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Both developed such powerful weapons which were too dangerous to be used in practice, but which contributed to the feeling of security, because they acted as deterrent.
Especially some Multinational Corporations neglect these directives, since there is a lot of money to be made.
An example is the recent breach of an embargo which the US had put on a Middle-Eastern Country and which was broken by a French MNC.
On one occasion, the whole World held its breath, as everyone thought that now the Cold War would turn “hot”; the Cuban missile crises.
The stationing of Russian missiles on Cuba was seen as an atrocious provocation by the US, since it was in what the Americans had always considered as their “backyard”, and they had no defence (weapons) facing that way(actually, the fact that Castro was in power was sufficient reason for them to be enraged, and they tried several times to assassinate or overthrow him).
In the post WWII-era the Americans thought that the Russians were aiming to incorporate Western Europe (the US & British sphere of influence) into their sphere of influence (Eastern Europe) by supporting the communists in these countries.
Their fears were enforced when a “coup substituted communist for coalition rule in Prague.” (Calvocoressi, p.15)(even though this is an Eastern European Country, the fact that a coup was staged against a democratic government is reason enough to raise their fears).Due to the reforms Russia fell into economic chaos.Inflation rose to four figures, and prices for the bare necessities of life, e.g. People could not just buy bread when they wanted, which was not just due to the high prices, but also because there were shortages in supply.Although these reasons have always played a role as causes of war throughout history, they were in the last 50 years overshadowed by the cause of ideology.Now, with ideology not on top of the agenda anymore, these causes have regained their importance.Since the end of the Cold War a “new World order” has established itself. (Due to the disintegration of the USSR mentioned earlier.) Although it is still a nuclear power, its importance on the world stage has certainly declined from what it was ten years ago.The main cause for this is the shift in the respective positions of power of the USA and the USSR. It is much less hostile towards the USA, and the other democratic international community.This could be seen in 1991, when a “multi-national-force” (although mainly US troops) invaded Kuwait and parts of Iraq; Russia did not condemn these actions.The position of the USA as a superpower has also changed.In this ideologically hostile environment the Cold War began.It was characterised by the arms race between the two superpowers who were eager to preserve their spheres of influence.