Hello I need to include 3 primary sources in my essay on the cold war. For example Kolko, Gaddis.
can someone please help?
How the U.S won the Cold War
A ‘hot’ war ends in either peace or death, a cold war however brings no peace and no honor for those who engaged in a war. “The expression ‘cold war’ had been coined by the fourteenth-century Spanish writer Don Juan Manuel.” (McCauley, M 1998: 1). Using this ideology, the terming of the Cold War between United State and rival the Soviet Union, as a Cold War means there can be no winner or honor at the end of the conflict. The Cold war between the US and the Soviet Union was not initially known as a Cold War, “the term ‘Cold War’ was popularized by the US columnist Walter Lippmann and entered general usage in 1947.”
In history there have been many wars or battles waged within countries for power or even the battles to see which country is stronger than the next. What the world has come to see is the powers of the greats fall or rise and the last war that was fought was a battle of who could flex their muscle larger than the next which that was between the United states and the once called Soviet Union.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), also known as the Soviet Union and the United States (US) had been in constant conflict owing to the geographical and political tussle between the two most powerful nations of the earth, soon after the Second World War ended. Soon, many allies had joined the two nations on either side of their views, leading to a huge global tension with US and USSR leading the two sides in the conflict. This conflict was more of a diplomatic, political and geographical war, than a conventional war, however it came close to escalating in to a nuclear war more than once.
This tussle lasted for many decades, with unprecedented tension between the two countries. “The cold war was an open rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union which began after the Second World War. The war did not include actual fighting but it was based on economic and political propaganda….America and its allies aimed at stopping the Soviet Union from dominating Eastern Europe and stopping the rise to power of Soviet-influenced communist parties in the democracies of western Europe…The Soviet Union on the other hand was intent in maintaining its control on Eastern Europe and it was also keen on spreading communist ideologies around the world” (Britannica,2019).The war lasted from the 1940s to the 1980s when the Soviet Union gave in and the US won the war. Discussed below are the reasons why the US won the cold war.
One of the reasons the US won the cold war was financial ability. The US had more economic power compared to the Soviet Union. “The US had a more efficient capitalist system which was able to generate the vast amounts of wealth necessary to sustain the investment in weaponry, technology and international operations that the USSR was unable to match… In its attempts to keep up with the US and finance a war against them the USSR was unable to combat the extreme poverty that many of its people faced” (Sykes, 2010).
This was due to the fact that as the USSR sought to compete with the US in terms of military and defense, it’s economy was hurt as agriculture and industrial production were affected leading to slowed economic growth. “With the USSR economy suffering, it was unable to keep up with the technological advancement and military and defense investment which eventually led to its defeat… The US was also able to sell its capitalist policy to the Eastern European nations who saw it as more attractive thus undermining the authority of the communist governments.” (Sykes, 2010).
Another reason that the US won the Cold War was its foreign policy. “Two theories were advanced in this respect. One was the Domino Theory which saw Communism as a serious threat, as it was capable of spreading from one nation to another and especially in countries that were facing economic and political difficulties … The propagators of this theory feared that a revolution against the United States would rise if communism spread across the globe and thus it had to be stopped. The other theory/policy was the Truman doctrine through which the US pledged to support anti-communist countries so as to protect them from the communists…The doctrine was used to legitimize countless interventions in the political affairs of other states in numerous ways, from the peaceful economic incentives used to both bribe nations into adopting capitalism or used to support the struggling European states in the aftermath of the Second World War (Sykes,2010). This gave the US more power in the global arena and also led to it winning the war.
The two powers were bound to level out what each had after many battles among other countries had forced each one to provide aid or help defend. The constant head-to-head with each other made the one on one more likely when each were looked upon to be helping the wrong counties during any situation. Each side had their reasons to why they did what they did and what they wanted as an end result to what the war would provide. The Soviets wanted more land and to show strength in the eastern European countries, while the western side just wanted to stop a belief that they thought was a philosophical and economically wrong way to govern nations. In this way the Cold War stemmed from the differences in their political views. There were several key political differences between the US and the USSR, which added to the strain in the relationship, but the most important difference is the fact that America is a capitalist country and the USSR is a communist country.
