The Origins of the Cold War

Published: 2019-08-15 18:54:48
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The end of the Second War in 1945 marked the start of an era of suspicion between the two protagonists in the War; the United States and the former Soviet Union. The subsequent events after the end of the war triggered a series of conflicts and political realignments whose primary objective was to influence ideological systems that the main players espoused to different parts of the world. In particular, the military expansion by the Soviets into China made the US to make foreign policy decisions that were meant to strengthen its position in the Nationalist government of China. In 1949, the Soviets had tested Atomic bomb and their interference in China prompted the National Security Council (NSC) of the United States to amend its foreign policy in regards to the use of the military to counter the expansion of Communism in China. The change of demonstrated the unstable relationships between the United States and other countries, especially the USSR. The emergence of other superpowers made the US to focus on national security and military power, deepening tensions and causing military confrontations.

Heightening of Tensions

The text provides a survey of the major events that made the world into the Cold War and offers analysis of the events from a global perspective. The coverage gives an account of the origins of the war that can be traced to the geopolitical relationships that existed during and after the Second World War (WW2). The author provides the reader with facts not only about the particular events that demonstrated the military and power struggles between the West and the East but also offers the background of happenings that made the confrontations between the two blocks. Before the invasion of the expanding Soviets in 1949, the United States had had a big influence in the political and economic life of the Chinese people. The Americans desired for a country where people are free to own property and practice capitalism. According to Acheson (pg16) the practice of capitalism was essential for the progress of individual Chinese citizens. Through the use of speeches Acheson is able to explain the change of Americas foreign policy in China so as to protect the Nationalist government from the attacks of Communist-backed groups. The installation of Mao Zedong in China to by the Soviets led to the passage of a resolution-referred to as NSC 68-to formulate new foreign policies to protect the interest of the US in Asia and counter the expansion of the Soviets. In this regard, the author are presents to the reader a material that does not confine itself within the context of the US and USSR. This is a demonstration that the Cold War was a global problem and therefore should not be viewed only through the lens of the United States and the USSR. To achieve their goal, the author incorporate documents justify the discussions and military options the US government is considering regarding the Chinese situation (pg 16)

Discussions of Events

A background of the political and military realignments before the Second World War enables the leader to decipher the underlying issues that threw the post-WW2 world into a string of tensions and military expeditions in various parts of the world. The ideological divisions of the world, for instance, helps one understand the economic and historical differences between the US and the USSR that influenced the two superpowers intentions to outdo each in all aspects of life. After the WW2 that tempted the two nations to engage in military advancements to contain the spread of each others economic systems (pg xx). The communist and capitalist economic systems are shown to be at the center of the military strategies of the United States and its allies on one hand and USSR on the other.

Although the US and the USSR had poor relationships after the end of the Second World War, the tensions increased after the end of the Second World War. The NSC gives an estimate of the military capabilities of the Soviets which is used a basis to design military actions in the East where the US felt its interests were threatened by the USSR. According to the secretary of state, the values of freedom and a free society were being threatened by the invading Soviets and for that reason, the US needed to take action to protect these values from being diluted by the dictators of communism. The NSC 68 report of April 7th 1950 gives the description of the intentions of the USSR from the American perspective. According to the excerpt from the report, the US sees the USSR as an enemy of a free society where values are respected and upheld. The report also shows the determination by the US to stop the Soviets even if it meant going to war that could have potentially destroyed the Republic as a result of possible involvement of atomic weapons (pg xx)

The account of events in the Far and the Middle East serves to illustrate the escalation of relations between the America and the USSR. Each of these nations is seen to be involved in battles to flex each others military capabilities and glorify of their economic systems. It is clearly understood that, although the US and the USSR did not engage in direct military confrontations, they incessantly engage in proxy wars that left long-standing economic and political effects. From the Korean War interventions to Afghanistan invasion by the Soviets, the military policies of the US saw the country increase its military presence in the Asia to contain the Soviets from spreading their ideals of communism. The NSC 68 explores the USs position that the Soviet Union was powerful in terms of military possession but its major concern was the intentions of expansion that were witnessed in Adolf Hitler administration before the outbreak of the Second World War. The Korean War of 1950 is an example of the regions where the USSR and America supported each of the Korea countries from the opposing sides (pg xx). The legacy of such support exist until today as the two countries of the Korea Peninsular never reunited because of the differing ideologies established by the two superpowers.


The changes after the Second World War demonstrated the unstable relationships between the United States and other countries, especially the USSR. The emergence of other superpowers made the US to focus on national security and military power, deepening tensions and causing military confrontations. The events of the 1950 seem to have played a bigger role in fueling the military competitions between the US and the Soviet Union. Although the USSR dissolved and relations of the West and East improved, the scars of the war continue to influence the international ties between the West and the former constituent nations of the USSR. The primary offshoot, Russia, has often been involved in military expeditions in various parts of the East where the US also has often taken an opposing position Overly, the text educates the readers about the post-WW2 events that led to the Cold War and the indirect military confrontations that brought extensive ramifications on both sides that eventually saw the dissolution of the USSR and end of the war.

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