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The Yalta conference that was carried out in Crimea in 1945 brought together three key leaders – Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt. The main reason why the three leaders held a conference was to discuss the re-organization strategy after the war. Many nations had been destroyed by Germany during the war and there was a need for various strategies to be put in place to re-establish these nations. During the conference, there were various agreements that were made:
First, there was a discussion on the organization of Germany, where the conference made an agreement to sub-divide Germany into different zones that would be managed by the three nations. Since Stalin had a strong army, the conference resolved to let Russia take over Berlin and, at the same time, take control of the Eastern region of Germany. The Great Britain came up and proposed France to be one of the occupiers. Although Stalin seemed to resist this idea at the beginning, he later changed his position and accepted the idea. Poland was also allowed to create its own independent government through its own managed elections. On the same note, Yugoslavia was allowed to come up with its own government, which included mostly old members being taken up by the new system.
Some of the re-establishment and re-organization strategies agreed upon in the conference included the following:
All the thrust regions must recognize and respect various rights of human beings, while at the same time enhancing self-determination amongst member states. Issues dealing with security and regional peace were given first priority and proper strategies were put in place to prevent and control the actions of terrorism. The conference also upheld the combined effort to ensure that all the member states were safe, peaceful, and secure. This minimized the chances of these countries to participate in the Cold War. In the case where it occurred, its impacts were minimized across the globe.
George F. Kennan was an American diplomat who did more than any other representative of his generation to shape the United States policy during the Cold War. Kennan was key in providing information concerning the Soviet Union after the end of the World War II. The White House and Pentagon overrelied on his strategies and ways of ending the Cold War. He was determined to put in place policies that will see the Cold War reduced through diplomatic ways. The Marshall Plan was a humanitarian program that aided Europe’s postwar recovery and extended a helping hand to those in need. It was a political program intended to extend a civilization out of which the American way of life had developed. Its effect was to promote peace, freedom, and prosperity among nations. It was an economic program that promoted Europe’s financial, fiscal, and political stability. In the course of facilitating the recovery process after the war, other sectors, like world trade, have strengthened leading to the expansion of American markets and maintenance of a capitalist supremacy over the regions.
The Early Cold War
The Berlin Crisis of 1948 had its origins in the dark mind of Joseph Stalin who were put in place plans to interfere with Western access to Berlin. As such, citizens started facing mistreatments and socialism began in March 19, 1948, when the director met with the German leaders of the Soviet-backed Party of Socialist German Unity (SED). Following the subsequent interrogation and discussions, Wilhelm Pieck, a German Communist leader, predicted that the forthcoming election in Berlin would be threatened by misunderstanding that may cause conflicts, thus affecting the functioning of SED. In addition, he predicted that the humiliation and degradation would only be reduced if the Western powers were removed from Germany’s territory. Although it is argued that the Berlin Conference of 1948 had little impact on the perception and effect of the Cold War, it was clear that the Cold War influences were ended. For instance, it resolved to eliminate Nazism in the education system and organize the judicial system in accordance with the principles of democracy. Ideally, the Nazis had played a key role in the Cold War.
The ways in which the United States and the Soviet Union approached the pre-Korean War version of the Cold War on the Korean peninsula were going to clearly affect the inter-Korean relationship.The pre-Korean War and Korean War geopolitical dynamics also had consequences for broader Cold War and post-Cold War issues. The Korean War drew major attention within the U.S. society because of its controversial aspects, its implications for the overall U.S. international security policy in the Cold War, and the ways it became a legacy for other controversial wars. This was particularly experienced in the Vietnam War.
The Red Scare was the most feared communist “invasion” experienced in America, as the Soviets were undertaking the spread of communism across the society. The communists were perceived as spreading propaganda across the world with intentions of influencing people to participate in the war. Although it was not quite successful, the Red Scare phenomenon enhanced the Cold War across America. The USSR and the US were involved in tragic and destructive propaganda following this communism period, though an actual war had not erupted.
The Vietnam people started experiencing peace after ruthless economic degradation of its economic welfare by the Japanese following World War II. Vietnam War was fought and the Vietnamese were able to defeat the French and Japanese invaders. Immediately after the war, Ho Chi Minh issued a declaration that proclaimed Independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In his declaration, Ho Chi focused on human rights, liberty, life, and happiness in harnessing the prosperity of Vietnam. This was the same case with the declaration of the Independence of the United States, wherein human rights and freedom were of great importance to this nation. However, the U.S. declaration emphasized economic and political superiority of its government performance; this was not the case in Vietnam’s declaration.
It was not surprising that many French officials came to believe that the United States was systematically attempting to place obstacles in their way to assist Ho Chi Minh’s Vietminh in seizing power in Indochina. The truth behind the controversy has been angrily debated and given rise to charges that could not be resolved. The U.S. officials involved in setting up operations in Indochina were anti-French and did not trust the intentions of French in any way. Ho Chi Minh aimed at dividing the French and Japanese in an attempt to realize success in the Vietnam War. He argued that both France and Japan were involved in the Vietnam War and were against the Chinese Communists and the Soviet Union. Ideally, the same scenario and techniques that Ho Chi Minh used in defeating his enemies were commonly used by other independence leaders. The divide and rule conception has always been the main factor in realization of success in the society.
Although Britain and the United States declined involvement in the Vietnam War, it was clear that their operations were directed to it. The main reason was to bring to an end the problem of terrorism. As it was one of the superpowers in the region, the public expected them to participate in the war and restore peace for other commonwealth member countries. The War was not undertaken in the same territory, therefore, the US soldiers found it difficult to contain the troops of the enemies. More than 3,500 soldiers died in the process, as they had not defined a consistent approach to the war. However, following the frequent attacks on the US soldiers, there was an offensive attack that ensured the end of the Vietnam War in US and Vietnam.
End of the Cold War
The policy of détente was a doctrine that aimed at enhancing peaceful association or interaction between the two superpowers – the United States and the Soviet Union. The intention of the policy was to minimize the hostility between the two states through relaxation of possible tensions. Following a long period, negotiation enhanced peaceful coexistence, which was later considered a success. Meanwhile, President Reagan was an ordinary man who became an extraordinary leader. His defense policies were essential in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. His commitment to a strong national defense and a safe and secure world was personalized through the phrases “peace through strength”, and “trust but verify.”
It is still controversial whether or not the SDI moved the Soviet government to make a series of diplomatic concessions that finally led to the end of the Cold War. Indeed, several Soviet policymakers did acknowledge that the SDI forced them to admit that they could not outspend the United States on the military buildup. Reagan’s moral uneasiness about nuclear weapons, worsened by the frightening image of nuclear war, contributed toward bringing the Cold War to an end. Ideally, the end of the Cold War was facilitated by strategies of withdrawing dangerous arms that endured the political superiority and control of other territories by the superpower countries. Achieving disarmament among various countries enhanced peaceful coexistence across the societies. This was the only way to counter competition in the world, as the superpower countries ensured that it prevented any chance of competition that might be experienced across the society. Although the Cold War has been characterized by human killings and deaths, various lessons have been learnt following the destruction that occurred as a result of the Cold War. Therefore, the most important impact is the implementation or acquiring of strategies that prevent war in the society. The United Nations is enlightening individuals on the effects of war, both politically and economically.