both western and socialist countries felt disillusioned by the brutal Soviet response. The communist parties in the West would never recover from the effect the Hungarian Revolution had on their membership, a fact that was immediately recognized by some, such as the Yugoslavian politician Milovan Djilas, Milovan Đilas who shortly after the revolution was crushed said that "The wound which the Hungarian Revolution inflicted on communism can never be completely healed".


Rapacki Plan; Berlin ultimatum

In 1957 Polish foreign minister Adam Rapacki proposed the Rapacki Plan for a nuclear free zone in central Europe. Public opinion tended to be favourable in the West, but it was rejected by leaders of West Germany, Britain, France and the United States. They feared it would leave the powerful conventional armies of the Warsaw Pact dominant over the weaker NATO armies. During November 1958, Khrushchev made an unsuccessful attempt to turn all of Berlin into an independent, demilitarized "free city". He gave the United States, Great Britain, and France a six-month ultimatum to withdraw their troops from the sectors they still occupied in West Berlin, or he would transfer control of Western access rights to the East Germans. Khrushchev earlier explained to Mao Zedong that "Berlin is the testicles of the West. Every time I want to make the West scream, I squeeze on Berlin." NATO formally rejected the ultimatum in mid-December and Khrushchev withdrew it in return for a Geneva conference on the German question.


American military buildup

Kennedy's foreign policy was dominated by American confrontations with the Soviet Union, manifested by proxy contests. Like Truman and Eisenhower, Kennedy supported containment to stop the spread of Communism. President Eisenhower's New Look (policy), New Look policy had emphasized the use of less expensive nuclear weapons to Deterrence theory, deter Soviet aggression by threatening massive nuclear attacks on all of the Soviet Union. Nuclear weapons were much cheaper than maintaining a large standing army, so Eisenhower cut conventional forces to save money. Kennedy implemented a new strategy known as flexible response. This strategy relied on conventional arms to achieve limited goals. As part of this policy, Kennedy expanded the United States special operations forces, elite military units that could fight unconventionally in various conflicts. Kennedy hoped that the flexible response strategy would allow the US to counter Soviet influence without resorting to nuclear war. To support his new strategy, Kennedy ordered a massive increase in defense spending. He sought, and Congress provided, a rapid build-up of the nuclear arsenal to restore the lost superiority over the Soviet Union—he claimed in 1960 that Eisenhower had lost it because of excessive concern with budget deficits. In his inaugural address, Kennedy promised "to bear any burden" in the defense of liberty, and he repeatedly asked for increases in military spending and authorization of new weapons systems. From 1961 to 1964 the number of nuclear weapons increased by 50 percent, as did the number of B-52 bombers to deliver them. The new ICBM force grew from 63 intercontinental ballistic missiles to 424. He authorized 23 new Polaris submarines, each of which carried 16 nuclear missiles. He called on cities to prepare fallout shelters for nuclear war. In contrast to Eisenhower's warning about the perils of the military–industrial complex, Kennedy focused on arms buildup.


Competition in the Third World

Nationalist movements in some countries and regions, notably Guatemala, Indonesia and Indochina, were often allied with communist groups or otherwise perceived to be unfriendly to Western interests. In this context, the United States and the Soviet Union increasingly competed for influence by proxy in the Third World as decolonization gained momentum in the 1950s and early 1960s. Both sides were selling armaments to gain influence. The Kremlin saw continuing territorial losses by imperial powers as presaging the eventual victory of their ideology. The United States used the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to undermine neutral or hostile Third World governments and to support allied ones. In 1953, President Eisenhower implemented 1953 Iranian coup d'état#Execution of Operation Ajax, Operation Ajax, a covert coup operation to overthrow the Iranian prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The popularly elected Mosaddegh had been a Middle Eastern nemesis of Britain since nationalizing the British-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951.
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Winston Churchill
told the United States that Mosaddegh was "increasingly turning towards Communist influence." The pro-Western shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, assumed control as an Autocracy, autocratic monarch. The shah's policies included banning the communist Tudeh Party of Iran, and general suppression of political dissent by SAVAK, the shah's domestic security and intelligence agency. In Guatemala, a banana republic, the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état ousted the left-wing President Jacobo Árbenz with material CIA support. The post-Arbenz government—a Military dictatorship, military junta headed by Carlos Castillo Armas—repealed a Decree 900, progressive land reform law, returned nationalized property belonging to the United Fruit Company, set up a National Committee of Defense Against Communism, and decreed a Preventive Penal Law Against Communism at the request of the United States. The non-aligned Indonesian government of Sukarno was faced with a major threat to its legitimacy beginning in 1956 when several regional commanders began to demand autonomy from Jakarta. After mediation failed, Sukarno took action to remove the dissident commanders. In February 1958, dissident military commanders in Central Sumatera (Colonel Ahmad Hussein) and North Sulawesi (Colonel Ventje Sumual) declared the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia-Permesta Movement aimed at overthrowing the Sukarno regime. They were joined by many civilian politicians from the Masyumi Party, such as Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, who were opposed to the growing influence of the communist Communist Party of Indonesia, Partai Komunis Indonesia party. Due to their anti-communist rhetoric, the rebels received arms, funding, and other covert aid from the CIA until Allen Lawrence Pope, an American pilot, was shot down after a bombing raid on government-held Ambon, Maluku, Ambon in April 1958. The central government responded by launching airborne and seaborne military invasions of rebel strongholds Padang and Manado. By the end of 1958, the rebels were militarily defeated, and the last remaining rebel guerilla bands surrendered by August 1961. In the Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville), Republic of the Congo, newly independent from Belgium since June 1960, the Congo Crisis erupted on July 5 leading to the secession of the regions State of Katanga, Katanga and South Kasai. CIA-backed President Joseph Kasa-Vubu ordered the dismissal of the democratically elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and the Lumumba cabinet in September over massacres by the armed forces during the invasion of South Kasai and for involving Soviets in the country. Later the CIA-backed Colonel Mobutu Sese Seko quickly mobilized his forces to seize power through a military coup d'état, and worked with Western intelligence agencies to imprison Lumumba and hand him over to Katangan authorities who executed him by firing squad. In British Guiana, the leftist People's Progressive Party (Guyana), People's Progressive Party (PPP) candidate Cheddi Jagan won the position of chief minister in a colonially administered election in 1953 but was quickly forced to resign from power after Britain's suspension of the still-dependent nation's constitution. Embarrassed by the landslide electoral victory of Jagan's allegedly Marxist party, the British imprisoned the PPP's leadership and maneuvered the organization into a divisive rupture in 1955, engineering a split between Jagan and his PPP colleagues. Jagan again won the colonial elections in 1957 and 1961, despite Britain's shift to a reconsideration of its view of the left-wing Jagan as a Soviet-style communist at this time. The United States pressured the British to withhold Guyana's independence until an alternative to Jagan could be identified, supported, and brought into office. Worn down by the First Indochina War, communist guerrilla war for Vietnamese independence and handed a watershed defeat by communist Viet Minh rebels at the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the French accepted a negotiated abandonment of their colonial stake in Vietnam. In the Geneva Conference (1954), Geneva Conference, peace accords were signed, leaving Vietnam divided between a pro-Soviet administration in North Vietnam and a pro-Western administration in South Vietnam at the 17th parallel north. Between 1954 and 1961, Eisenhower's United States sent economic aid and military advisers to strengthen South Vietnam's pro-Western regime against communist efforts to destabilize it. Many emerging nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America rejected the pressure to choose sides in the East–West competition. In 1955, at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia, dozens of Third World governments resolved to stay out of the Cold War. The consensus reached at Bandung culminated with the creation of the Belgrade-headquartered Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. Meanwhile, Khrushchev broadened Moscow's policy to establish ties with India and other key neutral states. Independence movements in the Third World transformed the post-war order into a more pluralistic world of decolonized African and Middle Eastern nations and of rising nationalism in Asia and Latin America.


