28.Short Essay and Article on COLD WAR

By | May 8, 2018

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**What do you mean by Cold War?

 The competition, tensions and a series of confrontations between the USA and the USSR between 1945-1990 which did not escalate into direct war, is referred to as the Cold War.

Cuban Missile Crisis and cold war: In 1961, Soviet Union feared that its ally Cuba, might be attacked by USA. Therefore to protect Cuba from possible US invasion and to target the US cities from a close range, it installed nuclear missiles in Cuba.

*When US came to know about it, it threatened USSR to withdraw the missiles. The US president John F.Kennedy ordered for the naval blockade of the Cuban coast and to intercept the Soviet ships moving towards Cuba.

*This incident put the world on the brink of a nuclear war. However the crisis was averted as both the super powers decided to avoid the war.

* This is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis which was considered a high point what came to be known as the Cold War.

**Features of Cold War:

*Power rivalry which never transformed into actual war,

*Ideological differences (Capitalism vs Socialism)

*Formation of regional military alliances based on collective security (NATO, SEATO, Warsaw Pact)

*Arms race as well as arms control,

*Why Cold War did not convert into actual war?

*Cold War did not convert into actual war because of the deterrence relationship between the super powers.

*As the two super powers were nuclear powers capable of destroying each other completely, a full fledged war was unlikely to take place.

*This is known as the `logic of deterrence’. Thus the nuclear weapons served as a deterrent force which prevented the outbreak of the war and ensured human survival.

* Cold War and relationship between super powers and their allies:

During cold war super powers were keen on expanding their sphere of influence by increasing the number of allies in their favour.

*Even smaller states wanted to remain tied to the protective super powers for:

a) Protection against rival forces,

b) Weapons for their national security,

c) Economic aids for reconstruction and development,

d) Diplomatic support on issues concerning their national interests.

*Super powers wanted the support of their allies for:

i) Vital resources such as oil and minerals.

ii)Territory from where they can launch their weapons and troops.

 iii) Locations from where they can spy against their rival power.

iv) Economic support from their allies for their military expeditions.

 Military alliance led by USA: NATO ,SEATO,CENTO

  Military alliance led by USSR: Warsaw Pact

 **Arenas of cold war:

Although cold war never turned into direct war but it did lead to many shooting wars where super powers were poised for a direct confrontation. During the

Korean crisis (1953), Berlin crisis (1958-62), Congo Crisis (1960), Cuban missile crisis (1962), Vietnam crisis, Afghanistan crisis (1979) etc. the super powers were involved in proxy wars supporting their allies. This is known as the Arenas of Cold War.

Q.How did Cold War lead to arms race as well as arms control?

*During cold war mutual suspicion and rivalry between the two alliances led them to arm themselves to the teeth and to constantly prepare for war. Huge stock of arms was considered necessary to prevent war from taking place.

*The two super powers also realized that in case of a nuclear war or a nuclear accident, there would be no survivor. Therefore they began to cooperate in limiting or eliminating certain kinds of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons. In the 1960s the two super powers signed three significant agreements which included

Limited Test Ban Treaty, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty.

*They held several rounds of arms limitation talks and signed several more treaties. Thus coldwar produced arms race as well arms control.

Q.What do you mean by Non-Aligned Movement? Name its founding leaders.

*As the cold war was trying to divide the world into rival alliances, a new movement emerged on the world scene which offered the newly independent countries of Asia and Africa with a third option—not to join either alliance.

*This movement came to be known as the Non-Aligned Movement which was the culmination of the cooperation among five leaders namely, Jawaharlal Nehru of India,Josip  Broz Tito of Yugoslavia,Gamel Abdul Nasser of Egypt ,Sukarno of Indonesia and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. These leaders came to be known as founding members of N.A.M

*As an organized movement NAM formally came into existence in 1961 at Belgrade which was attended by 25 member states. Three factors led to the formation of NAM:

1) Cooperation among the leaders of five countries, India, Yugoslavia, Egypt, Indonesia and Ghana.

2) Growing cold war tensions and its widening arenas.

3)Dramatic entry of decolonized countries of Africa in 1950s.

Q.NAM is not a not a policy of isolationism or neutrality. Justify.

*Some time NAM is described as the policy of isolationism or neutrality but it is neither isolationism nor neutrality.

*Isolationism is a policy of keeping aloof from world affairs which was followed by USA till the beginning of First World War. In comparison NAM countries played an active role in mediating between the two rival camps during the cold war, eg.India’s role in the Korean Crisis.

