Talk:Cold War

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 Definition Geostrategic, economic and ideological struggle from about 1947 to 1991 between the Soviet Union and the United States and their allies. [d] [e]

Starting the Article / Framework

So, I have started the primary article for the Cold War, one of the most important unifying historical topics for the mid- to late-Twentieth Century. I am currently teaching this topic to a group of very able upper secondary school students, so it seem rather appropriate to adopt this as one of my "Live" articles for CZ. I have also made substantial contributions to the equivalent article in Wikipedia, with regard both to structure and detail.

In order to get started, I have supplied a basic framework for the historical overview, with links to the secondary articles that will inevitably become necessary. With respect to the latter, the equivalent article in Wikipedia seems to undergo seasons of gradual "bloating" of the main article with detail—my suggestion is that we should aim to avoid this in CZ, and keep the overview as an overview.... (!) I have placed the rationale for each phase of the Cold War below. My aim shall be to populate each phase with a concise historical overview, prior to expanding on these in the secondary articles. Please feel free to join in!

  • Origins of the Cold War - to deal with the immediate post-war superpower relations (1945-46) and relevant preceding events from the start of the 20th century
  • 1947-1953 - from the generally recognised start date of the Cold War to the change in leadership for both superpowers (Truman >> Eisenhower and Stalin >> Krushchev)
  • 1953-1962 - from the dual change in superpower leadership to the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • 1962-1969 - from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the start of Détente / arms talks, US moon landing
  • 1969-1979 - from start of Détente to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
  • 1979-1985 - the so-called Second Cold War, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanisation to the rise of Gorbachev
  • 1985-1991 - from the rise of Gorbachev to the collapse of the Soviet Union
  • Legacy of the Cold War - to deal with the aftermath, the "new world order", relics of the Cold War and current echoes

Paul James Cowie 01:30, 10 February 2007 (CST)

More Data for Cold War Page

Nuclear Threat: Some Quotes

As America’s atomic destruction of Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945) proved, the possibility of complete annihilation of an entire country was no fairy tale. (In 1949 America already had a stockpile of 200 A-bombs.[1])


President Harry S. Truman remarked before the U.S. Congress on September 6, 1945: “Our geographic security was forever gone—gone with the advent of the atomic bomb, the rocket, and modern airborne armies.”[2] Henry L. Stimson, previously Secretary of War under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman (only until late 1945), wrote in Harper’s Magazine in February 1947: “Now, with the release of atomic energy, man’s ability to destroy himself is very nearly complete.”[3]


Cold War: Terminology


“The term “Cold War” seems to have originated with Walter Lippmann [a political journalist], who used it first in a column and later in a book of that title, in 1947.” Copeland, Miles, The Real Spy World (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1974), p. 200.


Churchill’s Quote


British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke of the Soviet Union strictly in militaristic terms. Churchill described an “iron curtain” drawn down upon the Communist front, in a telegram to President Truman on May 12, 1945; Churchill warned that the west had no idea what secret plots might be hatching in Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s mind.[4] Ten months later Churchill repeated his warning in a public speech in Fulton, Missouri: “From Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” Of the Communists Churchill declared, “I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than military weakness.”[5]


Truman Quote


In March 1947 Truman canvassed Congress for $400 million in financial aid (the “Truman Doctrine”) for Greece and Turkey to ensure that the political complexions of those countries remained simpatico with the American Way. “It must be the policy of the United States,” Truman explained at the time, “to help free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressure.”[6]


Author “X” and the growing “Soviet threat”

In the April 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs, an author named “X” counselled the American government in “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”, suggesting that American foreign policy must be first and foremost militaristic:


“It is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies. . . . The issue of Soviet-American relations is in essence a test of the over-all worth of the United States as a nation among nations. To avoid destruction the United States need only measure up to its own best traditions and prove itself worthy of preservation as a great nation.[7]


Eisenhower’s quote

In a speech before the United Nations on December 8, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower described the Cold War environment in this manner: “two atomic colossi are doomed malevolently to eye each other indefinitely across a trembling world.” [8]


References

  1. Halberstam, David, The Fifties (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1993), p. 37.
  2. Quoted in Henriksen, Margot A., Dr. Strangelove’s America: Society and Culture in the Atomic Age (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1997). p. 16.
  3. Quoted in Henriksen, Dr. Strangelove’s America, p. 47.
  4. Telegram printed in Lord Moran, Winston Churchill: The Struggle to Survive 1940-1945 (London: Constable and Company, 1966), p. 797-8.
  5. Speech printed in Graebner, Norman A. (ed.), Ideas and Diplomacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 690-93., p. 722-24.
  6. Quoted in Davies, Norman, Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 1063.
  7. “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” by X (actually George Kennan), Foreign Affairs, April 1947, p. 575; 582. [At the time, Kennan was Chief of the Policy Planning Staff in the State Department.]
  8. Quoted in Henriksen, Dr. Strangelove’s America, p. 44.

Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 15:15, 11 October 2007 (CDT)

Great quotes...let's work them in Richard Jensen 15:23, 11 October 2007 (CDT)
Thank you! Shall I let, um, you do it? Not because I'm lazy, but because I fear ruining the page!Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 15:28, 11 October 2007 (CDT)
Another quote? (Thing is, I wrote an essay on this subject five years back and am mining it now for quotes.)