Sino-Soviet split

After 1956, the Sino-Soviet alliance began to break down. Mao had defended Stalin when Khrushchev criticized him in 1956, and treated the new Soviet leader as a superficial upstart, accusing him of having lost his revolutionary edge. For his part, Khrushchev, disturbed by Mao's glib attitude toward nuclear war, referred to the Chinese leader as a "lunatic on a throne". After this, Khrushchev made many desperate attempts to reconstitute the Sino-Soviet alliance, but Mao considered it useless and denied any proposal. The Chinese-Soviet animosity spilled out in an intra-communist propaganda war. Further on, the Soviets focused on a bitter rivalry with Mao's China for leadership of the global communist movement. Historian Lorenz M. Lüthi argues: :The Sino-Soviet split was one of the key events of the Cold War, equal in importance to the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Second Vietnam War, and China–United States relations#Rapprochement, Sino-American rapprochement. The split helped to determine the framework of the Second Cold War in general, and influenced the course of the Second Vietnam War in particular.


Space Race

On the nuclear weapons front, the United States and the USSR pursued nuclear rearmament and developed long-range weapons with which they could strike the territory of the other. In August 1957, the Soviets successfully launched the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and in October they launched the first Earth satellite, Sputnik 1. The launch of Sputnik inaugurated the
Space Race The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, whi ...
. This led to the Apollo program, Apollo Moon landings by the United States, which astronaut Frank Borman later described as "just a battle in the Cold War." A major Cold War element of the Space Race was Reconnaissance satellite, satellite reconnaissance, as well as signals intelligence to gauge which aspects of the space programs had military capabilities. Later, however, the US and USSR pursued some cooperation in space as part of
détente and Raúl Castro Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (; ; born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban retired politician who served as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the one-party A one-party state, single-part ...
, such as Apollo–Soyuz.


Cuban Revolution and the Bay of Pigs Invasion

In Cuba, the 26th of July Movement, led by young revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, seized power in the Cuban Revolution on 1 January 1959, toppling President Fulgencio Batista, whose unpopular regime had been denied arms by the Eisenhower administration. Cuba–United States relations, Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States continued for some time after Batista's fall, but President Eisenhower deliberately left the capital to avoid meeting Castro during the latter's trip to Washington, DC in April, leaving Vice President Richard Nixon to conduct the meeting in his place. Cuba began negotiating for arms purchases from the Eastern Bloc in March 1960. In March of that year Eisenhower gave approval to Central Intelligence Agency, CIA plans and funding to overthrow Castro. In January 1961, just prior to leaving office, Eisenhower formally severed relations with the Cuban government. That April, the administration of newly elected American President John F. Kennedy mounted the unsuccessful CIA-organized Bay of Pigs Invasion, ship-borne invasion of the island at Playa Girón and Playa Larga in Santa Clara Province—a failure that publicly humiliated the United States. Castro responded by publicly embracing Marxism–Leninism, and the Soviet Union pledged to Cuba–Soviet Union relations, provide further support. In December, the US government Operation Mongoose, began a campaign of Terrorism, terrorist attacks against the Cuban people and covert operations against the administration, in an attempt to bring down the Cuban government.


Berlin Crisis of 1961

The
Berlin Crisis of 1961 The Berlin Crisis of 1961 (german: Berlin-Krise) occurred between 4 June – 9 November 1961, and was the last major politic-military European incident of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Sovie ...
was the last major incident in the Cold War regarding the status of Berlin and History of Germany (1945–90), post–World War II Germany. By the early 1950s, the Eastern Bloc emigration and defection, Soviet approach to restricting emigration movement was emulated by most of the rest of the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
. However, hundreds of thousands of East Germany, East Germans annually emigrated to West Germany through a "loophole" in the system that existed between East Berlin and West Berlin, where the four occupying World War II powers governed movement. The emigration resulted in a massive "Human capital flight, brain drain" from East Germany to West Germany of younger educated professionals, such that nearly 20% of East Germany's population had migrated to West Germany by 1961. That June, the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
issued a new ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of Allies of World War II, Allied forces from West Berlin. The request was rebuffed, but the United States now limited its security guarantees to West Berlin. On 13 August, East Germany erected a barbed-wire barrier that would eventually be expanded through construction into the Berlin Wall, effectively closing the loophole.


Cuban Missile Crisis and Khrushchev's ousting

The Kennedy administration continued seeking ways to oust Castro following the Bay of Pigs Invasion, experimenting with various ways of covertly facilitating the overthrow of the Cuban government. Significant hopes were pinned on the program of terrorist attacks and other destabilisation operations known as Operation Mongoose, devised under the Kennedy administration in 1961. Khrushchev learned of the project in February 1962, and preparations to install Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba were undertaken in response. Alarmed, Kennedy considered various reactions. He ultimately responded to the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba with a naval blockade, and he presented an ultimatum to the Soviets. Khrushchev backed down from a confrontation, and the Soviet Union removed the missiles in return for a public American pledge not to invade Cuba again as well as a covert deal to remove US missiles from Turkey. Castro later admitted that "I would have agreed to the use of nuclear weapons. ... we took it for granted that it would become a nuclear war anyway, and that we were going to disappear." The
Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis of 1962 ( es, Crisis de Octubre), the Caribbean Crisis (), or the Missile Scare, was a 1-month, 4 day (16 October – 20 November 1962) confrontation between the United States and the ...
(October–November 1962) brought the world closer to Nuclear warfare, nuclear war than ever before. The aftermath of the crisis led to the first efforts in the nuclear arms race at nuclear disarmament and improving relations, although the Cold War's first arms control agreement, the Antarctic Treaty System, Antarctic Treaty, had come into force in 1961. In 1964, Khrushchev's Kremlin colleagues managed to Nikita Khrushchev#Removal, oust him, but allowed him a peaceful retirement. Accused of rudeness and incompetence, John Lewis Gaddis argues that Khrushchev was also credited with ruining Soviet agriculture, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war and that Khrushchev had become an 'international embarrassment' when he authorized construction of the Berlin Wall.


