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International Politics on the World Stage, Brief 4/e
World Politics: International Politics on the World Stage, Brief, 4/e
John T. Rourke, University of Connecticut - Storrs
Mark A. Boyer, University of Connecticut - Storrs

The Evolution of World Politics

An Age of Bipolarity- The Cold War ca. 1970

An Age of Bipolarity- The Cold War ca. 1970 (75.0K)

Following the Second World War, the world was divided into two armed camps led by the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union and its allies, the Warsaw Pact countries, feared a U.S.-led takeover of the eastern European countries that became Soviet satellites after the war and the replacing of a socialist political and economic system with a liberal one. The United States and its allies, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries, equally feared that the USSR would overrun western Europe. Both sides sought to defend themselves by building up massive military arsenals. The United States, adopting an international geopolitical strategy of "containment," sought to ring the Soviet Union with a string of allied countries and military bases that would prevent Soviet expansion in any direction. The levels of spending on military hardware contributed to the devolution of the Soviet Union and the obsolescence of alliances and military bases in an age of advanced guidance and delivery systems made the U.S. military containment less necessary. Following a peak in the early 1960s, the cold war gradually became less significant and the age of bipolar international power essentially ended with the dissolution of the USSR.