Cold War page Summary.
THE COLD WAR 1947 -1989 Summary.
The Cold War details.
Why Cuba needs "special" treatment.
The Cold War is over, but the revolution continues.
THE COLD WAR 1947 - 1989.
From the 1940’s to 1989 the United States and the Soviet Union were locked in a struggle called the Cold War which changed the face of the world in political, economic, and social terms. The Cold War was an ideological struggle that also involved covert CIA actions in Greece (1947), Turkey (1947) and Iran (1952), and low intensity conflicts (LIC’s) such as The Korean "Police Action" (1950-1952) and the Vietnam War (1963-1975). The Cold War was a war of competing ideologies, but the threat of total war between the U.S. and USSR was muted because of the threat of nuclear weapons. These weapons would change the complexion of modern war and the world by giving a country the power to completely destroy a city or an entire region. The United States showed the devastating effectiveness of this new weapon in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Many historians believe that this was to both shorten the war and showcase US military technology to intimidate the Soviet Union. Nuclear weapons insured that regional conflicts did not escalate into a war of global proportions since both the U.S. and the USSR pursued a policy of "Mutual Assured Destruction Deterrence" (MADD) by the 1950’s. The Cold War lasted for over 40 years and ended with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989.
End of World War II.
By May of 1945 the war in Europe had ended as the Allies became the clear-cut victors and the United States campaign in the Pacific was coming to a conclusion. The Allies began the long process of rebuilding and restructuring the post war world. Soviet and American relation would began to deteriorate into open hostility in April of 1945 with the death of President Roosevelt who was a major proponent of appeasement and mutual collaboration with the Soviet Union. His successor, President Truman, would see the Communist political structure and economic priorities of the Soviet Union as a direct assault on America’s ideological views. In July and August of 1945 the Big Three (the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain) met in Potsdam, Germany to discuss the German reparations for each nation and to make sure that there was not a third world war. Joseph Stalin, who was the leader of the USSR met with two new leaders; President Harry Truman, and the newly elected Prime Minister of Britain Clement Attlee. Two years earlier at the Tehran conference and at the Yalta conference Stalin negotiated with a conciliatory Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but now he was faced a hostile Truman and an indifferent Attlee.
The Soviet Union, who during the war had taken the brunt of the Nazi attack and was socially and economically devastated demanded that Germany pay reparations of $20 billion and that half should go to the USSR for reconstruction. Truman thought it would be in the best interest of the U.S., the USSR, Britain and France, and Germany if they did not economically cripple Germany and instead would divided the country into zones. The USSR would get the eastern zone that they already occupied which also included Berlin, the U.S. would acquire the southern sector, and Britain taking control of the northern zone. Soviet reparations would be taken directly from their section. The USSR would also acquire a small amount from each of the other zones of Germany, and this would be one of the catalysts to start the hostilities. This entire tactic was designed to keep Germany economically weak so that they could not rise to a position to start another war, but at the same time revive the economy so it would not be a burden on the victors. The idea was that each country would rebuild their zone and that would produce more capital to pay reparations. The British and American began to suspect that the Soviets were trying to keep their zone as poor as possible in an attempt to form a communist government, so General Luis Clay, American deputy military governor, halted the transfer of reparations from the American zone in May of 1946. The Soviet Union saw this move as an illegal act due to the terms of the negotiation at the Potsdam conference. The British came up with a constructive solution to the problem by agreeing that their zone and the American section join to form one entity and to negotiate the end reparations from their zones to the Soviets. This effectively ended the debate of reparations as the USSR had already acquired $25 to $50 billion in capital from their own zone. In a blunder of American policy though the United States accused the Soviet Union of looting all capital from their eastern zone and this along with tensions in Iran began to strain diplomatic ties between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Communism expands, Oil issues.
