- Cold War - Wikipedia
- Cold War History
- Start of the Cold War - The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan
- The Cold War: Containment
Kennedy implemented a new strategy known as flexible response. This strategy relied on conventional arms to achieve limited goals. As part of this policy, Kennedy expanded the United States special operations forces , elite military units that could fight unconventionally in various conflicts.
Kennedy hoped that the flexible response strategy would allow the U. To support his new strategy Kennedy ordered a massive increase in defense spending. He sought, and Congress provided, a rapid build-up of the nuclear arsenal to restore the lost superiority over the Soviet Union--he claimed in that Eisenhower had lost it because of excessive concern with budget deficits. From to the number of nuclear weapons increased by 50 percent, as did the number of B bombers to deliver them.
The new ICBM force grew from 63 intercontinental ballistic missiles to He authorized 23 new Polaris submarines, each of which carried 16 nuclear missiles. He called on cities to prepare fallout shelters for nuclear war. Nationalist movements in some countries and regions, notably Guatemala , Indonesia and Indochina , were often allied with communist groups or otherwise perceived to be unfriendly to Western interests. Winston Churchill told the United States that Mosaddegh was "increasingly turning towards Communist influence.
The non-aligned Indonesian government of Sukarno was faced with a major threat to its legitimacy beginning in , when several regional commanders began to demand autonomy from Jakarta. After mediation failed, Sukarno took action to remove the dissident commanders. They were joined by many civilian politicians from the Masyumi Party , such as Sjafruddin Prawiranegara , who were opposed to the growing influence of the communist Partai Komunis Indonesia party.
Due to their anti-communist rhetoric, the rebels received arms, funding, and other covert aid from the CIA until Allen Lawrence Pope , an American pilot, was shot down after a bombing raid on government-held Ambon in April The central government responded by launching airborne and seaborne military invasions of rebel strongholds Padang and Manado. By the end of , the rebels were militarily defeated, and the last remaining rebel guerilla bands surrendered by August In British Guiana , the leftist People's Progressive Party PPP candidate Cheddi Jagan won the position of chief minister in a colonially administered election in , but was quickly forced to resign from power after Britain's suspension of the still-dependent nation's constitution.
Worn down by the communist guerrilla war for Vietnamese independence and handed a watershed defeat by communist Viet Minh rebels at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu , the French accepted a negotiated abandonment of their colonial stake in Vietnam. In the Geneva Conference , peace accords were signed, leaving Vietnam divided between a pro-Soviet administration in North Vietnam and a pro-Western administration in South Vietnam at the 17th parallel north. Between and , Eisenhower's United States sent economic aid and military advisers to strengthen South Vietnam's pro-Western regime against communist efforts to destabilize it.
Many emerging nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America rejected the pressure to choose sides in the East-West competition. Independence movements in the Third World transformed the post-war order into a more pluralistic world of decolonized African and Middle Eastern nations and of rising nationalism in Asia and Latin America. The period after was marked by serious setbacks for the Soviet Union, most notably the breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, beginning the Sino-Soviet split. Mao had defended Stalin when Khrushchev criticized him in , and treated the new Soviet leader as a superficial upstart, accusing him of having lost his revolutionary edge.
After this, Khrushchev made many desperate attempts to reconstitute the Sino-Soviet alliance, but Mao considered it useless and denied any proposal. On the nuclear weapons front, the United States and the USSR pursued nuclear rearmament and developed long-range weapons with which they could strike the territory of the other. This culminated in the Apollo Moon landings , which astronaut Frank Borman later described as "just a battle in the Cold War.
In Cuba , the 26th of July Movement , led by young revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara , seized power in the Cuban Revolution on 1 January , toppling President Fulgencio Batista , whose unpopular regime had been denied arms by the Eisenhower administration. Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States continued for some time after Batista's fall, but President Eisenhower deliberately left the capital to avoid meeting Castro during the latter's trip to Washington, DC in April, leaving Vice President Richard Nixon to conduct the meeting in his place.
In January , just prior to leaving office, Eisenhower formally severed relations with the Cuban government. By the early s, the Soviet approach to restricting emigration movement was emulated by most of the rest of the Eastern Bloc. The Kennedy administration continued seeking ways to oust Castro following the Bay of Pigs Invasion, experimenting with various ways of covertly facilitating the overthrow of the Cuban government. Significant hopes were pinned on a covert program named the Cuban Project , devised under the Kennedy administration in Khrushchev learned of the project in February ,  and preparations to install Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba were undertaken in response.
Alarmed, Kennedy considered various reactions. He ultimately responded to the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba with a naval blockade, and he presented an ultimatum to the Soviets. Khrushchev backed down from a confrontation, and the Soviet Union removed the missiles in return for an American pledge not to invade Cuba again. The Cuban Missile Crisis October—November brought the world closer to nuclear war than ever before. In , Khrushchev's Kremlin colleagues managed to oust him, but allowed him a peaceful retirement. In the course of the s and s, Cold War participants struggled to adjust to a new, more complicated pattern of international relations in which the world was no longer divided into two clearly opposed blocs.
