Cold War (1985–1991)

The Cold War period of 1985–1991 began with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev was a revolutionary leader for the USSR, as he was the first to promote liberalization of the political landscape (Glasnost) and capitalist elements into the economy (Perestroika); prior to this, the USSR had been strictly prohibiting liberal reform and maintained an inefficient command economy. The USSR, despite facing massive economic difficulties, was involved in a costly arms race with the United States under President Ronald Reagan. Regardless, the USSR began to crumble as liberal reforms proved difficult to handle and capitalist changes to the economy were badly instituted and caused major problems. The Cold War came to an end when the last war of Soviet occupation ended in Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall came down in Germany, and a series of mostly peaceful revolutions swept the Soviet Bloc states of eastern Europe in 1989.

Cold War Map 1980
Alliances in 1980
West and East Germans at the Brandenburg Gate in 1989

Part of a series on the
History of the Cold War

Origins of the Cold War
World War II
(Hiroshima and Nagasaki)
War conferences
Eastern Bloc
Western Bloc
Iron Curtain
Cold War (1947–1953)
Cold War (1953–1962)
Cold War (1962–1979)
Cold War (1979–1985)
Cold War (1985–1991)
Frozen conflicts
Timeline · Conflicts
Cold War II

Thaw in relations

After the deaths of three successive elderly Soviet leaders since 1982, the Soviet Politburo elected Gorbachev Communist Party General Secretary in March 1985, marking the rise of a new generation of leadership. Under Gorbachev, relatively young reform-oriented technocrats, who had begun their careers in the heyday of "de-Stalinization" under reformist leader Nikita Khrushchev, rapidly consolidated power, providing new momentum for political and economic liberalization, and the impetus for cultivating warmer relations and trade with the West.

Reagan and Gorbachev hold discussions
Reagan and Gorbachev during their first summit meeting in the beach house

On the Western front, President Reagan's administration had taken a hard line against the Soviet Union. Under the Reagan Doctrine, the Reagan administration began providing military support to anti-communist armed movements in Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua and elsewhere.

A major breakthrough came in 1985–87, with the successful negotiation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The INF Treaty of December 1987, signed by Reagan and Gorbachev, eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometres (310–620 mi) (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 kilometres (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not cover sea-launched missiles. By May 1991, after on-site investigations by both sides, 2,700 missiles had been destroyed.[1][2]

The Reagan administration also persuaded the Saudi Arabian oil companies to increase oil production.[3] This led to a three-times drop in the prices of oil, and oil was the main source of Soviet export revenues.[3] Following the USSR's previous large military buildup, President Reagan ordered an enormous peacetime defense buildup of the United States Military; the Soviets did not respond to this by building up their military because the military expenses, in combination with collectivized agriculture in the nation, and inefficient planned manufacturing, would cause a heavy burden for the Soviet economy. It was already stagnant and in a poor state prior to the tenure of Mikhail Gorbachev who, despite significant attempts at reform, was unable to revitalise the economy.[4] In 1985, Reagan and Gorbachev held their first of four "summit" meetings, this one in Geneva, Switzerland. After discussing policy, facts, etc., Reagan invited Gorbachev to go with him to a small house near the beach. The two leaders spoke in that house well over their time limit, but came out with the news that they had planned two more (soon three more) summits.

The second summit took place the following year, in 1986 on October 11, in Reykjavík, Iceland. The meeting was held to pursue discussions about scaling back their intermediate-range ballistic missile arsenals in Europe. The talks came close to achieving an overall breakthrough on nuclear arms control, but ended in failure due to Reagan's proposed Strategic Defense Initiative and Gorbachev's proposed cancellation of it. Nonetheless, cooperation continued to increase and, where it failed, Gorbachev reduced some strategic arms unilaterally.

Fundamental to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Gorbachev policy initiatives of Restructuring (Perestroika) and Openness (Glasnost) had ripple effects throughout the Soviet world, including eventually making it impossible to reassert central control over Warsaw Pact member states without resorting to military force.

United States President Ronald Reagan delivers a speech at the Berlin Wall in June 1987, in which he called for Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear Down This Wall!". Famous passage begins at 11:10 into this video.

On June 12, 1987, Reagan challenged Gorbachev to go further with his reforms and democratization by tearing down the Berlin Wall. In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate next to the wall, Reagan stated:

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union, Central and South-East Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate; Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall![5]

While the aging communist European leaders kept their states in the grip of "normalization", Gorbachev's reformist policies in the Soviet Union exposed how a once revolutionary Communist Party had become moribund at the very center of the system. Facing declining revenues due to declining oil prices and rising expenditures related to the arms race and the command economy, the Soviet Union was forced during the 1980s to take on significant amounts of debt from the Western banking sector.[6] The growing public disapproval of the Soviet–Afghan War, and the socio-political effects of the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine increased public support for these policies. By the spring of 1989, the USSR had not only experienced lively media debate, but had also held its first multi-candidate elections. For the first time in recent history, the force of liberalization was spreading from West to East.