With the establishment of a communist government in Poland (1945) it was obvious that the USSR was beginning to set up sphere of influence in Europe. With Poland in such geographically close proximity to the Soviet Union the U.S. had no choice but to watch it as it happened. The communist expansion though began to work its way to regions where the U.S. had a better chance of containing the movement. Iran had been under joint Anglo-Soviet military occupation since 1941 and both nations had to withdraw troops by March 1946. An Azerbaijani movement had formed at the time to overthrow the shah of Iran, seeing an opportunity gain an even larger sphere of influence kept their troops in the northern province of Azerbaijan to directly aid the movement. The United States could not allow the USSR to gain influence and set up a puppet government in this region because of the vast oil fields that Iran controlled. As one White House official noted "Our continued access to oil in the Middle East is especially threatened by Soviet penetration into Iran"(Smith, 1998, p. 14-15). The Truman administration was alarmed at what they perceived as deliberate Soviet aggression and gave immediate diplomatic support to the shah for his decision to send troops to the northern border. Secretary of State Byrnes raised this issue to the Security Council of the United Nations and publicly condemned Soviet imperialism. Following these actions the Soviet Union quickly defused the problem by agreeing to abide by the wartime agreement and pulls out their troops in May 1946. This incident would mark the start of the American policy of containing communism, which would be U.S. policy until 1989.
After the political struggle in Iran between the U.S. and the USSR the Truman administration feared that the Soviet Union was quickly becoming a major enemy of the United States and that they would have to stop Soviet influence in strategically crucial areas, such as Greece and Turkey. George Kennan solidified these perceptions in February of 1946 with a report to the State Department known as the ‘Long Telegram’. Kennan was an experienced career diplomat serving at the American embassy in Moscow. The ‘Long Telegram’ warned of the danger of ‘acting chummy’ with the Soviets and explained that their leaders could not be trusted because they were Marxist-Leninists and ‘ committed fanatically to the belief that with the U.S. there can be no permanent modus vivendi’ (Schwartz, 1997, p152). This report would merely confirm and reinforce the already strong anti-Soviet prejudice of Truman and many White House officials. In July of 1947 the National Security Act (NSA) was passed directly indicating that the U.S. wanted increased involvement in world affairs. The principal propose of the NSA was to improve the flow of information and advice to the president by creating the National Security Council (NSC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The NSC’s goal was to advise on foreign policy and affairs, while the CIA was to interpret foreign intelligence and undertaking overseas covert operation or ‘black ops’. These two new organizations would get their chance to operate in a major role by 31 March 1947, this is when Britain notified the United States that they would longer have a sphere of influence in Greece and Turkey. White House officials believed that these regions would be the next places that Soviet aggression would try to influence the governments. The Truman administration already suspected that the USSR had influenced the civil war in Greece in an attempt to set up a communist government. Stalin was also pushing heavily on the Turkish government to secure rights for naval access for Soviet warships to the Mediterranean. Up to this time the USSR had no warm water ports to launch their ships from and all Soviet ports were frozen solid for half the year. Truman was in no way going to allow Soviet warship access to the Mediterranean and thus the battle lines between the East and the West were drawn in his address to Congress on 12 March 1947:
"At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose
between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.
One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion and freedom from political oppression. The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed on the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, framed elections and the suppression of personal freedoms. I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
Beginning of the Cold War.
This speech would later be called the "Truman Doctrine", and it would effectively drum up support for the United States to intervene in Greece and Turkey. Historians believe that this single act not only had far-reaching overtone but believe this is the act that began the Cold War. The "Truman Doctrine" shifted the perception of the conflict from one of power and words to a direct difference in ideological viewpoints from both nations. It was the view of the United States that we must fight communist expansion "in an effort to preserve democracy throughout the world". We now know that this was not the case as the CIA instigated the overthrow of the newly elected governments in Greece and Turkey and set up a military dictatorship in each country who were favorable to the United States.
USSR gets the "Bomb", China goes Communist.
The year 1949 would be a major setback for U.S. policy towards communism throughout the world. In April of 1949 the United States believed that they had won a major victory against the expansion of communism with the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO’s sole propose was to set up a wall of countries that were strong democratically and thus would halt the expansion of communism through western Europe. The United States up to this year had one big bargaining point against the Soviet Union, the atomic weapon. The playing field would be even though by September 1949 when the Soviet Union shocked America by successfully detonating their own atomic weapon, ten years before analyst projected they would acquire it. This would mark the beginning of the arms race between each nation as each produced massive amounts of weapons until the fall of the USSR in 1989. The U.S. policy of containment would take large blow on 1 October 1949 when Mao Zendong declares the Peoples Republic of China and by April 1950 all of main land China was under communist rule.
