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The Cold War

Readings:

1) Introduction & The German question (pg: 216-220)

2) From takeover to conformity: The USSR and Eastern Europe (pg: 220-224)

3) The United States, containment and Western Europe (pg: 224-230)

4) On every front (pg: 230-232)

5) A Wasting asset? Nuclear weapons (pg: 236-238)

6) Culture and propaganda & The Cold War’s Hot Kitchen  (pg: 238-240)

7) The Berlin Wall & Conclusion (pg: 240-242)


Useful Resources:

BBC Article: The Legacy of WWII: Decline, Rise and Recover

BBC Article: President Truman and the origins of the Cold War

George Orwell’s You and the Atomic Bomb

CNN article: What the Berlin Wall still stands for

Discussion Question:

Please read Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,the president of Indonesia’s article in The New York Times titled, “The World Cannot Afford A New Cold War”

-What is the main point of his article?

-Do you agree/disagree with his point? Why? Please explain in detail.

-Do you think we have a new Cold War going on today? Please explain.


  1. The main point of this article is that once the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War came to an end the issues began to resolve and relations between the major powers improved. However know it is different with climate change, food and energy. I agree with his point I really dont think that we can afford another Cold War. Like literally we can not financially subsidize another war because we are in an economic crisis. I think that even though we shouldnt we do have another Cold War. We are fighting over multiple things at once and invading another country. Just like i a quote i saw the other day, “Why do we kill people to kill people to show that killing people is wrong”. Like the whole problem with Afganistan and global warming.

  2. “The World Cannot Afford a New Cold War”
    Main Point of the Article – Interestingly it was written by the President of Indonesia, and from his perspective. He is observing that the arms race has halted and that the conflicts of today are within “states” (or countries) and not between them. This is a very good sign that we can tackle certain global challenges cooperatively. He is advocating that the global superpowers of the United States, China and Russia join together to face the new threats to our existence on this earth, which are resolving problems relating to energy, food production and availability and climate change.

    Do I agree/disagree? I definitely agree that we have to solve problems such as balancing the supply/demand factors relating to oil, and that we need to find a solution to get away from our dependency on oil. With all of the continued fighting in the Mid-East, however, it is hard to figure out how this can be achieved. The free world certainly has banded together to fight terrorism on a global scale. The author also points out the need to devote enormous resources to these problems. I am concerned that the US is always looked to to kick in the most, and I am afraid, with all of the challenges to our economy, that we will run out of funds. I agree with the author that the challenges he highlights are the global issues of most concern. I only hope that we can find a way to resolve them without bankrupting the world.

    Do I think we have a Cold War going on today? I agree with the author that, at the moment, while there is tension between the Russia and the west over certain military matters like Russia and Georgia and Kosovo’s independence, it has not yet risen to the level of a Cold War. I also agree that we should try to diffuse these tensions and deal with them diplomatically, so that we can turn our energies and resources to the global challenges facing the world in the areas of energy, food availability and global warming.

  3. I would say that the main point of this article is that countries cannot afford to be competative and overly focused on their militaries while there are huge, threatning issues in the world that we should all be focused on. This includes the world’s food shortage, climate change, and energy sources.

    I definitley agree with this article. Large, powerful countries need to be mature and lead the rest of the world in fighting these problems. Action needs to be taken immediatley by countries like the U.S, Russia, and China, in hopes that all other countries in the world will follow.

    Because the only other Cold War that I know of is the one we are studying in history right now, I don’t think the world has any war of that degree going on at this time. However,I certainly think the competativness of these countries has the potential to turn into another cold war. Another cold war just cannot happen today, because that would set us all back even further in acheiving our goal to find new energy sources and food sources.

  4. First of all, it was really interesting to read a current events article that connected to our Cold War studies. It truly shows that history repeats itself.
    In this article, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is recognizing global issues and how every country should respond to them. The author also acknowledges the differences between compassion and hatred, diplomacy and violence. He also notes that there are issues that have been only slightly skimmed by the political world like malnourishment, climate change and energy conservation.
    I completely agree with everything Yudhoyono says. I feel that the global political system has not used its extreme power to support causes that are in dire need of help. The meetings of Copenhagen are definitely a great step forward, but the resulting decisions must be extremely impactful and I don’t know that we are ready to sacrifice our oil, auto and other businesses for the climate.
    In terms of a new Cold War, the author writes, “It is not likely that the world will go back to the ideological divide of the 20th century. The real danger lies in the fact that this chill, if it persists and reverberates throughout the international system, could divert attention and resources from the critical issues of the day.”
    His point is not that the 20th Century cold war will reoccur, but that the “chill” Russia and the West is experiencing will distract us from what we really need to focus on, like climate change, energy, malnourishment, etc.
    I agree. I don’t believe that the Cold War will be repeated with the same intensity and significance as it did in the last century, but we can’t afford to focus on political drama and petty fights, like we’re in middle school.

