Essay Example on Cold War: Testing American Power & Ideology in Global System

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1234 Words
Date:  2023-08-28

The most crucial moment in the US foreign policy is on the Cold War. It is vital in the sense that it tested American power and acted as a trial of ideas. It was majorly a war of ideas as well as a contest between forced collectivism ad liberalism. It paved the way for the global system at large. It erupted as a result of some interesting issues that could have been handled efficiently. One of the reasons was the conflict of interests. The United States was in the quest for attaining the top rank in the international hierarchy and so as the Soviet Union (Brands, 16). Dozens at that time lost their precious lives while at the same time property got maimed and destructed completely. The two superpowers got inflicted with fear hence had to strive against the other side's potential global leadership.

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The US had to invest more in the weaponry while making new recruitments to combat the problem. The leadership arena is one of the sensitive domains that have resulted in the emanation of wars between nations. The losses that have occurred may not be accounted for fully, wherever the war outrages, the economic system in a country is tainted and generally becomes weak. The Soviet affiliates had to endure the impact due to the conflict of interests.

Secondly, the cold war was instigated by the ideological incompatibilities. It was majorly an extension of the US, and the Soviet Union reciprocated disdain for the political system and the general way of life. The US ideologies were far much different from Russia's and could not work in the long-range. The Cold War was also a war in social systems rather than only between the two states. Misperceptions were also the cause of Cold War since it tends to be rooted in the psychological factors and each other's motives. There was a misinterpretation of the Marshal Plan in Russia of being geared to deprive the Soviet Union. Usually, the information that is well interpreted erases and demolishes any room for biasness. Meager misinterpretation could result in the circulation of totally misleading information, thus resulting in the escalation of wars. On the western side, it was misinterpreted that the marshal plan was a probable defensive strategy.

The Cold War is themed from the time it began to the time it levels off. One of the fundamental issues is that ideas matter a lot. The philosophical ideas encompassing a given regime is of more sentimental value since it seemingly acts as a spotlight that directs various governments. The United States government is laid down by justice, equality, and freedom principles. As a result of that, they have been able to sustain it in the eras of wars, among other essential revolutions. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was formed based on the totalitarian principles. A single political party helped it to survive and beat all odds though it toppled at the end. The philosophical ideas compactly keep the team focused and prevent any disintegration and awry. The US principles were totally different from those of Soviets, and hence it may have given the US an extra added advantage.

The second theme is that allies and friends matter. The US echoed upon various grand alliances geared at defeating the Soviet Union through special instruments such as NATO and the Marshall Plan. It also had a strong relationship with Great Britain, thus enabling it with an assured triumph over the Soviet rule. Contrastingly, the Soviet Union was unable to coordinate appropriately; it acted as an added advantage to the US. Allies such as Great Britain simplified the task for the US that could instead be difficult to perform solely. International relations is far much promising, and thereby there is an essence of collaboratively working as a single unit.

Furthermore, the Cold War enlightens that leadership matters a lot. The leadership in place was a significant determinant as it started with Josef Stalin and Harry Truman as it ended flawlessly with Reagan's and Gorbachev's governments. The US was successful after being led by focused statesmen represented by Reagan and Truman after they crafted actions that were suitable during the Cold War scenario. Weak leadership may not be in a position to tackle such a huge issue; it requires a well set tactical plan that is effective. Lastly, the Cold War enlightens that statecraft matters. Successful US foreign policy primarily depends on the knowhow of force application and the diplomacy utilizations. Peaceful talks, at some point, act as a way of easing the tension rather than the ultimate use of defensive forces, which may, in turn, result in havoc.

Cold War heralds a significant shift in American foreign policy vastly in many ways. The US recorded a remarkable achievement after it pooled its efforts with the allies, thus neutralizing the Soviet Union. The battle was one of the toughest and bloodiest ever, but with the Joint operations, it was attained flawlessly. The United States witnessed economic prosperity and a cascading improvement in the general living standards of its citizens (Wallerstein, 93). The US achieved enormous power in the international arena and be at the top of the hierarchy. The disparity in the economic strength as it was utilized by the US foreign policy reciprocated the nation to have an added advantage. The US was in a position of negotiating from a strength angle of inclination to forcing the desperate Soviet Union to embrace the US demands. The Soviet workers were not working due to the rummaging battle and hence resulted in a significant decline in the general economic system. Initially, a decline in economic growth was witnessed, followed by a complete stagnation. There was also an insurmountable agricultural crisis that deepens simultaneously. The idea of the reduction of arms was achieved due to the strong US economy. The Soviet Union and its allies due to the meager economical capability facilitated in the attainment of immediate resolution.


The Cold War ended systematically based on the momentous decision that was made between the Soviet Union and the United States. President Reagan's administration was bold enough in all dimensions to defeat the coercive Soviet Union. Due to the economic downfall and flatter in the Soviet Union holistically, there was nothing but to relent the fight. It couldn't make sense for them to fight with an energetic enemy whose economy is tremendously doing well. Additionally, the Soviet Union find it challenging to compete with the "Star Wars" missile defense shield after the president proposed on a shift to mastery of new technologies. Despite the US triumph took place, it happened at a considerable cost. Political costs were also an impact of the Cold War. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Western Europe was relived from the dictatorial rule of Joseph Stalin, who ruled with fire and sword (Mead, 20). The aftermath of the cold war merely resulted in more promising rules, and people led to their healthy democratic lives. Some enjoyed the fallout of the Soviet Union despite the destruction that resulted, while others who supported it got distracted.

Works Cited

Brands, Hal. Making the unipolar moment: US Foreign policy and the rise of the post-Cold War order. Cornell University Press, 2016.

Mead, Walter Russell. Special Providence: American foreign policy and how it changed the world. Routledge, 2013.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. "The world-system after the Cold War." Journal of Peace Research 30.1 (1993): 1-6.

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