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The Cold War originally referred to a struggle or a conflict that had not escalated into fighting and military conflict that is had not escalated into a hot war Between 1945 and 1991 the United States and the Soviet Union saw each other as potential enemies threatening each others larger global economic political and military goals The Cold War thus was global competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to shape and control the post-World War II global economic and political order Throughout the Cold War the United States saw the Soviet Union and communism as the greatest threat and challenge to its global leadership and dominance of an emerging global economy and industrial society The United States was determined to limit the military and political expansion of Soviet power in order to prevent it from challenging American global economic and political dominance In 1945 and 1946 there were increasing debates within the United States government over how to deal with the Soviet Union Should the United States now see the Soviets as an evil empire that threatened to undermine the peace and freedom of an American-led free world The influential 1946 memo to President Truman said that the Soviets were a global threat to peace It said that the Soviet Union had a secret plan to conquer the world and spread communism throughout the world The Soviets refusal to accept American leadership and a global democratic capitalist community of nations demonstrated that capitalism and communism could not peacefully co-exist The Soviet domination of Eastern Europe after World War II and the continuing Soviet military build up was proof that the Soviet Union was threatening global peace and security The Domino Theory The domino theory was given its specific game and meaning in 1959 by President Dwight D Elsenhower He used this theory to refer to the potential spread of communism in Southern-Asia He specifically said you can have a row of dominoes
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