Relationship Between Cold War And War On Terror Politics Essay

The Cold War period lasted for about 45 old ages, from 1945 to 1991. It began at the terminal of the Second World War and with the prostration of the Soviet Union. The war was the phase for the West ‘s battle against communist thoughts and alterations. This long erosion struggle brought to go through an addition in production and trade of weaponries and an visual aspect of a new universe order. The chief rule of the cold war can be seen as the competition in thoughts, weaponries and domains of influence between the East and West. ( Dockrill & A ; Hughes, 2006 )

After Afghan terrorists dramatically attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 ; America declared a war on panic and flew its military personnels into Afghanistan in chase of revenging their state and capturing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Again America found itself in resistance to the East, however this clip a different part. And once more the East was contending against this new universe order and America ‘s quest for universe domination in a globalising universe.

The purpose of the essay is to research the relationship between the cold war and the ‘war on panic ‘ in Afghanistan, to happen similarities in political forms and warfare and to place how the ‘war on panic ‘ is a continuance of the Cold War.

Main Body

The Cold War marked the battle between America and the USSR after the Second World War. The war influenced international personal businesss majorly. It influenced the manner struggles were handled, the manner states were divided up and the increasing growing in arms production. The United States of America every bit good as the USSR had arms of mass devastations in atomic signifier, which formed a planetary menace for all humanity. However, both world powers were cognizant of the transcending dangers of their atomic arms. ( Mason, 1996 ) Therefore they would non contend an unfastened war against each other. However they fought wars by placeholder, back uping other states to contend each other on their behalf. An illustration of this is the Vietnam War. While the Soviets supported the communist North of Vietnam, the United States supplied the anti-communist South with arms and combatants. Therefore it was non merely a war between North and South Vietnam but a proxy war between the Soviet Union and America. America perceived the USSR as anti-democratic and as oppressor of civil autonomies. However one can reason that capitalist America was opposing the USSR because they were distributing communist thoughts and they were anti-capitalist and hence an obstruction to planetary administration. ( Woods & A ; Jones, 1991 ) The USSR perceived America as a terrible menace to their communist boundary lines. Both parties lived in a signifier of paranoia about one another, with feelings of intuitions and misgiving and the deficiency of apprehension of political relations and civilizations lead to a unsafe class, which was the cold war.

In the late 1970 ‘s Afghanistan was sing political troubles. Hazifullah Amin, the premier curate had a program to alter Afghan political relations and society and to make away with Muslim traditions in order to present a more western system. This did non delight most Afghans who valued their Moslem traditions. Therefore they joined the mujahidin, a guerilla group who opposed Amin ‘s government and Soviet intercession. It is interesting to cognize that the Taliban are a cabal derived from a group of mujahidin. ( Encyclopaedia Britannica ) The Soviets fought a hopeless war against the group in the unfamiliar districts of the mountains. Though the Russians were a world power they did non predominate against the guerillas, who they deemed terrorists. The mujahideen finally overthrew the Afghan authorities and drove out the Russians. Furthermore, it is believed that the mujahidin had patrons every bit good as entree to American missiles. As such it can be argued that America used the guerilla group as placeholder against communist Russia. It is interesting to recognize that those groups and states the world powers used as proxy, were trained and supported by them. They learnt the combat methods of the world powers, gained arms and increased their cognition of the usage of those arms. Therefore one can comprehend the sarcasm, that the Taliban, who relate to the mujahidin were antecedently sponsored by America.

Now at the beginning of the 21st century, many old ages after the cold war, a different yet similar type of menace engages the United States. Terrorism nowadays is portion of changeless political argument. America was wounded profoundly on 9/11 which lead the state to contend an unfastened ended war against terrorist act and to occupy Afghanistan. The state believed, as former US president George W. Bush said that the al-Qaeda and Taliban were evil actors who continued the class of fascism, Nazism and dictatorship. Bush himself here draws a analogue to the Cold war. Further he states that “ either you are with us or you are with the terrorists ” . ( CNN, 2001 ) Terrorism was an immorality that had to be fought and neutralised. Afghanistan needed to be freed from its extremism and it needed a sensible system with broad democracies and western values. Again there was a divide between the West and the E and between freedom and subjugation. And once more on both sides there was the preparedness to instantly utilize powerful military force. ( Ivie, 2005 ) However one of import difference between both wars is that during the cold war, though wars were fought by placeholder, the opposing states still had civilised meetings and arguments in order to happen a peaceable solution. The war on panic nevertheless, did or does non go forth room or clip for dialogue. Whether the perceptual experience of the menace was exaggerated or the response appropriate has been debated since twenty-four hours one of the invasion. However America should non hold been so speedy to occupy Afghanistan. There are many grounds for this statement, foremost because Afghanistan as a state did non assail the United States but it was the work of a little group of people in Afghanistan. ( Mamdani, 2004 ) Second America should hold aimed to run into with leaders of the Afghan authorities to discourse a cooperation in order to capture terrorists groups and to undertake the job internally. If this would hold failed, the States would look for other options and if all cooperation failed, so endanger the state with an invasion. America was wounded, it was hurt, ashamed and scared and yes it was angry and demanded action, yet the action it took was non the right 1. It has been over eight old ages since the invasion of the Middle East and non much has been achieved since.