The Vietnam War descended into a quagmire for the United States, leading to a decline in international prestige and economic stability, derailing arms agreements, and provoking domestic unrest. America's withdrawal from the war led it to embrace a policy of detente with both China and the Soviet Union. This raised oil prices and hurt Western economies, but helped Russia by generating a huge flow of money from its oil sales. As a result of the oil crisis, combined with the growing influence of Third World alignments such as OPEC and the Non-Aligned Movement , less powerful countries had more room to assert their independence and often showed themselves resistant to pressure from either superpower.
Under President John F. Kennedy , US troop levels in Vietnam grew under the Military Assistance Advisory Group program from just under a thousand in to 16, in Johnson broad authorization to increase U. The USSR discouraged further escalation of the war, however, providing just enough military assistance to tie up American forces. The Tet Offensive of proved to be the turning point of the war. Despite years of American tutelage and aid the South Vietnamese forces were unable to withstand the communist offensive and the task fell to US forces instead.
Tet showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war and giving rise to what was referred to as the Vietnam Syndrome , a public aversion to American overseas military involvements. Nonetheless operations continued to cross international boundaries: bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were used by North Vietnam as supply routes , and were heavily bombed by U. De Gaulle protested at the strong role of the United States in the organization and what he perceived as a special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
In a memorandum sent to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 17 September , he argued for the creation of a tripartite directorate that would put France on an equal footing with the United States and the United Kingdom, and also for the expansion of NATO's coverage to include geographical areas of interest to France, most notably French Algeria , where France was waging a counter-insurgency and sought NATO assistance. In , a period of political liberalization took place in Czechoslovakia called the Prague Spring.
An " Action Program " of reforms included increasing freedom of the press , freedom of speech and freedom of movement , along with an economic emphasis on consumer goods , the possibility of a multiparty government, limitations on the power of the secret police,   and potential withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact. In September , during a speech at the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers' Party one month after the invasion of Czechoslovakia , Brezhnev outlined the Brezhnev Doctrine , in which he claimed the right to violate the sovereignty of any country attempting to replace Marxism—Leninism with capitalism.
During the speech, Brezhnev stated: . When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism, it becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and concern of all socialist countries. The doctrine found its origins in the failures of Marxism—Leninism in states like Poland, Hungary and East Germany, which were facing a declining standard of living contrasting with the prosperity of West Germany and the rest of Western Europe.
Under the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration , which gained power after the assassination of John F. Kennedy , the U. In Indonesia, the hardline anti-communist General Suharto wrested control of the state from his predecessor Sukarno in an attempt to establish a "New Order". From to , with the aid of the United States and other Western governments,      the military led the mass killing of more than , members and sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party and other leftist organizations, and detained hundreds of thousands more in prison camps around the country under extremely inhumane conditions.
In Chile , the Socialist Party candidate Salvador Allende won the presidential election of , becoming the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in the Americas. The Pinochet regime would go on to be one of the leading participants in Operation Condor , an international campaign of political assassination and state terrorism organized by right-wing military dictatorships in the Southern Cone of South America that was covertly supported by the US government.
The Middle East remained a source of contention. Egypt, which received the bulk of its arms and economic assistance from the USSR, was a troublesome client, with a reluctant Soviet Union feeling obliged to assist in both the Six-Day War with advisers and technicians and the War of Attrition with pilots and aircraft against pro-Western Israel.
According to historian Charles R. Tripp , the treaty upset "the U. It appeared that any enemy of the Baghdad regime was a potential ally of the United States. Around June , Somali troops occupied the Ogaden and began advancing inland towards Ethiopian positions in the Ahmar Mountains. Both countries were client states of the Soviet Union ; Somalia was led by self-proclaimed Marxist military leader Siad Barre , and Ethiopia was controlled by the Derg , a cabal of military generals loyal to the pro-Soviet Mengistu Haile Mariam , who had declared the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia in The counteroffensive was planned at the command level by Soviet advisers attached to the Ethiopian general staff, and bolstered by the delivery of millions of dollars' of sophisticated Soviet arms.
American and South Vietnamese forces responded to these actions with a brief ground incursion and a bombing campaign , which contributed to the violence of the Cambodian Civil War between the American-backed government of Lon Nol and communist Khmer Rouge insurgents. After taking power and distancing himself from the Vietnamese,  Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot killed 1—3 million Cambodians in the killing fields , out of a population of roughly 8 million. The invasion succeeded in deposing Pol Pot, but the new state would struggle to gain international recognition beyond the Soviet Bloc sphere, despite the previous international outcry at the Pol Pot regime's gross human rights violations, and it would become bogged down in a guerrilla war led from refugee camps located on the border with Thailand.
Following the destruction of Khmer Rouge, the national reconstruction of Cambodia would be severely hampered, and Vietnam would suffer a punitive Chinese attack. As a result of the Sino-Soviet split , tensions along the Chinese—Soviet border reached their peak in , and United States President Richard Nixon decided to use the conflict to shift the balance of power towards the West in the Cold War. Although indirect conflict between Cold War powers continued through the late s and early s, tensions were beginning to ease.
