Archive for the ‘Chapter 25: Decolonization and the Cold War’ Category

Chapter 25 Summary

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

After the end of WWII there existed vacuumsof power in Western Europe and the Pacific. The international sovereignty of the Europeans was shattered due to the extent of war damage and the once powerful Japanese Empire was reduced to little more than a U.S. occupational zone. The two new world Superpowers, Soviet Russia and the U.S., had free reign to exert their influence on these vacuums. Quickly mistrust developed between the two powers which became official with Stalin’s declaration of the West as the enemy of the Soviets in February 1946. A month later Winston Churchill would deliver his famous Iron Curtain speech foreshadowing the great divide that would take place with central Europe at its epicenter.

The next two decades would see several proxy wars and indirect conflicts between the West and the Soviets with a correlated escalation in the Arms and Space Races. It was not until the 1970’s that tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Russia began to subside. Subsequent bans on nuclear testing and weapons reduction treaties were signed by both nations who in turn exerted their influence over their allies to follow suit. This state of detente would last up until the end of the Cold War with the dissolution of the U.S.S.R.

1947: The Creation of the CIA

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

During World War II the Office of Strategic Services was the intelligence organization responsible for clandestine services in the European and Pacific theatres. However, from 1946-1947 the organization’s responsibilities were split between the War and State Departments. It was not until the National Security Act of 1947 that one single department existed as an umbrella organization for the U.S. intelligence community.

The first acting director of the CIA was Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter. However, it was not until the 1950’s that the Agency became fully fledged. Some of the first operations occurred in Cuba and Indo-China as well as continued surveillance of Soviet Russia. For further information about the CIA and its functions/former missions see the CIA page on Wikipedia.

Iron Curtain

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Winston Churchill\’s Iron Curtain Speech

Cold War & The Events Surrounding It

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

We Didn\’t Start The Fire” is a song by Billy Joel that was released in 1989. I’ve attached a YouTube video that has pictures and video clips that correspond with the lyrics. The beginning animation part is kind of random but everything else is pretty interesting.

It mentions powerful figures in politics and pop culture and events that have gone on throughout his life – starting with Harry Truman. It includes many political names and events that are also mentioned in Chapter 25, such as, Josef Stalin, atomic weapons, Berlin Wall, The Communist Bloc – which is a group of communist countries that were controlled by the Soviet Union at the time, Sputnik, McCarthy, Fidel Castro, and the U-2 Spy plane launched by the US.

USSR Propaganda:

"We plan life, they plan death"

American Propaganda:

America Under Communism

Comparing the two kinds of propaganda during the Cold War, both contain bold and persuasive imagery portraying the enemy in a negative light. In the Soviet propaganda, the Russians look hardworking and represents their communist ideologies that everyone is the same. Whereas in the Soviet view on America – there is a wealthy looking man, smoking a cigar, who is in the “business of war”. Comparing these two images on the same poster goes along with Marx’s idea of Communism with the Proletariat (represented by the Russian image being the wage earners) and the negative view of Bourgeoisie taking advantage of the Proletariat (represented by the American image).

The American propaganda poster is just meant to make Americans fear of what is to come if they don’t take action against Communism.


Spy Games

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Although not nearly what happened during the Cold War one of the greatest questions asked about the age is who would have won a fight between the CIA and the KGB. While the posted video is not hardly enough to provide an answer to this question Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior attempted to answer that question. The results are interesting and the video is a great way to get a small view into the world of spy games. Click the link above to watch the tests!×90.jpg