Cold War: Bridging the Gap to Peace
One might argue that the Cold War divided the world which is still present today. It also pulled countries’ ties with other countries further apart. However, these people fail to realize that the main superpowers of the Cold War are closer together than ever before. Both The United States and Russia (former U.S.S.R.) are now working together to limit the number of strategic arms further from what was settled at SALT I and SALT II. There are also numerous other areas where both the United States and Russia have become closer in relations than ever before. This created a stable world peace for the time being.
The Arms Race in the Cold War brought about plenty of newly designed weapons capable of massive destruction. By 1969, both the United States and U.S.S.R. have developed over one thousand missiles to be used at their disposal. At the end of the Cold War and the fall of the U.S.S.R., both countries looked for ways to reduce the number of arms to prevent this atrocity from every happening again. In 1979, SALT-II was signed by the two countries but was lost over a quarrel over Afghanistan. What people don’t realize was that the talks resumed and created a new program to further limit the number of ICBMs and other weapons of mass destruction. This program was entitled START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). Besides including the two countries, Soviet satellite countries joined the program as well such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
Countries developed a defense program called NATO which would be used to help counties being attacked by the U.S.S.R. and its satellite countries. After the fall of the U.S.S.R., on May 27th, 1997, Russia joined NATO in Paris which marked the beginning of a “commitment to build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area based on the principles of democracy and cooperative security,” (Lord Robertson- NATO Security General). Many find that this is a little ironic as NATO was created to help fight against Russia and the rest of the U.S.S.R. and now the once hated enemy has now become part of the program. Although ironic, the signing of Russia to NATO shows that the relations between Russia and the western world have improved greatly.
One final area where the United States and Russia have become closer together is in space. During the Cold War, the Space Race was used to show technological and scientific superiority by one country over another. The race ended with the Apollo 11 mission in which Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. While a lot has happened since that famous mission in 1969, including the creation of the International Space Station. With the creation of the International Space Station, space superiority is now a worldwide effort in which we all share a common goal. There is no race anymore, only a race against time rather than against each other.
The Cold War brought upon plenty of hardships between countries and also the verge of a nuclear warfare in 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis. But with the Cold War over and the fall of the U.S.S.R., the strength in the ties between the two countries has grown to become as close as ever. Just goes to show that sometimes you have to go backward before you can go forward.