These aimed to limit the development of costly anti-ballistic missiles and nuclear missiles. Meanwhile, Brezhnev attempted to revive the Soviet economy, which was declining in part because of heavy military expenditures. Between and , the two sides also agreed to strengthen their economic ties,  including agreements for increased trade. Other agreements were concluded to stabilize the situation in Europe, culminating in the Helsinki Accords signed at the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in Kissinger and Nixon were "realists" who deemphasized idealistic goals like anti-communism or promotion of democracy worldwide, because those goals were too expensive in terms of America's economic capabilities.
They realized that Americans were no longer willing to tax themselves for idealistic foreign policy goals, especially for containment policies that never seemed to produce positive results.
Instead Nixon and Kissinger sought to downsize America's global commitments in proportion to its reduced economic, moral and political power. They rejected "idealism" as impractical and too expensive, and neither man showed much sensitivity to the plight of people living under Communism. Kissinger's realism fell out of fashion as idealism returned to American foreign policy with Carter's moralism emphasizing human rights, and Reagan's rollback strategy aimed at destroying Communism. In the s, the KGB, led by Yuri Andropov , continued to persecute distinguished Soviet personalities such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov , who were criticising the Soviet leadership in harsh terms.
Although President Jimmy Carter tried to place another limit on the arms race with a SALT II agreement in ,  his efforts were undermined by the other events that year, including the Iranian Revolution and the Nicaraguan Revolution , which both ousted pro-US regimes, and his retaliation against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in December.
The term second Cold War refers to the period of intensive reawakening of Cold War tensions and conflicts in the late s and early s. Tensions greatly increased between the major powers with both sides becoming more militaristic. Within months, opponents of the communist government launched an uprising in eastern Afghanistan that quickly expanded into a civil war waged by guerrilla mujahideen against government forces countrywide. By mid, the United States had started a covert program to assist the mujahideen.
Distrusted by the Soviets, Amin was assassinated by Soviet special forces in December A Soviet-organized government, led by Parcham's Babrak Karmal but inclusive of both factions, filled the vacuum. Soviet troops were deployed to stabilize Afghanistan under Karmal in more substantial numbers, although the Soviet government did not expect to do most of the fighting in Afghanistan. As a result, however, the Soviets were now directly involved in what had been a domestic war in Afghanistan.
Carter responded to the Soviet intervention by withdrawing the SALT II treaty from the Senate , imposing embargoes on grain and technology shipments to the USSR, and demanding a significant increase in military spending, and further announced that the United States would boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow. He described the Soviet incursion as "the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War".
In January , four years prior to becoming president, Ronald Reagan bluntly stated, in a conversation with Richard V. Allen , his basic expectation in relation to the Cold War. What do you think of that? Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an " evil empire " and predicted that Communism would be left on the " ash heap of history ," while Thatcher inculpated the Soviets as "bent on world dominance. It hurt the Soviet economy, but it also caused ill will among American allies in Europe who counted on that revenue.
Reagan retreated on this issue. By early , Reagan's anti-communist position had developed into a stance known as the new Reagan Doctrine —which, in addition to containment, formulated an additional right to subvert existing communist governments. Pope John Paul II provided a moral focus for anti-communism ; a visit to his native Poland in stimulated a religious and nationalist resurgence centered on the Solidarity movement that galvanized opposition and may have led to his attempted assassination two years later.
Reagan imposed economic sanctions on Poland in response. Soviet investment in the defense sector was not driven by military necessity, but in large part by the interests of massive party and state bureaucracies dependent on the sector for their own power and privileges. Soon after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, president Carter began massively building up the United States military. This buildup was accelerated by the Reagan administration, which increased the military spending from 5.
Tensions continued to intensify as Reagan revived the B-1 Lancer program, which had been canceled by the Carter administration, produced LGM Peacekeeper missiles,  installed US cruise missiles in Europe, and announced the experimental Strategic Defense Initiative , dubbed "Star Wars" by the media, a defense program to shoot down missiles in mid-flight. After Reagan's military buildup, the Soviet Union did not respond by further building its military,  because the enormous military expenses, along with inefficient planned manufacturing and collectivized agriculture , were already a heavy burden for the Soviet economy.
The airliner had violated Soviet airspace just past the west coast of Sakhalin Island near Moneron Island , and the Soviets treated the unidentified aircraft as an intruding U. The incident increased support for military deployment, overseen by Reagan, which stood in place until the later accords between Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
American domestic public concerns about intervening in foreign conflicts persisted from the end of the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, the Soviets incurred high costs for their own foreign interventions. Although Brezhnev was convinced in that the Soviet war in Afghanistan would be brief, Muslim guerrillas, aided by the U. A senior U. State Department official predicted such an outcome as early as , positing that the invasion resulted in part from a "domestic crisis within the Soviet system.
It may be that the thermodynamic law of entropy has We could be seeing a period of foreign movement at a time of internal decay". By the time the comparatively youthful Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary in ,  the Soviet economy was stagnant and faced a sharp fall in foreign currency earnings as a result of the downward slide in oil prices in the s.
An ineffectual start led to the conclusion that deeper structural changes were necessary, and in June Gorbachev announced an agenda of economic reform called perestroika , or restructuring. These measures were intended to redirect the country's resources from costly Cold War military commitments to more productive areas in the civilian sector.
