The Cold War – Not!

Lloyd Waters By Lloyd Waters, 24th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

In 2007, I took a World History class. Our weekly task was to write an essay, pertinent to the week's reading assignment, yet tied to current events.

The Cold War That Wasn't Cold

By the middle of 1945 the largest, most costly war the world had ever seen was over. The battles and genocidal exterminations of WWII extinguished the lives of tens of millions worldwide. Almost immediately following the cessation of greater hostilities, a new war began to develop. It was a war of ideologies, words, and espionage between the Western Allies of WWII (most heavily the United States) and the Soviet Union. The threat of a global nuclear exchange would directly influence the politics of the late 20th century. History would remember this chapter in history as the Cold War; however, the Cold War was far from cold.

While the two global superpowers – the United States and the Soviet Union – did not officially engage each other militarily, numerous smaller hot wars erupted in various locations throughout the world. Wars in Korea and Vietnam were marked by direct and heavy American military involvement. Russian officials would not formally admit the direct involvement of Soviet military personnel until after the Soviet collapse. The involvement of CIA operatives during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was probably the worst kept secret of the so-called Cold War.

In spite of the direct, better known American and Soviet military engagements, history shows that the latter half of the 20th century was marked my continuous warfare, mostly in third world, backwater nations. Africa, Latin America, and Asia saw countless revolutions, counterrevolutions, and coups during this period. Although direct military involvement by either of the global big boys was usually not publicized, money and weapons were funneled into the region by both. American and Soviet military advisors or covert operatives were usually close by. As the threat of a nuclear war kept the U.S. and the Soviet Union from direct conflict, they slugged it out with each other in what basically amounted to an ideological head butting contest.

Why This Matters: The Cold War was arguably the most prevalent and sustained historical event of the last century. It sprang from the ashes of post-war Europe and the resulting political/military standoff; however, it encompassed the world. The Cold War shaped the politics and belief systems of at least two generations in the industrialized world, while resulting in the personal misery of millions in developing nations. No one will ever be able to accurately count the cost of Cold War in lives and resources. The Cold War’s ghosts still affect the world today. While no one really cares to name it as such, the Cold War was basically a 44-year Third World War.


Cold War, East-West Relations, History, History Of United States, World History

Meet the author

author avatar Lloyd Waters
If it interests me, I'll probably write something about it sooner or later.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar deepa venkitesh
24th May 2011 (#)

great, good for projects

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
24th May 2011 (#)

kept the paranoia industry in butter, that's for damn sure.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?