Cold War Essay


The Cold War refers to the tense standoff between the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and its allies during the middle decades of the twentieth century. The war is referred to as “cold” because the two major powers did not directly engage in armed conflict (or a “hot” war) with one another. During the Cold War, there were periods of both tension and engagement as the two superpowers tried to live with one another.

            The most important superpower confrontation was the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The Soviet Union had stationed missiles in the Communist island of Cuba, just 90 miles from the United States. President Kennedy demanded the missiles’ removal, prompting a 13 day standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. (Click for more essay samples)

            On the other hand, there were periods when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. actively engaged each other, such as the negotiations between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s to limit each country’s nuclear arsenal to help make the world safer.

            The Cold War ended when the U.S.S.R. and Soviet communism collapsed between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. However, just before the end, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. worked together to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, just as they had worked together to fight Hitler in World War II, a fitting bit of closure to a war that had dominated the middle of the century.

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