From confrontation to détente (1962–1979)

In the course of the 1960s and 1970s, Cold War participants struggled to adjust to a new, more complicated pattern of international relations in which the world was no longer divided into two clearly opposed blocs. From the beginning of the post-war period, Western Europe and Japan rapidly recovered from the destruction of World War II and sustained strong economic growth through the 1950s and 1960s, with per capita GDPs approaching those of the United States, while Eastern Bloc economies, Eastern Bloc economies stagnated. The Vietnam War descended into a quagmire for the United States, leading to a decline in international prestige and economic stability, derailing arms agreements, and provoking domestic unrest. America's withdrawal from the war led it to embrace a policy of detente with both China and the Soviet Union. In the 1973 oil crisis, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut their petroleum output. This raised oil prices and hurt Western economies, but helped the Soviet Union by generating a huge flow of money from its oil sales. As a result of the oil crisis, combined with the growing influence of Third World alignments such as OPEC and the Non-Aligned Movement, less powerful countries had more room to assert their independence and often showed themselves resistant to pressure from either superpower. Meanwhile, Moscow was forced to turn its attention inward to deal with the Soviet Union's deep-seated domestic economic problems. During this period, Soviet leaders such as Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin embraced the notion of
détente and Raúl Castro Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (; ; born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban retired politician who served as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the one-party A one-party state, single-part ...
.


Vietnam War

Under President John F. Kennedy, US troop levels in Vietnam grew under the Military Assistance Advisory Group program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem's heavy-handed Huế Phật Đản shootings, crackdown on Buddhist monks in 1963 led the US to endorse a deadly 1963 South Vietnamese coup, military coup against Diem. The war escalated further in 1964 following the controversial Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a US destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase US military presence, deploying ground Military organization, combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev responded by reversing Khrushchev's policy of disengagement and increasing aid to the North Vietnamese, hoping to entice the North from its pro-Chinese position. The USSR discouraged further escalation of the war, however, providing just enough military assistance to tie up American forces. From this point, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces. The Tet Offensive of 1968 proved to be the turning point of the war. Despite years of American tutelage and aid the South Vietnamese forces were unable to withstand the communist offensive and the task fell to US forces instead. Tet showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war and giving rise to what was referred to as the Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements. Nonetheless, operations continued to cross international boundaries: bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were used by North Vietnam as Ho Chi Minh trail, supply routes, and were heavily Operation Barrel Roll, bombed by US forces. At the same time, 1963–65, American domestic politics saw the triumph of Modern liberalism in the United States, liberalism. According to historian Joseph Crespino: :It has become a staple of twentieth-century historiography that Cold War concerns were at the root of a number of progressive political accomplishments in the postwar period: a high progressive marginal tax rate that helped fund the arms race and contributed to broad income equality; bipartisan support for far-reaching civil rights legislation that transformed politics and society in the American South, which had long given the lie to America’s egalitarian ethos; bipartisan support for overturning an explicitly racist immigration system that had been in place since the 1920s; and free health care for the elderly and the poor, a partial fulfillment of one of the unaccomplished goals of the New Deal era. The list could go on.


French withdrawal from NATO military structures

The unity of NATO was breached early in its history, with a crisis occurring during Charles de Gaulle's presidency of France. De Gaulle protested at the strong role of the United States in the organization and what he perceived as a Special Relationship, special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. In a memorandum sent to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 17 September 1958, he argued for the creation of a tripartite directorate that would put France on an equal footing with the United States and the United Kingdom, and also for the expansion of NATO's coverage to include geographical areas of interest to France, most notably French Algeria, where France was waging a counter-insurgency and sought NATO assistance. De Gaulle considered the response he received to be unsatisfactory and began the development of an Force de dissuasion, independent French nuclear deterrent. In 1966 he withdrew France from NATO's military structures and expelled NATO troops from French soil.


Invasion of Czechoslovakia

In 1968, a period of political liberalization took place in Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia called the
Prague Spring#REDIRECT Prague Spring The Prague Spring ( cs, Pražské jaro, sk, Pražská jar) was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic ( Czech and sk, Česk ...
. An "Socialism with a human face, Action Program" of reforms included increasing freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of movement, along with an economic emphasis on Final good, consumer goods, the possibility of a multiparty government, limitations on the power of the secret police, and potential withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact. In answer to the Prague Spring, on 20 August 1968, the Soviet Army, together with most of their Warsaw Pact allies, invaded Czechoslovakia. The invasion was followed by a wave of emigration, including an estimated 70,000 Czechs and Slovaks initially fleeing, with the total eventually reaching 300,000. The invasion sparked intense protests from Yugoslavia, Romania, China, and from Western European communist parties.


Brezhnev Doctrine

In September 1968, during a speech at the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers' Party one month after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, invasion of Czechoslovakia, Brezhnev outlined the Brezhnev Doctrine, in which he claimed the right to violate the sovereignty of any country attempting to replace Marxism–Leninism with capitalism. During the speech, Brezhnev stated: The doctrine found its origins in the failures of Marxism–Leninism in states like Poland, Hungary and East Germany, which were facing a declining standard of living contrasting with the prosperity of West Germany and the rest of Western Europe.