It is unanimously believed that the US had won the Cold War. Many historians and political experts have put forwarded many reasons why they believed that the US tasted the final victory in this long-standing tussle. Many political experts believe that financial power won the Cold War for US. They argue that the huge monetary power display by the US drained out the Soviet Union’s finances by pulling it in to the arms race of nuclear weapons and through various proxy wars. However, it is agreed upon that this drainage of finances was nearly impossible if the US had not increased its nuclear weapons stock at an alarming rate.
In the October of 1962, Soviet Union had their missiles ready in Cuba, and in response the US declared a shutdown, it was a tense situation where a devastating nuclear war could have been triggered any moment. However, the USSR fell to the US, President Kennedy’s demand and warning to move out the missiles from Cuba, which acted as s dent on the pride of the Soviet Union. This led the Soviet nations to start building their own nuclear weapons arsenal. They wanted to match the US pace of nuclear power growth, which led them to infuse more and more money in to nuclear weapons. However, it was not an easy task to match US’s approximate defense investment of nearly $98 billion in 3 years from 1960 to 1963.
The war between the two countries weren’t really fought out through blood but the way one leader spoke out against the next. It was as much a war of politics as it was an economic war. The conflict was really more a show of power and what could hypotheically be used if the fight was determined to be on land or by sea,even though there was no direct battles between the two sides. Another reason why the war was called the Cold War was that both America and the Soviet Union took sides in conflicts happening in the world fighting their differences out in indirect arenas, or via proxy wars.
The Cold War was ultimately a race to be the only superpower in the world. The main goal was to be powerful and to push their political ideals onto the rest of the world. Politics has always been the forerunner when it comes to any actions taken in any war or change that could affect the economy that was receiving or losing the advantage to their own territory. During this time many countries were seeking to improve the strength of their nation at any cost. Before the Soviet Union fell the country was doing all that it could to grow and but did not have the economic power to do so sustainably.
In terms of a battle of military strength the conflict was an arms race being fought to see who could be the first in the world to have atomic bombs. America claimed success in this race as they were the first to drop an Atom Bomb in Japan on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945. This both angered Stalin but made him fearful of America, as they were close to Japan and this is exactly what America wanted.
The use of superior weapons was a focal point that could make or break a country that was not within that superpower or was something that needed to be changed. The use of weapons in any manner can be defined as either something positive or negative depending on those that it is affecting or are fearful of the change the weapon has created. The threat of power is sometimes more effective as a deterrent than the actual use of that power.
The Soviet Union also had success in 1949 when China became a communist country, something the US had feared. The effort to contain Communism was another reason in committing to the Cold War. This reason is also why America got involved in other conflicts such the Korean War or the Vietnam War, the USSR supporting communist forces in the north of both nations and the US supporting their democratic allies in the south of these nations. This is another example of an indirect war (or proxy war) in which the rivals took sides to fight for their political ideals.
Even though there were small successes in which both America and USSR gained some headway, ultimately like any war, there would have to be a clear winner to call the conflict to an end. The winner could be shown to be the US for the constant production of arms that would or could be used in at a moment’s notice. The production of arms was harming the Soviet’s economy for many reasons, but the many one that was clear was they were stretched thin with the support that they were providing others in their own battles. This would also include the use of their own arms to gain more territory on the European front. This military effort steeply impacted production of resources for civilian use within the Soviet Union. The resulting hardships to the Soviet people were a reason for the defection of many “spies” were interested in bring an end to the hardship suffered by those under communist rule.
The war became more a form of political and military theatre, rather than being about bloodshed, because neither country were ready to invade the other’s territory. Neither side knew what the other had hidden and with the rapid development of war technology, both sides remained in a state of deadlocked brinkmanship. The reform that was being created to bring the USSR back to a state of strength would cost it the war. The Soviet Union, in its effort to become a superpower discovered that it could not out compete the US in terms of military or economic production. The meetings between leaders of the competing superpowers had proved that a change could be met even if all the hopes weren’t met.
