Concepts of the Cold War

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Concepts of the Cold War

By | May 2009
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The technical, sociological and political concepts that arose during the Cold War made a notable difference to the landscape of the next 60 years. Under the atmosphere of impending doom, many novel concepts were conceived that dramatically altered the psyches of generations to come.

Mutually Assured Destruction, nuclear winter and the concept of psychological resistance are all good examples of how the Cold War altered the social fabric for years to come.

The first, and best remembered, of these concepts was MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. MAD not only changed the future of military tactics, but the future of humanity. By 1953, MAD was a prevalent part of cold War life. The concept is founded upon the concept that if one superpowere were to launch nuclear devices, then the other power would also, guaranteeing the destruction of both. It was effectively a large scale game of “chicken”, one waiting for the other to make their move. This newly high-stakes concept may have, in fact, averted global nuclear war. All the while each leader remained loyal to their people, they would not want to see them killed, and their opponents would be safe. It is only when a leader to decides to back down that this situation changes, such as during Gorbachev’s leadership of the USSR. There are only two possible outcomes of MAD: massive loss of life, or a peaceful loss from one side. While the after-effects of this “loss” led to the collapse of the USSR, this can also be attributed to the nature of Socialist Communism, as used by the Soviets. Overall, MAD changed the way that weapons were used on the political front for many years to come.

Nuclear Winter may’ve seemed like an unimportant part of and otherwise intricate Cold War, but its effect was on an entirely different level. The nuclear winter phenomenon proved that it was possible to make an entire world believe anything if it done right. The concept was that if there was a thermonuclear exchange, the effects upon the...

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