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COLD WAR A brief outlook of the major events after the world war II Md. Moniruzzaman LLB(Hons),LLM(Running) Department of Law, University of Rajshahi Email: [email protected] The new world: End of World war II saw two opposing super powers emerging in the form of USA and Soviet Union. Outcome of the World War II: These two super powers tried to spread their influence throughout the world and thus the cold war began. Cold war was not a direct war but a series of proxy wars. Intimidation, propaganda and espionage were the main weapons used. Effects: The world divided into East and West. Both US and Soviet felt threatened by each other and the world feared for new war. Both capitalist US and Communist Soviet wanted to spread their socio political ideologies through out the world to increase their influence. MEJOR EVENTS: After the World War II, almost in all major world events, USA and The Soviet had a huge influence. They played their part either directly or indirectly in all the wars, civil wars, military insurgency, military coup, revolution against the acting Govt. or killing of politicians. THE BERLIN CRISIS: Germany was split into four “allied occupation zones” after the war. The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and (eventually) France. In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany was created out of the Western zones. The Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic. The control over Berlin was also divided among the super powers, and conflict arose when both party wanted full control over the city. This conflict almost resulted into total nuclear war when the Soviet decided to place nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962. But it was avoided when both the head of states decided to remove the missiles. On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic began to build the Berlin wall, which stood for almost 30 years. NUCLEAR DEMONSTRATIONS: The two super powers spent the 1950s testing nuclear weapons and displaying their might. Many people campaigned against the development of nuclear weapon seeing the inherent danger. Although the US president Dwight D. Eisenhower thought these weapon could be used to deter other acts of war. SPACE RACE: Space race was another important event that occurred during the cold war, as the two nation franticly developed more and more technology. The Soviet launched the first satellite and the first man into the space (Yuri Gagarin). While the US won the race to the Moon. MARSHAL’S PLAN & ROLE OF CIA The Marshall Plan was an American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II. This support was given only to the countries who complied with the political ideology of USA. One of the main aim of this project was to stop the spread of communism in the Western Europe. CIA(Central Intelligence Agency) also played its part in stopping the rise of communism by influencing politics all over the world by backing pro-American parties, killing politicians, spreading propaganda and many other behind the scene activities. KOREAN WAR(1950-1953): Korea had been divided into half after the World War II. And both sides claimed to govern the whole country. To help further spread Communism, China and Soviet Union aided the Northern Government to invade into the South. Load of United Nations countries came into defend the South, with USA providing the vast majority of troops. The Korean War was fought to stalemate. Korea remained divided in the state of cease fire to this day. VIETNAM WAR: War had been reigning in the old French colony, Vietnam since 1955 and even before that between the communist backed west and mainly the US backed south. US involvement grew and grew through out the 1960s ultimately ended in defeat for the South and the US. The North Vietnamese force captured Saigan, the capital of South Vietnam, in 1975. It was an embarrassment for the US, as the great super power lost to such a poor nation. AFGAN WAR: The Afghanistan War was fought between Afghanistan rebels called the Mujahideen and the Soviet supported Afghanistan government. The United States supported the Afghanistan rebels in order to try and overthrow the communist government and to prevent the spread of communism. In this period of time Al Qaeda was formed and it was trained and weaponized by the USA. This war ended in1989 with the Soviet defeated. END OF COLD WAR: 1970s saw a new angel in the cold war, a time known as DETANE. The Soviet Union were finding that many of the economies within the eastern block countries weren’t doing as well as the west. They increased trade with each other and brought about an peaceful coexistence. 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. CONCLUDING REMARKS: Although the cold war ended but the tension between USA and Russia never ceased to exist. When Soviet dissolved, the USA became the sole super power of the world. Russia tried its best to keep its influence through out the world but in most of the cases the USA dominated the world affairs. However the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s recent attacks in Syria signaling new dimension in the world politics.