In declaring a victor in this unconventional war, it must also be looked at when the war finished, as there is some debate whether it finished in 1990 or 1991. “Did the Cold War end in 1990 or 1991? Those who regard the Cold War and merely another term for superpower competition between Russia and America would say 1990, when Gorbachev declared it to be over.” (McCauley, M 1998: 7) The war was never truly understood whether it was won on grounds of one rival over powering the other or if the end came for any number of other reasons, or some combination of all these factors. This shows the confusion over when the war was over, which would show the ending of the war was unexpected, as was the downfall of the Soviet Union and not the fact America had won.
Either way, the war was an end that neither had foreseen, given the simple fact that the arms of both continued to grow, which created after affects to each economy that would then need to end to regain economic strength. The arms race consumed too much in the way of resources for each side. Both countries knew the damage that was caused by this expensive arms race and how it would affect the outcome in the event that a conventional war was triggered. The US and the Soviets needed a change of direction that would allow both nations to grow without the constant looking over the shoulder of who will attack, and what problems are staged against each other at any time.
When Gorbachev was voted into power, his fresh thinking began the change of Soviet policy which ultimately would mean the end of the Soviet Union. “The ensuing fourth period, Cold War II, saw an acceleration in the arms race and rising political temperature. This was only halted by the fresh vision of Gorbachev, who wanted to reassess fundamentally the goals of foreign policy and to negotiate a new relationship with America, one which would remove ideology from Russian foreign policy formation.”
Moscow would no longer support communism and national liberation movements around the globe, and interdependence became a guiding light of Moscow’s policy as it set out to build a new world order in partnership with Washington.
The main goal of America was to rid the world of what is known as communism. For many reasons the US opposed countries ruled through Communism, but it was not the job of America to govern everyone and which has been the reason why America is sometimes vilified. This is probably one good reason why the US strives to show stronger power over other nations, which in return is why the US believes they are creating something better for those within the country that is being contested.
The change of the Soviet Union meant the conflict with the US was now at an end, this would then show that America was not the winner of the Cold War but helped in the ultimate ending of the war by Gorbachev. In the minds of the world, and several historians, the winner was the US. “The end of the Cold War was cast variously as a victory for American Policy, for the American system of government and economic life, for capitalism and democracy, for a particular civilization, and for that amorphous community called ‘the West'” (Reus-Smit 2004: 19) No matter what had happened within the Soviet Union or the United States, the show of arms became the focal point that would show who’s force was stronger and which force would create the most damage if a conventional war had resulted.
It is believed that the height of the tension between the US and the USSR reached its limits with the US President Reagan’s death blow to the USSR exchequer by announcing the project of SDI, i.e. the Strategic Defense Initiative. This project would put nuclear and laser weapons in to the outer space which would make it easier for the US to intercept any incoming weapon threat from the USSR and deal with it at the earliest manner by triggering the weapons directly from the space. This project enraged the integrity of the USSR and they infused more money in to their defense budget, when the Soviet countries were already experiencing a huge financial crisis, owing more to the rampant corruption in their countries and their economies loosing huge amount of money.
However, it is believed that the ultimate woe for the USSR came when it decided to infuse huge amount of money in to Afghanistan in order to set up a puppet government in the Afghan province. By 1980, USSR had invaded in to Afghanistan, alarming the US government which is believed to have developed the local extremists in to revolting by supporting them from the background by providing financial help and weapons. With the US support for the local extremists, it became increasingly difficult for the USSR to continue their dominance in the Afghan province as it was proving too costly to them. In about 10 years, the USSR army was forced to leave the province. All these major global factors led to a huge drain of USSR finance, and the Afghanistan withdraw by the USSR is believed to have nailed the victory for the US in this long-standing Cold War.