President Harry S. Truman declared his antipathy to the old world order of colonialism, in his Navy Day Speech of October 27, 1945:

“We have assured the world time and again—and I repeat it now—that we do not seek for ourselves one inch of territory in any place in the world. Outside the right to establish necessary bases for our own protection, we look for nothing which belongs to any other power. . . . We seek to use our military strength solely to preserve the peace of the world. For we now know that that is the only sure way to make our own freedom secure.” [Speech printed in Graebner, Norman A. (ed.), Ideas and Diplomacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 690-93.]

(I have so much more info, but I am not sure what to do about it. Haha.)Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 15:32, 11 October 2007 (CDT)

I don't think the latest Truman quote fits well (it's too early pre-cold-war). onm origins, Bernard Baruch probably coined "Cold War" whence Lippmann got it and popularized itRichard Jensen 18:49, 11 October 2007 (CDT)

conceptual problem

the section on US seems to be about internal domestic social developments with zip on Cold War. That stuff should go to the main US history article. Here we need views on containment, rollback, isolationism, internationalism, trade, Communism, capitalism etc with roles of parties, presidents, Congress, military & intellectuals Richard Jensen 07:56, 3 December 2007 (CST)

Thats true enough, but I had looked for a a US History article and couldn't find any. I didn't want to create a massive US History article and then only include social changes in the 60's and 70s... Any ideas> Denis Cavanagh 10:10, 4 December 2007 (CST)

the solution is to create the massive US article and use this text for the 1960s, and leave the rest blamk. We'll get around to the rest eventually. Richard Jensen 10:44, 4 December 2007 (CST)

Capitalising 'communism'

What is the rationale for capitalising communism (pun not intended)? Communist Party, yes, but not communism any more than capitalism or existentialism or expansionism or conceptualism or nihilism or any other -ism. Ro Thorpe 13:10, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

Isn't that the official name for it? Just like, the 'President of the United States of America' ? --Robert W King 13:20, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition p 337) explictly recommends capital C Communism when it applies to an organized movement (centrally directed in this case from Moscow). Note that members of the GOP are called Republicans (capital R). Richard Jensen 13:25, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
Well, they might be called Republicans, but I can think of other descriptions. --Robert W King 13:33, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
Probably best if we keep politics out of here, eh? I'm sure there's someone out there who could say equally vituperative things about the other party. J. Noel Chiappa 14:35, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
I concur; if talking about part of a particular organization, "Communist"; and "communist" when discussing the philosophy. J. Noel Chiappa 14:35, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

I agree with Noel, but...

Says Richard Jensen: 'Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition p 337) explictly recommends capital C Communism when it applies to an organized movement (centrally directed in this case from Moscow). Note that members of the GOP are called Republicans (capital R).' Yes, that must indeed be the reason. But there is not the same distinction as there is between democrats and Democrats, between republicans & the GOP & Irish Republicans. It's not as if the Soviet Communists were facing the Fascists in elections every four years, and it seems to me that, Chicago style notwithstanding, the incessant capitalisation of the word in the article is quite unnecessary & to my eyes most irritating: the Communists and communists are one and the same. Ro Thorpe 18:44, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

A fresh look

I recently started looking at this argument, and think it may have drifted away from the original phasing. Now, I have some differences with the phases, and recognize they did not clearly stop and start. Nevertheless, I'm not comfortable with issues such as the emphasis on covert action in the early fifties, the diffuse attacks on CIA intelligence (at times, they had marching orders), and a good deal of the nuclear strategy.


  • Origins of the Cold War - to deal with the immediate post-war superpower relations (1945-46) and relevant preceding events from the start of the 20th century, which need to cover the Churchill cold war speech and Kennan's contributions, starting with the Long Telegram.
  • 1947-1950: Development of the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, continued Soviet expansion, Berlin Blockade. Soviet nuclear capability.
  • 1950-1952: Korean War, covert action institutionalized under Smith rather than free-floating
  • 1952-1959 - Leadership changes, yes. Development of Eisenhower/Dulles policies, but also Eisenhower's rethinking the SIOP. Controversies over Southeast Asian involvement, about which Eisenhower was cautions, belong here, as well as North Vietnamese decisionmaking. Destalinization. o the change in leadership for both superpowers (Truman >> Eisenhower and Stalin >> Krushchev)
  • 1959-1962: Changes in the Kennedy administration to include increased unconventional warfare, the first SIOP and changes in targeting.
  • 1962-1969 - from major commitment of U.S. forces to Vietnam, the Diem assassination, up to detente
  • 1969-1978 - from start of Détente to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
  • 1978-1985 - the so-called Second Cold War, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanisation to the rise of Gorbachev
  • 1985-1991 - from the rise of Gorbachev to the collapse of the Soviet Union
  • Legacy of the Cold War - to deal with the aftermath, the "new world order", relics of the Cold War and current echoes

In some of the text, there's a certainty about U.S. decisionmaking that simply isn't supported, unless taken from an ideological standpoint. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:41, 18 May 2009 (UTC)