The answer to "who won the Cold War" isn't as cut-and-dry and you might think. Shutterstock
There's an African proverb that says: "When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." For more than 45 years, the elephantine superpowers of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States fought the Cold War — and some might argue the grass was, in this case, the rest of the world.
While the Cold War was largely a war of threats, there was plenty of real violence, too. The aggression between the U.S. and USSR spilled over into places like Angola and Nicaragua. The two nations fought proxy wars, conflicts between warring parties of a third nation that were supported by the U.S. and USSR. The soil of European nations served as nuclear missile sites for both sides.
In addition to the 15 member states of the USSR, there were seven Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe where populations were repressed and subjugated by communist rule. Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet condoned kidnapping and murder of the leftist population under an American-backed regime. And the global psyche was plagued by anxiety over possible nuclear war.
The tense standoff that characterized the Cold War ended when the USSR collapsed completely in 1991, becoming a number of independent countries and the Russian Federation. This collapse was preceded by revolutions in the satellite states of Poland and Czechoslovakia, as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. When the USSR fell, the Soviet states dissolved.
The end of the Cold War came so abruptly that even years later, disbelief gripped the West. A 1998 episode of the American TV show "The Simpsons" depicts a Russian delegate at the United Nations referring to his country as the Soviet Union. "Soviet Union?" asks the American delegate. "I thought you guys broke up." "Nyet! That's what we wanted you to think!" the Soviet delegate replies and laughs ominously [source: IMDB].
This scene underscores a hallmark of the Cold War's conclusion: uncertainty. What exactly led to the downfall of the Soviet Union? Was the collapse of the USSR inevitable, or did America hasten its disintegration?
Did the U.S. Beat the Soviet Union?
President Ronald Reagan made his famous Berlin Wall speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin June 12, 1987. National Archives
Historians who believe that the U.S. won the Cold War largely agree that American victory was guaranteed through finances. The United States bled Soviets coffers dry through proxy wars and the nuclear arms race. But this financial drain may not have been possible without the unprecedented stockpiling of nuclear weapons.
The world came as close as it ever has to the brink of nuclear war between Oct. 18 and 29, 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis. The showdown over the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles south of the tip of Florida in the U.S., culminated in the USSR's withdrawal. In a flurry of communications, Russia agreed to remove the missiles in Cuba if the U.S. agreed not to invade the island. The U.S. also agreed to withdraw its missiles from Turkey. The situation was tense enough to inspire the creation of the hotline between Washington and Moscow to head off any future nuclear tensions.
But the USSR still resolved to outpace the U.S. in nuclear capabilities. This intense nuclear research and development didn't come cheap, as the U.S. matched the Soviets' nuclear strides. In 1963, the United States spent 9 percent of the nation's gross domestic product on defense — nearly $53.5 billion (that's around $458 billion in 2022 dollars) [source: UPI].
Throughout the 1960s, the U.S. continued to bolster its nuclear arsenal. However, during the '70s, the Ford and Carter administrations favored sharp criticism of Soviet policies over stockpiling nuclear arms. When President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he reinvigorated defense spending, increasing the defense budget by 35 percent.
Many historians credit Reagan with dealing the death blows that ultimately brought down the Soviet Union. Perhaps the one that signaled the end for the USSR was Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). This uncompleted project, popularly called Star Wars, would have cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It called for the weaponization of outer space — a shield comprised of a network of nuclear missiles and lasers that would intercept a Soviet nuclear first strike. The SDI initiative was the pinnacle of both the space race and the arms race between the U.S. and the USSR.
Star Wars was criticized as fantasy by defense observers on both sides of the Iron Curtain (the term coined by Winston Churchill that describes the boundary in Europe between communism and the rest of the world). But Reagan was committed to the project, and the Soviet's flagging, state-owned economy simply couldn't match this escalation in defense spending.
Part of the USSR's monetary woes came from pouring funds into Afghanistan. In 1979, the Soviets invaded and occupied the country. The Truman Doctrine had clearly stipulated that American policy was to contain the spread of communism throughout the world, so the U.S. responded by secretly supporting and training the Mujahedeen (Arabic for "strugglers"), insurgent rebels who rallied against Soviets in Afghanistan. The U.S. overwhelmingly showed support for the Mujahedeen, and the Soviet invasion grew protracted and expensive. Ultimately, the Afghanis defeated the USSR, and the Soviets withdrew in 1989.