Revolt spreads through Communist Europe

Grassroots organizations, such as Poland's Solidarity movement, rapidly gained ground with strong popular bases. In February 1989 the Polish government opened talks with opposition, known as the Polish Round Table Agreement, which allowed elections with participation of anti-Communist parties in June 1989. Also in 1989 the Communist government in Hungary started to negotiate organizing of competitive elections which took place in 1990. In Czechoslovakia and East Germany, mass protests unseated entrenched Communist leaders. The Communist regimes in Bulgaria and Romania also crumbled, in the latter case as the result of a violent uprising. Attitudes had changed enough that US Secretary of State James Baker suggested that the American government would not be opposed to Soviet intervention in Romania, on behalf of the opposition, to prevent bloodshed.[7] The tidal wave of change culminated with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which symbolized the collapse of European Communist governments and graphically ended the Iron Curtain divide of Europe.

The collapse of the Eastern European governments with Gorbachev's tacit consent inadvertently encouraged several Soviet republics to seek greater independence from Moscow's rule. Agitation for independence in the Baltic states led to first Lithuania, and then Estonia and Latvia, declaring their independence. Disaffection in the other republics was met by promises of greater decentralization. More open elections led to the election of candidates opposed to Communist Party rule.

In an attempt to halt the rapid changes to the system, a group of Soviet hard-liners represented by Vice-President Gennady Yanayev launched a coup overthrowing Gorbachev in August 1991. Russian President Boris Yeltsin rallied the people and much of the army against the coup and the effort collapsed. Although restored to power, Gorbachev's authority had been irreparably undermined. In September, the Baltic states were granted independence. On December 1, Ukraine withdrew from the USSR. On December 26, 1991 the USSR officially dissolved, breaking up into fifteen separate nations.

End of the Cold War and the Beginning of a New World Order

After the end of the Revolutions of 1989, Gorbachev and President Bush Sr. met on the neutral island of Malta to discuss the events of the year, the withdrawal of the Soviet military from Eastern Europe, and the future course of their relationship. After their discussions, the two leaders publicly announced they would work together for German reunification, the normalization of relations, the resolution of Third World conflicts, and the promotion of peace and democracy (referred to by President Bush as a "New World Order".)[8]

Between the Malta Summit and the Dissolution of the Soviet Union negotiations on several arms control agreements began, resulting in agreements such as START I and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Additionally, the United States, still believing the Soviet Union would continue to exist in the long term, began to take steps to create a positive long-term relationship.[9]

This new relationship was demonstrated by the joint American-Soviet opposition to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Soviet Union voted in the United Nation's Security Council to authorize the use of military force against its former Middle Eastern ally.[10]

Several conflicts in third world nations (i.e. Cambodia, Angola, Nicaragua) related to the Cold War would come to an end during this era of cooperation, with both the Soviet Union and the United States working together to pressure their respective proxies to make peace with one another. Overall, this detente which accompanied the final twilight of the Cold War would help bring about a relatively more peaceful world.[11]

As a consequence of the Revolutions of 1989 and the adoption of a foreign policy based on non-interference by the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved and Soviet troops began withdrawing back to the Soviet Union, completing their withdrawal by the mid-1990s.[12][13]


There is a fundamental difference in how former communist countries managed during the first quarter of the century after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Countries such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia experienced economic reconstruction, growth and fast integration with EU and NATO while their eastern neighbors usually created hybrids of free market oligarchy system, post-communist corrupted administration and dictatorship. The territory behind the EU and NATO borders gradually to a greater or lesser extent returned to economic and military dependency on Russia.

Russia and the other Soviet successor states have faced a chaotic and harsh transition from a command economy to free market capitalism following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A large percentage of the population currently lives in poverty. GDP growth also declined, and life expectancy dropped sharply. Living conditions also declined in some other parts of the former Eastern bloc.

Reagan and Gorbachev signing
Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev and U.S. President Reagan signing the INF Treaty, 1987.

In addition, the poverty and desperation of the Russians, Ukrainians and allies of post–Cold War have led to the sale of many advanced Cold War-developed weapons systems, especially very capable modern upgraded versions, around the globe. World-class tanks (T-80/T-84), jet fighters (MiG-29 and Su-27/30/33), surface-to-air missile systems (S-300P, S-300V, 9K332 and Igla) and others have been placed on the market in order to obtain some much-needed cash. This poses a possible problem for western powers in coming decades as they increasingly find hostile countries equipped with weapons which were designed by the Soviets to defeat them. The post–Cold War era saw a period of unprecedented prosperity in the West, especially in the United States, and a wave of democratization throughout Latin America, Africa, and Central, South-East and Eastern Europe.

Sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein expresses a less triumphalist view, arguing that the end of the Cold War is a prelude to the breakdown of Pax Americana. In his essay "Pax Americana is Over," Wallerstein argues, “The collapse of communism in effect signified the collapse of liberalism, removing the only ideological justification behind US hegemony, a justification tacitly supported by liberalism’s ostensible ideological opponent.”[14]

Some historians, including professor of history John Lewis Gaddis, argue that Reagan combined a policy of militancy and operational pragmatism to bring about the most significant improvement in Soviet-American relations since the end of World War II. This bloc, known as the ‘Reagan Victory School’ constitutes a different historiographical perspective to the end of the Cold War.

Space exploration has petered out in both the United States and Russia without the competitive pressure of the space race. Military decorations have become more common, as they were created, and bestowed, by the major powers during the near 50 years of undeclared hostilities.

Timeline of related events

T-55 Ethiopian Civil War 1991.JPEG
Ethiopian tanks pass a Communist memorial in Addis Ababa during the Ethiopian Civil War, 1991

See also


  1. ^ Lynn E. Davis, "Lessons of the INF Treaty." Foreign Affairs 66.4 (1988): 720–734. in JSTOR
  2. ^ CQ Press (2012). Guide to Congress. SAGE. pp. 252–53. ISBN 978-1-4522-3532-5.
  3. ^ a b Gaidar, Yegor. "Public Expectations and Trust towards the Government: Post-Revolution Stabilization and its Discontents". Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  4. ^ Gaidar, Yegor (2007-10-17). Collapse of an Empire: Lessons for Modern Russia (in Russian). Brookings Institution Press. pp. 190–210. ISBN 978-5-8243-0759-7.
  5. ^ "Reagan's 'tear down this wall' speech turns 20". USA Today. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  6. ^ Leebaert, Derek (2002). The Fifty-Year Wound. New York, USA: Little, Brown and Company. p. 595.
  7. ^ Garthof, Raymond L. "The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War" (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1994).
  8. ^ "1989: Malta summit ends Cold War". British Broadcasting Corporation. 1989-12-03. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. ^ Arjen Molen (2015-09-14), Cold War - Conclusions 1989-1991 - Part 24/24, retrieved 2018-03-31
  10. ^ "S/RES/678(1990) - E". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  11. ^ Cohen, Michael (December 15, 2011). "Peace in the Post-Cold War World". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Bohlen, Celestine (February 26, 1991). "Warsaw Pact Agrees to Dissolve Its Military Alliance by March 31". The New York Times. p. 1,10. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  13. ^ Marshall, Tyler (April 1, 1993). "Few Russian Troops Remain in Ex-Satellite States: Military: Of an estimated 600,000 in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, only about 113,000 haven't gone home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  14. ^ Wallerstein, Immanuel. "Pax Americana is Over"
  15. ^ (in English) 1988 soviet ramming USS Yorktown CG 48 in black sea (video)
  16. ^ Soviet Union Defiance in the Streets, Time, March 07, 1988

Further reading

  • Ball, S. J. The Cold War: An International History, 1947–1991 (1998). British perspective
  • Beschloss, Michael, and Strobe Talbott. At the Highest Levels:The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (1993)
  • Brooks, Stephen G., and William C. Wohlforth. "Power, globalization, and the end of the Cold War: Reevaluating a landmark case for ideas." International Security 25.3 (2001): 5-53. [ online]
  • Engel, Jeffrey A. When the World Seemed New: George H. W. Bush and the End of the Cold War (2017)
  • Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History (2005)
  • Gaddis, John Lewis. The United States and the End of the Cold War: Implications, Reconsiderations, Provocations (1992)
  • Garthoff, Raymond. The Great Transition:American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War (1994)
  • Goertz, Gary and Jack S. Levy, eds. Causal explanations, necessary conditions, and case studies: World War I and the End of the Cold War (2005), 10 essays from political scientists; online
  • Hogan, Michael ed. The End of the Cold War. Its Meaning and Implications (1992) articles from Diplomatic History
  • Kegley Jr, Charles W. "How did the cold war die? Principles for an autopsy." Mershon International Studies Review 38.Supplement_1 (1994): 11-41. online
  • Kenney, Padraic. 1989: Democratic Revolutions at the Cold War's End: A Brief History with Documents (2009) covers Poland, the Philippines, Chile, South Africa, Ukraine, and China
  • Leffler, Melvyn P. For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (2007) pp 338-450.
  • Mann, James. The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War (2010). popular
  • Matlock, Jack F. Autopsy on an Empire (1995) by US ambassador to Moscow
  • Powaski, Ronald E. The Cold War: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1917–1991 (1998)
  • Romero, Federico. "Cold War historiography at the crossroads." Cold War History 14.4 (2014): 685-703. online
  • Shultz, George P. Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (1993), a primary source
  • Westad, Odd Arne. The Cold War: A World History (2017) pp 527-629
  • Wilson, James Graham. The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War (2014)
  • Wohlforth, William C. "Realism and the End of the Cold War." International Security 19.3 (1994): 91-129. online
  • Zubok, Vladislav M. "Gorbachev and the End of the Cold War: Perspectives on History and Personality," Cold War History (2002) 2:2, 61-100, DOI: 10.1080/713999954
  • Zubok, Vladislav M. A failed empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (2009). online