Third World escalations

Under the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, Administration, which gained power after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the US took a more hardline stance on Latin America—sometimes called the "Mann Doctrine". In 1964, the Brazilian military 1964 Brazilian coup d'état, overthrew the government of president João Goulart with US backing. In late April 1965, the US sent some 22,000 troops to the Dominican Republic in an intervention, codenamed Operation Power Pack, into the Dominican Civil War between supporters of deposed president Juan Bosch (politician), Juan Bosch and supporters of General Elías Wessin y Wessin, citing the threat of the emergence of a Cuban-style revolution in Latin America. The Organization of American States, OAS also deployed soldiers to the conflict through the mostly Brazilian Inter-American Peace Force. Héctor García-Godoy acted as provisional president, until conservative former president Joaquín Balaguer won the 1966 presidential election against non-campaigning Juan Bosch. Activists for Bosch's Dominican Revolutionary Party were violently harassed by the Dominican police and armed forces. In Indonesia, the hardline anti-communist Suharto, General Suharto wrested control of the state from his predecessor Sukarno in an attempt to Transition to the New Order, establish a "New Order". From 1965 to 1966, with the CIA activities in Indonesia#Anti-communist purge, aid of the United States and other Western governments, the military Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66, led the mass killing of more than 500,000 members and sympathizers of the Communist Party of Indonesia, Indonesian Communist Party and other leftist organizations, and detained hundreds of thousands more in prison camps around the country under extremely inhumane conditions. A top-secret CIA report stated that the massacres "rank as one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century, along with the Soviet purges of the 1930s, the Nazi mass murders during the Second World War, and the Maoist bloodbath of the early 1950s." These killings served US strategic interests and constitute a major turning point in the Cold War as the balance of power shifted in Southeast Asia. Joint warfare in South Vietnam, 1963–69, Escalating the scale of American intervention in the ongoing conflict between Ngo Dinh Diem, Ngô Đình Diệm's South Vietnamese government and the communist Viet Cong, National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) insurgents opposing it, Johnson deployed some 575,000 troops in Southeast Asia to defeat the NLF and their North Vietnamese allies in the Vietnam War, but his costly policy weakened the US economy and, by 1975, it ultimately culminated in what most of the world saw as a humiliating defeat of the world's most powerful superpower at the hands of one of the world's poorest nations. The Middle East remained a source of contention. Egypt, which received the bulk of its arms and economic assistance from the USSR, was a troublesome client, with a reluctant Soviet Union feeling obliged to assist in both the 1967 Six-Day War (with advisers and technicians) and the War of Attrition (with pilots and aircraft) against pro-Western Israel. Despite the beginning of an Egyptian shift from a pro-Soviet to a pro-American orientation in 1972 (under Egypt's new leader Anwar Sadat), rumors of imminent Soviet intervention on the Egyptians' behalf during the 1973 Yom Kippur War brought about a massive American mobilization that threatened to wreck détente. Although pre-Sadat Egypt had been the largest recipient of Soviet aid in the Middle East, the Soviets were also successful in establishing close relations with communist South Yemen, as well as the nationalist governments of Algeria and Iraq. Iraq signed a 15-year Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union in 1972. According to historian Charles R.H. Tripp, the treaty upset "the US-sponsored security system established as part of the Arab Cold War, Cold War in the Middle East. It appeared that any enemy of the Baghdad regime was a potential ally of the United States." In response, the US covertly financed Kurdish rebels led by Mustafa Barzani during the Second Iraqi–Kurdish War; the Kurds were defeated in 1975, leading to the forcible relocation of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish civilians. Indirect Soviet assistance to the Palestinian side of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict included support for Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In East Africa, a territorial dispute between Somalia and Ethiopia over the Ogaden region resulted in the Ogaden War. Around June 1977, Somali troops occupied the Ogaden and began advancing inland towards Ethiopian positions in the Ahmar Mountains. Both countries were client states of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
; Somalia was led by self-proclaimed Marxist military leader Siad Barre, and Ethiopia was controlled by the Derg, a cabal of military generals loyal to the pro-Soviet Mengistu Haile Mariam, who had declared the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia in 1975. The Soviets initially attempted to exert a moderating influence on both states, but in November 1977 Barre broke off relations with Moscow and expelled his Soviet military advisers. He then turned to the China and Safari Club—a group of pro-American intelligence agencies including those of Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia—for support and weapons. While declining to take a direct part in hostilities, the Soviet Union did provide the impetus for a successful Ethiopian counteroffensive to expel Somalia from the Ogaden. The counteroffensive was planned at the command level by Soviet advisers attached to the Ethiopian general staff, and bolstered by the delivery of millions of dollars' of sophisticated Soviet arms. About 11,000 Cuban troops spearheaded the primary effort, after receiving a hasty training on some of the newly delivered Soviet weapons systems by East German instructors. In Chile, the Socialist Party of Chile, Socialist Party candidate Salvador Allende won the Chilean presidential election, 1970, presidential election of 1970, thereby becoming the first democratically elected Marxism, Marxist to become president of a country in the Americas. The CIA targeted Allende for removal and operated to undermine his support domestically, which contributed to a period of unrest culminating in General Augusto Pinochet's 1973 Chilean coup d'état, coup d'état on 11 September 1973. Pinochet consolidated power as a military dictator, Allende's reforms of the economy were rolled back, and leftist opponents were killed or detained in internment camps under the Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA). The Socialist states—with the exception of China and Socialist Republic of Romania, Romania—broke off relations with Chile. The Pinochet regime would go on to be one of the leading participants in Operation Condor, an international campaign of political assassination and state terrorism organized by right-wing military dictatorships in the Southern Cone of South America that was covertly supported by the US government. On 24 April 1974, the Carnation Revolution succeeded in ousting Marcelo Caetano and Portugal's right-wing ''Estado Novo (Portugal), Estado Novo'' government, sounding the death knell for the Portuguese Empire. Independence was hastily granted to a number of Portuguese colonies, including Angola, where the disintegration of colonial rule was followed by a violent civil war. There were three rival militant factions competing for power in Angola, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA). While all three had socialist leanings, the MPLA was the only party with close ties to the Soviet Union. Its adherence to the concept of a one-party state alienated it from the FNLA and UNITA, which began portraying themselves as anti-communist and pro-Western in orientation. When the Soviets began supplying the MPLA with arms, the CIA and China offered substantial covert aid to the FNLA and UNITA. The MPLA eventually requested direct military support from Moscow in the form of ground troops, but the Soviets declined, offering to send advisers but no combat personnel. Cuba was more forthcoming and began amassing troops in Angola to assist the MPLA. By November 1975 there were over a thousand Cuban soldiers in the country. The persistent buildup of Cuban troops and Soviet weapons allowed the MPLA to secure victory and blunt an abortive intervention by Zairean and South African troops, which had deployed in a belated attempt to assist the FNLA and UNITA. During the Vietnam War, North Vietnam Sihanouk Trail, used border areas of Cambodia as military bases, which Cambodian head of state Norodom Sihanouk tolerated in an attempt to preserve Cambodia's neutrality. Following Cambodian coup of 1970, Sihanouk's March 1970 deposition by pro-American general Lon Nol, who ordered the North Vietnamese to leave Cambodia, North Vietnam attempted to overrun all of Cambodia following negotiations with Nuon Chea, the second-in-command of the Cambodian communists (dubbed the Khmer Rouge) fighting to overthrow the Cambodian government. Sihanouk fled to China with the establishment of the GRUNK in Beijing. American and South Vietnamese forces responded to these actions with a Operation Menu, bombing campaign and a brief Cambodian campaign, ground incursion, which contributed to the violence of the Cambodian Civil War, civil war that soon enveloped all of Cambodia. US carpet bombing Operation Freedom Deal, lasted until 1973, and while it prevented the Khmer Rouge from seizing the capital, it also accelerated the collapse of rural society, increased social polarization, and killed tens of thousands of civilians. After taking power and distancing himself from the Vietnamese, pro-China Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot killed 1.5 to 2 million Cambodians in the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, killing fields, roughly a quarter of the Cambodian population (an event commonly labelled the Cambodian genocide). Martin Shaw (sociologist), Martin Shaw described these atrocities as "the purest genocide of the Cold War era." Backed by the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, an organization of Khmer pro-Soviet Communists and Khmer Rouge defectors led by Heng Samrin, Vietnam invaded Cambodia on 22 December 1978. The Cambodian–Vietnamese War, invasion succeeded in deposing Pol Pot, but the new state would struggle to gain international recognition beyond the Soviet Bloc sphere. Despite the previous international outcry at the Pol Pot regime's gross human rights violations, representatives of the Khmer Rouge were allowed to be seated in the UN General Assembly, with strong support from China, Western powers, and the member countries of ASEAN. Cambodia would become bogged down in a guerrilla war led from refugee camps located on the border with Thailand. Following the destruction of the Khmer Rouge, the national reconstruction of Cambodia would be severely hampered, and Vietnam would suffer a punitive Sino-Vietnamese War, Chinese attack.


