Cooperation In The Cold War

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This paper attempts to study the Cold War in the context of conflict and cooperation using the theory of political realism and games theory.
The first part of the paper distinguishes between conflict and cooperation in international relations in a realist standpoint. The paper then goes to explain why cooperation between states is theoretically improbable in a bi-polar international system. However, when the Cold War is examined, we come across many instances of cooperation; and not only conflictual situations. This paper therefore elaborates a list of incidents that occurred between the USA and USSR during the Cold War to understand the nature of conflict and cooperation.
Finally, as an addendum, this paper expounds why
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For instance, the USA did not voice much opposition to the Soviet intervention into Hungary as USSR kept silent about the British and French involvement in the Suez Crisis against Gamal Abdel Nasser. Similarly, the United States largly ignored the Czechoslovakian situation as both USSR and USA wanted to pursue an arms control treaty with the Soviets, which culminated with the signing of the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation…show more content…
USSR Don’t attack Attack
USA Don’t attack 0 , 0 - 10 , +10 Attack + 10 , - 10 - 5, - 5

The unique equilibrium of this game is (attack, attack) which is a “bad” equilibrium for both countries. If the USSR attacks today, USA will retaliate tomorrow, which will ultimately lead to a full-blown nuclear confrontation. Conversely, if neither party attacks, both are safe. If any one party attacks, both are doomed the next day.

As theorised by Political Realism, all international relations is a struggle for power. States are therefore in a constant struggle to attain national security. A state’s pursuit of achieving national security results in conflict between states. However, one must understand that the struggle for national security does not always denote conflictual situation, and it can also entail cooperative situations.
Conflict during the Cold War were expressed throughhard military means such as military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, and espionage, as well as soft means such as extensive aid to client states, massive propaganda campaigns, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race. The US and USSR became involved in political and military conflicts in the Third World countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Both the super powers invested heavily on their allies and satellite states in order to consolidate their political and economic
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