As the Cold war can be describes as a war of thoughts, so can the war on panic be describes as a war of thoughts and values. The Cold war was a competition and battle for power. It lasted for decennaries but the provinces involved did negotiate and did run into in treatment to happen possible solutions to the struggle. In contrast, the war on panic does non accept dialogues between the West and the terrorists. Though there are cooperation between many provinces worldwide to battle terrorist act, there is no existent communicating between the provinces who matter, viz. between the West and the East. However during both wars America dealt with a sensed menace and fright of the foreign. There emerged a new national security province with internal surveillance and increased security steps. ( Lafeber, 2002 ) Nowadays more and more intelligent surveillance engineering is being developed. However these innovations might non ever be ethical and they do present a menace to civil autonomies. In the instance of the freshly manufactured 3D full organic structure scanners at airdromes, which are so elaborate that it becomes possible to absolutely see the individual bare, people and groups have been outraged. The province faces a hard determination between increased security and the protection of people ‘s privateness. ( The Guardian, 2010 )

However, the terrorist menace of al-Qa’ida besides can be seen as different from the danger of the USSR. While the al-Qa’ida is a comparatively little group, the Soviet Union is an tremendously big province, with a great sum of atomic arms, forces and Alliess. While the first was about a battle for power, the later is a battle against the influence of western capitalist economy and mistreatments. Nevertheless both the Soviet Union and the al-Qaeda were and are contending against capitalist thoughts. This is non to propose that Russia has terrorist characteristics. But it is to place the relationship between the two struggles. Thus it can be said that there is a continuance of the battle against capitalist economy and hence a continuance of the struggle between the West and the East. Besides this struggle is a battle against globalization. As capitalist economy thrives on an of all time shrinkage and interrelated universe, with unfastened boundary lines and free markets which globalisation facilitates.

The terminal of the Cold War was brought to go through by battle instead than by devastation of the menace. The ‘war on panic ‘ on the other manus purposes to eliminate the job strictly through military intercession. Anatol Lieven argues that in order to accomplish some durable success, America must non merely conflict the terrorist groups themselves, but besides the wider motions that give them support and shelter. By interrupting down their fiscal beginnings and weaponries supply, those groups can go diminished and more easy to gaining control. Furthermore Lieven points out the importance of larning from history. He urges United States policy shapers to larn the lessons of the Cold War. ( Lieven, 2001 ) America should avoid the same errors they made in Vietnam, which led to their licking and attack the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in a different mode ; else the struggle will further even more hatred and a turning line of enemies. Robert Fisk argues that the war in Iraq as it is now is a bad maneuver. America has captured Sadam Hussein, now it is clip to put in the democracy they promised. However it is non possible to coerce democracy on any state with the agencies of war. Fisk goes on to reason that while the thought of democracy is good, America should come into the Middle East with instructors, physicians and bookmans alternatively of ground forcess, armored combat vehicles and arms. ( Fisk, 1989 )

The Cold War was non merely a war of military operation but besides one of political relations, political orientations and economic sciences ; and so is the contemporary ‘war on panic ‘ . The Cold war was an immediate continuance of the Second World War with a battle for universe power between two world powers, and so is the ‘war on panic ‘ a continuance of the Cold War. Misinterpretations and distrust lead to the struggles of that clip. Not much has changed in this regard. The terrorist groups are contending against the past and present influence the West and particularly America has had on them. In order to near an terminal of the struggle both oppositions have to understand each other ‘s thought. America has to recognize that the extremist Islamist motions of today, merely as the precedent Communist motions, are fuelled by patriotism. ( Lieven, 2001 ) Tradition is really valuable to the East, and this the West needs to understand and accept. Merely so will the West be successful in happening support from Muslim states.


In drumhead, the Cold War and the ‘war on panic ‘ are related in that they evolve the same enemies, the same political orientations and similar schemes. As the Russians fought against capitalist economy in the yesteryear, so is now the Middle East contending against Western capitalist influence. The opposition remains the same. America the war loving state is of all time so contending against an ‘evil ‘ which has to forcefully alter its ways. Now as so, the United States is concentration their tactics on military power instead than on diplomatic solutions. Though they did prosecute in political meetings with the USSR so, the state still fought wars by placeholder. It is hence of import that the state plots new schemes with the Cold War ‘s successes and failures clearly in head. The West has to esteem the East ‘s patriot thoughts and seek to understand each other ‘s traditional values in order to come to a positive decision. Misinterpretations have to be done off ; meetings between both parties have to take topographic point and understandings have to be formulated. Until so the ‘war on panic ‘ , the continuance of the Cold War, will non be resolved.