Superpower conflict

Superpower conflict - historical roots in the fact that...

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Superpower conflict: Immediately after World War II, the future role of Germany became crucial to the superpower conflict – Germany lies at the center of Europe and represents a crucial state in the calculation of power capabilities for the Soviet Union and the United States. The primary issues is whether Germany would be united or divided, and then which superpower would it be allied with. This is an issue of relative gains. A united Germany would give the advantage to one side and represent a loss for the other – as such, the Soviets and Americans balanced power by splitting Germany. Germany was divided into West Germany, which was quickly included into the Western system, while East Germany was absorbed into the Soviet sphere of influence. A divided Berlin became a flash point in the expanding Cold War. Kennan: The Long Telegram: Kennan was one of the architects of the containment strategy. In this work, he outlines the idea that insecurity is the primary source of Soviet action (the ideological desire to expand communism is secondary) – this insecurity has
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Unformatted text preview: historical roots in the fact that Russia had been invaded multiple times in the past. Furthermore, the USSR recognized its weak position vis--vis the US Kennan predicts accurately, given the history of the Cold War that the Soviets will seek to undermine US power through its allies and within its sphere of influence. As such, the USSR will support CPs in Western Europe, for example, and seek to expand its influence in the Third World. What Kennan basically outlines is the idea that the USSR is operating from a realist view (rather than an ideological one) where its primary interest is security. Thus, for example, the UN will be used by the Soviets to undermine American power. Soviet security depends on American weakness the logic of force is what Soviet leaders understand. Tensions high immediately after the war. Berlin crisis in 1948. Soviets blockade Berlin. United States airlifts supplies to the Western part of the city....
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2011 for the course POLISCI 1003 taught by Professor Olson during the Fall '11 term at GWU.

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