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Despite initial skepticism in the West, the new Soviet leader proved to be committed to reversing the Soviet Union's deteriorating economic condition instead of continuing the arms race with the West. In response to the Kremlin's military and political concessions , Reagan agreed to renew talks on economic issues and the scaling-back of the arms race. Talks went well until the focus shifted to Reagan's proposed Strategic Defense Initiative, which Gorbachev wanted eliminated. Reagan refused. East—West tensions rapidly subsided through the mid-to-late s, culminating with the final summit in Moscow in , when Gorbachev and George H.
In , Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan ,  and by Gorbachev consented to German reunification ,  [ citation not found ] as the only alternative was a Tiananmen Square scenario. On 3 December , Gorbachev and George H. Bush declared the Cold War over at the Malta Summit. By , the Soviet alliance system was on the brink of collapse, and, deprived of Soviet military support, the communist leaders of the Warsaw Pact states were losing power.
In , the communist governments in Poland and Hungary became the first to negotiate the organization of competitive elections. In Czechoslovakia and East Germany, mass protests unseated entrenched communist leaders. The communist regimes in Bulgaria and Romania also crumbled, in the latter case as the result of a violent uprising.
Attitudes had changed enough that U. Secretary of State James Baker suggested that the American government would not be opposed to Soviet intervention in Romania, on behalf of the opposition, to prevent bloodshed. The revolutionary wave swept across Central and Eastern Europe and peacefully overthrew all of the Soviet-style communist states: East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria;  [ citation not found ] Romania was the only Eastern-bloc country to topple its communist regime violently and execute its head of state. In the USSR itself, glasnost weakened the bonds that held the Soviet Union together,  and by February , with the dissolution of the USSR looming, the Communist Party was forced to surrender its year-old monopoly on state power.
Gorbachev's permissive attitude toward Central and Eastern Europe did not initially extend to Soviet territory; even Bush, who strove to maintain friendly relations, condemned the January killings in Latvia and Lithuania , privately warning that economic ties would be frozen if the violence continued. The Commonwealth of Independent States , created on 21 December , is viewed as a successor entity to the Soviet Union, but, according to Russia's leaders, its purpose was to "allow a civilized divorce" between the Soviet Republics and is comparable to a loose confederation. President George H.
Bush expressed his emotions: "The biggest thing that has happened in the world in my life, in our lives, is this: By the grace of God, America won the Cold War. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union , Russia drastically cut military spending , and restructuring the economy left millions unemployed.
The Cold War continues to influence world affairs. The post-Cold War world is considered to be unipolar , with the United States the sole remaining superpower. Cumulative U. Further nearly , Americans lost their lives in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In addition to the loss of life by uniformed soldiers, millions died in the superpowers' proxy wars around the globe, most notably in Southeast Asia.
However, the aftermath of the Cold War is not always easily erased, as many of the economic and social tensions that were exploited to fuel Cold War competition in parts of the Third World remain acute. The breakdown of state control in a number of areas formerly ruled by communist governments produced new civil and ethnic conflicts, particularly in the former Yugoslavia. In Central and Eastern Europe, the end of the Cold War has ushered in an era of economic growth and an increase in the number of liberal democracies , while in other parts of the world, such as Afghanistan, independence was accompanied by state failure.
During the Cold War itself, with the United States and the Soviet Union invested heavily in propaganda designed to influence the hearts and minds of people around the world, especially using motion pictures. The Cold War endures as a popular topic reflected extensively in entertainment media, and continuing to the present with numerous post Cold War-themed feature films, novels, television, and other media.
As soon as the term "Cold War" was popularized to refer to post-war tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, interpreting the course and origins of the conflict has been a source of heated controversy among historians, political scientists, and journalists. Although explanations of the origins of the conflict in academic discussions are complex and diverse, several general schools of thought on the subject can be identified. Historians commonly speak of three differing approaches to the study of the Cold War: "orthodox" accounts, "revisionism", and "post-revisionism".
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Cold War - Wikipedia
For other uses, see Cold warrior disambiguation. The Cold War — East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall , Navy aircraft shadowing a Soviet freighter during the Cuban Missile Crisis , American astronaut Thomas P. Stafford and Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov shake hands in outer space , Mushroom cloud of the Ivy Mike nuclear test , ; one of more than a thousand such tests conducted by the US between and Russian , Ukrainian and Belarusian leaders signing the Belavezha Accords , officially dissolving the Soviet Union, Main article: Cold war general term. Main article: Origins of the Cold War.
Main articles: Potsdam Conference and Surrender of Japan. Main article: Eastern Bloc.
Cold War History
The labeling used on Marshall Plan aid to Western Europe. The red columns show the relative amount of total aid received per nation. Construction in West Berlin under Marshall Plan aid. Main articles: Cominform and Tito—Stalin Split. Main article: Berlin Blockade.
Main article: Cold War — Main articles: Warsaw Pact and Hungarian Revolution of The Hungarian Revolution of Main article: Flexible response. Main article: Sino-Soviet split.
