Who was to blame for the Cold War?

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As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signified, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold but not clothed.” This statement could be directly applied to the Cold War. The term “Cold War” means “a state of political hostility and military tension between two countries or power blocs, involving propaganda, subversion, threats, etc” (Cold War Def.). The Cold War lasted from the end of WWII, in 1945, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1989. It also included the Korean and Vietnam Wars and other conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Both the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were responsible for the political, economic, militaristic and ideological causes of the Cold War. 
        Following the Second World War, Germany was separated into four independent quarters, Russian, American, British and French; from this division, the Cold War emerged (Collier 26).  This proximity led to tensions and hostilities that surfaced in the years following WWII. There are three theses regarding the origins of the Cold War: the “Orthodox” belief  that “the intransigence of Leninist ideology, the sinister dynamics of a totalitarian society, and the madness of Stalin” (McCauley 88) caused the Cold War; the “Revisionist” idea that "American policy offered the Russians no real choice...either acquiesce to American proposals or be confronted with American power or hostility" (McCauley 90)  which blames America for the war; and a “Post-Revisionist” combination of the two, with  both America and Soviet Russia to blame. Since both the

Orthodox and Revisionist views have proof is confirmation that the Post-Revisionist viewpoint is correct.

One of the primary differences between the attitudes of America and Russia originates from the happenings in each nation during WWII. “The basic factor in producing this national sense of insecurity has been geographical. Throughout its history Russia has been without natural frontiers to serve for its defense” (Halle 13). The Soviet outlook was one of fear and insecurity because Soviets had been massacred from their western border several times by Germany in WWI and II and even by Napoleon in 1812.

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Because of this insecure mindset, Stalin sought to secure a friendly and neutralized western or “buffer zone”. “‘The war is not as in the past, whosoever occupies a territory also imposes his own social system....It cannot be otherwise,’” Stalin said to the Yugoslav communist Milovian Djilas in 1945 (Gaddis 5). Stalin planned to establish friendly satellite governments in all Soviet conquered countries, which threatened the western powers.

The United States had a mindset of greatness and aloofness. This outlook differed from the Soviet attitude mainly because the United States stood apart from Europe and its problems. America had never ...

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It is evident that the author has done a great deal of reading and quotations are well selected, but not always well explained. The author covers the different explanations for the Cold War well and shows understanding of the different schools of thought but could have included more evidence to justify their Post-Revisionist stance and extended their conclusion. 4 out of 5 stars.