The Cold War: What Is the Main Reason That Government Officials Believed It Was Necessary to Curtail Americans’ Freedoms and What Are Some Examples Where This Occurred?
Interspersed with such moves toward cooperation, however, were hostile acts that threatened broader conflict, such as the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 and the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968. The long rule of Leonid Brezhnev (1964–1982) is now referred to in Russia as the “period of stagnation.” But the Soviet stance toward the United States became less overtly hostile in the early 1970s. Negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union resulted in summit meetings and the signing of strategic arms limitation agreements. Brezhnev proclaimed in 1973 that peaceful coexistence was the normal, permanent, and irreversible state of relations between imperialist and Communist countries, although he warned that conflict might continue in the Third World. In the late 1970s, growing internal repression and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led to a renewal of Cold War hostility.
In a step to strengthen its security, USSR invested significantly in military technologies. It was the first to design one of the most powerful weapons in history. In fact, the U.S started making hydrogen bombs immediately after USSR had constructed its own. The U.S perceived the USSR’s military expansion as a threat to its security and that of the world. As a result, the U.S government strongly invested in armament and by the end of 1980’s, its nuclear arsenal had greatly grown. Economically, the U.S technological advancement in economy elicited uncertainties to the USSR authorities. To USSR, the economic expansion aimed to attract the third world countries into capitalism. Since the expansion of capitalism created discontent among the Soviets, they developed competitive economic strategies. This further increased rivalry between the two nations, which precipitated into Cold war. Stein clarifies that, “in order to maintain its economic dominance in Europe, America developed the Marshal Plan that offered financial support to these regions to ensure that they purchased the U.S products” (1992, p. 470). However, Soviet Union viewed this as a means to spread America’s dominance in the world.
Ingimundarson, V. (1994). Cold War Misperceptions: The Communist and Western Responses to the East German Refugee Crisis in 1953. Journal of Contemporary History, 29(3), 463-481.
Stein, A. A. (1992). When Misperception Matters. Journal of World Politics, 34(4), 41-103.