The consequences of the Cold War for USA. Student: Ioana Antone Professor Coordinator: Arkadiusz Kotliński.
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Professor Coordinator: ArkadiuszKotliński
The US occupies a unique position in world affairs. Never in history has a country dominated the international scene to the extent that the US does today. No matter what the indicator – military power, economic strength, political inﬂuence, technological prowess, cultural model – the US is in a league of its own. It is the only nation on earth able to project power in every part of the world, and since 1990 it has been involved in resolving conﬂicts on every continent.
The Cold War dominated the second half of the 20th century, resulting in the collapse of communism. The Cold War was a period of tension and hostility between the United States of America and the Soviet Union from the mid-40s to the late 80s. It began with the end of the Second World War.
However, it was in the 1950s that the Cold War started having a major impact not just on the United States but also on the rest of the world. A lot of money was spent by the American government to preserve the security of the nation. The Point Four program developed by America was allotted nearly $400 million for technological development of the United States.
Also, the United States formed the NATO or the North AtlanticTreaty Organization which brought together all the nations of the Atlantic region to cooperate with each other.
In addition, the United States started a space war with the Soviet Union and started investing a lot of money into space shuttles and space programs by injecting billions of dollars into NASA.
All these brought several benefits on the long run but money was being spent unwisely in developing advanced weapons which were meant for destruction and these weapons were being kept as back up for an opportune moment to arrive. In the end that moment never came.
Many specific nuclear legacies can be identified from the Cold War. Some are being, such as the ensuing era of comparative peace and prosperity, the availability of new technologies for nuclear power and energy, and the use of radiation for improving medical treatment and health. Environmental remediation, industrial production, research science, and technology development have all benefited from the carefully managed application of radiation and other nuclear processes.
Today, the United States is trying its best to prevent the use of nuclear weapons and even controlling the production of such weapons both nationally and internationally. On the whole, people started paying more for essential commodities like oil and petrol, other household items, and also started paying more taxes to fund the Cold War.
The Cold War defined the political role of the United States in the post–World War II world: by 1989 the United States held military alliances with 50 countries, and had 1.5 million troops posted abroad in 117 countries. The Cold War also institutionalized a global commitment to huge, permanent peacetime military-industrial complexes and large-scale military funding of science.
Military expenditures by the US during the Cold War years were estimated to have been $8 trillion, while nearly 100,000 Americans lost their lives in the Korean War and Vietnam War. Although the loss of life among Soviet soldiers is difficult to estimate, as a share of their gross national product the financial cost for the Soviet Union was far higher than that of the United States.
The US moved from being a British colony to being a major international actor in less than a century. After a further ﬁfty years in which the US played a decisive role in securing allied victories in two world wars, the new republic was the number one power in the world.
Unlike post-1918, when it turned its back on the world, the US became actively engaged in world politics after 1945. It became the principal opponent of communism,engagedin a continuing ideological battle with the Soviet Union (and communist China), and built up a massive national security apparatus to deal with the threat.
The United States continued to exercise leadership in the Middle East, an area of vital concern because of its vast oil resources and American dependence on foreign oil.
United States continued to monitor and control the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan and a growing terrorist threat. Attacks on the World Trade Center, the USS Cole, and United States’ embassies in Africa signaled the rise of global terrorism.
The Cold War effected most aspects of Americans’ lives and it influenced every foreign policy decision made by the United States. As Americans adjusted to life after the war, they adjusted to a very uncertain future.