Cold War


Rivalry unaccompanied by war is termed "cold war".

This term is in contrast to "hot war", meaning armed conflict.

After the Second World War, the United States of America and the Soviet Union were in opposition over the expansion of their power. Both armed with nuclear weapons, the two countries glared at each other with enough power to bring about the destruction of the world.

The Soviet Union and Eastern European countries formed the communist camp (East), and the United States of America, centered on NATO, formed the capitalist camp (West). The world was divided in two. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said that an "iron curtain" had been drawn between the two camps. Belonging to neither the East or the West, developing countries were called "third world countries" and became a stage for proxy wars between the East and West.

After the Second World War, the Soviet Union and the USA were in a state of cold war. However, from the end of 1960 to the end of the 1970s, they engaged in political dialogue. In 1963, the Partial Test Ban Treaty was concluded and Detente (easing of tensions) gained momentum. Detente ended with the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and the economy of the Soviet Union collapsed. In 1989, the Berlin Wall, symbol of the Cold War, was destroyed, and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev and US President George HW Bush declared the end of the Cold War in December 1989 on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea.