Assumptions that Guided the Escalation of Conflicts
The Vietnam War and the Cold War were escalated by the assumption that the communist movement would spread out to other Asian states in the south east region. It is apparent that the United States, as a champion of capitalism, had partisan interests that were inclined toward ensuring that the Soviet Union and its allies did not achieve a high influence on the Asian states in the south eastern region. Essentially, the Vietnam War was supposed to ensure that the region did not fall into the communist zone (Hollitz 282). If Vietnam upheld the communist policies, the United States assumed that other states in the region would have been influenced to develop the same policies, and it would have been more difficult to deal with the entire block. Similarly, the Cold War was fueled by the suspicion that the Soviet Union was looking to enhance its influence in the world by recruiting more nations to its communist political and economic paradigm (Day 12).
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The Cold War was characterized by tension between the Eastern Bloc, which comprised of the Soviet Union and its allies, and the Western Bloc, which comprised of the members of NATO and other allies of the United States (Herzog 23). The geopolitical pressure between the nations emanated from the breakdown of the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1947.The main cause of the breakdown was that the interests of the two states diverged during the Second World War. The Soviets were interested in enhancing its influence in Europe, with respect to the political and economic policies. The United States was looking to enhance its quest for imperialism, but the Soviet Union wanted to gain more allies by proposing for various European nations to adopt communist policies (Betts 6). The tension that ensued between the two Blocs led to the Cold War, which was characterized by suspicion between the two nations. The Eastern Bloc was supporting communism and the Western Bloc had adopted capitalism, and both parties were hoping to gain more support from other strategic partners across the world. The tension was also escalated by the fact that both Blocs expressed their preparedness to going to an armed conflict to ensure that their partisan interests were attained.
Impact of the Cold War
The tension between the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc led to the developing nations being the perfect sites for the enhancement of the interests of the two sides. Nations in Latin America and Africa were still struggling economically, and they posed a chance for both sides of the war to enhance their influence. The United States took the chance to enhance its influence by supporting the developing nations economically, with the aim of influencing them to align their policies with capitalism. The Soviet Union also used this approach, but it had a lower influence because it was economically inferior to the United States (Davis 21). However, the ultimate effect of the Cold War on the developing nations is that they experienced tighter relationships with the superpowers. Their economic growth was boosted by the partnerships, but they had to pay the price of ensuring that they picked a side between the West and the East (Shaws and Youngblood 14). The political tension that ensued across the world was enhanced through the activities that took place in developing economies such as Chile.
Betts, Richard K., ed. Conflict after the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace. Taylor & Francis, 2017.
Davis, Lynn Etheridge. The Cold War Begins: Soviet-American Conflict Over East Europe. Princeton University Press, 2015.
Day, Meredith, ed. The cold war. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2016.
Herzog, Dagmar. Cold War Freud. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
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Hollitz, John. Thinking Through the Past, volume 2. Cengage Learning, 2014.
Shaw, Tony, and Denise J. Youngblood. Cinematic Cold War: The American and Soviet Struggle For Hearts and Minds. University Press of Kansas, 2014.