Cold War: Was There a Soviet Plan to Dominate the World?

Cold War: Was There a Soviet Plan to Dominate the World?

The Cold War marked the development of the entire world in the second half of the 20th century. It was the epoch of the global opposition of two superpower, the USA and the USSR, and two systems, capitalism and socialism. The breakout of the Cold War was practically inevitable because after the end of World War II, there remained only two superpowers in the world, the USA and the USSR. European countries, which used to play the dominant role in the international relations, were practically ruined by the war and needed the support of either the USA, which helped Western Europe, or the USSR, which helped Eastern Europe (Ball, 1998). In exchange for the economic and technological aid both countries got political loyalty and support of their proteges. Furthermore, the USA and the USSR represented two antagonistic political and economic systems, democracy and open market economy versus totalitarian state and plan economy. Both countries attempted to strengthen their position in order to gain strategic advantage in case of a military conflict and the ideological propaganda became a part of their international policy. As a result, the ideological, political and economic contradictions resulted in the military conflict in Korea which separated the country on pro-Soviet North and pro-American South. Truman’s decision to support anti-communist forces in Korea provoked counter action of the USSR, which supported communist regime (Cowley, 2005). On the global level the opposition between two systems grew even more serious in 1949 the NATO, a military and political alliance of the US and its allies, was created, while in 1955 the Warsaw Pact was signed by the USSR and its satellites (Cowley, 2005). 1963 marked the apogee of the Cold War, but the war was prevented during the Caribbean crisis and negotiations between N. Khrushchev and J. Kennedy (Ball, 1998). The situation remained relatively stable until the military intervention of the USSR, authorized by L. Brezhnev, in Afghanistan and the launch of SOI program by R. Reagan (Brzezinski, 1989). The beginning of Perestroika in 1985 initiated by the Soviet leader Gorbachev, followed by the ruin of the USSR marked the end of the Cold War.
Basically, the USSR military doctrine was defensive and the use of the nuclear could occur only in response to the attack of the US that means that the USSR did not really have the plan to dominate the world. Moreover, the idea of the global revolution suggested by Trotsky after the revolution in 1917 was not only rejected by the USSR but also severely oppressed and its supporters were either executed or exiled from the country (Clarke, 2005). Finally, the plans and actions of the USSR and the US were symmetric and it is possible to speak about the plan of the USSR to dominate the world only if the US had the same plan.

Bibliography:
Ball, S. J. The Cold War: An International History, 1947–1991. London: Routledge, 1998.
Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century. New York: Random House, 1989.
Clarke, Bob. Four Minute Warning: Cold War. New York: Allyson and Beacon, 2005.
Cowley, Robert. The Cold War: A Military History. LA: Touchstone, 2005.