But not everyone agrees the end of communism was the result of the United States' deep pockets. Some historians assert that the USSR had lived its natural life span and the U.S. was merely a witness to its death.
Did the USSR Die of Natural Causes?
Soviet citizens wait in a food line for the chance to buy the first fish sold at the market in two weeks after Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev introduced sweeping reforms that radically altered the economic fabric of the USSR. Shepard Sherbell/Corbis via Getty Images
Some schools of thought insist that communism is simply unsupportable on a large scale. Therefore, the decline of the USSR was inevitable. So can anyone be declared a winner in a war if one of the opponents ends itself as a political entity? That depends on how you look at it. The U.S. was left as the last man standing in the Cold War. And any boxing fan can tell you that the last man standing is the one who wins.
Moves were being made inside the USSR that would hasten its end. Former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, who served as Reagan's Cold War counterpart, introduced sweeping reforms that fundamentally altered the social, political and economic fabric of the USSR. Gorbachev's perestroika ("restructuring") plan opened up the state-owned economy to some private ownership, creating the transition to a free-market economy. But the economic backlash against this radical and rapid transition was unable to sustain the Soviet Union. Widespread problems like poverty and food shortages plagued the country.
These problems may have had less of an effect on the disintegration of the USSR had it not been for Gorbachev's other major reform. Glasnost ("openness") essentially reversed the USSR's policies of brutal totalitarianism and suppression of government criticism and free speech.
Under glasnost, workers could strike, journalists could publish editorials in opposition to the Kremlin and protestors could assemble. The combination of the political and economic reforms of perestroika and the social freedom given by glasnost helped contribute to a grassroots revolution in the USSR that led to the replacement of a single-party communist system with a multi-party democratic system.
So if the USSR died of natural causes or essentially dissolved itself, who deserves the title of Cold War victor? There was actually more than one winner. Certainly, democracy won as it replaced the one-party communist system in not only the USSR member states, but also in Soviet satellite states. The free market won, too, as did transnational corporations that suddenly had billions more customers after the fall of the USSR. And really, the entire world won, having emerged from the Cold War without suffering complete nuclear annihilation.
Originally Published: Apr 28, 2008
Cold War FAQ
What was the Cold War?
The Cold War was a period of ongoing political rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both countries fought the Cold War for more than 45 years. It involved covert action, proxy wars and almost complete polarization between the two sides among the rest of the world.
How did the Cold War end?
There are two opinions about how the Cold War ended. Those who credit the U.S. believe that it was the massive defence spending, the Star Wars program and the proxy war in Afghanistan that led to the fall of the U.S.S.R. On the other hand, those who think that the U.S.S.R. fell due to natural causes believe it was the sudden transition to a free market system that led to its economic collapse.
Which country won the Cold War?
The U.S. was the ”last man standing" in the Cold War, though historians disagree on whether they “won” or the Soviet Union “killed” itself through large-scale communism.
Why was the term “cold” used to describe the Cold War?
The term “cold” is used to describe a war with little to no military confrontation. Instead, it involves threats, propaganda, competition and proxy wars.
Why did the Cold War start?
Historians believe that there are several causes of the Cold War. A few of the main causes include political tensions between the two nations after World War II, the ideological differences between the United States and Soviet Union, the pressure of dominance through nuclear weapons and the fear of communism in the U.S.
Lots More Information
- How Vladimir Lenin Took Russia From Romanov Rule to Communist USSR
- Who Are the Sanctioned Russian Oligarchs?
- How Communism Works
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- Blakemore, Erin. "What was the Cold War?" National Geographic, March 22, 2019. Accessed March 3, 2022. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/cold-war
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- Kaplan, Fred. "Ron and Mikhail's excellent adventure." Slate. June 9, 2004. http://www.slate.com/id/2102081
- Kennedy, John F. "Annual Budget Message to the Congress, Fiscal Year 1963." The American Presidency Project, University of California – Santa Barbara. Accessed March 3, 2022. https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/annual-budget-message-the-congress-fiscal-year-1963
- Kissinger, Henry A. "Diplomacy." New York: Simon and Schuster. 1994.