Sino-American rapprochement

As a result of the
Sino-Soviet split The Sino-Soviet split was the breaking of political relations between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), caused by Doctrine, doctrinal divergences that arose from their different interpretati ...
, tensions along the Chinese–Soviet border Sino-Soviet border conflict, reached their peak in 1969, and United States President Richard Nixon decided to use the conflict to shift the balance of power towards the West in the Cold War. The Chinese had sought improved relations with the Americans in order to gain an advantage over the Soviets as well. In February 1972, Nixon achieved a stunning rapprochement with China, traveling to Beijing and meeting with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. At this time, the USSR achieved rough nuclear parity with the United States; meanwhile, the Vietnam War both weakened America's influence in the Third World and cooled relations with Western Europe. Although indirect conflict between Cold War powers continued through the late 1960s and early 1970s, tensions were beginning to ease.


Nixon, Brezhnev, and détente

Following his visit to China, Nixon met with Soviet leaders, including Brezhnev in Moscow. These
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) were two rounds of bilateral conferences and corresponding international treaties involving the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or ...
resulted in two landmark arms control treaties: SALT I, the first comprehensive limitation pact signed by the two superpowers, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned the development of systems designed to intercept incoming missiles. These aimed to limit the development of costly anti-ballistic missiles and nuclear missiles. Nixon and Brezhnev proclaimed a new era of "peaceful coexistence" and established the groundbreaking new policy of ''
détente and Raúl Castro Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (; ; born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban retired politician who served as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the one-party A one-party state, single-part ...
'' (or cooperation) between the two superpowers. Meanwhile, Brezhnev attempted to revive the Soviet economy, which was declining in part because of heavy military expenditures. Between 1972 and 1974, the two sides also agreed to strengthen their economic ties, including agreements for increased trade. As a result of their meetings, ''détente'' would replace the hostility of the Cold War and the two countries would live mutually. These developments coincided with Bonn's "Ostpolitik" policy formulated by the West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, an effort to normalize relations between West Germany and Eastern Europe. Other agreements were concluded to stabilize the situation in Europe, culminating in the Helsinki Accords signed at the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in 1975. Kissinger and Nixon were "realists" who deemphasized idealistic goals like anti-communism or promotion of democracy worldwide because those goals were too expensive in terms of America's economic capabilities. Instead of a Cold War they wanted peace, trade and cultural exchanges. They realized that Americans were no longer willing to tax themselves for idealistic foreign policy goals, especially for containment policies that never seemed to produce positive results. Instead, Nixon and Kissinger sought to downsize America's global commitments in proportion to its reduced economic, moral and political power. They rejected "idealism" as impractical and too expensive, and neither man showed much sensitivity to the plight of people living under Communism. Kissinger's realism fell out of fashion as idealism returned to American foreign policy with Carter's moralism emphasizing human rights, and Reagan's rollback strategy aimed at destroying Communism.


Late 1970s deterioration of relations

In the 1970s, the KGB, led by Yuri Andropov, continued to persecute distinguished Soviet personalities such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov, who were criticising the Soviet leadership in harsh terms. Indirect conflict between the superpowers continued through this period of détente in the Third World, particularly during political crises in the Middle East, Chile, Ethiopia, and Angola. Although President Jimmy Carter tried to place another limit on the arms race with a Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, SALT II agreement in 1979, his efforts were undermined by the other events that year, including the Iranian Revolution and the Nicaraguan Revolution, which both ousted pro-US regimes, and his retaliation against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in December.


New Cold War (1979–1985)

The term ''new Cold War'' refers to the period of intensive reawakening of Cold War tensions and conflicts in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Tensions greatly increased between the major powers with both sides becoming more militant. John Patrick Diggins, Diggins says, "Reagan went all out to fight the second cold war, by supporting counterinsurgencies in the third world." Michael Cox (academic), Cox says, "The intensity of this 'second' Cold War was as great as its duration was short."


Soviet War in Afghanistan

In April 1978, the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power in Afghanistan in the Saur Revolution. Within months, opponents of the communist government launched an uprising in eastern Afghanistan that quickly expanded into a War in Afghanistan (1978–present), civil war waged by guerrilla mujahideen against government forces countrywide. The Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahideen insurgents received military training and weapons in neighboring Pakistan and China, while the Soviet Union sent thousands of military advisers to support the PDPA government. Meanwhile, increasing friction between the competing factions of the PDPA—the dominant Khalq and the more moderate Parcham—resulted in the dismissal of Parchami cabinet members and the arrest of Parchami military officers under the pretext of a Parchami coup. By mid-1979, the United States had started a covert program to assist the mujahideen. In September 1979, Khalqist President Nur Muhammad Taraki was assassinated in a coup within the PDPA orchestrated by fellow Khalq member Hafizullah Amin, who assumed the presidency. Distrusted by the Soviets, Amin was assassinated by Soviet special forces during Operation Storm-333 in December 1979. A Soviet-organized government, led by Parcham's Babrak Karmal but inclusive of both factions, filled the vacuum. Soviet troops were deployed to stabilize Afghanistan under Karmal in more substantial numbers, although the Soviet government did not expect to do most of the fighting in Afghanistan. As a result, however, the Soviets were now directly involved in what had been a domestic war in Afghanistan. Carter responded to the Soviet intervention by withdrawing the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, SALT II treaty from ratification, imposing embargoes on grain and technology shipments to the USSR, and demanding a significant increase in military spending, and further announced that the United States would 1980 Summer Olympics boycott, boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. He described the Soviet incursion as "the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War".


Reagan and Thatcher

In January 1977, four years prior to becoming president, Ronald Reagan bluntly stated, in a conversation with Richard V. Allen, his basic expectation in relation to the Cold War. "My idea of American policy toward the Soviet Union is simple, and some would say simplistic," he said. "It is this: We win and they lose. What do you think of that?" In 1980, Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 United States presidential election, 1980 presidential election, vowing to increase military spending and confront the Soviets everywhere. Both Reagan and new British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher denounced the Soviet Union and its ideology. Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire speech, evil empire" and predicted that Communism would be left on the "ash heap of history," while Thatcher inculpated the Soviets as "bent on world dominance." In 1982, Reagan tried to cut off Moscow's access to hard currency by impeding its proposed gas line to Western Europe. It hurt the Soviet economy, but it also caused ill will among American allies in Europe who counted on that revenue. Reagan retreated on this issue. By early 1985, Reagan's anti-communist position had developed into a stance known as the new Reagan Doctrine—which, in addition to containment, formulated an additional right to subvert existing communist governments. Besides continuing Carter's policy of supporting the Islamic opponents of the Soviet Union and the Soviet-backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, PDPA government in Afghanistan, the CIA also sought to weaken the Soviet Union itself by promoting Islamism in the majority-Muslim Soviet Central Asia, Central Asian Soviet Union.Singh 1995 p.130 Additionally, the CIA encouraged anti-communist Pakistan's ISI to train Muslims from around the world to participate in the jihad against the Soviet Union.


