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The Cold War: An Introduction What was the Cold War Relevancy of Cold War to 21 st century Aims of this course.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cold War: An Introduction What was the Cold War Relevancy of Cold War to 21 st century Aims of this course."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cold War: An Introduction What was the Cold War Relevancy of Cold War to 21 st century Aims of this course


3 The 21 st Century Treaties of past wars sought to balance power Treaty of Westphalia Treaty of Ghent Congress of Vienna Treaty of Versailles New World Order after Soviet defeat International cooperation No longer a world of Us v. Them Democracy will grow out of necessity Interconnectedness between politics and economics Trade pacts are of greater importance than missiles Martin Walker in The Cold War

4 Clinton Presidency Faced with new challenge in uni-polar world New foreign policy needed to deal w/ challenge Clinton speech on eve of Congressional vote on NAFTA: This vote comes at a defining moment for our nation. This country is now the most productive country in the world across a broad spectrum of manufacturing and service industries in this economy. We can win. And we have to decide whether we are going to reach out and win or try to withdraw Martin Walker, The Cold War Winning no longer means defeating Communism, but remaining the most relevant economic power in the world- How else to retain American supremacy in post Cold war era?

5 History Full Circle Clinton strategy similar to post-WWII Japan and Germany rebuilt to provide an economic stabilizer in both Europe and Asia Marshall Plan and NATO worked hand-in-hand to create buffer zone between the West and Soviet Russia Former Soviet satellites would be brought into collective agreements Democracy would reach the crevices of old Soviet system Post Cold War policy was to bring China, India and places in Africa into this circle of trust and cooperativeness Former countries behind Iron Curtain (Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria to name a few) would enter to economic and political agreements w/in framework of European Union

6 A World w/out a Balancing Force The press is now searching for a different organising principle- North-South tensions, religion versus secularism, nationalm versus internationalism… The Cold War could turn anything into an issue of national interest if Communism was somehow implicated. That easy link is gone…How does the press relate national interest to more or less obscure wars in remote areas, to communal strife in India, corruption in Brazil, AIDS in Zaire or overpopulation worldwide? How does it make clear to the public that the old dividing line between foreign and domestic affairs is getting ever thinner. Time magazine editor Henry Grunwald (1993) on the global medias role in a New World Order

7 Good v. Evil Good and evil according to U.S. and U.S.S.R. Cold War was a war of perceptions Perceptions became reality No matter the viewpoint, a definitive evil existed Propaganda used to influence and dictate domestic & foreign policy Fax machines, cell phones, satellite TV made that definition all too cloudy East Berlin and Fall of Berlin Wall Glasnost Polands Solidarity Tiananmen Square in Beijing


9 Cold War Defined History of Cold War has been world history between 1945-1991 Martin Walker argues that it still continues today Global conflict reaching Korea, Vietnam, Venezuela, Cuba, Turkey, Afghanistan and Greece to name a few places War fought by proxy- never hot between Soviets and Americans

10 Deterrence U.S. strategy adopted to deter war Massive weapons build-up; ready military forces; political will to use them Nukes would be ultimate deterrent Is this a balanced deterrent? Amt of nukes would be disproportional to threat Deterrence and collective security- UN introduced- championed by U.S. This foreign policy/military strategy known as MAD Mutually Assured Destruction Both parties (Soviets & American) would have to mind one anothers military weaponry when determining foreign policy

11 194519551965197519851995 UNITED STATES63,05731,26526,67522,94114,766 SOVIET UNION02006,12919,44339,19727,000 BRITAIN010310350300 FRANCE0032188360485 CHINA005185425 Source: National Resources Defense Council History of Nuclear Warhead Stockpiles: 1945-1995 * Notes: totals are estimates. Lists include strategic and non-strategic warheads, as well as warheads awaiting dismantling

12 Similarities and Contrasts U.S. & U.S.S.R: Similarities Contrasts Both latecomers to international prominence Large population and resource centers Drawn into continental rivalry Both had messianic visions about political organization Demonstrated massive military capability Heart of rivalry was national interest and ideology Rivalry was clash between principles Capitalism v. Socialism Individual liberty v. state security Religious freedom v. scientific materialism International diversity v. Communist Commonwealth For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States by Peter Maslowski

13 An Institution Perversely, Cold War became way of life Social norms, behaviors and patterns witnessed in both U.S. and U.S.S.R. Cold War became a warped stability Cold War was also an economic war- U.S. won because it could produce more guns, food, health care, vacations and private cars than Soviets The Cold War - Martin Walker

14 In Conclusion We will analyze and assess the Cold War this Semester You will implement skills of interpretation, analysis, evaluation and synthesis as we carry forward We will be able to provide answers to questions such as, but not limited to: Is there a blame to be placed on a certain country or government for the Cold War? For what reasons did the Cold War never become a hot war? Change the meaning of Cold War around, was the Cold War, in fact, a hot war? To what reasons should we attribute the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union? Was the Cold War a war of perception? Did the U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War determine American foreign policy in the post Cold War era? Was M.A.D. a valid military strategy during the Cold War? How do you describe the Cold War culture as different from U.S. culture today?


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