- Macrotrends. "US Military Spending/Defense Budget 1960-2022." Accessed March 3. 2022. https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/military-spending-defense-budget
- Reference.com. "What Are the Soviet Satellite Nations?" March 30, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2022. https://www.reference.com/geography/soviet-satellite-nations-d442e61974d6ec61
- Reference.com. "How Long Did the Cold War Last?" April 30, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2022. https://www.reference.com/history/long-did-cold-war-last-c8080743063e489f
- Schwartz, Stephen I. "The Hidden Costs of Our Nuclear Arsenal: Overview of Project Findings." Brookings Institute. August 1998. Accessed March 3, 2022. https://www.brookings.edu/the-hidden-costs-of-our-nuclear-arsenal-overview-of-project-findings/
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Vladimir Lukin, onetime Boris Yeltsin foreign policy adviser; Aleksandr Bessmertnykh, former Russian foreign minister; Sergio Khrushchev, son of Nikita S. Khrushchev who recently became a U.S. citizen, all agree that the United States won the cold war.
Historians who believe that the U.S. won the Cold War largely agree that American victory was guaranteed through finances. The United States bled Soviets coffers dry through proxy wars and the nuclear arms race.
During 1989 and 1990, the Berlin Wall came down, borders opened, and free elections ousted Communist regimes everywhere in eastern Europe. In late 1991 the Soviet Union itself dissolved into its component republics. With stunning speed, the Iron Curtain was lifted and the Cold War came to an end.
The Cold War came to an end when the last war of Soviet occupation ended in Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall came down in Germany, a series of mostly peaceful revolutions swept the Soviet Bloc states of eastern Europe in 1989, and the Soviet Union collapsed and formally dissolved itself from existence in 1991.
The USA also has an overwhelming advantage over Russia in terms of conventional forces. Russia still has incredible military might, even if it is not as large as NATO's, with more than a million active troops.
The Cold War got its name because both sides were afraid of fighting each other directly. In a "hot war," nuclear weapons might destroy everything. So, instead, both sides fought each other indirectly. They supported opposing sides in conflicts in different parts of the world.
The United States and the Soviet Union both contributed to the rise of the Cold War. They were ideological nation-states with incompatible and mutually exclusive ideologies. The founding purpose of the Soviet Union was global domination, and it actively sought the destruction of the United States and its allies.
As World War II transformed both the United States and the USSR, turning the nations into formidable world powers, competition between the two increased. Following the defeat of the Axis powers, an ideological and political rivalry between the United States and the USSR gave way to the start of the Cold War.
The Cold War was an ongoing political rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies that developed after World War II. This hostility between the two superpowers was first given its name by George Orwell in an article published in 1945.
US lost five major wars after 1945
However, the US was unable to get any significant victory in its wars abroad. America fought five major wars after 1945 including Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan in addition to some minor wars in Somalia, Yemen, and Libya.
The Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union lasted for decades and resulted in anti-communist suspicions and international incidents that led the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear disaster.
Historians have identified several causes that led to the outbreak of the Cold War, including: tensions between the two nations at the end of World War II, the ideological conflict between both the United States and the Soviet Union, the emergence of nuclear weapons, and the fear of communism in the United States.
Three things defined the post-Cold War world. The first was U.S. power. The second was the rise of China as the center of global industrial growth based on low wages. The third was the re-emergence of Europe as a massive, integrated economic power.
The Cold War lasted about 45 years. There were no direct military campaigns between the two main antagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union. Yet billions of dollars and millions of lives were lost in the fight. The United States became the leader of the free-market capitalist world.
In 2022, China had the largest armed forces in the world by active duty military personnel, with about 2 million active soldiers. India, the United States, North Korea, and Russia rounded out the top five largest armies respectively, each with over one million active military personnel.
Since 1949, NATO has increased its collective military power. Today it has the capability to count on nearly 3.5-million personnel, troops and civilian combined. Each member state agrees to contribute with different strategic weight and influence.
The combined total of Nato military personnel currently exceeds 5.4m – around four times as many as Russia, according to Statista.
Foreign military aid.
The us won the cold war because even though the soviets seemed to be so strong they didn't accomplish the goal of having communism take over the world.
The Cold War was an ongoing political rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies that developed after World War II. This hostility between the two superpowers was first given its name by George Orwell in an article published in 1945.
A straight line can be drawn from the idea that Ronald Reagan’s military buildup and assertive rhetoric ended the Cold War to the fantasy that the United States could rebuild the Middle East.
Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (New York: Basic Books, 2017), 720 pp., $35.00.. In the New York Review of Books , Judt argued that “John Lewis Gaddis has written a history of America’s cold war: as seen from America, as experienced in America, and told in a way most agreeable to many American readers.” However brilliant his works had been during the Cold War, Gaddis became an American triumphalist once the Berlin Wall collapsed.. The result, Judt argued, was that the Cold War was “a story still to be told.”. Westad is the coauthor of several books on the Cold War, as well as coeditor of the three-volume Cambridge History of the Cold War .. The Cold War: A World History is told chronologically, but unlike most books on the subject, it begins with the right period.. “The Great War jumpstarted the destinies of the two future Cold War Superpowers.. It made the United States the global embodiment of capitalism and it made Russia a Soviet Union, a permanent challenge to the capitalist world.” Westad also makes the thought-provoking claim, rather unusual in a book on the Cold War, that. Westad proceeds from there through all the stops along the way to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.. “Leaders of the two countries had seen each other as adversaries ever since the Russian Revolution of 1917, and in some cases even before that,” he writes.. But, he writes, “it was containment that made postwar conflict into a Cold War.” The United States was unwilling to grant the Soviets a traditional sphere of influence, let alone see them as a comparable power deserving of commensurate respect.. Westad faults Truman for being unwilling or unable to extend Franklin Roosevelt’s friendly policy toward the USSR.. Both the United States and the Soviet Union were resolutely opposed to traditional European imperialism, however much they acted as imperialist powers in their own regions.. The policy had an obvious appeal: in countries on the European periphery, where there was a profound sense of having fallen behind, and in countries outside of Europe, such as China, Korea, and Vietnam, rapid industrialization seemed indeed to be the way forward.
Victor Davis Hanson American Greatness Pause for a minute to recall the recent past: Did the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff unlawfully intervene in the chain of command to reroute decisions of nuclear weapon readiness through himself? Did he really contact his Chinese Communist counterpart to promise him that China would be warned of … Who Eventually Won the Cold War Read More »
Or that empty shelves reflect strong demand and will result in a more mature public no longer needing to buy superfluous goods?. In the ancient days of the Cold War, the United States relied on its open society, political tolerance, the Bill of Rights, and meritocracy to outproduce and out-arm both the far larger Soviet Union, and Red China.. At the end of the Cold War, the crumbling Soviet Union still had a population 40 million larger than that of America, and an area over twice as large, with greater natural resources.. Ministries of the U.S. government sic the FBI, as if it is the KGB, on incorrect expression at school board hearings.. Note how the United States, in its woke reinvention, is doing its best to stifle creativity, free expression, and scientific and social research by applying ideological parameters and doling out political rewards and punishments for right and wrong thinking.. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already.. In other words, rather than boasting that even the former Soviet Union is tired of destructive ideological wokeism, Beijing eggs it on—albeit in America.. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs either hated his former president so much or was so enthralled or terrified by his Communist Chinese military counterparts, that he called them to reassure them that the U.S. military would warn them beforehand should Trump consider any preemptive action directed at China.. It is assured that no Chinese leader would ever act so foolhardy as to send his American counterpart any such reassurance.
His critics derided him as naive, but Ronald Reagan set out to win the Cold War all the same—to win it, we repeat, not just manage it. Who looks naive now? By Hoover fellow Richard V. Allen.
That Ronald Reagan’s fundamental attitude toward Communists generally and toward the Soviet Union and other communist regimes in particular was shaped by his experience in Hollywood early in the Cold War is undeniable and well documented.. A few weeks before the Kansas City Convention, the venerable Bryce Harlow called to say that Ford and Reagan forces were at loggerheads over the drafting of the foreign policy portion of the platform and wondered if I, as someone yet uncommitted to either side, would write the draft.. That platform, an outright repudiation of Nixon-Ford-Kissinger foreign policy, never saw the light of day in the campaign of 1976, just as twenty years later the 1996 platform was buried by the Dole-Kemp campaign (the candidate remarked that he had not yet bothered to read it).. It was soon obvious that the CPD was moving in the same direction as Governor Reagan, and as the work of the committee progressed, Reagan joined.. Adapted from the essay "Ronald Reagan: An Extraordinary Man in Extraordinary Times," in the new Hoover Press book The Fall of the Berlin Wall after Ten Years: Reassessing the Causes and Consequences of the Cold War , edited by Peter Schweizer.
