The Cold War (1945-1990): What Does The Term Mean?

In modern history of the humanity, the twentieth century was marked by several lasting international military conflicts and civil wars, which caused millions of people’s deaths, devastation, hunger and a lot of other social problems. Those include, first of all, such global armed conflicts as the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945), as well as numerous national revolutions, Arab-Israeli conflicts, African and South American civil wars, recent liberation wars and so on.

However, one of the most lasting international conflicts, which took place between the United States and the USSR and continued for about 45 years (1945-1990), is known as “the Cold War”. In contrast to actual military operations (so called “Hot Wars”) or military mobilization for an immediate attack in any moment (so called “Warm Wars”), the Cold War was a type of international confrontation which did not have an obvious military context and was mostly focused on ideological, geopolitical, technological, economic and other issues.

It is possible to name the relationships between the US and the USSR as a war, because both sides were doing everything possible, except direct military attacks, in order to dominate and intimidate each other. At that, the methods used by the conflicting nations included political pressure and propaganda, espionage, nuclear arms race and weapon development, as well as a fierce competition in sports, cultural achievements and technological development, especially on the field of space exploration, etc.

Besides, during the mentioned period of time both the USSR and the US took part in a number of international military operations (such as the Vietnam War, the Korean War, etc.). However, Soviet and American governments deterred from a direct armed conflict since it could trigger a massive and devastating war involving many countries of the world. Therefore, I am convinced that the term “the Cold War” is an absolutely accurate and adequate description of the conflict between two super-powers of the twentieth century.

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