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Importance and Consequences of the Cold War

Importance and Consequences of the Cold War

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Importance and Consequences of the Cold War

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  1. Importance and Consequences of the Cold War • Wars: 1945-1990: 150 conflicts, 23 million dead • Superpower wars: • Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan • Proxy Wars / Civil Wars: • Angola, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Somalia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Mozambique, Ethiopia • Risk of nuclear war • Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 • Yom Kippur War 1973 (Egypt & Syria vs. Israel) • Reagan & “Second” Cold War, 1980s

  2. On the brink • US Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense, 1981: “The United States could recover from an all-out nuclear war with the Soviet Union in just two to four years... If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it. Dig a hole in the ground, cover with a couple of doors, and then cover the doors with three feet of dirt. It’s the dirt that does it.” • T. K. Jones

  3. Importance and Consequences of the Cold War • Risk of nuclear war • US war plans, 1982 committed US to fighting and winning a nuclear war lasting up to six months: “A war in which the U.S. could prevail and force the Soviet Union to seek earliest termination of hostilities on terms favorable to the United States.”

  4. How did humanity bring itself to the brink of self-inflicted catastrophe? • How has disaster been avoided - what explains the peaceful end of the Cold War?

  5. The Cold WarKey Early Events US dropping of atomic bombs, 1945 (?) US Marshall Plan Soviet occupations in Eastern Europe - Poland / Czech coup 1948

  6. Cold WarChurchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, 1946

  7. The Cold WarKey Early Events US dropping of atomic bombs, 1945 (?) US Marshall Plan Soviet occupations in Eastern Europe Truman & “Containment” policy (1947)

  8. Cold WarTruman and Containment

  9. The Cold WarKey Early Events US dropping of atomic bombs, 1945 (?) US Marshall Plan Soviet occupations in Eastern Europe Truman & “Containment” policy (1947) Czech coup 1948 Berlin Blockade, 1948-9

  10. The Cold WarKey Early Events US dropping of atomic bombs, 1945 (?) US Marshall Plan Soviet occupations in Eastern Europe Berlin Blockade, 1948-9 1st Soviet Atomic bomb test, 1949 NSC-68, 1950

  11. Cold WarNSC-68 & Korea, 1950

  12. The Cold WarKey Early Events US dropping of atomic bombs, 1945 (?) US Marshall Plan Soviet occupations in Eastern Europe - Poland / Czech coup 1948 Berlin Blockade, 1948-9 1st Soviet Atomic bomb test, 1949 NSC-68, 1950 Korean War, 1950 US develops Hydrogen bomb 1952, Soviets 1953

  13. Soviet 50 MT Nuclear Weapon, 1961

  14. Nuclear Fireball Size Outer Red line = Tsar Bomba test, 1961: 50 MT 4.6 km

  15. World nuclear tests

  16. Nuclear Scare: 1950s

  17. Nuclear Scare: 1950s

  18. Nuclear Scare: 1950s

  19. Importance of the Cold War

  20. The Cold WarKey Early Events US dropping of atomic bombs, 1945 (?) US Marshall Plan Soviet occupations in Eastern Europe - Poland / Czech coup 1948 Berlin Blockade, 1948-9 Korean War, 1950 NSC-68 US develops Hydrogen bomb 1952, Soviets 1953 Soviets Build Berlin Wall, 1961

  21. Cold WarKennedy’s “ich bin ein Berliner” speech, 1963

  22. Cold WarCuban Missile Crisis, 1962 • Consider: What does the Cuban missile crisis demonstrate: • Nuclear deterrence works (implication: go nuclear for own security) OR • Unacceptable risk of nuclear war (implication: disarmament)

  23. Cold WarCuban Missile Crisis, 1962

  24. Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962Overview • October 12, 1962 • Kennedy shown U-2 photos of Soviet missiles in Cuba • October 22, 1962 • Kennedy speaks to the nation

  25. Cold WarCuban Missile Crisis,1962

  26. Cuban Missile CrisisOverview • October 12, 1962 • Kennedy shown U-2 photos of Soviet missiles in Cuba • October 22, 1962 • Kennedy speaks to the nation, announces blockade • October 28, 1962 • Khrushchev announces missiles will be removed • Kennedy believed chance of nuclear war between 1 in 3 and even, McNamara 50-50

  27. Cuban Missile CrisisLessons • Conventional Lesson: Nuclear superiority and compellence prevailed (realism) • Soviets “blinked” • Implications: • Nuclear Superiority matters • Nuclear Arms Race

  28. Cuban Missile CrisisLessons • Conventional Lesson: • Nuclear superiority and compellence prevailed (realism) • New Lessons: • Risk of nuclear war was higher than realized • Misperceptions: N readiness & local launch authority in Cuba • Bureaucracy: Accidents / Loss of Control • Compromise / cooperation / reassurance helped resolve crisis, rather than compellence (liberalism) – US missiles in Turkey • US nuclear superiority didn’t matter • Conclusions: • Minimum or “existential” deterrence worked, only a few N needed for mutual deterrence, arms race unnecessary • nuclear weapons also cause of crisis in first place: made each side more insecure & raised risks • If too terrible to use even one, why have them? Paradox of deterrence • So, are they worth the risk?

