American Influence On The Cold War

1630 Words7 Pages
As World War II came to an end, so would an era. The deafening thunder of the nuclear age was ushered in as two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, the new weapon being one of most destructive and decisive armaments ever. This new age of cold war was defined by the new nuclear bomb. From peace to conflict, the bomb was ever present in the minds of foreign policy makers all over the world. While created as a weapon of war, the nuclear bomb became the main reason peace was seen at all during the Cold War. The creation and mass production of nuclear warheads and missiles was why the Cold War never heated up into a full scale conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. This peace would continue on beyond détente, and despite escalation…show more content…
The Korean War, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and other small isolated incidents are marked throughout the 45 years of the Cold War. These small engagements were fought for numerous reasons. Though out of them, the biggest and most notable were Korea and Vietnam. Unable to fight directly, the United States and Soviet Union directed their attention too areas where they could expand (or prevent) their influence. Korea and Vietnam were both fought over the spread of communism. Unable to truly engage the Soviet Union, the United States was forced to halt their influence where they could, becoming the champion of democracy. While not the main or only reason, nuclear weapons played a pivotal role in the creation and spread of these proxy wars. In a world without nuclear weapons, it could be argued that a direct war between the United States and the Soviet Union would have occurred. The two powers could openly engage each other after all. The United States would not have to contain communism (though it is very well that in a theoretical universe the United States would still seek to follow the policy of containment) and instead could engage the source of the communist spread, the Soviet…show more content…
Mentioned before though, the United States and Soviet Union both were forced to move from direct confrontation to smaller proxy wars in order to battle each other. The small battles fought through the early and mid-Cold War end up being a strong component of what defines the era, and ended up shaping the world that emerged after the fall of the USSR. Focusing attention on the southern pacific and Asia primarily, numerous Cold War impacts can still be seen. Kaufman cites the idea of the domino theory in regards to the actions in this theatre “this belief, that if one country were to fall to communism others would follow…it was the basis for the domino theory that contributed directly to the U.S. decision to get involved in Vietnam.” She analyzes the impact this view had on the United States involvement in Vietnam and the increased support in Korea. Examination of these theatres in present day will show how strong the impact of sub-strategic conflict was. Beginning with Korea, we immediately notice that Korea is still split in two, the north communist and the south democratic. A result of the United States and Soviet Union fighting out a proxy war in the 50s. Vietnam (and Laos) are both still communist as well. The Vietnam War holding a strong history with America and still influences policy with foreign intervention to this day. Long lasting impacts from sub-strategic conflicts were not confined to only the

More about American Influence On The Cold War

Open Document