Cold War, The

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cold War, The


a term that came into common use after World War II (1939–45) to designate the policy of reactionary and aggressive circles in the West toward the Soviet Union, the other socialist countries, and the nations struggling for independence, peace, democracy, and socialism. The cold war policy is meant to exacerbate and maintain international tension by creating and supporting conditions favorable to the outbreak of a “hot war” (“balancing on the brink of war”); it is a policy designed to justify an unrestrained arms race, increased military expenditures, growing reaction, and intensified persecution of the progressive forces in the capitalist countries.

The cold war policy was openly proclaimed in a speech by W. Churchill in the United States on Mar. 5, 1945 (in Fulton, Mo.), in which he called for an Anglo-American alliance to wage the struggle against “world communism headed by Soviet Russia.” The various forms of the cold war and its arsenal of methods include the formation of a system of military and political alliances, such as NATO, and the establishment of an extensive network of military bases; a speedup of the arms race, including nuclear weapons and other means of mass destruction; the use of force, the threat of force, or a threatened arms buildup as a means of influencing the policies of other states (“atomic diplomacy,” for example, or the policy of “acting from a position of strength”); the application of economic pressure (such as discrimination in trade); increased subversive activity on the part of the intelligence services; the encouragement of putsches and coups d’etat; anticommunist propaganda and ideologically diversionary activities (“psychological warfare”); and the attempt to obstruct the establishment and implementation of political, economic, and cultural ties among states.

The Soviet Union and the other countries in the socialist community have exerted themselves to eliminate the cold war and to normalize the international situation. The radical change that has taken place in the balance of power in the world arena—a change in favor of peace and socialism—was chiefly due to the growing might of the USSR and the entire socialist community; as a result of this change, the early 1970’s saw a shift toward the relaxation of international tension. In the first half of the 1970’s the success of the policy of détente was reflected in the various agreements concluded between the USSR and the USA, the creation of a set of treaties and agreements recognizing the inviolability of Europe’s postwar borders, the signing of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the various other agreements that marked the breakup of the cold war.

The USSR and its sister socialist countries are carrying on the struggle against the cold war in any possible form; they are striving to make détente sink deeper roots—to turn it into an irreversible process—so that solutions can be found to the overriding issues of peace and security among nations.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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