Korea would become the next hot spot in the world for the U.S. and it’s policies. Japan had direct control over the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, as Japan surrender to the U.S. Soviet troops moved into northern Korea in 1945. The United States not wishing for the USSR to fully absorb all of Korea moved troops into the southern half of the peninsula with the line being arbitrarily drawn at the 38th parallel. Both nations agreed to pull their troops out and this was finally completed in 1949, but during their occupation each nation set up a government of their own so when they did pull out the Korean peninsula was divided into two countries. To the north was the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea led by Kim Il Sung who had spent World War II in the Soviet Union and to the south was the democracy of South Korea led by Syngman Rhee who had lived in America for 30 years prior. Kim Il Sung and Syngman Rhee vilified each other by claiming that the other was responsible for the division and declared that they would reunify Korea by whatever force necessary including the use of force. On 25 June 1950 with support from Stalin, Kim ordered his military force to invade South Korea with his proclaimed intentions being to end the undeclared civil war, which had been raging in Korea since the split, and to reunify the two Koreas. In response Truman requested an immediate meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council adopted a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of North Korean troops from South Korea, and two days later a second resolution was passed asking members to mobilize troops to drive back the invader. On 27 June 1950 Truman announced that the U.S. would comply with the UN resolution and deploy American troops to the region. North Korean troops had routed the South Korean army and had a firm control over most of the peninsula. With the landing of American forces to the north at Inchon the Northern Korean army was cut in half and began a headlong retreat back to the north. UN forces were confident that they would have control of the entire peninsula by December of 1950. This plan was not seen to fruition as the Chinese joined the war backing North Korea. The battle lines between the competing armies were drawn at the same 38th parallel as the original borders. The conflict was fought here for nearly a year and a half as the war became one of attrition. In 1952 Dwight Eisenhower won the American presidency under the platform that he would ‘go to Korea’ implying that wished to pull out American troops. In his first act as president Eisenhower declared his willingness to use the atomic bomb on China. This coupled with the facts that neither side wished to continue the conflict, and the death of Joseph Stalin and the accession of the new leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, resulted with the cease-fire signed by both sides at Panmunjom in 1959. The Korean Conflict was important historically to the United States because this was the first instance of a direct military conflict between the U.S. and a communist state. It would also open the eyes of White House officials as this was the first time that the United States had failed to achieve the goals it had set out at the beginning of the conflict. Following the Korean Conflict the U.S. would once again get militarily entangled in Asia to stop communist expansion, this would be in Vietnam.
Vietnam would be a political, social, and military nightmare for the United States. This was because that this was not a conventional war that the U.S. had been used to fighting, this was a guerrilla war but even more than that it was a peoples war. Vietnam had been a region controlled by the French until 1940 when due to World War II the French sphere of influence in the area was ignored as all of Frances efforts were tied up in Europe. During this time until 1963 two competing faction formed in the region, the capitalist south run by Ho Chi Minh and the communist faction that had formed to the rural north. Ho Chi Minh was afraid that the communist faction would overrun the south and asked for assistance from the United States. In 1961 John F. Kennedy was the president at the moment and did not want to fully commit Americans to the growing conflict but did send advisors to South Vietnam in order to train the South Vietnamese army. By 1963 the war had escalated and the northern Vietnamese had gained the upper hand. Lyndon Johnson who was succeeding JFK after his assassination warned that he would not be the first American president to lose a war and fully committed troops to the region. From 1963 to 1975 the U.S. was fully enwrapped in a war that they could not win, and with their withdrawal from Saigon in 1975 the United States lost their first war.
The Soviet Union was not without their own setbacks. On 25 December 1979 the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan in order to prop up the regime that they set up there and by 8 January 1980 the Soviet army controlled most of the country. On 14 January 1980 the United Nation voted overwhelmingly for the USSR to begin the immediate withdrawal of all troops, the Soviets would not budge from their positions. What would begin was the Vietnam for the USSR until their ultimate retreat from the region in 1983. This would be a much more costly war for the Soviet Union than Vietnam was for the U.S. and mark the beginning of the end for the USSR as they never recovered from the loss.
End of Cold War.
On 10 November 1989 the Cold War was effectively over with the fall of the Berlin wall, which separated East and West Berlin. Although democratic elections would not be held until 1991 the Soviet Union was no longer a superpower. With the fall of the Soviet Union the world took on an even more defensive view of the USA, as there was no more threat of the USSR and there was no other superpower to counter-balance the USA.