Polish Solidarity movement and martial law

Pope John Paul II provided a moral focus for anti-communism; a visit to his native Poland in 1979 stimulated a religious and nationalist resurgence centered on the Solidarity (Polish trade union), Solidarity movement that galvanized opposition and may have led to his Pope John Paul II assassination attempt, attempted assassination two years later. In December 1981, Poland's Wojciech Jaruzelski reacted to the crisis by imposing Martial law in Poland, a period of martial law. Reagan imposed economic sanctions on Poland in response. Mikhail Suslov, the Kremlin's top ideologist, advised Soviet leaders not to intervene if Poland fell under the control of Solidarity, for fear it might lead to heavy economic sanctions, resulting in a catastrophe for the Soviet economy.


The US and USSR military and economic issues

The Soviet Union had built up a military that consumed as much as 25 percent of its gross national product at the expense of consumer goods in the Soviet Union, consumer goods and investment in civilian sectors. Soviet spending on the arms race and other Cold War commitments both caused and exacerbated deep-seated structural problems in the Soviet system, which experienced at least Era of Stagnation, a decade of economic stagnation during the late Brezhnev years. Soviet investment in the defense sector was not driven by military necessity, but in large part by the interests of nomenklatura, massive party and state bureaucracies dependent on the sector for their own power and privileges. The Soviet Armed Forces became the largest in the world in terms of the numbers and types of weapons they possessed, in the number of troops in their ranks, and in the sheer size of their military–industrial complex, military–industrial base. However, the quantitative advantages held by the Soviet military often concealed areas where the Eastern Bloc dramatically lagged behind the West. For example, the Gulf War, Persian Gulf War demonstrated how the Vehicle armour, armor, Fire-control system, fire control systems and firing range of the Soviet Union's most common main battle tank, the T-72, were drastically inferior to the American M1 Abrams, yet the USSR fielded almost three times as many T-72s as the US deployed M1s. By the early 1980s, the USSR had built up a military arsenal and army surpassing that of the United States. Soon after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, president Carter began massively building up the United States military. This buildup was accelerated by the Reagan administration, which increased the military spending from 5.3 percent of GNP in 1981 to 6.5 percent in 1986, the largest peacetime defense buildup in United States history. Tensions continued to intensify as Reagan revived the B-1 Lancer program, which had been canceled by the Carter administration, produced LGM-118 Peacekeeper missiles, installed US cruise missiles in Europe, and announced the experimental Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed "Star Wars" by the media, a defense program to shoot down missiles in mid-flight. The Soviets deployed RSD-10 Pioneer ballistic missiles targeting Western Europe, and NATO decided, under the impetus of the Carter presidency, to deploy MGM-31 Pershing and cruise missiles in Europe, primarily West Germany. This deployment placed missiles just 10 minutes' striking distance from Moscow. After Reagan's military buildup, the Soviet Union did not respond by further building its military, because the enormous military expenses, along with inefficient Planned economy, planned manufacturing and collectivization in the Soviet Union, collectivized agriculture, were already a heavy burden for the Economy of the Soviet Union, Soviet economy. At the same time, Saudi Arabia increased oil production, even as other non-OPEC nations were increasing production. These developments contributed to the 1980s oil glut, which affected the Soviet Union as oil was the main source of Soviet export revenues. Issues with command economy, command economics, oil price decreases and large military expenditures gradually brought the Soviet economy to stagnation. On 1 September 1983, the Soviet Union shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a Boeing 747 with 269 people aboard, including sitting Congressman Larry McDonald, an action which Reagan characterized as a "massacre". The airliner had violated Soviet airspace just past the west coast of Sakhalin, Sakhalin Island near Moneron Island, and the Soviets treated the unidentified aircraft as an intruding US spy plane. The incident increased support for military deployment, overseen by Reagan, which stood in place until the later accords between Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. The Able Archer 83 exercise in November 1983, a realistic simulation of a coordinated NATO nuclear release, was perhaps the most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis, as the Soviet leadership feared that a nuclear attack might be imminent. American domestic public concerns about intervening in foreign conflicts persisted from the end of the Vietnam War. The Reagan administration emphasized the use of quick, low-cost counter-insurgency tactics to intervene in foreign conflicts. In 1983, the Reagan administration intervened in the multisided Lebanese Civil War, Invasion of Grenada, invaded Grenada, 1986 United States bombing of Libya, bombed History of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi#Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1977–2011), Libya and backed the Central American Contras, anti-communist paramilitaries seeking to overthrow the Soviet-aligned Sandinista National Liberation Front, Sandinista government in Nicaragua. While Reagan's interventions against Grenada and Libya were popular in the United States, his backing of the Contra rebels was Iran–Contra affair, mired in controversy. The Reagan administration's backing of the military government of Guatemala during the Guatemalan Civil War, in particular the regime of Efraín Ríos Montt, was also controversial. Meanwhile, the Soviets incurred high costs for their own foreign interventions. Although Brezhnev was convinced in 1979 that the Soviet–Afghan War, Soviet war in Afghanistan would be brief, Muslim guerrillas, aided by the US, China, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, waged a fierce resistance against the invasion. The Kremlin sent nearly 100,000 troops to support its puppet regime in Afghanistan, leading many outside observers to dub the war "the Soviets' Vietnam". However, Moscow's quagmire in Afghanistan was far more disastrous for the Soviets than Vietnam had been for the Americans because the conflict coincided with a period of internal decay and domestic crisis in the Soviet system. A senior United States Department of State, US State Department official predicted such an outcome as early as 1980, positing that the invasion resulted in part from a "domestic crisis within the Soviet may be that the thermodynamic law of entropy up with the Soviet system, which now seems to expend more energy on simply maintaining its equilibrium than on improving itself. We could be seeing a period of foreign movement at a time of internal decay".


Final years (1985–1991)


Gorbachev's reforms

By the time the comparatively youthful
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician, lawyer, and statesman. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, General Secretary in 1985, the Soviet economy was stagnant and faced a sharp fall in foreign currency earnings as a result of the downward slide in oil prices in the 1980s. These issues prompted Gorbachev to investigate measures to revive the ailing state. An ineffectual start led to the conclusion that deeper structural changes were necessary, and in June 1987 Gorbachev announced an agenda of economic reform called ''
perestroika Perestroika (; russian: links=no, перестройка, p=pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə, a=ru-perestroika.ogg) was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) ...
'', or restructuring. Perestroika relaxed the production quota system, allowed private ownership of businesses and paved the way for foreign investment. These measures were intended to redirect the country's resources from costly Cold War military commitments to more productive areas in the civilian sector. Despite initial skepticism in the West, the new Soviet leader proved to be committed to reversing the Soviet Union's deteriorating economic condition instead of continuing the arms race with the West. Partly as a way to fight off internal opposition from party cliques to his reforms, Gorbachev simultaneously introduced ''
glasnost In the Russian language Russian (, tr. ''russkiy yazyk'') is an East Slavic language The East Slavic languages constitute one of the three regional subgroups of Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languag ...
'', or openness, which increased freedom of the press and the transparency of state institutions. ''Glasnost'' was intended to reduce the corruption at the top of the
Communist Party A communist party is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and part ...
and moderate the abuse of power in the Central Committee. Glasnost also enabled increased contact between Soviet citizens and the western world, particularly with the United States, contributing to the accelerating
détente and Raúl Castro Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (; ; born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban retired politician who served as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the one-party A one-party state, single-part ...
between the two nations.


