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War from the Cold War to Present

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2 SEP 2002


The end of World War II was the spawn of a new war that would continue for over fifty years: The Cold War. Technically this war was not a fifty-year physical confrontation between two countries but more of a political confrontation between the world's two remaining super-powers. The dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the beginning of a new arsenal that would lead to the development of nuclear weapons.

After Japan and Germany were defeated in World War II, a solutions to prevent the future event of a third world war were taken by the establishment of the United Nations to outlaw all private wars. Another right of the United Nations was to punish those villains that were guilty of war crimes against humanity. The problem with this type of procedure is that the winners of a combat situation, whether right or wrong, are the ones that get to decide who is on the wrong side of the law and who is not.

The atom bomb, which was mentioned earlier as the "problem solver" of World War II, would prove to lead to a larger dilemma. Prior to the atomic bomb and later the hydrogen bomb, it was thought that any weapon could be defended against. The problem with the communist countries of Russia was their doctrine of totalitarianism.

The main focus of the time was building an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and the only countries with the resources were Russia and the United States. Russia shocked the world with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 followed by the first orbital flight around the world. It appeared that the Soviets were going to beat the Americans in the "Space Race" and reap all of the benefits from it as well: Reconnaissance, surveillance, communication, and delivery platforms for weapons.

The Russian's philosophy was built on the teachings of Clausewitz in that they maintained that war was a political means, peace was only a step towards war, and that conflict is inevitable. The Soviet Union was in no hurry to attack any country, but the state did engage in other types of warfare, such as political, economical, and psychological. The United States formed the Counter-Intelligence Agency as a means to resist the communist state.

The rest of the world suffered from economic crisis and some were open to the ideas of communism for resolution. The United States answered this problem through the use of economic aid in the form of the Marshall Plan, which offered money to countries in order to reform industry and restore the state to production of goods and linked the non-communist countries together.

The European sector needed to band together nations in a pact of protection from the communist threat. The Dunkirk was the first treaty that was formed between Britain and France to protect each other from Germany, which was further built upon by the Brussels Treaty that added the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. This treaty lead to the forming of the European Coal and Steel Community that strengthened the Europeans economically in order to further resist the communist threat, which eventually lead to the establishment of the European Economic Community that sought elimination of tariffs, free movement of labor and capital, wage standards, and common investment fund.

After the Russians had attempted a blockade at Berlin, the United States decided to further reform the Monroe Doctrine to conform to a global economy. Europeans and North Americans joined together to build the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Although unsuccessful, other treaties included the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), the Middle East Treaty Organization (METO), and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). The Russians countered with the Warsaw Pact.

It was considered that non-nuclear countries would not be able to defend against an attack and even the super-powers were unsure about the unpredictability of such powerful weapons. A nuclear action could be started accidentally and both parties engaged would suffer a great deal of unacceptable collateral damage, which would eventually affect neutral countries. The strategist of the nuclear conflict came from two schools of thought. The first was the nuclear strategist, which sought an effective strategy for the eventual deployment of nuclear weapons. The second strategist is the arms controller, which sought to make the world safer by controlling and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons. The United States overall sided with the arms controller in order to eventually rid the world of its nuclear threat.

The bomber gap and the missile gap were both Russian propaganda plots that helped to push the United States ahead even further in both. Nuclear weapons eventually were placed in the

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