Vladimir O. Pechatnov
This chapter analyzes the dynamics of the United States–Soviet Union relations during the Cold War. It describes the evolution of the “strategic codes” on both sides, and how they perceived the nature and prospects of the conflict. The chapter suggests that this relationship can be divided into a number of distinct stages. These include the assessment of the nature and possible prospects of the protracted conflict in 1945–1953, the growing competitiveness of the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, the slackening of Soviet economic growth in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, and the economic crisis and economic stagnation of the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s to 1991.