Meanwhile, the only one that knew the codes to recall the plane was the crazy general named Ripper. The Cold War is a term given to the intense relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. This intensity was during the period after the Second World War. The clash between these two countries was due to several reasons. First of all, both of these countries were trying to end each other use of nuclear weapons.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was the height of the Cold War since there was so much tension between the two superpowers, and both sides had deadly nuclear weapons which could have led to war. During this time, war seemed inevitable to the citizens such as Dino Brugioni. Brugioni “made arrangements for his young family to get out of Washington in the event of war” and stated "’I had seen atomic blasts and I knew the destruction they had left, and I felt sure that Washington would be a target’" (Fidgen 2012). Brugioni is one of many US citizens who believed that nuclear war would be inevitable after the discovery of the Soviet missiles in Cuba, which shows the widespread fear of nuclear war during this time. The nuclear weapons were “an explicit threat to the peace and security of all the Americans” and war was only avoided because of the agreement that Khrushchev and Kennedy had come upon (Cantelon).
In conclusion, the Cold War created a great tension between the US and Soviet Union in forming competing ideologies of capitalism and communism. These opposite ideals were the driving force behind many major decisions by the US in its foreign policy in terms of containing the spread of communism. The US engaged in proxy wars where it supported allies which held similar beliefs. In the Vietnam conflict, the US not only supported an ally but even fought side by side to stop the adoption of communism in that country. Although looking back, the US may question its involvement in the Vietnam war, at that time, based on its position taken in the Cold War conflict this high cost seemed well worth it.
The Cuban Missile Crisis perfectly exemplifies this tension. Cuba chose the side of Communist Russia, so it was an uncomfortable situation for everyone when Americans found out that they had stashed weapons off the coast of Florida. Both countries were poised on the edge of a knife for thirteen long days. This event was the closest the Cold War came to proper war. In situations like this it can become hard to gain perspective and clarity, and Dr. Strangelove offered both to an audience that badly needed
General Jack Ripper declares war with Russia and the communistic ideology by issuing an order to attack parts of Russia with nuclear weapons. His nationalistic fear of a foreign ideology, and their fluoridation of ice cream, smashes the idea that he is a collected individual that can deal with the pressure and the conditions of the Cold War. Confusion of priorities, Alexander Walker analyzes, tends to be at the forefront of General Ripper’s main goal. General Ripper’s job is the protection of the American people as well as the starting a nuclear war with Russia only when necessary. Through his action of beginning nuclear war with Russia, General Ripper shows a lack of awareness of his job as General as well as a lack of self awareness within himself and his conditions.
Firstly, Cuba and the Soviets already had a very bad relationship with the United States. Research shows that, “Another key factor in the Soviet missile scheme was the hostile relationship between the United States and Cuba.” (“Cuban Missile Crisis”) The quote makes the statement in the second sentence true. The United States did not agree on how the government in Cuba was run and tried to overthrow it before but did not win. Cuba and the Soviet Union wanted to team up on the United States to get revenge. Another reason was Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro was not very stable as the dictator and wanted more than he actually needed.
People lived in constant anxiety of America falling to Communist control. The fear of infiltration rose when Mao Zedong led Communists to take control of China as well as the Soviets detonating the atomic bomb. This caused the anxiety and fear to increase because even some American Scientists didn’t believe that the Soviets had the expertise to do so. American citizens began to believe that communist spies had been able to steal American technology. The detonation of the bomb started drills throughout America.
Why do Humans go to War? When war is mentioned in a serious conversation, the first word that comes to mind is usually fear. The idea of war causes uneasiness for citizens as well as the military and political leaders; however discomposure is actually one of the main reasons humans go to war. Fear of another country, of power, or to bring fear to the opposer. Terror drives humans to act in a variety of ways, for example, the holocaust.
This was because they had quickly realized that the Soviets had separated themselves from them to spread communism. However, this all changed when both sides had to build a defense system around themselves by creating alliances. It was a way of proving that they were strong and if they were ever messed with they could easily destroy the other. On the United States side were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also known as NATO. This treaty was created on April 4, 1949 and declared that if any of its members states were in danger, then all of the other member states must contribute to protecting that country.
This was because of the domino theory, where there was a fear of one part of Asia being taken over would result in all of Asia being taken over by communist rule. This occured in what is called the “Cold War”. It wasn’t a large fighting war, or hot war, but was more of a containment war. The rise of nuclear weapons resulted in M.A.D. or Mutually Assured Destruction which was an agreement that if one country shot a missile off, the other one did.