*Similarly NAM is also not a policy of neutrality. As a policy, neutrality refers not to involve in wars and do not take any position on the appropriateness or morality of a war. But non aligned states actually involved in wars for various reasons ie. to prevent or limit the extent of a war .  

Q.What was India’s response to the Cold War? How did this policy serve India’s National interest?

*India’s response to cold war was many fold:

a) India took particular care in staying away from the two alliances.

b) It raised her voice against the newly decolonized countries becoming part of these alliances.

*India also tried to act as a bridge between the two super powers in reducing their tensions.

*During the cold war India tried to activate those regional and international organizations which were not a part of alliances led by USA or USSR.

Q.How did India serve its national interest by following the policy of NAM?

a) Non aligned policy allowed India to take free stand on international issues.

b) Through this policy India was able to balance the two super powers against each other. India ensured that neither alliances could take her for granted or bully it .

c)This policy also helped India to use her scarce resources for  economic development than for armament.

Q.The policy of NAM was unprincipled. Justify

*India’s policy of non-alignment is criticized on the following grounds:

a) India has failed to maintain a firm stands on major international issues. India condemned British invasion of Egypt in 1956 over Suez Canal issue but she did not join the world condemnation over Soviet invasion of Hungary in the same year .

b)Sometimes India took contradictory posture . Having criticized others for joining alliances, India herself signed the Treaty of Friendship in 1971 with former USSR, which was seen by observers as virtually joining the Soviet Block.

Q. Examine the relevance of NAM in the post-cold war era.

 * Non-alignment as a strategy evolved in the cold war context.  With the disintegration of USSR and the end of cold war, the relevance of NAM is being questioned. But this policy is still considered relevant:

*NAM is based on some core values and enduring ideas that all decolonized countries share a historical affiliation and they can become a powerful force if they come together.

*In the post cold war era NAM countries can work together as a powerful economic block to counter the developed countries in WTO and other world economic forums.

*By following this policy they can still pursue their independent foreign policy.

*They can work together to democratize the international system by thinking about an alternative world order to redress existing inequalities.

**New International Economic Order (NIEO):

  NAM started as a political movement with the opposition of the Cold War but over the years it shifted its focus from political to economic issues.

* For most of the non-aligned countries, economic development is vital as they are poor or Least Developed Countries (LDCs). A sustained development will not only ensure true independence of these countries but also reduce their dependence on the rich countries including their former colonial masters.

*Thus they are demanding a new and just international economic order (NIEO), which is based on the following demands as contained in the report of the UNCTAD 1972:

 1) LDCs should have full control over their resources exploited by developed countries.

2) They want access to the western market to sell their produce with least restrictions.

3) They want availability of new technology of the west at a reasonable cost.

4) They also want a greater role in the international economic institutions i.e. World Bank, IMF.


Q1.What do you mean by cold war?                                                                                              

Q2 why did Soviet Union want to install nuclear missiles in Cuba?                                                

Q3. Do you agree that cold war was only a power rivalry between the power blocks and that

Ideology had nothing to do with it?                                                                                                   

Q4.What do you mean by logic of deterrence?                                                                           

Q5. Cold war managed to ensure human survival .Explain.                                                              

Q6.Why were the super powers keen on expanding their allies during the cold war ?                 

Q7.Why were the smaller states joining the power blocks during the cold war                              

Q8.What do you mean by the western and the eastern alliances?                                                    

Q9.When and why were the NATO and Warsaw Pact formed?                                                          

Q10.Mention the factors which determined the international alliances during the cold war .     

Q11.Explain two main arenas which helped in the expansion of cold war .                                  

Q12. How did cold war lead to armament or arms race?                                                                     

Q13.The cold war led to arms race as well as arms control .Explain.                                                 

Q14.Briefly explain some treaties signed between the super powers as part of arms control.     

Q15.Define Non –alignment Movement .How was it different from the policy of isolationism And neutrality?                                                                                                                                              

Q16.Name the founding leaders of NAM .When and where was the first summit of NAM held?

Q17.Explain the factors which led to the formation of NAM.                                                               

Q18.Mention the reforms proposed by UNCTAD in its report in 1972 regarding the global trading system.    

Q19.How has the policy of NAM served India’s national interest? Why this policy is being criticized?                                                                                                                                                      

Q20.Examine the relevance of NAM in the post cold war era.                                                             

Q21. Examine India’s role during the Cold War.                                                                                     

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