The Second Cold War Has Started
This article was originally published in July of 2014!
I am fearful, that with the current attitudes of the leadership in Russia, and the events ongoing in Ukraine, and the events which have taken place over the last couple of years, a new state of political and military tension has existed between the West and Russia for several years. What really scares me, I am not sure our Government realizes it! Mys friends, the Second Cold War has started!
From information and news Items I have read, Mr. Putin mislead both Presidents Bush and Obama as to what his real agenda was. Our government may not realized this, but I can tell you I firmly believe Mr. Putin does! And I believe it is an intentional calculated direction taken by Russia to resurrect the old Soviet Union with all its infamous glory into a new Czarist Russia with Putin as Czar! And I believe that he believes that his energy trump card is going to split Europe and NATO!
My self and millions of baby-boomer grew up in the first Cold as children. Many of us did not realize the real danger that we actually lived in then! I can remember the excitement of Sputnik and the shear panic I saw in the eyes of the adults. At night my friends and I would lay on the grass in our front yards and watch the night sky as sputnik flew over. Little did we realize what this actually meant or what the serious implications were as far as nuclear ballistic missiles and bombers. It was a dam scary time all the way the to 80's, to the Soviet Union Collapse in 89.
I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, my mother filling the bath tub full of water, stock piling as much food as she could, just in case. I remember the tension in the neighbor, I remember every one glued to the televisions. I remember the regular Civil Defense Alerts in school and the film “Duck and Cover!” That was pretty scary stuff for a ten year old!
After the First Cold War ended in 1991, we actually learned the Russians did not possess anything near what we thought in the early stages, the 50's. It came to light afterwards, that during the first few years of the cold war, they were actually bluffing! But they bluffed good! As for as the weapons they have now or don't have or what their actually capabilities are, I have no idea. But, I am confident that someone in our government does!
Myself and many other Americans and our European friends are of the same opinion, that If cools heads and minds don't prevail, on both side, things could easily get out of hand quickly and we shutter at that thought!
The First Cold War 1946-1991
The Cold War was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others such as Japan ) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in Warsaw Pact). China was originally close to the USSR but became distanced over the question of fidelity to Marxism.
Historians have not fully agreed on the dates, but 1946-1991 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 that the two sides supported. 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 communism and capitalism, totalitarianism and liberal democracy. A self-proclaimed neutral bloc 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 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 victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War (1950–53), the conflict expanded. The USSR and USA competed for influence in Latin America and decolonizing states of Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Meanwhile the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was brutally crushed by the Soviets. The expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis (1956), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Following this last 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 and the Vietnam War (1955–1975) ended with a defeat of the US-backed Republic of South Vietnam, prompting further adjustments.
By the 1970s both sides had become interested in accommodations to create a more stable and predictable international system, inaugurating 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 Soviet war in Afghanistan beginning in 1979.
The early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (1983), and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises (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. In the mid-1980s, the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the liberalizing reforms of perestroika ("reorganization", 1987) and glasnost ("openness", ca. 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.