Text of Overview of the Cold War. The Cold War “Cold War:” political tension and military rivalry...
Overview of the Cold War
The Cold WarCold War: political tension and military rivalry between USA and USSR that stopped short of full-scale direct conflict 1945-1989 (End of WW2 to fall of Berlin Wall)USA, USSR (and PRC) each controlled sphere of influence and tried to expand that sphereWith end of colonialism, post-colonial countries became ideological battlefields, and sometimes actual military battlefieldsBoth USSR and USA provided funds, weapons, training, and sometimes troops to post-colonial countriesMajor Wars: Greece, Turkey, Korea, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Cuba. Most other countries felt tension
Truman DoctrineFirst years: Truman vs. StalinCivil War in Greece immediately after WW2: Communists v. NationalistsTruman: U.S. would give Greek and Turkish nationalists economic and military aid to stop them falling into the Soviet sphereTruman Doctrine: US would support free peoples resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressuresNationalists in both Greece and Turkey defeated Communist oppositionUS focused on containment of Soviet and Chinese threat
Containment and Aid: Marshall PlanAid and cooperation: recognized interconnections between modern economies1947: to rebuild Europe, USs Marshall Plan gave $13 Billion in aidOffered to USSR and eastern bloc, but refusedAfter plan, all participating economies produced above pre-war levelsCooperation became the basis for European Union, as it erased many tax barriers between countries
Containment: Berlin Airlift1948-49 Berlin AirliftUSSR closed ground access to West BerlinUS/UK transport planes flew food and supplies June 48 - May 49US stationed B29 bomber planes UK, suggesting atomic strikeUSSR relented, opening land accessLesson learned: USSR would seize opportunities to take land Berlin would be a symbol of east-west struggleUS would be involved in struggle in Europe (and probably elsewhere)Age of atomic fears would continue
Containment: NATOWestern European nations, USA, Canada agree to defensive pact: North Atlantic Treaty Organization4 April 1949: Brussels headquartersANZUS linked Australia, NZ to US1952: Greece, Turkey joined1954: USSR suggested it should join; rejected1955: West Germany joined; east responded with formation of Warsaw Pact