Cold War was a state of geopolitical tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western bloc. Eastern bloc comprised of the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Western bloc comprised of the United States and its NATO Allies. This war was fought over a period of 40-45 years, from 1947 onwards. This period in history is considered to be an era of the Cold War.
Why was it called as Cold War?
Over the period of forty-five years, lots of proxy wars were fought in different regions like Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan. But not a single direct war was fought between the USSR and the United States. One of the many reasons why this Cold War never turned into a hot war is nuclear weapons. Both countries had developed loads of nuclear weapons by then, and any wrong move would have meant the nuclear war.
Some Peculiar Characteristics of the Cold War
There were certain things that were seen, for the first time, during the period of the Cold War. This war was based more on the ideological differences of both the blocs. It was also seen as capitalism vs Communism. Every country involved in this war had that atmosphere of Political distrust towards other countries. This was also the main reason why the talks failed. On the other hand, both USSR and the US were indulged in an arms race. Both countries started producing weapons on an exponential scale. Military spending was increased substantially.
But, along with all this Espionage can be seen as the hallmark characteristic of this era. This era recorded espionage cases like no other. Also, many countries established special cells to administer espionage activities and bolster their own capacity of executing an espionage operation in the enemy country.
Let’s look at some policies which were used by the US government to combat the USSR’s growing influence.
Containment policy – this was the first foremost policy implemented by the US government. The main aim of this was to contain the spread of communism. As the first policy didn’t prove to be successful enough a few more policies were introduced. Marshall’s plan for reconstruction aimed at reconstructing the nations which had suffered heavy losses because of this war.
The government gave funds and loans to those countries for rebuilding their nation. This helped the government to get the support of these countries and the majority of these countries were Europe-based, except for Japan and Korea.
This war led to the disintegration of the USSR and finally, the United States and its NATO allies can be seen as the bloc that emerged victorious from this war. If we were to study the war in-depth then we can see that this war had both advantages and disadvantages.
During the period of war, in order to stay one step ahead of others, many countries started developing technologies to such an extent that these technologies – even after 45 years, are still relevant and this era laid the foundation for the development of technologies. This has by far been the best thing to have happened because of the Cold War.