Cold War vs. United States


The Cold War ended in 1991 after the Soviet Union fell apart. Since then,
Russia's economy paralyzed, and the United States is three trillion dollars in
debt, and both counties were weakened by the Cold War because of military
spending. To have world peace does not mean that United States should increase
its military strength. The Realist theory would argue that military strength is
important to maintain peace both domestically and internationally. Even though
the United States as the only superpower remains in certain perspective, the U.S
can not be the peace keeper for the whole globe and every state on it.
First of all, there are more than two hundred sovereign states in the
whole world, and to have world peace requires every sovereign states' effort not
only the United States but also every other states. A good example was the
coalition force led by the United States under UN command which defeated Iraq's
invasion army in Kuwait City in 1991. But the United States still respected
Iraq's sovereignty under international rules. That was probably the reason why
President Bush did not order the U.S army to invade Iraq after the U.S led
coalition force expelled Iraq's force in Kuwait. Another example would be when
Iraq's government massacred thousand of ethic minority Kurds when the Kurds
rebelled against Iraq government in northern Iraq. The United States did not do
a lot to help the Kurds because United States and the rest of the countries
around the world recognized Iraq as a sovereign state in the international
community even though that United States had a large military presence in the
Persian gul f area during that time.
More and more, non goverment organizations also play very important
roles in world peace. Since 1945, the United Nations, a non government
organization, has helped to bring cease-fire agreements to numerous hot spots
around the globe in place like Cambodia or the Mid-East. Individual persons also
play important roles in world peace. Such as former President Jimmy Carter, who
helped negotiate the peace agreement that restored the democratic elected
President Aristide back to his office in Haiti and avoided a direct military
confrontation between the United States and the Haiti's military government in
the last minute.
Secondly, the cold war made former Soviet Unions bleed to white but
also put the United States three trillion dollars in debt, and the debt is going
up too. According to the IRS, the United States government is spending fifteen
percent of gross annual revenue just paying off the interest of the three
trillions deficits in 1996 (3). So people in the United States wonder where did
all the deficit come from? The answer is that during the Cold War, especially
during the Reagan administration, military spending skyrocketed because of the
fear and mistrusts of a Soviet Union which would pose a threat to world peace.
That was the Realism's way of thinking, that in order to contain the threat of
the Communist Soviet Union, the United States spent billions ands billions of
dollars on new weapons, such as the Star War program to increase military
strength. Now it is such a big financial burden that the issue of deficits made
the United States government shut down twice in 1996 and it continues to be one
of the topics of the 1996 presidential election. People could imagine that the
United States government could go bankrupt in the future if it keeps on spending
and wastes its moneys without certain limits. Another issue here is the
environment. Because the United States government built thousands of nuclear
bombs to increase its military strength during the cold war, it costs more
money now to take the bombs apart and safely store all the hazardous material
without polluting the environment. It seems to makes absolutely no sense at all
to spend money on something and turn around and spend more money to take it
apart. the United States should wake up from its Cold War dream and start to
face the reality of the twenty first century. Increasing military strength
always leads to a fear and mistrust by other countries and an arms race by
Realism's way of thinking. There is no real winner or loser in an arms race. At
the begin of the Cold War right after World War II, the United States was the
strongest state in the world by far. It manufactured about fifty percent of
goods and had about seventy percent of the gold reserves in the world at the
time.(1) But fifty years later in 1996, the United States has the biggest
national deficit ever seen in the whole world.
When we walked in to twenty