How did the two superpowers compete with each other in the period 1949-85?
Though the United States (US) and Soviet Union (USSR) were former allies, after the Second World War, they could not settle their disagreements and cooperate in peacetime. Cold War started as tension and hostility was development between capitalist bloc led by US and communist bloc led by USSR. Fortunate enough, there was not any large-scale and direct fighting. Yet, the two superpowers still used distinct methods to compete with each other.
First, spying operations took place. These were vital source of stolen information on each other’s upcoming actions and plans. So it was understandable that the Central ...view middle of the document...
On the other hand, led by US, NATO was established with 12 member states in 1949. Later in 1955, the admission of West Germany to NATO, USSR perceived this organization as a threat to communist. In response, USSR formed her own military alliance with her satellites in Eastern Europe, named Warsaw Pact.
Third, the two superpowers backed up local wars of different countries. Because of ideologies differences, US and USSR supported different part of a country whenever there was a civil war. For instance, Greek Civil War, Chinese Civil War, Korean War and Vietnam War worsened the relationship of the two superpowers.
For Greek Civil War and Chinese Civil War in 1946 to 49, both civil wars aroused international attention as they related to the struggle between capitalist and communist bloc. For Greek, US intervened and defeated the Greek Communist Party. For China, US failed to intervene and Chinese Communist Party rose to power.
For Korean War in 1950 to 1953, USSR supported North Korea to set up a communist government while US helped set up a democratic government in South Korea. As a result, Korea was divided into two parts.
For Vietnam War in 1961 to 1975, North Vietnam set up a communist government and wanted to annex South Vietnam. In order to prevent South Vietnam from falling into communist bloc, US bombed North Vietnam and this provoked Vietnam War. With the help of...