Did the West Win the Cold War? Posing the Question Such a question seems little more than a provocation until the effects of the interval between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the present are…
Generally, it was rather automatically assumed almost never challenged, that the outcome of the Cold War was a victory for liberal values, including human rights, political democracy, economic growth, and certainly world peace.. It was also assumed with the end of strategic conflict among the most powerful states that substantial resources would be freed to devote more generously to improving the social and economic wellbeing, end extreme poverty, protect the environment, and invest in the renewal of aging infrastructures of countries in the West long stressed by the security rigors of the Cold War.. This positive sense of the end of the Cold War was powerfully reinforced by the ideological self-confidence that produced such triumphalist expressions as ‘the end of history’ or ‘the second American century.’ The outcome was seen as a moral victory for capitalist democracies and a defeat for socialist authoritarian states.. One can only wonder how the world might have evolved if a Gorbachev-like leader who espoused a global vision was running the show in Washington while Russia produced someone with the mentality of Reagan or the elder Bush, neither of whom embraced ideas any more enlightened than making the world safe for American economic, political, and cultural hegemony.. In more concrete terms this meant giving priority in American foreign policy to such retrograde global goals as ‘full-spectrum dominance’ with respect to military superiority and in solidifying its global sphere of influence, what was sometimes given historical specificity as ‘the globalization of the Monroe Doctrine.’ George H. W. Bush did use the occasion of the First Gulf War in 1991 to proclaim ‘a new world order,’ by which he meant that the UN could become the geopolitical instrument of the West that it was intended to be in 1945—a peacekeeping mechanism to promote Western interests, which in that instance meant restoring Kuwaiti sovereignty after Iraq’s aggression and annexation.. He had the visionary opportunity to strengthen the UN in a variety of ways, including weakening the right of veto, increasing popular participation by establishing a world parliament, proposing a global tax to achieve more independent financing, and calling for a serious world nuclear disarmament conference that might also have directed attention toward the broader horizons of global demilitarization, but it was not to be.. Unlike World Wars I & II, the Cold War despite the language and periodic crises and dangerous confrontations, didn’t end with widespread elite or public anxieties that it was necessary to adopt important measures to avoid any repetition, which could be construed either as Cold War II or World War II.. –the end of the Cold War created an open road for predatory capitalism : the collapse of socialism as an alternative approach to economic development and state/society relations cleared the ideological path, leading Western leaders to be comfortable about regarding capitalism as ‘the only game in town.’ Without the ideological challenge of socialism, backed by the geopolitical leverage of the Soviet Union, capitalism felt a declining need to show a human face, becoming a victim of its own success.. –the end of the Cold War led the United States to lose a sense of direction, seemingly adrift when it lost the Soviet Union as its ‘indispensable enemy,’ seeming essential for achieving social cohesion and a wider sense of purpose.. Insecurity became pervasive, verging on hysteria, complicating lives and underscoring that after the Cold War the world had become a global battlefield with no place, however well protected by military means escaping the torments of vulnerability and the inconveniences of ‘watch lists,’ intrusive surveillance, security checks at airports, public buildings, and even hotels and stores.. –the end of the Cold War strengthened the political will in Washington to make the world order more congenial in light of the foregoing considerations, with particular attention to the Middle East due to a sense of dependence on access to the oil reserves of the region.. In effect, the end of the Cold War leading to Soviet collapse and disengagement, allowed the United States to pursue in a less restrained manner more ambitious goals, yet still leading to disastrous results.. –the end of the Cold War has serious diminished the quality of world order in several crucial dimension, including even the likelihood of war fought with nuclear weapons.. The main claim in this essay is that the end of the Cold War was not, as triumphalists claimed, so much of a victory for world capitalism in its neoliberal modes and of constitutional democracy as it was assumed to be in the early 1990s.. The initiial, and perhaps decisive failure to assert global leadership after the end of the Cold War involved a failure at a moment of global fluidity to seek reforms to facilitate various forms of environmental protection, denuclearization and demilitarization, and the enhancement of the normative order via a stronger UN and a greater acceptance of international law as serving the national interests of geopolitical actors.
Who Eventually Won the Cold War?: There is nothing like an old Bolshevik grinning that ossified American wokesters are stuck circa 1920s in the old Bolshevik Russia. | Victor Davis Hanson ›
During the COVID-19 pandemic that China likely birthed--even if accidentally--and helped to spread, the Chinese hierarchy replied to any criticism with accusations of 'racism!'