The Cold War details..
Because most of the wars were low-intensity, guerilla or insurgency type conflicts or stand-offs, they were not well covered by the world's press. There were no set-piece battles in larges-cale campaigns with official declarations of war, however there was a world war being fought. The main arenas were; Eastern Europe, South-east Asia, Middle East, South America, and Africa. Many of the problems we are seeing in the 1990's and 2000's are a result of unresolved hostilities during the Cold War.
REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Previously called French Congo or Middle Congo, it became independent from France in 1960. Its first president, Fulbert Youlou, was overthrown in 1963 and replaced by a Marxist regime. That regime was, in turn, ousted in 1968 by the military -- which continued many of the previous government's socialist policies.
In 1979, Col. Denis Sassou-Nguesso became president and remained in that position until 1992 -- when Pascal Lissouba was elected in the country's first democratic balloting. In 1997, Sassou-Nguesso fought his way back to power with the help of Angolan troops. But supporters of Lissouba have since counterattacked.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, as it is now called, was the Belgian Congo until 1960. Following the end of Belgian rule, Patrice Lumumba was elected its prime minister. At the same time, the nation's army mutinied, and Katanga province declared its independence. The U.N. security council sent a peacekeeping force to establish order. But Lumumba, wanting more than a return to the status quo, sought help from Moscow.
Lumumba was killed in 1961 in circumstances that remain unclear. In 1964, a CIA-backed coup helped army chief of staff Joseph-Desire Mobutu take power. He changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko and changed the nation's name to Zaire. Mobutu ruled for more than three decades -- and was an ally in Western attempts to destabilized leftist governments in Africa. (Mobuto’s wife was said to be the sister of Holden Roberto o the FNLA in Angola.) Mobutu was overthrown in 1997 during a rebellion led by Laurent Kabila. The Kabila government is now facing a rebellion of its own by groups dissatisfied with its administration.
Portuguese-ruled for 500 years, Lisbon granted independence to Angola in 1975. In the power vacuum created by the Portuguese withdrawal, three factions went to war. The leftist MPLA, with Soviet aid and Cuban troops, won out over the U.S.-backed FNLA and UNITA groups.
South African troops, as well as several hundred mercenaries, also were involved in the unsuccessful fight against the MPLA. A UN-brokered peace agreement was signed in 1989 which allowed Cuba and South Africa to withdraw from the region, (and SWA became Namibia in 1990.) A peace accord was reached with the remaining UNITA combatants in 1994. But that accord collapsed last year, and heavy fighting renewed.
What was the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia in 1964. At that time, the new nation shared borders with four countries under white rule -- Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique, and South-West Africa (now Namibia), which was controlled by South Africa. Zambia actively supported groups fighting against colonial or white minority rule in the region -- such as MPLA in Angola, SWAPO in Namibia and the ANC in South Africa.
Zambia therefore found itself directly and indirectly involved in many of the regional conflicts. Refugee and transportation problems were caused by the wars in Angola and Mozambique. South African forces attacked African National Congress targets in Zambia, and Rhodesia sealed its borders with Zambia.
In 1965 the white supremacist government of Ian Smith, in what was then known as Rhodesia, declared itself independent of Britain. A year later civil war broke out between the Smith government and black nationalists. Britain, which refused to recognize Rhodesia's independence, organized an international economic embargo against the Smith government. Rhodesia was able to get around the embargo, for a time, by smuggling goods through the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola. But the end of Portuguese rule in those nations in 1975 dried up Rhodesia's conduit to the outside world.
In the late 1970s, at a London conference, an agreement was reached on legal independence from Britain, under black majority rule. The new nation, Zimbabwe, came into being in 1980.
Following Mozambique's independence from Portugal in 1975, the leader of the Mozambique Liberation Front, or Frelimo, became the nation's first president. Frelimo not only gave sanctuary to guerrilla groups fighting the white supremacist government in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), they signed a friendship and cooperation treaty with the Soviet Union in 1977.
Meanwhile, Rhodesia and the apartheid government in South Africa were giving their support to a right-wing, anti-Frelimo guerrilla group in Mozambique called Renamo. After years of clashes, the two sides signed a truce in 1992.
