JUDY.docx - 1.1 INTRODUCTION The cold war was the defining feature of international relations systems after the end of the Second World War(WW II up

JUDY.docx - 1.1 INTRODUCTION The cold war was the defining...

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1.1. INTRODUCTION The cold war was the defining feature of international relations systems after the end of the Second World War(WW II ) up until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 .According to Hastedt (2004) It was a period of competition, hostility and tensions between western powers and the communist bloc states . While frequently intense , the cold war never escalated into direct and open warfare between the United states and the Soviet Union’ (Hastedt 2004: p 83).International Relations (IR) scholars can’t quite agree on what was the original cause of the cold war between the Soviet Union (USSR) and America (USA). Some believe it stems from the pre-WWII period when the USA initially refused to grant USSR diplomatic recognition because of the Kremlin’s ‘ dual foreign policy marked at the official level by seeking normal relations with the West and at a second level by trying to spread revolution and overthrow capitalism’. The other pre-WW II cause for the cold war could have been the Munich Agreement of 1938 between the USSR and Nazi Germany that caused America as well as Western Europe deeply distrust the USSR (Hastedt 2004: p 83). Those who date the cold war as beginning in the post–WW II period place great emphasis on the short period between the end of WWII in 1945 to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. First of all, no consensus on what would happen after WWII ended between the allies during two diplomatic conferences held in Yalta and Potsdam. This is because the interests of Great Britain , the USSR and the USA were not the same. Secondly, the USSR refused to accept the Marshall Plan and coerced eastern European nations as well as Finland to do the same that had the net result of effectively dividing post war Europe into two parts(Hastedt 2004: pp 83- 84).This economic division through the Marshal Plan was further reinforced by military division between nations in the American led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and nations in the USSR under the Warsaw Pact(Hastedt 2004 : p85).African and Asian nations got their independence at the height of the cold war this natural meant they became a new arena for the world’s two super powers to engage in Political manoeuvring, diplomatic wrangling , psychological warfare , ideological competition, economic coercion , arms races and proxy wars’ (Hastedt 2004: p 83). 1
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1.2. AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY (1946-1990) The Truman administration promoted the concept of ‘containment’ that became the foundations of US foreign policy towards the USSR during most of the cold war . The concept of containment had the ‘core imperatives’ of stopping the USSR expanding its geographic sphere of influence without starting a war. This was because the Truman administration believed firmly that the international order was bipolar and so what was needed was foreign policy backed up with ‘hard power’ to stop the USSR from spreading socialism. The Truman administration saw the expansion of socialism as a direct threat to the US because it was a direct threat to the global capitalist economy. The
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