In the ancient days of the Cold War, the United States relied on its open society, political tolerance, the Bill of Rights, and meritocracy to outproduce and out-arm both the far larger Soviet Union, and Red China.. At the end of the Cold War, the crumbling Soviet Union still had a population 40 million larger than that of America, and an area over twice as large, with greater natural resources.. Yet after initial disarmament and confusion in the immediate postwar era, the United States throughout the ensuing 40 years of the Cold War consistently out-produced the Soviet Union and fielded more sophisticated and high-tech weaponry, as it enjoyed a far more innovative higher-education system and corporate sector.. Whereas in the Soviet and Maoist systems, large swaths of public discourse were off-limitscurbing not just free expression but inhibiting science, history, art, literature, music, and religionin the former United States, citizens spoke freely about anything and assumed that their talent and hard work could trump even the ideological, ethnic, racial, religious and class prejudices of the ruling classes.. As in the Soviet and Maoist systems that likewise in multifaceted ways destroyed meritocracy, so too engineers, researchers, CEOs, mavericks, innovators, writers, artists, and musicians now calibrate their own career trajectories in terms of whether they will satisfy or offend critical race theory, green, or identity politics commissars.. Note how the United States, in its woke reinvention, is doing its best to stifle creativity, free expression, and scientific and social research by applying ideological parameters and doling out political rewards and punishments for right and wrong thinking.. As we learned from the impoverishment of the Soviet Union and Maoist China, eventually the ideological pandemic results in poverty in the streets.. Or in our current terms, nine months of constant woke bullying and government ideological recalibration really do result in internecine racial animus, empty shelves, sky-high gasoline and natural gas prices, stagflation, soaring debt, high labor non-participation, military mediocrity, international humiliation, and a national state of fear and paranoia.. During the COVID-19 pandemic that China likely birthedeven if accidentallyand helped to spread, the Chinese hierarchy replied to any criticism with accusations of racism! An accusatory China was hardly shamed that it is one of the most racist countries in the world and institutionally discriminates against non-atheists and the non-Han Chinese residing in its midst.. Are we supposed to treat seriously charges of racism from an accuser that has incarcerated in forced labor camps over 1 million Uighur Muslims, and yet annually sends over 300,000 of its brightest and most privileged Chinese youth to American universities where supposedly they would be targets of racist Americans?. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs either hated his former president so much or was so enthralled or terrified by his Communist Chinese military counterparts, that he called them to reassure them that the U.S. military would warn them beforehand should Trump consider any preemptive action directed at China.. After all, America is now seeking to emulate the crude modalities of the old Soviet Union and Maoist China that the now-gleeful autocratic Russians and Chinese at least realize nearly destroyed them.
Is it high time for liberals to apologize to the anticommunist right, which correctly gauged the red menace from the start? Sorry, the credit belongs to a brave band of liberal cold warriors beginning with George Kennan.
Before liberals begin paying homage to McCarthy, they would do well to recall that forgotten in the debate over the left has been another tradition: Cold War liberalism.. Cold War liberalism played a leading role in the battle against communism when it was enunciated in the late 1940s by policymakers and intellectuals such as George F. Kennan, Walter Lippmann, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Reinhold Niebuhr, and Daniel Bell.. As Powers rightly observes, anticommunism had its origins in World War I in the clash between Leninist world revolution and Wilsonian liberal internationalism.. For example, after Sidney Hook and John Dewey exposed the fraudulence of the Moscow show trials, Corliss Lamont and 87 other fellow travelers signed an Open Letter to American Liberals declaring that the "demand for an investigation of trials carried on under the legally constituted judicial system of the Soviet Government can only be interpreted as political intervention in the affairs of the Soviet Union with hostile intent.". As usual, however, Powers goes overboard in complaining that the "war ended with a Communist Party on the ascendant, and a fellow-traveling left that had perfected the use of the brown smear against an embittered anticommunist community. . . ." The Soviet Union may have been rehabilitated during World War II, but the American Communist Party was not.. His book seeks to chronicle the impact on American foreign policy of Cold War liberals-turned-neoconservatives and offers a particularly penetrating account of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's intellectual odyssey.. The duty of American liberals, Moynihan argued, was to resist the depredations of Third World communist regimes: "It is on the Democratic Left that we are most likely to find both informed and unintimidated advocates of a vigorous Ameri can role in world affairs, and equally unashamed partisans of American performance.". As Ehrman astutely observes, the neoconservatives "had hoped to find a new Truman to rally around, a Democrat to promote their liberal ideas at home while fighting the Cold War abroad.. In addition, Carter made another crucial move that contributed to the demise of the Soviet empire: the decision to place medium-range missiles in Western Europe should the Soviet Union fail to remove or curtail the new SS-20 missiles it was stationing in Eastern Europe.. According to Gates, the "CIA ended up as the administration's primary weapon in trying to cope with Soviet and Cuban aggression in the Third World and as an important asset in challenging Soviet abuses at home.". As the superpower that had initiated the Cold War ended it-for it was the Soviet Union, not the Soviet Union and the United States, that had divided Europe-Reagan astutely reached out to Gorbachev.. A s George F. Kennan notes in his beautifully rendered At A Century's Ending , there was a widespread belief among hard-liners during the Cold War that the Soviet system had reduced entire peoples to a permanent state of abject and cowering subordination.
