Cold War/ Proxy Wars
There is a debate for a long time on whether the Brutal Cold War was/is a Battle of ideologies or not: 1991?
Wars are fought between two or more countries simply for the state or its ruler’s interests. We can say that it’s a struggle/tussle for power. The Cold war which is also called proxy wars means countries using their allies to fight the wars instead of fighting themselves.
In my opinion, the Cold War is just portrayed as ideological wars but practically they are the wars of power-seeking. Human nature is all about power-seeking and realism, even for being a liberalist you have to be a realist first so you have that particular power to prevail the liberalism.
The most impactful ideologies are fascism, communism, and liberalism. All these ideologies divided the world which created an unended instability in the world order, which could be seen in the present world as well. The Cold war started after the fall of the Nazi’s, Hitler’s dominancy was spreading so fast at that time, His motive was to impose fascism, in which the US and USSR became allies despite being the enemies just to defeat the Common Nazi’s (fascism), the art of possible.
After defeating the Nazi’s there left two ideologies communism (USSR) and liberalism (US) which now wanted to impose their ideologies on the world. USSR started by entering Afghanistan. US defeated the USSR with help of their allies i.e. PAK and were successful there as well to become the sole power. After WW2 western European states were weak by taking the advantage of that weakness President of the US Harry Truman declared that the US will help the other countries and provide basic needs like military and economic assistance. Weaker countries had no other choice left to accept the US offer.
The US is dominating at the moment and is quite successful in imposing its ideology as it emerged as the only contender of being a superpower after the Brutal Cold war ended in 1991. They think that liberalism is best for the world and they will the ones who will protect the rights of people throughout the world by imposing their ideology. But in reality, all they are doing this is just to become the superpower.
NATO was also formed to fight against USSR as the concept of proxy wars was also introduced during the ideological war between Russia and the US in response to NATO USSR formed the Warsaw pact. Both these NATO and Warsaw Pact comprises of the countries supporting the Russia and US by becoming their allies. The interesting point here is that the US and Soviets never confronted each other directly.
Examples: US v China, the US in middle-east, US v Taliban.
Portraying themselves, as a liberalist to become realist, all these ideologies perspective was that imposing their ideologies in the world will create stability or will help them and other states greatly, but nobody is messiah, all of this was just to become the sole power and rule the world. We could link the realism and liberalism theory here. Different theories were applied in these wars such as Karl Max’s communism, liberalism, and realism, behavioralism as well, which could be linked with China at the moment.
CASE STUDIES FROM PAST AND PRESENT:
If we take the example of the Vietnam War (1955-75), which we could say was the beginning of proper proxy wars a prerequisite to the Brutal Cold war. It was fought between North Vietnam who was allied with USSR and South Vietnam who were allies to the US. Many people died in this War. More than 3million people were killed of which 58 thousand were Americans.
Another example of the Korean War (1950) was an indirect starting of war by using allies in which North Korea was backed by Soviets and South Korea was backed by the US. In this War, the North Korean army crossed the 3rth parallel line and invaded some parts of Russia.
It was the beginning of the Brutal Cold war and this invasion was the first military action. About 5 million people lost their lives. Side effects of this can still be observed clearly. Korea is still divided and there has been a critical situation in recent times as well because of that dispute which began in the past because of two strong countries trying to impose their ideologies.
Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) almost brought the world to the brink of Nuclear War. This dispute went for 13 days political and military confrontation between Soviets and US. US wanted to invade Cuba because which Soviets installed the nuclear weapons just 90 miles away from US shores and in return the US blocked the Soviet’s ships as well. This issue was later resolved after the leader of the Soviets Khrushchev sent the message to US leader Kennedy not to invade Cuba and they will back of their nuclear installations which were too close to US shores.
This Cold War or Ideological war was not only fought militarily or politically but it was fought scientifically as well as economically too. In the late 50s space war also began as the Soviets launched the first-ever artificial earth satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957. This surprised the US greatly and in response to it, America launched the Juno 1. It was a rocket satellite launched in 1958. Later the US also achieved the feat of Apollo 11 it was spaceflight landing the first two humans on the Moon in 1969.
Furthermore, the Afghan War began in 1979 which was and is one of the most critical and ongoing issues of the globe. The decline and end of an era of USSR rule started from here. US forces, CIA, PAK forces, and Mujahideens helped in defeating the Soviets. Russia wanted to spread communism in AFG and the USA wanted to impose democracy, however, the main interest of both the states was the warm waters and excess to transportation of goods. Invading AFG was the best way to rule that region.
Neither of them wanted to bring peace to AFG. Since 1979 Afghanistan had experienced great destruction after the end of the Soviets here in AFG, USA finally succeeded in becoming the unipolar power. The reason which I believed made the US successful was the tag of the democracy, people were tired of the dominancy system they wanted equality and freedom of speech and that’s what the US and democracy promised to give. After the years of struggle US never got succeeded in invading Afghanistan. The current predicament of the region is that after the failure US is leaving AFG and letting it remain disputed and unresolved which will bring more chaos to the region.
This War has still not ended. If we contemplate on the current situation which Comprises of two powerful nations US and China which are fighting an indirect War as well. China being the Tech-giant and boosting their economy is competing with the US at the moment which is a threat to the USA is the sole superpower that is creating an environment to initiate a Brutal Cold war and some of its precursors are seen in form of tax bombs on Chinese export to the US.
As we talked about different theories like liberalism, realism, China has adopted a behaviouralist approach, in my opinion, neither being too aggressive nor being too defensive instead they have planned everything so properly and decently by helping weaker countries economically and not using their military power making allies across the world and becoming a big threat to the US. The biggest example is Pak-China (CPEC).
Critical Analysis of Cold War:
As mentioned above the Brutal Cold war is not just about the war of ideologies but in reality, it was the war of becoming powerful by portraying themselves as the messiah. None of them is God sent everybody wants to rule. It just depends on what interests the people, as the US succeeded in imposing democracy just because people wanted freedom and promising to make countries economically strong too. It’s all about benefits; whoever offers a good amount is most probably the one to achieve its goal. Like at present China is rising so quickly because they are being able to give states and their people the benefits which they wanted.
In my opinion and what I have understood by all these disputes is that the Brutal Cold war the economic war and tussle to become the powerful more than the war of ideologies. Even it was ever war of ideologies in the past it is not anymore. Interests and benefits are all that matter now. It started all from the rule of the British.
They ruled for a long time until they were benefitting the people, then came the Soviets after the decline of British rule they became the Superpower, and then came the US they were able to benefit the world more than the Soviets do so they became the Superpower and at the present it seems like China is going to be the Superpower along with the US still uncertain and not sure but there’s a big possibility of that. Such desires are not meant to be ended; this war will go on until the world and society exist. Let’s hope for the best.