Abstract and Keywords
In the years following World War II, relations between the United States and its Western European allies, on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and its allies, on the other, grew increasingly tense. The term Cold War was introduced by Truman advisor Bernard Baruch to refer to the period in international relations, running roughly from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s, during which the world's two superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union—were locked in military, social, ideological, and economic struggles which constantly threatened, but ultimately fell just short of, all-out conventional, or hot, war. The period was marked by a general breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two nations, resulting in a nuclear arms race, massive military spending, and a series of proxy wars within smaller states between factions representing the interests of (and often funded by) the superpowers.
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