Chapter 28, Section 3: Regional Conflicts Main Idea: Superpower rivalries heightened conflicts in many parts of the world during the Cold War.
A. The Cold War in Africa and Asia • Many European colonies in Africa & Asia gained their independence after WWII • Cold War battlegrounds – Asia & Africa became “battlegrounds” between communist & noncommunist forces (Soviet expansion v. American containment) • Philippines – given independence by US after WWII; Ferdinand Marcos (president from ’65-’86) • Africa – over 30 “new” nations; US & USSR get involved in civil wars to get new allies • India – gains independence from Britain after WWII; divided into India & Pakistan • Southeast Asia – Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam* all win freedom from France; conflicts cause US to intervene
The Cold War: 1945-1960 The Cold War: 1960-1991
B. Crisis Over Cuba • Fidel Castro led a communist revolution in Cuba in 1959, forcing thousands of Cuban exiles (mostly wealthy) to flee to US (Cuba only 90 miles from FL) • Bay of Pigs Invasion– CIA plan to overthrow Castro by training about 1200 exiles to invade Cuba & lead another revolution. It was poorly planned & became a miserable failure (it increased Castro’s popularity in Cuba & embarrassed US) • Cuban Missile Crisis – Oct. ’62; Kennedy ordered USSR to remove missiles from Cuba & threatened to turn back any Soviet ship w/ missiles on board. Luckily, the ships turned back at last minute (“We’re eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked.”) This marked the closest point of actual war during the Cold War; a lot of tension & uncertainty.
Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) We went eyeball-to-eyeball with the Russians, and the other man blinked!
C. Intervening in Latin America • Many poor people in Latin American countries saw communism as a solution to the wide gap between the few rich and the many poor. The US used aid ($) to prevent communist revolutions: • Alliance for Progress – Kennedy built schools, hospitals, etc. to improve life in Latin American countries (helped, but didn’t end causes of poverty) • Peace Corps – American volunteers worked in developing countries as teachers, engineers and advisers, living with local people for 2 years • Organization of American States (OAS) – US invested in transportation & industry, gave military aid to Latin American armies. Usually, we ended up supporting brutal dictators, just because they were against communism. Between 1950 & 1990, the US intervened in Latin American affairs many times in order to prevent communism from spreading there: Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Panama, Grenada, El Salvador, Nicaragua (led to Iran-Contra Affair)
Intervening in Latin America • Many poor Latin Americans viewed communism as a solution to their problems. • Therefore, the U.S. created several programs aimed at helping Latin America, and other third world nations.
D. The Arms Race/Space Race • During the Cold War, the US & USSR competed in an arms race – each side built up missiles & atomic weapons. • By 1953, both countries developed hydrogen bombs (USSR shortly after us) – 1st time both countries could destroy each other • In 1954, US announces “Massive Retaliation” policy – we would respond to any Soviet nuclear attack with an all-out attack on them (hoped to prevent it) • In 1957, Russians launched Sputnik, the 1st man-made object in space. Americans were stunned – more science in schools • This increased weapons spending on both sides & started the “space race”- US starts NASA to compete with Soviets • Many families built bomb “fallout shelters” to protect them from the radiation of an atomic blast. Schools practiced air-raid drills. “Duck & Cover” video. • Both side spent billions on weapons, but neither side actually wanted to use them (could mean end of the world)
“Radiation from that blast would later bring early death to many of us on the island at that time. Some of us are still dying of radiation from Bravo.” - Bob Markey, Sr., naval officer, stationed on the island of Kwajalein, 150 miles from Bikini Atoll. Castle Bravo H-Bomb shot at Bikini Attoll. Largest H-Bomb ever exploded
Nuclear warhead stockpiles of the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia, 1945-2006. 45,000 warheads, 1986 32,040 warheads, 1966 USSR surpassed the USA in warheads (1978) * • In addition, the Soviet Union and the U.S. competed with each other in weapon development. • Both sides developed enough weapons to easily destroy the other.