I Believe the War Is Over...

As I post this, it’s the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Though it was not immediately obvious, that (for me at least) marks the end of the Cold War.

My question for debate is, what is your “report card on America” ten years after? What has a decade of “peace” (not counting the Gulf War, Bosnia, Somalia, etc.) meant for us?

I think that if you have to say

and eliminate those and more, then it hasn’t exactly been a decade of peace. All of those dust-ups don’t take the same level as the Cold War because none were quite on the same level threat-wise, while others were wars that seemed to either not garner the publics interest or it wasn’t easily seen why we were involved.

I think the decade has seen our military basically become a gutted shell of it’s former self. Granted, without as many huge threats it may seem a good idea. But, with multiple minor threats we don’t have quite the same flexibility to protect all of our interests adequately home and abroad.

Long story short for me…it is nice to live in a world safer from Communist/Cold War threats, but much scarier to live in a world that has more possibilities of terrorist or small group attacks that could slip under the old radar screen.

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

I think the cold war is alive and well, just not the same as it used to be. The USA still spends a huge amount of money on the military and nuclear weapons. Russia is fighting Chechnya and does not seem to get along well with it’s former republics. The Yeltsin administration does not seem stable. China continues to threaten Taiwan and other nations in the Orient. They have advanced their nuclear and ballistic weaponry, partly by stealing USA secrets. China still has a communist government.

Germany is united, but East and West Germany don’t seem to get along well and still have differences. The economy of Eastern Europe is struggling and ripe for discontent. Bosnia/Yugoslavia is a mess, and the Russians want to handle it differently than NATO does.

To me, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a change in the cold war, a thawing, but it is not guaranteed to last. It is not the end of the cold war. The end would be if NATO, Russia, and China greatly reduced their military and were more peaceful and agreeable.

I don’t know how people can say the Cold War is over when there are still enough nuclear weapons pointed at each other to blow up the world.

The Cold war itself is over, but in the absence of Soviet power and influence, many of the former satellites of the USSR have renewed their own ethnic/religious/whatever conflicts that were merely in a holding pattern under communist rule. In the case of Yugoslavia, the various factions didn’t get the chance to fight each other because Tito pretty much oppressed all groups with equal brutality. The conflicts in the Former Soviet republics probably won’t be resolved for another generation or so–when the old Soviet hard-liners will have dropped dead.

These wars are “new” only to people who don’t know their history, where peace has only made the briefest of appearances.

It’s a long way to heaven, but only three short steps to hell.

Incidentally, I didn’t consider the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to signal the end of the Cold War. I considered the collapse of the Soviet Union, with that failed Coup attempt by the Soviet hardliners in 1991, to signal the end of the Cold War.

After 1991, nobody had nearly as many nuclear weapons under their direct control as the U.S. military. So there.

Watch “Enemy of the State” it ain’t over till the fat boy sings.

o/ La dona e mobile, Piu riu sfavetto o/
Okay, NOW it’s over.

Just because the US has the most nukes, doesn’t mean the war is over. Russia still has plenty of nukes, enough to be a threat. China might, too.

Also, what about wars like Vietnam where nukes aren’t used for political reasons? China has the largest army for wars like that. Nukes wouldn’t help the USA in a land war like that.

The ‘Cold War’ was a convienient way to to describe bi-polarism: the politics of the world under two diametrically opposed nuclear powers. In a bi-polar environment, everything that occured in the world was viewed in terms of its relationship to this constant opposition of wills. While it is true that China at times made bi-polarism do slight dipsy dos, as a general rule it was us v them all the time.

With the end of the bi-polar nature of the world’s politics, we are in a period of instability that is difficult to predict the outcome of (ewww bad sentence!). So far, we seem to be a bit schizoid about our role in the world without the ‘evil empire’ to foil. At times we try to be the shining knight, at others we wish the whole mess would just up and go away. The Gulf War was mostly successful - the follow up with Iraq is a disaster. Bosnia worked out well, Kosovo was a disaster. And let’s not forget that silliness in Somalia.