Thaw in relations

In response to the Kremlin's military and concession (politics), political concessions, Reagan agreed to renew talks on economic issues and the scaling-back of the arms race. The first Geneva Summit (1985), summit was held in November 1985 in Geneva, Switzerland. At one stage the two men, accompanied only by an interpreter, agreed in principle to reduce each country's nuclear arsenal by 50 percent. A Reykjavík Summit, second summit was held in October 1986 in Reykjavík, Iceland. Talks went well until the focus shifted to Reagan's proposed Strategic Defense Initiative, which Gorbachev wanted to be eliminated. Reagan refused. The negotiations failed, but the third summit in 1987 led to a breakthrough with the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The INF treaty eliminated all nuclear-armed, ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles) and their infrastructure. East–West tensions rapidly subsided through the mid-to-late 1980s, culminating with the final summit in Moscow in 1989, when Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush signed the START I arms control treaty. During the following year it became apparent to the Soviets that oil and gas subsidies, along with the cost of maintaining massive troops levels, represented a substantial economic drain. In addition, the security advantage of a buffer zone was recognised as irrelevant and the Soviets Sinatra Doctrine, officially declared that they would no longer intervene in the affairs of allied states in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1989, Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan, and by 1990 Gorbachev Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, consented to German reunification, as the only alternative was a Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, Tiananmen Square scenario. When the Berlin Wall came down, Gorbachev's "Common European Home" concept began to take shape. On 3 December 1989, Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush declared the Cold War over at the Malta Summit. A year later, the two former rivals were partners in the Gulf War against Ba'athist Iraq, Iraq (August 1990 – February 1991).


Eastern Europe breaks away

By 1989, the Soviet alliance system was on the brink of collapse, and, deprived of Soviet military support, the communist leaders of the Warsaw Pact states were losing power. Grassroots organizations, such as Poland's Solidarity (Polish trade union), Solidarity movement, rapidly gained ground with strong popular bases. The
Pan-European Picnic The Pan-European Picnic (german: Paneuropäisches Picknick; hu, páneurópai piknik; sk, Paneurópsky piknik) was a peace demonstration held on the Austrian-Hungary, Hungarian border near Sopron, Sopron, Hungary on 19 August 1989. The opening of ...
in August 1989 in Hungary finally started a peaceful movement that the rulers in the Eastern Bloc could not stop. It was the largest movement of refugees from East Germany since the Berlin Wall was built in 1961 and ultimately brought about the fall of the
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continenta ...
. The patrons of the picnic, Otto von Habsburg and the Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay, saw the planned event as an opportunity to test Mikhail Gorbachev's reaction. The Austrian branch of the Paneuropean Union, which was then headed by Karl von Habsburg, distributed thousands of brochures inviting the GDR holidaymakers in Hungary to a picnic near the border at Sopron. But with the mass exodus at the Pan-European Picnic the subsequent hesitant behavior of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany and the non-interference of the Soviet Union broke the dams. Now tens of thousands of media-informed East Germans made their way to Hungary, which was no longer willing to keep its borders completely closed or to oblige its border troops to use armed force. On the one hand, this caused disagreement among the Eastern European states and, on the other hand, it was clear to the Eastern European population that the governments no longer had absolute power. In 1989, the communist governments in Poland and Hungary became the first to negotiate the organization of competitive elections. In Czechoslovakia and East Germany, mass protests unseated entrenched communist leaders. The communist regimes in Bulgaria and Romania also crumbled, in the latter case as the result of a Romanian Revolution, violent uprising. Attitudes had changed enough that US Secretary of State James Baker suggested that the American government would not be opposed to Soviet intervention in Romania, on behalf of the opposition, to prevent bloodshed. The tidal wave of change culminated with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which symbolized the collapse of European communist governments and graphically ended the Iron Curtain divide of Europe. The Revolutions of 1989, 1989 revolutionary wave swept across Central and Eastern Europe and peacefully overthrew all of the Soviet-style Marxist–Leninist states: East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria; Romania was the only Eastern-bloc country to topple its communist regime violently and execute its head of state.


Soviet dissolution

In the USSR itself, ''glasnost'' weakened the ideological bonds that held the Soviet Union together, and by February 1990, with the dissolution of the USSR looming, the
Communist Party A communist party is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and part ...
was forced to surrender its 73-year-old monopoly on state power. At the same time the union's component republics declared their autonomy from Moscow, with the Baltic states withdrawing from the union entirely. Gorbachev used force to keep the Baltics from breaking away. The USSR was fatally weakened by a 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, failed coup in August 1991. A growing number of Republics of the Soviet Union, Soviet republics, particularly Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russia, threatened to secede from the USSR. The Commonwealth of Independent States, created on 21 December 1991, was a successor entity to the Soviet Union. The USSR was declared officially dissolved on 26 December 1991. US President George H.W. Bush expressed his emotions: "The biggest thing that has happened in the world in my life, in our lives, is this: By the grace of God, America won the Cold War."


Aftermath

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia drastically cut List of countries by military expenditures, military spending, and restructuring the economy left millions unemployed. The capitalist reforms culminated in a recession in the early 1990s more severe than the Great Depression as experienced by the United States and Germany. In the 25 years following the end of the Cold War, only five or six of the post-socialist states are on a path to joining the rich and capitalist world while most are falling behind, some to such an extent that it will take several decades to catch up to where they were before the collapse of communism. Communist parties outside the Baltic states were not outlawed and their members were not prosecuted. Just a few places attempted to exclude even members of communist secret services from decision-making. In a number of countries, the communist party simply changed its name and continued to function.After socialism: where hope for individual liberty lies
. Svetozar Pejovich.
Stephen Holmes (academic), Stephen Holmes of the University of Chicago argued in 1996 that decommunization, after a brief active period, quickly ended in near-universal failure. After the introduction of lustration, demand for scapegoats has become relatively low, and former communists have been elected for high governmental and other administrative positions. Holmes notes that the only real exception was former East Germany, where thousands of former Stasi informers have been fired from public positions.Michael Mandelbaum (Ed., 1996) "Post-Communism: Four Perspectives", ''Council on Foreign Relations'' Holmes suggests the following reasons for the failure of decommunization: *After 45–70 years of communist rule, nearly every family has members associated with the state. After the initial desire "to root out the reds" came a realization that massive punishment is wrong and finding only some guilty is hardly justice. *The urgency of the current economic problems of postcommunism makes the crimes of the communist past "old news" for many citizens. *Decommunization is believed to be a power game of elites. *The difficulty of dislodging the social elite makes it require a totalitarian state to disenfranchise the "enemies of the people" quickly and efficiently and a desire for normalcy overcomes the desire for punitive justice. *Very few people have a perfectly clean slate and so are available to fill the positions that require significant expertise. The Cold War continues to influence world affairs. The post-Cold War world is considered to be Unipolarity, unipolar, with the United States the sole remaining superpower. The Cold War defined the political role of the United States after World War II—by 1989 the United States had military alliances with 50 countries, with 526,000 troops stationed abroad, with 326,000 in Europe (two-thirds of which were in West Germany) and 130,000 in Asia (mainly Japan and South Korea). The Cold War also marked the zenith of peacetime military–industrial complexes, especially in the United States, and large-scale History of military technology, military funding of science. These complexes, though their origins may be found as early as the 19th century, snowballed considerably during the Cold War. Cumulative US military expenditures throughout the entire Cold War amounted to an estimated $8 trillion. Further nearly 100,000 Americans lost their lives in the Korean War, Korean and Vietnam Wars. Although Soviet casualties are difficult to estimate, as a share of gross national product the financial cost for the Soviet Union was much higher than that incurred by the United States. In addition to the loss of life by uniformed soldiers, millions died in the superpowers'
proxy war A proxy war is an armed conflict between two states or non-state actorNon-state actors include organizations and individuals that are not affiliated with, directed by, or funded through the government. The interests, structure, and influence o ...
s around the globe, most notably in Southeast Asia. Most of the proxy wars and subsidies for local conflicts ended along with the Cold War; interstate wars, ethnic wars, revolutionary wars, as well as refugee and displaced persons crises have declined sharply in the post-Cold War years. However, the aftermath of the Cold War is not considered to be concluded. Many of the economic and social tensions that were exploited to fuel Cold War competition in parts of the Third World remain acute. The breakdown of state control in a number of areas formerly ruled by communist governments produced new civil and ethnic conflicts, particularly in the former Yugoslavia. In Central and Eastern Europe, the end of the Cold War has ushered in an era of economic growth and an increase in the number of liberal democracy, liberal democracies, while in other parts of the world, such as Afghanistan, independence was accompanied by failed state, state failure.