External links

600-ship Navy

The 600-ship Navy was a strategic plan of the United States Navy during the 1980s to rebuild its fleet after cutbacks that followed the end of the Vietnam War. The plan, which originated with Republican leaders, was an important campaign plank of Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election, who advocated a larger military and strategic confrontation with the Soviet Union.

The actual number of ships peaked at 594 in 1987, before declining sharply after the end of the Cold War in 1989–1991.The program included:

Recommissioning the Iowa-class battleships

Keeping older ships in service longer

A large new construction program

Stepped up production of Nimitz-class aircraft carriersThe idea was supported by John F. Lehman, who became Reagan's Secretary of the Navy, and Caspar Weinberger, Reagan's Secretary of Defense.

Cold War

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc), and the United States with its allies (the Western Bloc) after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and the Truman Doctrine of 1947, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe as well as in other areas, and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

The capitalist West was led by the United States, a federal republic with a two-party presidential system, as well as the other First World nations of the Western Bloc that were generally liberal democratic with a free press and independent organizations, but were economically and politically entwined with a network of banana republics and other authoritarian regimes, most of which were the Western Bloc's former colonies. Some major Cold War frontlines such as Indochina, Indonesia, and the Congo were still Western colonies in 1947. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed Marxist–Leninist state led by its Communist Party, which in turn was dominated by a totalitarian leader with different titles over time, and a small committee called the Politburo. The Party controlled the state, the press, the military, the economy, and many organizations throughout the Second World, including the Warsaw Pact and other satellites, and funded communist parties around the world, sometimes in competition with communist China following the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. The two worlds were fighting for dominance in poor, low-developed regions known as the Third World.

In time, a neutral bloc arose in these regions with the Non-Aligned Movement, which sought good relations with both sides. Notwithstanding relatively isolated incidents of air-to-air dogfights and shoot-downs, the two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat. However, both were heavily armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war. Each side had a nuclear strategy that discouraged an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to the total destruction of the attacker—the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD). Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, and their deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, massive propaganda campaigns and espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race.

The first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc, while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe (for example, supporting the anti-communist side in the Greek Civil War) and creating the NATO alliance. The Berlin Blockade (1948–49) was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War (1950–1953), the conflict expanded. The USSR and the US competed for influence in Latin America and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. The Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis (1956), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which was perhaps the closest the two sides came to nuclear war. Meanwhile, an international peace movement took root and grew among citizens around the world, first in Japan from 1954, when people became concerned about nuclear weapons testing, but soon also in Europe and the US. The peace movement, and in particular the anti-nuclear movement, gained pace and popularity from the late 1950s and early 1960s, and continued to grow through the '70s and '80s with large protest marches, demonstrations, and various non-parliamentary activism opposing war and calling for global nuclear disarmament. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while US allies, particularly France, demonstrated greater independence of action. The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War (1955–75), which ended with the defeat of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, prompting further adjustments.

By the 1970s, both sides had become interested in making allowances in order to create a more stable and predictable international system, ushering in a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. The early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises, both in 1983. The United States increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was already suffering from economic stagnation. On 12 June 1982, a million protesters gathered in Central Park, New York to call for an end to the Cold War arms race and nuclear weapons in particular. In the mid-1980s, the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the liberalizing reforms of perestroika ("reorganization", 1987) and glasnost ("openness", c. 1985) and ended Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. Pressures for national independence grew stronger in Eastern Europe, especially Poland. Gorbachev meanwhile refused to use Soviet troops to bolster the faltering Warsaw Pact regimes as had occurred in the past. The result in 1989 was a wave of revolutions that peacefully (with the exception of the Romanian Revolution) overthrew all of the communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union itself lost control and was banned following an abortive coup attempt in August 1991. This in turn led to the formal dissolution of the USSR in December 1991 and the collapse of communist regimes in other countries such as Mongolia, Cambodia, and South Yemen. The United States remained as the world's only superpower.

