Cold War

The Cold War: the Balance of Power & Strategic Deterrence

When I was in the White House, I was confronted with the challenge of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and I had 30,000 nuclear weapons that could destroy the entire earth and I had to maintain the peace. Jimmy Carter

Cold war (a term coined by the English writer George Orwell) was a prolonged state of military and political tension between the two major powers that emerged at the end of the second world war, namely The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union and The United States Of America. Although both these countries were allies during the Second World War, the profound differences between the countries, both economic and political, meant that their allying with each other was only superficial and temporary. The two major powers, threatening mutual destruction as each possessed nuclear weapons, never had a direct military confrontation. In their quest for global influence, they engaged in indirect confrontations through “proxy wars”, such as the Korean War (1950-53) and the Vietnam War (1955-75). The Cold War was more of a psychological war than a traditional head on military escalation. The conflict was in fact carried on with the help of military coalitions, strategic force deployments, and extensive aid to client states, international espionage, traditional and nuclear arms races, lobbying to neutral nations, and technological competitions such as the Space Race. The Cold War went on for more than four decades. It ended in late 1991, after the dissolution of the USSR, leaving the United States as the only superpower in the world. In the years following the end of the cold war, there have been many debates regarding the validity of the claims that nuclear weapons acted as a deterrent to a full blown military conflict between the two countries. Origins and Balance of Power The Second World War started in 1939 and ended in 1945, and was fought between two factions of the world-the...