Ang Cheng Guan
This chapter examines the history of the Cold War in Southeast Asia. It explains that the onset of the Cold War coincided with nationalist struggles and decolonization, and explains why Southeast Asians should appreciate that the Cold War is a historical event which has significantly affected the development of their countries, particularly in terms of the role of the Cold War in shaping the political development of the nation-states and interstate relations in the region, and the growing interest in rewriting the history of the Cold War.
This chapter examines the root motives behind the Soviet struggle against the West and the paradigm of Soviet international behavior related to the Cold War. It suggests that decolonization contributed to the Cold War because the decline of European colonial empires in the 1950s created irresistible temptations for Soviet leaders to intervene in parts of the globe previously beyond their reach. The chapter also suggests that the Soviet Cold War consensus began to crumble when the key tenets of the revolutionary-imperial paradigm became suspect in the 1960s and 1970s. These tenets held that the West was determined to destroy the Soviet Union and its “socialist empire” by force.
This chapter, which examines the impact of the Cold War on Japan, investigates why Japan consistently allied itself to the West rather than the East and why it adopted a low-security posture. It discusses the contribution of Japan to the Western alliance system, its role in the Cold War in Asia, and how its economic power was used to fight the spread of communism. The chapter also argues against the claim that Japan “sat out” the Cold War and explains that every aspect of Japanese life, including political, strategic, economic, and cultural, was influenced to some extent by that ideological conflict.