The Cold War and its events have left a significant legacy. It is often referred to in popular culture, especially in media featuring themes of espionage (notably the internationally successful James Bond book and film franchise) and the threat of nuclear warfare. Meanwhile, a renewed state of tension between the Soviet Union's successor state, Russia, and the United States in the 2010s (including its Western allies) has been referred to as the Second Cold War.

Cold War (disambiguation)

The Cold War (c. 1947 – 1991) was a geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle after World War II between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Cold War (1947–1953)

Cold War (1953–1962)

Cold War (1962–1979)

Cold War (1979–1985)

Cold War (1985–1991)Cold War may also refer to:

Cold war (general term)

Effects of the Cold War

The Cold War has had many effects on society, from the end of the war up until today. Primarily, communism was defeated. In Russia, military spending was cut dramatically and quickly. The effects of this were very large, seeing as the military-industrial sector had previously employed one of every five Soviet adults and its dismantling left hundreds of millions throughout the former Soviet Union unemployed.After Russia embarked on economic reforms in the 1990's, it suffered a financial crisis and a recession more severe than the United States and Germany had experienced during the Great Depression. Russian living standards have worsened overall in the post–Cold War years, although the economy has resumed growth since 1995. It wasn't until 2005 that the average post-communist country had returned to 1989 levels of per-Capita GDP, although some are still lagging far behind. The legacy of the Cold War continues to influence world affairs. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the post–Cold War world is widely considered as unipolar, with the United States the sole remaining superpower. The Cold War defined the political role of the United States in the post–World War II world: by 1989 the United States held military alliances with 50 countries, and had 1.5 million troops posted abroad in 117 countries. The Cold War also institutionalized a global commitment to huge, permanent peacetime military-industrial complexes and large-scale military funding of science.Military expenditures by the US during the Cold War years were estimated to have been $8 trillion, while nearly 100,000 Americans lost their lives in the Korean War and Vietnam War. Although the loss of life among Soviet soldiers is difficult to estimate, as a share of their gross national product the financial cost for the Soviet Union was far higher than that of the United States.In addition to the loss of life by uniformed soldiers, millions died in the superpowers' proxy wars around the globe, most notably in Southeast Asia. Most of the proxy wars and subsidies for local conflicts ended along with the Cold War; the incidence of interstate wars, ethnic wars, revolutionary wars, as well as refugee and displaced persons crises has declined sharply in the post–Cold War years.The legacy of Cold War conflict, however, is not always easily erased, as many of the economic and social tensions that were exploited to fuel Cold War competition in parts of the Third World remain acute. The breakdown of state control in a number of areas formerly ruled by Communist governments has produced new civil and ethnic conflicts, particularly in the former Yugoslavia. In Eastern Europe, the end of the Cold War has ushered in an era of economic growth and a large increase in the number of liberal democracies, while in other parts of the world, such as Afghanistan, independence was accompanied by state failure.Many nuclear legacies can be identified from the Cold War, such as the availability of new technologies for nuclear power and energy, and the use of radiation for improving medical treatment and health. Environmental remediation, industrial production, research science, and technology development have all benefited from the carefully managed application of radiation and other nuclear processes.

On the other hand, despite the end of the Cold War, military development and spending has continued, particularly in the deployment of nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and defensive systems.

Because there was no formalized treaty ending the Cold War, the former superpowers have continued to various degrees to maintain and even improve or modify existing nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Moreover, other nations not previously acknowledged as nuclear-weapons states have developed and tested nuclear-explosive devices.

The risk of nuclear and radiological terrorism by possible sub-national organizations or individuals is now a concern.

The international nonproliferation regime inherited from the Cold War still provides disincentives and safeguards against national or sub-national access to nuclear materials and facilities. Formal and informal measures and processes have effectively slowed national incentives and the tempo of international nuclear-weapons proliferation.

Numerous and beneficial uses of nuclear energy have evolved such as the use of nuclear energy to create electricity. Commercial nuclear-reactor operation and construction have persisted, with some notable increase in worldwide energy production. The management of nuclear waste remains somewhat unresolved, depending very much on government policies. However, the quantity of waste produced from nuclear power plants is relatively small, and nuclear waste has been proven to be recyclable. Several countries, including France, Japan, and Finland, currently reprocess nuclear waste.As nuclear weapons are becoming surplus to national military interests, they are slowly being dismantled, and in some cases their fissile material is being recycled to fuel civilian nuclear-reactors.

Frozen conflict

In international relations, a frozen conflict is a situation in which active armed conflict has been brought to an end, but no peace treaty or other political framework resolves the conflict to the satisfaction of the combatants. Therefore, legally the conflict can start again at any moment, creating an environment of insecurity and instability.