AND JOSEPH SAID UNTO THEM "BY THE LIFE OF PHAROAH SURELY YE ARE SPIES!" BUT THEY SAID UNTO HIM"NO, MY LORD, BUT TO BUY FOOD ARE THE SERVANTS COME, WE ARE ALL THE SONS OF ONE MAN; WE ARE HONEST MEN, THEY SERVANTS ARE NO SPIES (GENESIS 42:10-13).
The main spying. stations for the British Empire and the Pentagon were the British and. U.S. embassies.. As. a "thank you" from Carter, Turner was appointed. director of the CIA in March of 1977.. President Reagan and Gorbachev. in the White House, Dec. 8, 1987.. Russian President from '91 to '99.. Persico, Joseph. E. Casey: The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey .Viking. Press, New York, 1990.
Shipping routes would matter for transporting American troops and in keeping NATO supplied. Could the Soviets have succeeded where the Germans twice failed in World War I and II?
Key point: Despite possessing a massive number of ships and aircraft, the Soviet Navy during the 1970s was still decisively inferior to the combined forces of NATO.. Over the course of the Cold War, the balance of forces between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Soviet Union changed dramatically.. The United States Navy (USN) long believed that the Soviet Navy would undertake a role during World War III essentially similar to that of the Germans in World War I and World War II.. Secondly, the Soviet submarines would then wreak havoc on the trans-Atlantic highway that linked the United States to the rest of NATO.. The Soviet Navy possessed a sufficient number of both nuclear and diesel-electric submarines to harass NATO shipping, nuclear missile submarines (SSBNs), and carrier battle groups, but NATO held most of the cards.. Until the late 1960s, Soviet ballistic missile submarines lacked the range of their NATO counterparts and would have been extremely vulnerable to destruction by anti-submarine warfare (ASW) assets in transit to the Atlantic.. Instead, the Soviet Navy was more focused on the “bastion” strategy, designed to defend the patrol areas of nuclear ballistic missile submarines from attack by NATO assets.. Developed in response to concerns about the inability to the Soviet SSBN force to deliver its weapons to targets in the United States, the bastion strategy focused on deterring and defeating NATO submarine incursions into SSBN patrol areas.. New Russian Project 667B (NATO code-named “Delta”) submarines began to enter service in 1972, giving the Soviet Navy the ability to conduct strategic strikes at range from the United States, and thus making the perilous transit of the GIUK Gap unnecessary.. Equipped with Yak-38 “Forger” VSTOL fighters and with a contingent of anti-submarine helicopters, Kiev would have provided the core of a bastion-defense task force, designed to deter NATO surface ships and ASW patrol aircraft, as well as to hunt NATO submarines.. By the late 1970s the Soviet Naval Air Fleet possessed not only Tu-16 "Badger" and Tu-95 "Bear" long-range aircraft (the latter employed mainly in reconnaissance and anti-submarine roles) but also a significant number of Tu-22M "Backfire" bombers.. Close bases and substantial air support would have given the Soviets a major advantage, although they would have needed to take care not to divert too much material from the main line of attack on NATO's central front.. And to be sure, some percentage of the Soviet submarine fleet would have hazarded the GIUK gap, if only to harass NATO and keep the USN honest.. Despite possessing a massive number of ships and aircraft, the Soviet Navy during the 1970s was still decisively inferior to the combined forces of NATO.. However, the United States Navy began to think through more aggressive strategies for attacking the patrol areas of Soviet SSBNs, as well the Soviet Union itself.
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