In 1964, Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi, ending seven decades of British rule there. Under its "president for life," Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Malawi angered many of its neighbors when it maintained friendly relations with the white minority government in South Africa.
Unrest against Banda led to a referendum in 1993 ending one-party rule in Malawi.
The former British colony became independent in 1960. A coup in 1969 by Maj. Gen. Muhammad Siyad Barre transformed Somalia into a socialist state -- which received Soviet aid and weaponry. In 1977, the Somalis seized large parts of the Ogaden desert -- setting off a war with neighboring Ethiopia, which also claimed the region. The Barre regime switched its alliance from the Soviets to the United States and began receiving American aid. The Soviets, meanwhile, gave their complete support to the new socialist government in Ethiopia. Soviet arms and about 15,000 troops were sent to help Ethiopia defeat Somalia.
Barre was overthrown in 1991 after a long and violent rebellion. No one group or person emerged to fill the resulting power vacuum in Somalia. Thousands were threatened with starvation in the resulting anarchy as different groups fought for control. In 1992, a U.S.-led multinational force was sent into Somalia to secure food supplies and bring calm to the country. But an increase in clan-based fighting, along with numerous attacks on the multinational force, led the force to withdraw.
In 1974 Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie was ousted by several army officers -- who established a socialist state. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam emerged as head of state in 1977. Ethiopia received support from the Soviet Union and Cuba in its successful 1977 war with Somalia -- a former Soviet client state - over the Ogaden region.
In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet bloc also helped bring an end to the Mengistu government. In 1993, with the new government's agreement, the rebellious region of Eritrea was declared independent of Ethiopia -- although Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a violent border war in early 1999
Colonial rule of what was then called Tanganyika passed from the Germans to the British at the end of World War I. It became independent in 1961 and then merged with Zanzibar to become the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. Julius Nyerere, its first president, instituted his own version of African socialism -- which he called "ujamaa," or pulling together.
Following World War II, South Africa came under international pressure to relinquish control of Namibia, then known as South-West Africa. SWAPO, the South-West African People's Organization, began guerrilla attacks in Namibia in the mid-1960s -- its fighters infiltrating from Zambia. SWAPO also established bases in southern Angola during that nation's war. Tens of thousands of Cuban troops, brought in to fight with Angola's leftist MPLA, were also stationed in Angola. South African forces also used Namibia as a conduit for supplies and manpower to their allies in Angola.
In 1988, informal talks between the Soviet Union, United States, Cuba, South Africa and Angola led to an agreement for Namibia's independence in 1990.
Uganda was a British protectorate until 1962, when it gained its independence. Its first prime minister, Milton Obote, was overthrown as Ugandan leader in 1971 by Gen. Idi Amin. The general's dictatorship was condemned internationally for its brutal suppression of any dissent -- as well as for Amin's expulsion of about 60,000 non-Ugandan Asians from the country.
Amin invaded Tanzania in 1978 and was driven from power a year later -- by a combination of Tanzanian and Ugandan exile forces. Obote returned to power but was again ousted in the mid-1980s by Uganda's military. That military regime lasted only a year -- before it was defeated by a rebel group headed by Yoweri Museveni.
In 1959, a civil war between rival Hutu and Tutsi peoples in Rwanda led to the exile of the nation's king and, two years later, Rwanda's independence from Belgium. The Hutu power monopoly led to more factional and ethnic fighting over the ensuing years.
In 1994, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi died when a plane they were traveling in crashed. The incident triggered a wave of violence in Rwanda. Extremist Hutu groups killed an estimated 500,000 civilians, most of them Tutsi. Thousands more fled Rwanda.
Like neighboring Rwanda, Burundi was a Belgian mandate. It received independence in 1962. The Hutu unsuccessfully rebelled against the ruling Tutsi -- the first of several major clashes between the two groups over the ensuing decades. Hundreds of thousands have died in the violence -- but Burundi has not yet had a spasm of brutality like the one seen in Rwanda in 1994.
In the postwar years, a plan to incorporate Botswana, then a British protectorate known as Bechuanaland, into the Union of South Africa was rejected -- due to Pretoria's apartheid policy. Botswana was granted full independence in 1966.