The term has been commonly used for post-Soviet conflicts, but it has also often been applied to other perennial territorial disputes. The de facto situation that emerges may match the de jure position asserted by one party to the conflict; for example, Russia claims and effectively controls Crimea following the 2014 Crimean crisis despite Ukraine's continuing claim to the region. Alternatively, the de facto situation may not match either side's official claim. The division of Korea is an example of the latter situation: both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea officially assert claims to the entire peninsula; however, there exists a well-defined border between the two countries' areas of control.

Frozen conflicts sometimes result in partially recognized states. For example, the Republic of South Ossetia, a product of the frozen Georgian–Ossetian conflict, is recognized by eight other states, including five UN members; the other three of these entities are partially recognized states themselves.

Greek Civil War

Τhe Greek Civil War (Greek: ο Eμφύλιος [Πόλεμος], o Emfýlios [Pólemos], "the Civil War") was fought in Greece from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek government army — backed by the United Kingdom and the United States — and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) — the military branch of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) — backed by Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria. It is often considered the first proxy war of the Cold War, although the Soviet Union avoided sending aid. The fighting resulted in the defeat of the DSE by the Hellenic Army. Founded by the Communist Party of Greece and supported by neighboring and newly founded Socialist States such as Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria, the Democratic Army of Greece included many personnel who had fought as partisans against German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation forces during the Second World War of 1939–1945.

The civil war resulted from a highly polarized struggle between left and right ideologies that started in 1943. From 1944 each side targeted the power vacuum resulting from the end of German-Italian occupation (1941–1945) during World War II. The struggle became one of the first conflicts of the Cold War (c. 1947 to 1989) and represents the first example of Cold War power postwar involvement in the internal politics of a foreign country. Greece in the end was funded by the US (through the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan) and joined NATO (1952), while the insurgents were demoralized by the bitter split between the Soviet Union's Joseph Stalin, who wanted the war ended, and Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito, who wanted it to continue.

Tito was committed to helping the Greek Communists in their efforts, a stance that caused political complications with Stalin, as he had recently agreed with Winston Churchill not to support the Communists in Greece, as documented in their Percentages Agreement of October 1944.

The first signs of the civil war occurred in 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation. With the Greek government in exile unable to influence the situation at home, various resistance groups of differing political affiliations emerged, the dominant ones being the leftist National Liberation Front (EAM), and its military branch the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) which was effectively controlled by the KKE. Starting in autumn 1943, friction between the EAM and the other resistance groups resulted in scattered clashes, which continued until spring 1944, when an agreement was reached forming a national unity government that included six EAM-affiliated ministers.

The immediate prelude of the civil war took place in Athens, on December 3, 1944, less than two months after the Germans had retreated from the area. After an order to disarm, leftists resigned from the government and called for resistance. A riot (the Dekemvriana) erupted and Greek government gendarmes, with British forces standing in the background, opened fire on a pro-EAM rally, killing 28 demonstrators and injuring dozens. The rally had been organised under the pretext of a demonstration against the perceived impunity of the collaborators and the general disarmament ultimatum, signed by Ronald Scobie (the British commander in Greece). The battle lasted 33 days and resulted in the defeat of the EAM. The subsequent signing of the Treaty of Varkiza (12 February 1945) spelled the end of the left-wing organization's ascendancy: the ELAS was partly disarmed while the EAM soon after lost its multi-party character, to become dominated by KKE. All the while, White Terror was unleashed against the supporters of the left, further escalating the tensions between the dominant factions of the nation.

The war erupted in 1946, when forces of former ELAS partisans who found shelter in their hideouts and were controlled by the KKE organized the DSE and its High Command headquarters. The KKE backed up the endeavor, deciding that there was no alternative way to act against the internationally recognized government that had been formed after the 1946 elections, which the KKE had boycotted. The Communists formed a provisional government in December 1947 and used the DSE as the military branch of this government. The neighboring communist states of Albania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria offered logistical support to this provisional government, especially to the forces operating in the north of Greece.

Despite setbacks suffered by government forces from 1946 to 1948, they eventually won due to increased American aid, the failure of the DSE to attract sufficient recruits, and the side-effects of the Tito–Stalin split of 1948. The final victory of the western-allied government forces led to Greece's membership in NATO (1952) and helped to define the ideological balance of power in the Aegean Sea for the entire Cold War. The civil war also left Greece with a vehemently anti-communist security establishment, which would lead to the establishment of the Greek military junta of 1967–74 and a legacy of political polarisation that lasts until today.

