The Cold War
May 1, 2012
The Cold War
The Cold War was unlike any other conflict the United States was a part of. This was not a war fought on a battlefield with soldiers and guns, but instead a conflict between countries whose relationship was severely strained. Although they were allies during World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union developed a “sense of mutual distrust and enmity.” Tensions were high for many reasons, but historians believe the United States’ disagreement with Soviet expansion and the Soviet’s resentment of U.S. intervention were factors that made the Cold War inevitable. (Cold War, n.d.).
American diplomat George Kennan explained in 1946 that America’s only option regarding the Soviet Union was “long-term, patient but firm vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” (Cold War, n.d.). Part of the strategy necessary for this containment mission was to increase the artillery for the United States. This idea however backfired. An arms race had begun between the Soviet Union and the United States; upon learning of the U.S. desire to recreate the atomic weapons use during WWII, the Soviets built and tested their own atomic bomb. President Truman then announced the U.S. would construct an even more devastating hydrogen bomb; Stalin did the same. “The first H-bomb test, in the Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands, showed just how fearsome the nuclear age could be. It created a 25- square-mile fireball that vaporized an island, blew a hole in the ocean floor and had the power to destroy half of Manhattan.” (Cold War, n.d.).
Fast forward 15 years and the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union have not waned at all. In fact, during the early part of 1962, “the Soviets had been dramatically increasing their military presence in Cuba.” (Farber, 1994). The Cuban Missile Crisis followed suit when the Soviets attempted to ward off an invasion of Cuba by the United...