Enforcement of a segregationist, apartheid policy by its white minority government made South Africa an international pariah following World War II. Outlawed groups such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan-African Congress (PAC) received Soviet support as they tried, through guerrilla warfare and popular uprisings, to wrest power from white hands. Apartheid was abolished in 1991, and the nation's first multi-racial elections were held in 1994.
During the Cold War, the South African government, at the urging of the United States, became involved in the Angolan civil war on behalf of the FNLA-UNITA alliance. When the SAn govt percieved the communist threat was over, SWA was allowed to hold elections and Namibia became independent.
Egypt, which was a British protectorate from World War I to 1937, opposed the U.N. partition of Palestine in 1948 and played a prominent role in the subsequent wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors. A coup in 1952 ousted King Farouk. In 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egypt's first native leader in more than 2,000 years.
Egypt received Soviet aid beginning in the 1960s. Egypt suffered a disastrous setback during the 1967 Six Day War, a stunning victory by Israeli forces over Egypt and other Arab countries. Nasser died in 1970 and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat -- who regained some of the territories lost to Israel during the October War of 1973. Sadat also ended Soviet influence in Egypt and sought closer ties with the West. Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979.
Anwar Sadat: Born in the Delta village of Mit Abu el-Kom on December 25, 1918, and of peasant origin, Sadat had a military career that began with his entry in the Royal Military Academy in the 1930s. In 1938 he entered the army as a second lieutenant and was posted in the Sudan. There, he met with Gamal Abdel Nasser, and together, along with several other junior officers, they formed the secret, anti-British, anti-monarchy Free Officers revolutionary organization. During World War II the British imprisoned Sadat for treason, but he escaped. In 1952 the Free Officers succeeded in seizing power. Sadat worked closely with Nasser, who in 1954 emerged as the regime's strongman. In 1964, Sadat became Egypt's vice president. When Nasser died suddenly of a heart attack in 1970, Sadat succeeded him.
As president, Sadat inherited a relationship with the Soviet Union that was deteriorating. Moscow was not fulfilling Egypt's requests for economic and military aid, Egypt was refusing to become a Soviet foreign policy pawn, and the United States was working to disrupt the relationship. In July 1972 Sadat ordered the immediate withdrawal of the Soviet Union's 5,000 military advisers. They were followed by 15,000 air combat personnel. The relationship was partially restored later in the year. In October 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel, aiming to reverse losses suffered during the 1967 Six Day War and destroy the Jewish state. Initially, the Arabs gained much ground. However, with U.S. help the Israelis turned the tide. The war ended after both the Soviet Union and the United States intervened to prevent a destruction of the balance of power in the region. When U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger brokered a truce, Sadat became convinced that good relations with Washington served Egypt's interests better than friendship with Moscow. Sadat abrogated the Soviet-Egyptian Treaty of Friendship in 1976.
Having achieved a somewhat improved negotiating position vis-a-vis Israel in 1973 and '74, and with the sympathy of the United States, Sadat next pursued peace. In November 1977, in order to overcome Israeli suspicions, he made a historic trip to Israel, also addressing the Israeli parliament (Knesset). This breakthrough led to the Camp David talks moderated by the new U.S. president, Jimmy Carter, and eventually the Camp David peace treaty. In 1978, Sadat and his Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize. But although welcomed in the West, the Camp David Accords were almost unanimously rejected by the Arab world, and to many Arabs Sadat was a traitor. Sadat was assassinated on October 6, 1981, in Cairo by Muslim fundamentalists while reviewing a military parade commemorating the 1973 Yom Kippur war. He was 62.
Israel was created in 1948 when the U.N. partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. The Arab countries neighboring Israel rejected its existence and declared war -- a war that ended with an Israeli victory.
Soviet influence in the Arab community made Israel a de facto ally of the United States. Israel had a shattering victory over several Arab countries in the 1967 Six Day War. It suffered a preliminary setback at the start of the 1973 October War -- during which it received U.S. military aid. Israel signed a peace accord with Egypt in 1979. It has since signed a similar accord with Jordan.
Lebanon became independent from France in 1946. A power-sharing agreement between the nation's Muslim and Christian groups worked well for several years. In 1958, a Muslim rebellion was put down with the help of U.S. troops. Muslim dissatisfaction, along with an influx of Muslim refugees from Palestine, added to tensions.
