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Relooking the Cold War


The Cold War, the war which ironically was fought without a single battle, dominated the latter half of the 20th century. For almost half a century, the world was stuck in a tug-of-war between the USA and the Soviet Union. The winner achieved what countless monarchs have sought over eons - world domination.

In the end, the winner was clear - the United States of America had achieved it. But at what cost? A cost underestimated by most people- at the cost of millions of lives, at the cost of irreparable damage to the world economy, at the cost of splitting up of countless countries and even at the cost of self-destruction.

Much of what ails the world today, is a direct product of the Cold War and it's bloody aftermath. Take Korea, a country split up into two based on different ideologies - the USSR's ideology and the USA's ideology. This splitting up of Korea has cost the world a lot - even today, 22 years after the Cold War's end the 38th parallel which divides North and South Korea remains the most highly militarized region of the world.

North Korea is now reportedly in possession of nuclear weapons, a undeniable threat to international peace and security. Millions of North Koreans are starving today - to the extent that reports of cannibalism are widespread. The people there are under constant uncertainty - uncertainty whether they will live to see the next morning.

For what reason do these people have to suffer? Just for the bad choices of the USSR and the USA. Had these countries not supported North Korea and South Korea respectively, the peninsula would have been united, under whichever form of government the Korean people choose.

The Korean peninsula is not the only affected region, there are so many more. The Southeast Asia region to say, had to face decades on political and economical instability due to the proxy war being fought there. Cambodia and Vietnam are the most prominent examples of such countries.

Even Europe has suffered to a large extent. The Yugoslavian crisis still afflicts the region. A single country split into so many different parts. Germany happens to be one of the lucky few countries to have averted such a crisis. Instead of a permanent split or further splitting up, East and West Germany reunified under much more desirable and peaceful circumstances.

In fact, the Cold War has even become the USA's own nemesis. After the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, the USA started actively supporting rebel Islamic fundamentalist groups there. After the Soviet withdrawal, these rebels took over the Government. And who might these rebels be? None but the Taliban.

This very Taliban militants that USA patronized and supported are the ones who wholeheartedly supported the Al Qaeda. This goes to prove that the USA has no one to blame but itself for the 9/11 terrorist attack, which killed 3,000 innocent civilians. It's foreign policy during the Cold War is to blame for this.

So did the USA learn it's lesson after 9/11? No. They instead invaded Afghanistan themselves and launched the 'War on Terror.' And the drain of wealth due to this war can be seen on the US Treasury. Today, the US Government faces a staggeringly enormous pile of debt, mostly sourced from China and it's Government.

This in fact was the basis of the 'fiscal cliff' crisis which the USA faced but a few months ago.  Looking back now, one acknowledges how terrifying it might have been for the Government of USA, standing almost on the verge of economic oblivion.

By taking huge sums of money from China on loan, the USA virtually ended it's dominance on the world and it's economy. China began to control more and more of the US economy. Today, China essentially controls USA's economy. Without a China, US's economy and it's very foundation shall crumble.

Mr. Barack Obama understands best the mistakes made by his predecessors. I believe that undoing this damage and improving USA's image are the driving points of his foreign policy. Thus, he is working on a pullout from Afghanistan after withdrawing from Iraq. This also reveals the reason why he has been dragging his feet over Syria for so long.

The Cold War should be a lesson for all aspiring superpowers in the world - most notably China. The cost of becoming a sole superpower is pricey and could also lead to a slow but steady self-destruction. Let it be a reminder to all our world leaders not to repeat the mistakes of the Cold War.

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