List of Booknotes interviews first aired in 1998

Booknotes is an American television series on the C-SPAN network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with a non-fiction author. The series was broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time each Sunday night, and was the longest-running author interview program in U.S. broadcast history.

List of Booknotes interviews first aired in 2004

Booknotes is an American television series on the C-SPAN network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with a non-fiction author. The series was broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time each Sunday night, and was the longest-running author interview program in U.S. broadcast history.

List of Soviet Union–United States summits

Soviet Union–United States summits were held from 1943 to 1991. The topics discussed at the summits between the President of the United States and either the General Secretary or the Premier of the Soviet Union ranged from fighting the Axis Powers during World War II to arms control between the two superpowers themselves during the Cold War.

List of conflicts related to the Cold War

While the Cold War itself never escalated into direct confrontation, there were a number of conflicts related to the Cold War around the globe, spanning the entirety of the period usually prescribed to it (March 12, 1947 to December 26, 1991, a total of 44 years, 9 months, and 2 weeks).

List of leaders of the Soviet Union

During its seventy-year history, the Soviet Union usually had a de facto leader who would not necessarily be head of state, but would lead while holding an office such as Premier or General Secretary. Under the 1977 Constitution, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, was the head of government and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was the head of state. The office of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers was comparable to a prime minister in the First World whereas the office of the Chairman of the Presidium was comparable to a president. In the ideology of Vladimir Lenin, the head of the Soviet state was a collegiate body of the vanguard party (see What Is To Be Done?).

Following Joseph Stalin's consolidation of power in the 1920s, the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party became synonymous with leader of the Soviet Union because the post controlled both the Communist Party and the Soviet government both indirectly via party membership and via the tradition of a single person holding two highest posts in the party and in the government. The post of the General Secretary was abolished in 1952 under Stalin and later re-established by Nikita Khrushchev under the name of First Secretary. In 1966, Leonid Brezhnev reverted the office title to its former name. Being the head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the office of the General Secretary was the highest in the Soviet Union until 1990. The post of General Secretary lacked clear guidelines of succession, so after the death or removal of a Soviet leader the successor usually needed the support of the Politburo, the Central Committee, or another government or party apparatus to both take and stay in power. The President of the Soviet Union, an office created in March 1990, replaced the General Secretary as the highest Soviet political office.Contemporaneously to establishment of the office of the President, representatives of the Congress of People's Deputies voted to remove Article 6 from the Soviet Constitution which stated that the Soviet Union was a one-party state controlled by the Communist Party which in turn played the leading role in society. This vote weakened the party and its hegemony over the Soviet Union and its people. Upon death, resignation, or removal from office of an incumbent President, the Vice President of the Soviet Union would assume the office, though the Soviet Union collapsed before this was actually tested. After the failed August 1991 coup, the Vice President was replaced by an elected member of the State Council of the Soviet Union.

Nuclear depth bomb

A nuclear depth bomb is the nuclear equivalent of the conventional depth charge, and can be used in anti-submarine warfare for attacking submerged submarines. The Royal Navy, Soviet Navy, and United States Navy had nuclear depth bombs in their arsenals at one point.

Due to the use of a nuclear warhead of much greater explosive power than that of the conventional depth charge, the nuclear depth bomb considerably increases the likelihood (to the point of near certainty) of the destruction of the attacked submarine.

Some aircraft were cleared for using these, such as the P-2V Neptune, but none were used against any submarines.

Because of this much greater power some nuclear depth bombs feature a variable yield, whereby the explosive energy of the device may be varied between a low setting for use in shallow or coastal waters, and a high yield for deep water open-sea use. This is intended to minimise damage to peripheral areas and merchant shipping.

All nuclear anti-submarine weapons were withdrawn from service by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China in or around 1990. They were replaced by conventional weapons such as the Mk 54 Torpedo that provided ever-increasing accuracy and range as anti-submarine warfare technology improved.

Operation Jungle

Operation Jungle was a program by the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) early in the Cold War (1948–1955) for the clandestine insertion of intelligence and resistance agents into Poland and the Baltic states. The agents were mostly Polish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian exiles who had been trained in the UK and Sweden and were to link up with the anti-Soviet resistance in the occupied states (the Cursed soldiers, the Forest Brothers). The naval operations of the program were carried out by German crewmembers of the German Mine Sweeping Administration under the control of the Royal Navy. The American-sponsored Gehlen Organization also got involved in the draft of agents from Eastern Europe. The KGB penetrated the network and captured or turned most of the agents.

Pax Americana

Pax Americana (Latin for "American Peace", modeled after Pax Romana, Pax Britannica, and Pax Mongolica) is a term applied to the concept of relative peace in the Western Hemisphere and later the world beginning around the middle of the 20th century, thought to be caused by the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States. Although the term finds its primary utility in the latter half of the 20th century, it has been used with different meanings and eras, such as the post-Civil War era in North America, and regionally in the Americas at the start of the 20th century.