Start of the Cold War - The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan
China and pro-Chinese communist states. Neutral communist nations North Korea and Yugoslavia. Non-communist states. Main article: Space Race. Main article: Berlin Crisis of Further information: Berlin Wall and Eastern Bloc emigration and defection. Main article: Brezhnev Doctrine. Main article: Nixon visit to China. Further information: Reagan Doctrine and Thatcherism. Main articles: Solidarity Polish trade union and Martial law in Poland. Further information: Soviet reaction to the Polish crisis of — Further information: Mikhail Gorbachev , Perestroika , and Glasnost.
Main article: Revolutions of Main article: Dissolution of the Soviet Union. See also: Culture during the Cold War. Main article: Historiography of the Cold War. Main article: Outline of the Cold War. Cambridge University Press, , pp. BBC News. Retrieved 13 April The New York Times.
Retrieved 23 August The Cold War. Boller Not So! Oxford UP. Stoler Debating Franklin D. Roosevelt's Foreign Policies, — Latvia: A Short History. Tucker Walter de Gruyter. The Baltic Republics. Infobase Publishing. Herring Jr. Plokhy, Yalta: The price of peace Therefore, the continuation of cooperation and peaceful relations with its wartime allies, the United States and Great Britain, was greatly to be desired.
Churchill and the Soviet Union. Manchester University Press. Retrieved 30 April Retrieved 29 November The National Interest. The concise Oxford dictionary of politics. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 June Stalin and Stalinism. In Whiteclay Chambers, John ed. Archived from the original on 28 May Retrieved 29 January Pan Macmillan.
Winter — Winston Churchill Centre. Archived from the original on 15 October Retrieved 22 June Byrnes, Lucius D. Clay and Germany, —". James F. Byrnes Institute. Archived from the original on 5 July Retrieved 9 June Journal of Modern Greek Studies. An International Civil War: Greece, — Yale University Press. Basic Books. Retrieved 28 May Garthoff, "Foreign intelligence and the historiography of the Cold War. Trahair and Robert L. Miller, Encyclopedia of Cold War espionage, spies, and secret operations 2nd ed. Enigma, Part I. Murphy, Sergei A. Cornell University Press.
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Post-communism and the Media in Eastern Europe. History of International Broadcasting. The Truman administration's fear that Rhee would launch an invasion prompted it to limit South Korea's military capabilities, refusing to provide tanks, heavy artillery, and combat planes. This did not stop the South Koreans from initiating most of the border clashes with North Korean forces at the thirty-eighth parallel beginning in the summer of and reaching a high level of intensity and violence a year later.
Historians now acknowledge that the two Koreas already were waging a civil conflict when North Korea's attack opened the conventional phase of the war. National Archives. Retrieved 21 June Princeton University Press. The Soviet leader believed that North Korea had not achieved either military superiority north of the parallel or political strength south of that line.
His main concern was the threat South Korea posed to North Korea's survival, for example fearing an invasion northward following U. Harvard University Press. American Foreign Relations: Volume 2: Since Cengage Learning. The Korean war in history. Manchester University Press ND. Korea's Grievous War. University of Pennsylvania Press. Retrieved 26 June Newly released documents reveal U. Cold War nuclear target list. Retrieved 27 December See also: U. National Security Archive. International Relations, 5th Edition. Retrieved 11 June E Logistical deployment of new Soviet troops , para p.
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Palgrave Macmillan. Lexington Books. Archived from the original on 17 August Retrieved 7 March Retrieved 10 June Archived from the original on 28 September Retrieved 23 January In Thomas J. University of Wisconsin Press. According to the journalist Kathy Kadane, "As many as 5, names were furnished over a period of months to the Army there, and the Americans later checked off the names of those who had been killed or captured.
They also sent a powerful message that the US government agreed with and supported the army's campaign against the PKI, even as that campaign took its terrible toll in human lives. Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U. Stanford University Press. Washington did everything in its power to encourage and facilitate the army-led massacre of alleged PKI members, and U. This was efficacious terror, an essential building block of the neoliberal policies that the West would attempt to impose on Indonesia after Sukarno's ouster.
Here's what that means for today. The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 April Retrieved 5 June The Atlantic. Retrieved 21 October Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. Blumenthal and Timothy L. McCormack eds. International Humanitarian Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. The military history of the Soviet Union began in the days following the October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power.
In the new government formed the Red Army , which then defeated its various internal enemies in the Russian Civil War of — The years —21 saw defeats for the Red Army in the Polish—Soviet War —21 and in independence wars for Estonia —20 , Latvia —20 and Lithuania — After the war, it occupied East Germany and many nations in central and eastern Europe, which became satellite states in the Soviet bloc. The Cold War between the two nations led to military buildups, the nuclear arms race , and the Space Race.
By the early s the Soviet armed forces had more troops, tanks, artillery guns and nuclear weapons than any other nation on earth. The Soviet Union fell in , not because of military defeat but because of economic and political factors - see History of the Soviet Union — The Soviet military consisted of five armed services - in their official order of importance [ citation needed ] :. See also: Tsarist officers in the Red Army. The February Revolution replaced the Tsar with the Russian Provisional Government, which was itself overthrown by the Bolshevik Revolution of The Russian army, exhausted by its participation in World War I , was in the final stages of disintegration and collapse.
Even though Bolshevik influence in the ranks was strong, the officer corps was staffed with many who violently opposed communism.
