Understanding the Cold War, it is central to understand the history of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Between 1945 and 1991, there were lots of casualties in more than 100 wars that took place in the 3rd World in that period. Moreover, most of the crisis that threatened to escalate into a nuclear war occurred in the 3rd World. Far reaching and long lasting, the Cold War gave rise to a multitude of often conflicting interpretations, regarding responsibilities for its outbreak, its persistence and its final demise. Almost all of these interpretations were shaped by the on-going Cold War and many were profoundly political; the positions they argued were part of contemporary political as well as scholarly debates. The end of the Cold War and the limited opening archives in the former Soviet Union and its allies had not ended these debates. However, it is now possible to ask new questions about responsibilities in controversies about the persistence of the Cold War. David Painter focuses on the interactions on international systemic factors and national policies and politics, taking into account all events all over the world.
[...] The context of the crisis not only demonstrates how intermingled US domestic and Cold War issues had become. It also explained much about how events unfolded. John F. Kennedy had come to power with a flamboyant commitment to get America moving again, to retake initiative in the Cold War, and pay any price and bear any burden for the sake of liberty. The world proved to be more intractable than his optimistic rhetoric suggested. John F. Kennedy was aware that he was the 1st democrat president since Truman, and also that Truman had left office under much criticism for his weakness on communism, about failing to put an end to the Korean war, and losing China to communism. [...]
[...] In the event of the quarantine not working and the situation deteriorating, Cordier should stand by approaching secretary general Utant to ask him an independent third party to propose a trade for the Turkish to the Cuban missiles. This path or military action? In October 1968, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange of the US guarantee on Cuban sovereignty. Many people came to see it as a model for successful crisis management. But not everything was under control as people might have wished. [...]
[...] This was made of key personal from NSC's Soviet specialists, foreign policy establishment, and The EXCOM's initial enthusiasm for an air strike soon receded when it became clear that it would involve Soviet casualties, that the military could not guarantee a success and that a follow-up invasion would probably be needed. The EXCOM produced 6 options: do nothing / apply diplomatic pressure / ease Castro away from the Soviets / impose a naval blockade / organize an air strike / invade. [...]
[...] From a different point of view, the Cold War distorted the process by which colonies gained their independence, and made decolonisation even more difficult and violent. Instability and conflict in the 3rd World fed the soviet-American rivalry, and the desire of many independence movement to liberate their country from foreign rules, to free their economies from foreign controls, to overthrow repressive internal power structures kept in place by outside forces, and to challenged the west cultural hegemony at times aligned some movements against the USA and its allies and with the Soviet Union. [...]
[...] The allies of the USA thought that it was much exaggerated while the Cold War was still being waged. Why after its end the USA should continue with such hostility? It is even difficult to understand to them. The USA had not only wanted to sustain its dominance in the Western hemisphere by cleaning of communism, and following the pattern of interventionism established by the successful coup in Guatemala. During the early Carter administration, promoting Human Rights was an important feature. [...]
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