This paper demonstrates an insightful study of the Cold War and its impact on the growing relations between the US and the Europe. Europe is considered to be one of the greatest allies of US in the era of 'war on terrorism' first on Afghanistan and on Iraq.The Cold War played a great role in bringing the two countries together for their economic, geopolitical and security needs. While the Europe wants to remain as a close ally of United States, the United States wants to strengthen Europe to project the country as its strong global partner.Besides studying the impact of Cold War in shaping the economic, social and political relationship between United States and Europe, this paper also provides an overview to the background of the Cold War and the geographic and the strategic importance of the region for the United States and Soviet Union.
The cold war was commenced in the late 1940s and ended in the late 1980s. The war broke out as an aftermath of the First and Second World War. Crockatt (1995) states that major cause behind the war was the increasing strength and dominance of United States in the global context after the First World War. The potency of United States and the continuing impuissance of Soviet Union Empire evoked a clash of two forces claiming to be super powers. The contentions between United States and Soviet Union erupted as the two countries began to perceive each others as enemies and competitors in global arena. After the First World War, the United States emerged as the global economic power and this continued to be a source of hostility on the part of the Soviet Union, which faced devastating consequences after the war.
Gates (1996) propounds that the World War II further ignited the issue of dominance, which resulted into the debilitation of two giant global economic and geopolitical powers; British and French. Thus, as a consequence, the European rule came to an end and two new powers emerged on the global geopolitical screen; the United States and Soviet Union. The Second World War transformed the global geopolitical scenario as the two previous economic powers tumbled and two new contenders for global superiority emerged on the scene. Hence, the issues between United States and Soviet Union further aggravated and both the countries started to conspire against each other.
European region was one of the regions in the world that attracted the grave attention of both the countries. Soviet Union faced imminent threats from the East European region with both the regions sharing the same borders. Leffler (1994) states that as the influence of Soviet Union grew into the East European region, the United States and Western European countries began to perceive it as a threat to their global dominance and security. Furthermore, the United States gave rise to policies curtailing the influence of Soviet Union in the region. In the same breath, the United states promoted its anti-communism policies in order to minimize the Soviet activities around the globe.
In the Second World War, mass destructive nuclear weapons were used on the part of all the economic powers. It made other countries join the race for development in nuclear and missile technologies and considered it to be of significant essence to their security concerns. Kissinger (1994) illuminates that the Second World War, which led to the global competition for nuclear weapons, enhanced the potency of United States and accelerated the decline of Soviet Union as a global economic power. Having realized the pre-eminence of being an atomic power, the United States decided to strengthen itself as the giant nuclear power so as to maximize its influence globally.
This was all the background of the consequences that led to the beginning of Cold War during 1940s, in which the United States and the Soviet Union remained as prominent players of the game. Walker (1993) expresses that the Cold War was permuted into a political war after the beginning of Korean War, which