The Bolsheviks perceived the Tsarist army to be one of the foundations of the hated old regime, and decided to abolish it in favor of establishing a new military loyal to the Marxist cause. Thus the core of the Tsarist army became the core of the Russian Provisional Government army which became the core of the White Army , which in intermittent collaboration with interventionist forces from outside Russia from Japan, Britain, France and the United States aided the Whites and tried to contain the Red Army during the Russian Civil War.
On January 28, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin decreed the establishment of the Red Army , officially merging the 20, Red Guards , 60, Latvian red riflemen with , Baltic Fleet sailors and a handful of sympathetic Petrograd garrison soldiers. Leon Trotsky served as their first commissar for war. The early Red Army was egalitarian and therefore poorly disciplined. The Bolsheviks considered military ranks and saluting to be bourgeois customs and abolished them; soldiers now elected their own leaders and voted on which orders to follow.
This arrangement was abolished, however, under pressure of the Russian Civil War —21 , and ranks were reinstated. During the civil war, the Bolsheviks fought counterrevolutionary groups that became known as the White armies as well as armies sponsored by Russia's former allies such as the Britain and France , which saw a need to overthrow the Bolshevik government. The Red Army enjoyed a series of initial victories over their opponents, and in a surge of optimism Lenin ordered the Soviet Western Army to advance West in the vacuum created by the German forces retreating from the Ober-Ost areas.
This operation swept the newly formed Ukrainian People's Republic and Belarusian People's Republic and eventually lead to the Soviet invasion of Second Polish Republic , a newly independent state of the former Russian Empire. By invading Poland and initiating the Polish-Soviet War the Bolsheviks expressed their belief that they would eventually triumph over opposing capitalist forces both at home and abroad.
The overwhelming majority of professional officers in the Russian army were of nobility dvoryanstvo ; moreover, most of them had joined the White armies. Therefore, the Workers' and Peasants' Army initially faced a shortage of experienced military leaders. To remedy this, the Bolsheviks recruited 50, former Imperial Army officers to command the Red Army.
At the same time, they attached political commissars to Red Army units to monitor the actions and loyalty of professional commanders, formally termed as "military specialists" voyenspets , for voyenny spetsialist. By the Red Army had defeated four White armies and held off five armed foreign contingents that had intervened in the civil war, but began to face setbacks in Poland. Polish forces managed to break a long streak of Bolshevik victories by launching a bold counteroffensive at the Battle of Warsaw in August At Warsaw the Red Army suffered a defeat so great and so unexpected that it turned the course of the entire war and eventually forced the Soviets to accept the unfavorable conditions offered by the Treaty of Riga , signed on March 18, It was the biggest defeat of the Red Army in history.
After the civil war, the Red Army became an increasingly professional military organization. With most of its five million soldiers demobilized , the Red Army was transformed into a small regular force, and territorial militias were created for wartime mobilization.
Soviet military schools, established during the civil war, began to graduate large numbers of trained officers loyal to the Soviet power. In an effort to increase the prestige of the military profession, the party reestablished formal military ranks, downgraded political commissars, and eventually established the principle of one-man command. While the staff of a Special Department of a regiment was generally known, it controlled a network of secret informants, both chekists and recruited ordinary military.
Under the direction of Lenin and Trotsky, the Red Army claimed to adhere to Karl Marx 's proclamation that the bourgeoisie could be overcome only by a worldwide revolt of the proletariat , and to this end early Soviet military doctrine focused on spreading the revolution abroad and expanding Soviet influence throughout the world. Lenin provided an early experiment of Marx's theory when he invaded Poland in hopes of generating a communist uprising in neighboring Germany. Lenin's Polish expedition only complemented his March establishment of the Comintern , an organization whose sole purpose was to fight "by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State.
In , a Red Army occupation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia overthrew the representative Georgian government and replaced it with a Soviet Republic. During the s, Joseph Stalin 's Five Year Plans and industrialization drive built the productive base necessary to modernize the Red Army.
As the likelihood of war in Europe increased later in the decade, the Soviet Union tripled its military expenditures and doubled the size of its regular forces to match the power of its potential enemies. In , however, Stalin purged the Red Army of its best military leaders. Fearing that the military posed a threat to his rule, Stalin jailed or executed many Red Army officers, estimated in thousands, including three of five marshals.
Fearing the immense popularity of the armed forces after World War II, Stalin demoted war hero Marshal Georgy Zhukov and took personal credit for having saved the country. After Stalin's death in , Zhukov reemerged as a strong supporter of Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev rewarded Zhukov by making him minister of defense and a full Politburo member. Concern that the Soviet army might become too powerful in politics, however, led to Zhukov's abrupt dismissal in the autumn of Khrushchev later alienated the armed forces by cutting defense expenditures on conventional forces in order to carry out his plans for economic reform.
Leonid Brezhnev 's years in power marked the height of party-military cooperation as he provided ample resources to the armed forces. In the minister of defense became a full Politburo member for the first time since Yet Brezhnev evidently felt threatened by the professional military, and he sought to create an aura of military leadership around himself in an effort to establish his authority over the armed forces. In the early s, party-military relations became strained over the issue of resource allocations to the armed forces. Despite a downturn in economic growth, the armed forces argued, often to no avail, for more resources to develop advanced conventional weapons.