Anger between Christians and Muslims burst into a drawn-out and destructive civil war in the 1970s. Syria sent 20,000 troops to Lebanon to restore order. In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon, with the stated purpose of driving out Palestinian forces there. Israel withdrew in 1985, leaving an allied Lebanese army in control of a buffer zone along Lebanon's southern border with Israel.
In 1920 Transjordan became part of the British mandate of Palestine. The country became independent after World War II and changed its name to Jordan. King Abdullah was assassinated in 1951 and his grandson, Hussein, became king the following year.
Jordanian forces were routed by Israeli troops during the 1967 war, during which Israel occupied the West Bank of the Jordan River -- territory previously under Jordanian rule. Growing tensions between Palestinian forces operating in Jordan and the government led to a civil war -- which the king's forces won. Up until his death in early 1999, King Hussein was instrumental in attempting to bring peace to the region.
A British protectorate until 1961, Kuwait nationalized its vast oil industry in 1974. It supported its fellow Arab states against Israel and was a part of the oil embargo against Israel during the 1973 war.
In 1990 Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. A multinational coalition made up of several former Cold War rivals ousted Iraq from Kuwait a year later.
The former French mandate declared itself independent in 1941. A later Syrian government was overthrown in 1954, during a coup that briefly established the United Arab Republic -- a union between Egypt and Syria. In 1964 a Ba'ath party military dictatorship was set up that managed to retain power. Syria was a Soviet client state until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War. The Golan has remained a point of contention regarding the establishment of any future Syrian-Israeli peace talks. Syria sent troops into Lebanon in the 1970s to restore order during the Lebanese Civil War.
Under British administration following World War I, Iraq overthrew its king in 1958 and became a republic under Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem. In 1968 the Ba'ath Party came to power following a coup. Eleven years later, Saddam Hussein became Ba'ath Party leader and Iraq's president.
Iraq was a Soviet client state during the Cold War. Iraq was also involved in a long and costly war with Iran during the 1980s. In 1990, after Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait, both Soviet and U.S. officials attempted to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis. A multinational force ousted Iraq from Kuwait in 1991.
A member of NATO, Turkey was considered a Western front-line state during the Cold War. The presence of U.S. missiles based in Turkey became an issue during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
In 1979, popular opposition forced Iran's shah from power. Following the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini from exile, an Islamic republic was established in Iran. The seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the holding of a group of American hostages for 444 days heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.
Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, prompting a drawn-out and costly war between the two nations for the next eight years. A moderate Islamic cleric became Iran's president in 1997, inspiring forecasts of a thaw between Iran and the West.
An Italian colony and a main battleground during World War II, Libya became independent in 1951. Its king was ousted in 1969 during a coup led by Col. Moammar Gadhafi -- who set up his own anti-Western regime.
Since becoming its leader, Gadhafi has used Libya's oil wealth to help the Palestinian cause against Israel. He also intervened in Uganda to help keep Idi Amin in power and sent Libyan forces into Chad. Western nations have accused Libya of supporting and in some cases plotting terrorist campaigns.
South American and Caribbean Arena.
The victory of the forces of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in late 1958 placed a communist government within 90 miles of the U.S. mainland. A U.S.-supported attempt to overthrow Castro with an invasion of anti-communist Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 ended with total victory for Castro. One year later, Washington's discovery of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
For several decades, Cuba was a major center of support for communist revolutionaries in Central and South America. One of Castro's comrades-in-arms, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, was killed in Bolivia, where he was trying to foment an uprising. In the 1970s, Cuban troops went to fight in Angola to help the leftist MPLA forces there. Cubans also fought in Ethiopia's war against Somalia. In the 1980s, Cuba supplied aid to Nicaragua's Sandinista government.
The collapse of the Soviet Union, coupled with a decades-old U.S. trade embargo, have left Cuba's economy embattled. But Havana remains defiant of Washington.
A British colony until 1974, Grenada's government was toppled during a bloodless coup in 1979 by Marxist Maurice Bishop. Alienated from the United States, Britain and other Caribbean nations, Bishop turned to the Soviet bloc for support.
Cuba built and operated an airport in Grenada -- a fact that led U.S. officials to believe the island was becoming a staging point for communist supplies to Central and South America. Bishop's efforts to appease U.S. leaders angered far-left members of his New Jewel party. On October 13, 1983, Bishop was executed by the People's Revolutionary Army.
