Political

The Effects of the Cold War on the Middle East

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The condition for the communism’ triumph was to bring the whole world under communist rule, whereas the West’s target was to thwart the threat of communism. Eventually with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, the West had been able to destroy the main drive of expansionist communism. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the remnants of communism were no more threat to the capitalist world. Thus the US-led west proved itself to be the true claimant of communism. Yet the United States’ success to eliminate the threat of communism through the dissolution of the Soviet Union perpetuates the debate on whether the United States as a superpower can, decidedly, declare its authority unchallenged. From a different perspective the Cold War can be viewed as the superpowers’ conflicts of interests. In plain eye, on the Soviet Union’s part, the war was a fight of idealism and on the United States’ part, it was a moral defense against expansionist communism. But beneath both these moralist and idealist apparels lies the superpowers’ contest for a superior position in international politics. Through the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1989, the threat from the communist front simply changed its platform from the communist block to the Islamic block and the Cold War turns into “War on Terror”. Indeed the threat from the extremist Islamists was one of the direct derivatives of the Cold War. Since even after the Cold War, the United States had to face additional Islamic threat, once watered by the Reagan Administration, one can deem that the US did not really win the War. rather the communist just lost it. A Brief Overview of the Cold War The Cold War can be defined as the conflicts of interests between the two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, in the post Second World War period. It existed from 1947 to 1991. After the Second World War, the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not need the Soviet support any more to win over Japan after testing the atomic bomb, ensuing the 50 years long Cold War. Thus, the Yalta Conference in the Crimea, Soviet Union, in February 1945 between the “Big Three” allies of the Second World War was one such event that structured the start of the Cold War (“The Cold War” 1). Though during the Cold War, ideological, political, economic and military tensions existed at an extreme level, the superpowers did not become involved in any direct war. Rather their military involvements were confined to proxy wars in various geographical regions of interests. Nuclear arm race between the two main parties of the war, the USA and the Soviet Union, began as a response to the superpowers’ desire to overpower each other. During the period, the world experienced a worldwide regrouping of the countries into the US block and the Soviet block. This regrouping in the Soviet block was mainly based on the Marxist political ideology of Communism, whereas capitalism and democratic interests dominated the countries in the US block. This regroupings in both of the blocks often turned into expansionism and counter-expansionism. (Schweizer, 1994, pp. 69-74) Reagan’s Policy to Win the Cold War Reagan’s policy towards the Soviet Union can significantly be marked as a dual approach in the sense that on one hand Reagan’s administration chose to provide both overt and covert support to anti-communist communities and guerrilla movements in order to “roll back” “Soviet-backed communist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America” (D’Souza, 2003) and on the other hand, it put effort on growing an intimate, but cautious, relationship

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