  29. Cuban Missile Crisis: Aftermath & Consequences • Soviet N superiority • Crisis Management: “Hot-Line” • Era of “Détente” & Arms Control: • Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963) • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968) • SALT Treaties (1970s) / BTWC (1975)

  30. Final Exam • Thursday December 10, 12:00 • Wesbrook Building100

  31. Reagan & the “Second” Cold War • US President Reagan: • 1981 calls USSR “evil empire” and announces plans to “leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history” • 1983 “Star Wars” speech: SDI • 1984 (sound check for radio address): “My fellow Americans. I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

  32. Gorbachev and Reagan sign INF Treaty 1987

  33. Gorbachev and Bush sign START Treaty 1991

  34. End of the Berlin Wall & Cold War: Hammers, not Tanks / Missiles

  35. End of the Cold War • Learning objectives: • How did it end without major conflict? • What lessons do we draw from this major change in the international system? • Was it due to US military spending ‘bleeding the Soviets dry”? • At stake: implications for policy if above is correct

  36. End of the Cold WarExplanations • System Level: • Balance of Power (Realist): Imperial Over-Stretch • Problems: What does this leave unexplained? • 1) Why was it the USSR and not US that became overextended? • 2) No great power war to change system = anomaly for balance of power theory • “There is nothing in the character or tradition of the Russian state to suggest it could ever accept imperial decline gracefully. None of the over-extended empires… ever retreated to their own ethnic base until they had been defeated in a Great Power war….” Paul Kennedy, 1987 • Timing: why 1989?

  37. Did “Peace Through Strength” Work? • Reagan’s “Peace Through Strength” (Realist): Spend Soviets into the ground with SDI and massive military budget • Problems: • Reagan’s policy change: agreed to arms control agreements • Made it almost impossible for Soviet reformers, legitimized hard-liners: Arbatov • End of Cold War came about despite US policies • cf. Iranian reformers & W. Bush’s “axis of evil” • Soviet reasons for policy changes: • Dobrynin: “It was not the strain of matching Reagan’s “huge arms build-up that led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire. … The troubles in our economy were the result of our own internal contradictions.” (Marxist/Critical)

  38. End of the Cold WarExplanations Domestic Level: • Soviet Union • Economic decay • Dissent and challenges to ideological legitimacy • Eastern Europe • Civil Society: “People Power” mobilizing dissident groups (“bottom-up” explanations) • Berlin Wall • Lech Walesa & Solidarity, Poland • Vaclav Havel & Civic Forum, Czechoslovakia

  39. Civil Society – “People Power” and the Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovakia, 1989

  40. End of the Cold WarExplanations • Domestic Level: Soviet / European domestic factors • “People Power”: Civil Society in Eastern Europe, mobilizing dissident groups • Puzzle: Why weren’t these efforts crushed with force?

  41. Vaclav Havel and Czechoslovakia, 1989

  42. End of the Cold WarExplanations • Individual level: Gorbachev • Domestic Reform: “Glasnost” & “Perestroika” • Foreign policy • Strategy: • “Common security” • “Reasonable Sufficiency” • “Sinatra doctrine”

  43. Gorbachev Initiatives • Foreign policy • 1987: INF Agreement / Test Ban Moratorium • Unilateral reduction of 500,000 troops • Announce withdrawal from Afghanistan Feb. ‘88, complete by Jan. ‘89 • May ‘89 Sino-Soviet summit • 1990-91 Gulf War: UN Security Council authorization • May ‘91 established relations with Israel • May ‘91 Cubans out of Angola

  44. Gorbachev effects • Europe • June ‘89 elections in Poland (1990 Walesa President) • Feb. ‘89 independent parties in Hungary; May ‘89 border barricades w/Austria removed; EGermans flee to WGer via Hungary Sept. ‘89; elections Mar/Apr. ‘90 • Oct. 6 ‘89 Gorbachev visits East Germany: “Policies which affect the GDR are decided not in Moscow but in Berlin.” • Nov. 9, ‘89 Berlin Wall falls • Gorbachev accepts principle of reunification Jan. ‘90; elections Mar. ‘90; Oct. 3, ‘90 German unification; Warsaw Pact dead by Mar. ‘91 • Havel elected President of Czechoslovakia Dec. ‘89 • Communist leader Ceausescu overthrown by force in Romania, Dec. ‘89; elections May ‘90 won by Illiescu’s National Salvation Front • Internal Soviet empire • 1989-91 fifteen Soviet republics declare sovereignty, then independence • June ‘91 Yeltsin elected President of Russia • Aug. ‘91 attempted coup; Dec. ‘91 Gorbachev resigns (Nobel Peace Prize 1990)

  45. Power of Civil Society: Failed Russian Coup 1991

  46. Power of Civil Society: Failed Russian Coup 1991

  47. Lessons & Implications of the End of the Cold War: • Can major economic reform (towards capitalism) take place without accompanying political reform towards greater democracy? • China • Civil Society & People Power: Global spread of democratic ideas • 1989-90 EEurope / Soviet Union