Hist Essay

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The Cold War was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States with NATO and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in Warsaw Pact). Historians have not fully agreed on the dates, but 1947–1991 is common. It was "cold" because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, although there were major regional wars in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan. The Cold War split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences over capitalism and democracy. A deliberately neutral grouping arose with the Non-Aligned Movement founded by Egypt, India, and Yugoslavia; this faction rejected association with either the US-led West or the Soviet-led East. The two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat but they each armed heavily in preparation of an all-out nuclear World War III. Each side had a nuclear deterrent that deterred an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to total destruction of the attacker: the doctrine of mutually assured destruction or MAD. Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, and deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, propaganda and espionage, and technological competitions such as the Space Race. The first phase of the Cold War began in the aftermath of the end of the Second World War. 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

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