In popular culture

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union invested heavily in propaganda designed to influence people around the world, especially using motion pictures. The Cold War endures as a popular topic reflected extensively in entertainment media, and continuing to the present with numerous post-1991 Cold War-themed feature films, novels, television, and other media. In 2013, a KGB-sleeper-agents-living-next-door action drama series, ''The Americans'', set in the early 1980s, was ranked No. 6 on the Metacritic annual Best New TV Shows list; its six-season run concluded in May 2018.


Historiography

As soon as the term "Cold War" was popularized to refer to post-war tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, interpreting the course and origins of the conflict has been a source of heated controversy among historians, political scientists, and journalists. In particular, historians have sharply disagreed as to who was responsible for the breakdown of Soviet–US relations after the Second World War; and whether the conflict between the two superpowers was inevitable, or could have been avoided. Historians have also disagreed on what exactly the Cold War was, what the sources of the conflict were, and how to disentangle patterns of action and reaction between the two sides. Although explanations of the origins of the conflict in academic discussions are complex and diverse, several general schools of thought on the subject can be identified. Historians commonly speak of three different approaches to the study of the Cold War: "orthodox" accounts, "revisionism", and "post-revisionism". "Orthodox" accounts place responsibility for the Cold War on the Soviet Union and its expansion further into Europe. "Revisionist" writers place more responsibility for the breakdown of post-war peace on the United States, citing a range of US efforts to isolate and confront the Soviet Union well before the end of World War II. "Post-revisionists" see the events of the Cold War as more nuanced, and attempt to be more balanced in determining what occurred during the Cold War. Much of the historiography on the Cold War weaves together two or even all three of these broad categories.


See also

* American espionage in the Soviet Union and Russian Federation * American imperialism * Canada in the Cold War * Cold peace * Cold War in Asia * International relations since 1989 ** Post–Cold War era * McCarthyism * Origins of the Cold War * Outline of the Cold War * Red Scare * Second Cold War * Soviet Empire * Timeline of events in the Cold War * :Cold War by period


Footnotes


References


Sources


Books

* * * * Ang, Cheng Guan. ''Southeast Asia’s Cold War: An Interpretive History'' (University of Hawai’i Press, 2018)
online review
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Journals

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News

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Web

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Further reading

* * Brazinsky, Gregg A. ''Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War'' (U of North Carolina Press, 2017)
four online reviews & author response
* * Davis, Simon, and Joseph Smith. ''The A to Z of the Cold War'' (Scarecrow, 2005), encyclopedia focused on military aspects * * Herbert Feis, Feis, Herbert. ''From trust to terror; the onset of the cold war, 1945-1950'' (1970
online free to borrow
* Fenby, Jonathan. ''Crucible: Thirteen Months that Forged Our World'' (2019
excerpt
covers 1947-1948 * on literature * Fürst, Juliane, Silvio Pons and Mark Selden, eds. ''The Cambridge History of Communism (Volume 3): Endgames?.Late Communism in Global Perspective, 1968 to the Present'' (2017
excerpt
* Gaddis, John Lewis. (2005) ''The Cold War: A New History'
excerpt
* * * Fred Halliday, Halliday, Fred. ''The Making of the Second Cold War'' (1983, Verso, London). * Haslam, Jonathan. ''Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall'' (Yale UP, 2011) 512 pages * David E. Hoffman, Hoffman, David E. ''The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy'' (2010) * House, Jonathan. ''A Military History of the Cold War, 1944–1962'' (2012) * Judge, Edward H. ''The Cold War: A Global History With Documents'' (2012), includes primary sources. * Kotkin, Stephen. ''Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000'' (2nd ed. 2008
excerpt
* * * Matray, James I. ed. ''East Asia and the United States: An Encyclopedia of relations since 1784'' (2 vol. Greenwood, 2002)
excerpt v 2
*Naimark, Norman Silvio Pons and Sophie Quinn-Judge, eds. ''The Cambridge History of Communism (Volume 2): The Socialist Camp and World Power, 1941-1960s'' (2017
excerpt
* Pons, Silvio, and Robert Service, eds. ''A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism'' (2010). * * Priestland, David. ''The Red Flag: A History of Communism'' (Grove, 2009). * Rupprecht, Tobias, ''Soviet internationalism after Stalin: Interaction and exchange between the USSR and Latin America during the Cold War''. (Cambridge UP, 2015). * Scarborough, Joe, Saving Freedom: Truman, The Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization, (2020), New York, Harper-Collins, 978-006-295-0512 * * *


External links


Archives


The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP)

The Cold War Files

Select "Communism & Cold War" value to browse Maps from 1933–1982 at the Persuasive Cartography, The PJ Mode Collection
Cornell University Library
CONELRAD Cold War Pop Culture Site



Bibliography


Annotated bibliography for the arms race from the Alsos Digital Library


Educational resource


Electronic Briefing Books
at the National Security Archive, George Washington University


News

* Video and audio news reports from during the cold war.


Films

* André Bossuroy, Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, {{Authority control Cold War, 20th-century conflicts Global conflicts History of international relations Wars involving the Soviet Union Wars involving the United States Soviet Union–United States relations Aftermath of World War II Geopolitical rivalry Wars involving NATO Nuclear warfare 1940s neologisms History of NATO Historical eras