Pax Americana is primarily used in its modern connotations to refer to the peace among great powers established after the end of World War II in 1945, also called the Long Peace. In this modern sense, it has come to indicate the military and economic position of the United States in relation to other nations. For example, the Marshall Plan, which spent $13 billion to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, has been seen as "the launching of the pax americana".The Latin term derives from Pax Romana of the Roman Empire. The term is most notably associated with Pax Britannica (1815–1914) under the British Empire, which served as the global hegemon and constabulary from the late 18th century until the early 20th century.

Presidency of Ronald Reagan

The presidency of Ronald Reagan began on January 20, 1981, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States, and ended on January 20, 1989. Reagan, a Republican, took office following a landslide victory over Democratic incumbent President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election. Reagan was succeeded by his Vice President, George H. W. Bush, who won the 1988 presidential election with Reagan's support. Reagan's 1980 election resulted from a dramatic conservative shift to the right in American politics, including a loss of confidence in liberal, New Deal, and Great Society programs and priorities that had dominated the national agenda since the 1930s.

Domestically, the Reagan administration enacted a major tax cut, sought to cut non-military spending, and eliminated federal regulations. The administration's economic policies, known as "Reaganomics", were inspired by supply-side economics. The combination of tax cuts and an increase in defense spending led to budget deficits, and the federal debt increased significantly during Reagan's tenure. Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (which simplified the tax code by reducing rates and removing several tax breaks) and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (which enacted sweeping changes to U.S. immigration law and granted amnesty to three million illegal immigrants). Reagan also appointed more federal judges than any other president, including four Supreme Court Justices.

Reagan's foreign policy stance was resolutely anti-communist; its plan of action, known as the Reagan Doctrine, sought to roll back the global influence of the Soviet Union in an attempt to end the Cold War. Under this doctrine, the Reagan administration initiated a massive buildup of the United States military; promoted new technologies such as missile defense systems; and, in 1983, undertook an invasion of Grenada, the first major overseas action by U.S. troops since the end of the Vietnam War. The administration also created controversy by granting aid to paramilitary forces seeking to overthrow leftist governments, particularly in war-torn Central America and Afghanistan. Specifically, the Reagan administration engaged in covert arms sales to Iran to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua that were fighting to overthrow their nation's socialist government; the resulting scandal led to the conviction or resignation of several administration officials. During Reagan's second term, he sought closer relations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and the two leaders signed a major arms control agreement known as the INF Treaty.

Leaving office in 1989, Reagan held an approval rating of 68%. This rating matches the approval ratings of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Bill Clinton as the highest rating for a departing president in the modern era. Historians and political scientists generally rank Reagan as an above-average president. Due to Reagan's impact on public discourse and advocacy of American conservatism, some historians have described the period during and after his presidency as the Reagan Era.

Pushkin House Russian Book Prize

The Pushkin House Russian Book Prize is an annual book prize, awarded to the best non-fiction writing on Russia in the English language. The prize was inaugurated in 2013. The prize amount as of 2018 was GBP 5000. The advisory board for the prize is made up of Russia experts including Rodric Braithwaite, Andrew Jack, Bridget Kendall, Andrew Nurnberg, Marc Polonsky, and Douglas Smith.

Robert Service (historian)

Robert John Service (born 29 October 1947) is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of the Soviet Union, particularly the era from the October Revolution to Stalin's death. He was until 2013 a professor of Russian history at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and a senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He is best known for his biographies of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky.

Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) were two rounds of bilateral conferences and corresponding international treaties involving the United States and the Soviet Union, the Cold War superpowers, on the issue of arms control. The two rounds of talks and agreements were SALT I and SALT II.

Negotiations commenced in Helsinki, Finland, in November 1969. SALT I led to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and an interim agreement between the two countries. Although SALT II resulted in an agreement in 1979, the United States Senate chose not to ratify the treaty in response to the Soviet war in Afghanistan, which took place later that year. The Soviet legislature also did not ratify it. The agreement expired on December 31, 1985 and was not renewed.

The talks led to the STARTs, or Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties, which consisted of START I (a 1991 completed agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union) and START II (a 1993 agreement between the United States and Russia, which was never ratified by the United States), both of which proposed limits on multiple-warhead capacities and other restrictions on each side's number of nuclear weapons. A successor to START I, New START, was proposed and was eventually ratified in February 2011.

Timeline of events in the Cold War

This is a timeline of the main events of the Cold War, a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union, its allies in the Warsaw Pact and later the People's Republic of China).

by location
Later events
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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