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In the years following the end of the Cold War many historians and social scientists have written accounts of what were some of the causes and effects of this period when the threat of war was almost always present One such person was Melvyn Leffler and his work The Specter of Communism which described the origins and conflicts of the Cold War Out of these accounts several interesting questions come to light about the true nature of the Cold War One such question that has surfaced recently is that of number 2 on the handout The main emphasis of the question or statement is that the Cold War never really took place and what did occur was nothing but a complete waste of money and time I will have to disagree with the statement that it was a waste of time and money for several reasons First of all throughout the entire Cold War Americas core interests were constantly a threat from the expansion of the Soviet Union and communism These ranged from the spread of communism through Europe into the Far East and even into our own backyard of Latin America and the Caribbean All of these places represented vital interests for the survival of the United States and the American way of life When World War Two ended the American public felt that they had finally achieved a peace that could last forever with the United States as the worlds foremost power economically politically and militarily The remainder of the century was to be Americas Century a time when the world would follow the United States into prosperity both politically and economically The end of the war left the United States in a position to dictate to the world the type of peace that would now encompass the globe Following the principles of the Atlantic Charter the United States could help bring political and economic relief to the world through its systems
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