During the unrest, Grenada's governor-general asked for intervention from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States -- which, in turn, asked for U.S. assistance. On October 25, about 7,400 U.S. military personnel invaded Grenada, along with 300 Jamaican troops. The invasion force met resistance from the 700 Cubans on the island, most of whom were construction workers. Order was restored after several days of fighting - and most U.S. troops were withdrawn by December of that year. Democratic elections were held in 1984.
This was (is) Cuba's back yard and so will be covered in the next section.
Why Cuba needs "special" treatment.
Only 5 countries remain communist today: China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and Laos. There are organisations which have embraced communism, however Cuba is the only country that still is actively promoting it. The revolution continues... More about Cuba.
The Cold War is over, but the revolution continues.
There are organisations which have embraced communism, for various reasons. This failed doctrine is still influencing world events by allowing bad ideas to flourish, and manipulate uneducated (or at least information-starved) populations.
The United Nations was infiltrated during the Cold War and still has many of the Communist-thinking people in place where they influence global policy. How Russia hobbled the UN. and How Rumania worked with Russia in the UN.
The former African colonies liberated by Communists.
The United Nations has helped keep the dream of Communism alive in Africa. With growing populations and environmental issues, African leaders believe that capitalism is bad for the environment and that the UN will be able to rein in "bad, uncontrolled development".
Communist thoughts are not dead in Africa.
The Radical Islam movement.
The United Nations has been infiltrated by the radical muslims element and are using the same techniques as the communists did to gain concessions from the West.
The Press has the power to influence public opinion and has changed from reporting the facts to "interpreting" events for readers and viewers. Typical elitist thinking, that mere readers are incapable of drawing their own conclusions, and that the majority will accept their communistic bias view without question.
The Academia and education.
The students are a captive audience and professors and teachers have the audacity to present their socialist interpretation of events, not just the facts. Noam Chomsky, a professor of Linguistics, that is treated like an intellectual giant in the field of politics and world events! The man is a self-professed anarchist-socialist that is consulted and invited onto discussion panels around the world. Intellectuals find a way to justify a system which denies human nature. and Commie myths become truth over time - Vietnam.
The Hollywood actors and actresses think that because they are wealthy, they are also wise. Their nihilistic lifestyle causes them to embrace causes and charities that are anti-american as guilt-reflex to the system that made them so wealthy. Hollywood's darling, Castro.
The Environmentalist movement.
The environmentalists have embraced the communist doctrine as the only way to to save the planet, this quote says it all,"There is no meaningful response to climate change without massive social change. A cap on this and a quota on the other will not do it. Tinker at the edges as we may, we cannot sustain Earth's life-support systems within the present economic system. Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature." The United Nations has embraced this dogma and has concocted policies that are designed to impact the USA economy if implemented. Theories based on junk science and selective data modelling that prove global warming and so the need to "ratify" the Kyoto Accord and other treaties - more soon...
Nuclear power is not considered a environmentally responsible solution to generate power, however the same group that vilifies nuclear power will profess that it is Iran's right to develop this technology!
Far from being over, the war continues in a slightly different form, but it is "round 2" of the East vs West. The civilised world needs to take our new enemies seriously, and stand up to them. Continental Europe will be overrun by their rioting, marginalised citizens and will be abandoned to Sharia law.
Many people have commented that I am unreasonably negative about the UN and it's intentions, and the ability of Commie/pink. Somehow the concept of a world controlling body (government) has been interpreted as a benign and noble pursuit, and that it will ultimately benefit the world! If you are a christian, read Revelations in the Bible, especially the part about the end of the world. Any rational person will realise that this organisation even now has tremendous power to influence events, but is in disarray, is poorly led and managed, and has influential cartells (like the Group of 77 -wikipedia- and NAM) which are promoting their own agenda through the UN. After all, the goal of Communism was to control the world. Why not use the UN as your vehicle to achieve this goal, using "diplomatic" means instead of military means? My fear is that the UN has sold it's soul to Radical Islam influences (which are not that different from Communism - a Command economic system) and at some point overthrow the Communist dominated (or vulnerable) regions like South America and Africa. The Communist definition of "Peace" was when the world was ???