  5. The main point of the article (written by the president of Indonesia) is that the world cannot afford a new Cold War. The President says that since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the world has seen progress in relations between the major world powers. He says that the threat of nuclear war has been diminished and that “democracy and open society [have] spread across the globe.” However, the president says that he is worried that Russia’s recent conflict with Georgia, coupled with America’s invasions in the middle east may be the catalyst for a new Cold War. He points out that America, Russia, and China all spend more today on their military than they did during the height of the Cold War. The President says that another Cold War will distract the world from the true problems of today: “energy, food, and climate change.”

    I agree with the President of Indonesia. The first Cold War created a scenario of mutually assured destruction which almost destroyed both America and the U.S.S.R.. Imagine what would happen now with even more powerful weapons and technology, and with more countries with nuclear capabilities. Even if we managed not to blow each other up, a Cold War would distract the world from the true issues of today. The goals of the global community should be to ratify meaningful climate change initiatives and reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. A Cold War would prevent us from achieving these goals.

    We do not have a Cold War going on today. We have open trade with Russia and China and significantly improved relationships with both countries. We are not fighting in proxy wars, or engaging in espionage. Also, the ideological divide between America and Russia has been diminished. Russia is no longer truly communist, and we are more socialist than we were thirty years ago. The Cold War fought over ideological divides which no longer exist to the extent that they once did.

  6. The article, written by the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is focused on his perspective on the world as we see it. Looking back to the time of the Berlin walls demolition (1889) and the end of the Cold War, Yudhoyono explains how the presented issues had come to a rest and relations between major powers, such as the USSR, China and the US had improved. The improvements between these highlighted countries have indirectly given todays society a good vision in fixing global challenges that are presented in current day events. The president explains that problems relating to energy and oil, food production and availability, and climate change are those that need resolving and with the collaboration of the three highlighted countries, USSR, China and the US, those goals can be accomplished. The task of finding a proper balance between oil supply and demand, and finding solutions of all the factors above is without a question, completely necessary, beneficial and easy to agree with, however finding a way to find a solution, that’s the hard part. So how can we achieve such a goal with the continuous fighting between the Middle East that is eating away the fund of the United States? I agree, we cannot afford another Cold War. The United States with the “money” label stuck on to us, cannot, in this day in age, specifically support the resolutions financially. In other words, with our economic crisis at full throttle, the United States can not contribute the funds needed. Do I think we have a cold war going on today? No. At the moment, there are controversial conflicts that have risen and are continuously moving forward to a point of devastation, but I do not think that conflicts like the War in the Mid- east, the on- going tensions between conflicting countries and problems relating food and oil have risen to the level of the Cold War. The last sentence of the article is “Let us stay on course and complete that journey.” ‘That journey’ relates to the idea that we should face challenges in the areas of energy, climate and food availability, try to disperse all tensions and conflicts, and deal with them in a tactic manner.

  7. -What is the main point of his article?
    The main point of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s article is that at this time the world cannot afford another Cold War, we have more important things to focus on now. Yudhoyono says that since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, threats of a World War III diminished and tensions among nations were eased. Yudhoyono highlights three of the world’s most influential countries, the US, China and the USSR. As tensions eased amongst them, he notes that, “…Democracy and open society spread across the globe….”. He says that most conflicts today are state to state, not country to country and that we cannot afford another world war. Today, we have more important things to focus on, such as energy, food and climate change.
    -Do you agree/disagree with his point? Why? Please explain in detail.
    I completely agree, we must focus on things like global warming and energy conservation. He says that we cannot afford to focus on a new Cold War. War’s prevent us on focusing from the task at hand, which is very important
    -Do you think we have a new Cold War going on today? Please explain.
    Today, I would say no but I think it could definitely become one if things escalate further. Right now we are fighting Iraq and Afghanistan, both are small in power compared to Russia and China. Today, we have the power over these two countries, so I think right now we are find. We won’t be ok thought if China or Russia gets involved in this war or we start having problems with them. For instance if they get involved with the Iraq war and side with Iraq, they we are in trouble. Until then I think we can solve this war without any problem.

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