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Lecture

Cold War Realism


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Cold War Realism
11. 29. 1020
End of WWIIDivision of EuropeHungary 1956
In 1956, America encouraged the Hungarian revolution.
However, America decided not to get involved in the conflict when the USSR invaded Hungary. The US
was unwilling to start WWIII.
This was the last opportunity for US to defeat the UUSR militarily.
During WWII, Berlin was occupied by both the allied powers and the USSR. Berlin was deep inside East
Germany. The border dividing West and East Berlin was open until 1962. The border was closed to
prevent people from East Berlin from going to West Berlin possibly taking a plane to West Germany.
From Confrontation to Stalemate
Nuclear weaponsweapons of a new kind.
Normally weapons were made to be used in wars. Nuclear weapons were too powerful to be used like
other weapons.
Nuclear weapons were meant to be used only when the enemy has launched their nuclear weapons or if
the country is almost completely overrun as a last resort.
US Monopoly on nuclear Weapons – 1945 – 1949
US superiority 1949-1968: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
Key to winning a nuclear war is not first strike but second strike.
Parity 1968 – 1991, US and USSR nuclear and conventional military are matched, standing toe to toe.
Nuclear Capacity
US
# of nuclear weapons created, 1951 – present, 67500.
Total # nuclear bombers built, 1945 – present: 4680.
Peak # of nuclear warheads and bombs in the stockpile/year: 32193 (1966)
USSR
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