The Cold War: Causes & Consequences

  1. They believe that American economic policies such as Marshall Aid were deliberately designed to increase US political influence in Europe.
  2. However, they also believe that although Stalin had no long-term plans to spread communism, he was an opportunist who would take advantage of any weakness in the West to expand Soviet influence.
  1. As the nuclear arsenals built up, both sides became increasingly fearful of catastrophic nuclear war in which there could be no real winner. Both sides were sickened by the horrors of Vietnam.
  2. The USSR was finding the expense of keeping up with the Americans crippling. It was essential to reduce defence spending so that they could devote more resources to bringing living standards up to western levels,
  3. At the same time, the Russians were on bad terms with China and did not want to be left out when relations between China and the USA began to improve in 1971.
  4. The Americans were beginning to realize that there must be a better way of coping with communism than the one which was having so little success in Vietnam. There were limits to what their military power could achieve.
  5. The Chinese were anxious about their isolation, nervous about American intentions in Vietnam (after what had happened in Korea) and not happy about their worsening relations with the USSR.
  6. The nations of western Europe were worried because they would be on the front line if nuclear war broke out. Willy Brandt, who became Chancellor of West Germany in 1969, worked for better relations with eastern Europe, a policy known as Ostpolitik.

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Shahid Hussain Raja

Shahid Hussain Raja

Retired Federal Secretary, Government of Pakistan/Author/Independent Consultant- Public Policy & Governance Reforms