Mikhail Gorbachev downgraded the role of the military in state ceremonies, including moving military representatives to the end of the leadership line-up atop Lenin's Mausoleum during the annual Red Square military parade commemorating the October Revolution. Instead, Gorbachev emphasized civilian economic priorities and reasonable sufficiency in defense over the professional military's perceived requirements. The Russian army was defeated in the First World War , a fact which strongly shaped the early stages of Red Army development.
While the armies of Britain and France were content to retain strategies which had made them victorious, the Red Army proceeded to experiment and develop new tactics and concepts, developing parallel to the reborn German armed forces. The Soviets viewed themselves as a nation unique to human history and thus felt no loyalty to previous military tradition, an ideology which allowed for and prioritized innovation.
From its conception, the Red Army committed itself to emphasizing highly mobile warfare. This decision was influenced by the formative wars of its history, namely the Russian Civil War and the Polish—Soviet War. Both of these conflicts had little in common with the static trench warfare of the First World War. Instead, they featured long range mobile operations, often by small but highly motivated forces, as well as rapid advances of hundreds of kilometers in a matter of days.
This changed only when Stalin began the industrialisation drive in , a policy created in part to allow for unprecedented funds to be dedicated to the military. Using these new resources, the Red Army of the s developed a highly sophisticated concept of mobile warfare which relied on huge formations of tanks , aircraft, and airborne troops designed to break through the enemy's line and carry the battle deep to the enemy's rear. Soviet industry responded, supplying tanks , aircraft and other equipment in sufficient numbers to make such operations practical.
To avoid overestimating the power of the Soviet army, although before Soviet formations of a given level were at least equal to and often stronger than equivalent formations of other armies, huge wartime losses and reorganisation based on war experience reversed the trend during the later war years. Thus, for example, the Soviet Tank Corps was equivalent in armored vehicle power to an American armored division, and a Soviet rifle infantry division, unless specifically reinforced, was often equivalent to an American infantry regiment. The Soviets developed their armament factories under the assumption that during the war they would have to rebuild the whole equipment of the ground and air forces many times over.
This assumption was indeed proven correct during the four-year-long war. The Red Army's focus on mobile operations in the early s was gravely disrupted by Stalin's purge of the military's leadership. Since the new doctrines were associated with officers who had been declared enemies of the state, the support for them declined. Many large mechanised formations were disbanded, with the tanks distributed to support the infantry.
After the German blitzkrieg proved its potency in Poland and France, the Red Army started a frantic effort to rebuild the large mechanised corps, but the task was only partly finished when the Wehrmacht attacked in The huge tank forces, powerful only on paper, were mostly annihilated by the Germans in the first months of Operation Barbarossa. Another factor contributing to the initial defeat was that the Soviet post-World War I rearmament effort was started too early, and in the majority of Soviet equipment was obsolete and inferior to that of the Wehrmacht.
In the initial period of the war, in the face of catastrophic losses, the Red Army drastically scaled down its armored formations, with the tank brigade becoming the largest commonly deployed armored unit, and reverted to a simpler mode of operations. Nevertheless, the revolutionary doctrines of the s, modified by combat experience, were eventually successfully used at the front starting in after the Red Army regained the initiative.
Following the death of Lenin, the Soviet Union was enmeshed in a struggle for succession that pitted Trotsky and his policy of "world revolution" against Stalin and his policy of " socialism in one country. Eager to dispose of Trotsky's political and military supporters, Stalin directed the execution of eight high-ranking generals between and Despite Stalin's isolationist policies, and even though the Soviet Union 's borders would remain static for fifteen years following Lenin's death, the Soviets continued to involve themselves in international affairs, and the Comintern was instrumental in establishing the Communist parties of China in and Indochina in Additionally, the Red Army played a crucial role in the Spanish Civil War , supplying over 1, aircraft, tanks, 1, artillery pieces, armored cars, hundreds of thousands of small arms and 30, tons of ammunition to the Republican cause.
Soviet participation in the Spanish Civil War was greatly influenced by the growing tension between Stalin and Adolf Hitler , the leader of Nazi Germany and an avid supporter of the fascist forces of Francisco Franco. Nazi—Soviet relations were tempered by Hitler's personal hatred for communist ideology and for wanting to expand German territories. Direct armed conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union was delayed by the signing of the Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact on August 23, , which essentially divided the nations of Eastern Europe into two spheres of interest , one belonging to the Soviets and the other to the Nazis.
They intervened militarily in an invasion of Xinjiang against the Chinese Muslims 36th Division National Revolutionary Army and Han chinese troops led by the Chinese Muslim General Ma Zhongying and the Han chinese general Zhang Peiyuan when they were on the verge of defeating Sheng's manchurian and white Russian troops. After fierce fighting, in which mustard gas was used by the Soviet Union at the Battle of Tutung , Ma Zhongying retreated and Zhang committed suicide to avoid capture.
In late s, Soviet Union was no longer satisfied with the status quo in its relations with independent countries of Finland , Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania , Poland and Romania. This came as a result of a change in Soviet foreign policy. When the Poles were close to defeat and the Polish government left the country, on 17 September the Red Army invaded Poland from the east to regain the territories populated mostly by ethnic Belarusians and Ukrainians.
The Soviet Union had negotiated with the Finns for over a year, but they refused Soviet demands, and the Red Army assaulted on 30 November starting the Winter War. Simultaneously, a puppet regime , called the Finnish Democratic Republic , was set by the Soviets. As a direct result of the Soviet aggression the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14, The Red Army faced a disastrously underestimated opponent, suffering a series of embarrassing defeats. However, in the Soviets reorganized their forces and mauled the enemy in a final great offensive.
Mannerheim, the Finnish commander, then advised his government to negotiate peace on Soviet terms. Recognizing that they had lost the war, the Finns wisely chose to settle early with the Soviets, while there was still potential for a relatively lenient peace treaty. In the end, the Finns retained their independence, but ceded huge tracts of territory, and resources, to the victorious Soviets.
The Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact of August established a non-aggression treaty between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union with a secret protocol describing how Poland and the Baltic countries would be divided between them. In the invasion of Poland of the two powers invaded and partitioned Poland, and in June the Soviet Union also occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Red Army had little time to correct its numerous deficiencies before Nazi Germany and other Axis countries allied with it swept across the newly relocated Soviet border on June 22, , in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa.
During the initial stages of the war, Soviet forces were often ordered to stand their ground despite limited defensive capabilities, resulting in numerous encirclements and correspondingly high numbers of casualties. The United States program of lend-lease was extended to Soviet Union in September , supplying planes, tanks, trucks and other war materials. Eventually the Soviets managed to slow the Wehrmacht 's blitzkrieg , halting the Nazi offensive in December outside the gates of Moscow , in part because mobilized troops with winterized clothing from Siberia were transferred from there after Stalin realized that Japan was not going to attack the Soviet Union Japan had just attacked Pearl Harbor.
The Red Army launched a powerful winter counteroffensive which pushed the Germans back from the outskirts of Moscow. At the start of , the weakened Axis armies abandoned their march on Moscow and advanced south towards the Caucasus and Volga river. This offensive, in turn, ran out of steam in autumn , allowing the Soviet forces to stage a devastating counteroffensive on the overextended enemy. The Red Army encircled and destroyed significant German forces at the Battle of Stalingrad , which ended in February and reversed the tide of the war in Europe.
In the summer of , following the Battle of Kursk , the Red Army seized the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war. All Soviet territory was liberated from Axis occupation by Much of Eastern Europe and great parts of the Soviet Union were devastated by Red Army troops as a result of an aggressive policy of " scorched earth ". The Red Army emerged from the war as one of the most powerful land armies in history [ citation needed ] with five million soldiers, and more tanks and artillery than all other countries combined.
The defeat of the Wehrmacht had come, however, at the cost of over eight million soldiers and as much as fifteen million civilians dead, by far the highest losses of any country during the war. This is believed to be the highest human death toll from any military conflict. During and right after the war, the Red Army was by far the most powerful land army in the world. Immediately following Germany's surrender, this number was reduced to five million; this decline was indicative not of diminishing interest in the Soviet military but rather of a growing interest in establishing more modern and mobile armed forces.
Also important was the introduction of the BMP-1 , The first mass-used infantry fighting vehicles commissioned by any armed force in the world. These innovations would help direct the course of Soviet military operations throughout the Cold War. The Mongolian People's Republic became involved in a border dispute with the Republic of China during the Pei-ta-shan Incident , Soviet Russian and Mongol forces attempted to occupy and raid Chinese territory, in response, a Chinese Muslim Hui cavalry regiment, the 14th Tungan Tungan Cavalry regiment was sent by the Chinese government to attack Mongol and Soviet positions.
The Cold War: Containment
Many of the Soviet forces who fought to liberate the countries of Eastern Europe from Nazi control remained in the region even after Germany's surrender in Stalin used this military occupation to establish satellite states, creating a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union. The Soviets quickly became an enormous political and economic influence in the region and the Soviet Union actively assisted local communist parties in coming to power.
By , seven eastern European countries had communist governments. In this setting, the Cold War emerged from a conflict between Stalin and U. President Harry S. Truman over the future of Eastern Europe during the Potsdam Conference in Truman charged that Stalin had betrayed the agreement made at the Yalta Conference. Conventional military power showed its continued influence when the Soviet Union used its troops to invade Hungary in and Czechoslovakia in to suppress the democratic aspirations of their peoples and keep these countries within the Soviet regime.
The Soviet Union and the western forces, led by the US, faced a number of standoffs that threatened to turn into live conflicts, such as the Berlin Blockade of —49 and the Cuban Missile Crisis of , which saw "hawks" on both sides push the respective rivals closer towards war due to policies of brinksmanship. Under Khrushchev's leadership, Soviet relations with Josip Broz Tito 's Yugoslavia were finally repaired with the dissolution of the Cominform.
This decision generated a further rift between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China , a neighboring communist state which felt the Soviets were turning their back on the fundamental Marxist—Leninist struggle for the worldwide triumph of communism. Additional conflicts along the Sino-Soviet border followed in