With WWII over, Russia and the USA emerged as economic and political superpowers. They started exerting political influence over various countries within western Europe, with Russia influencing the eastern-most countries, and USA influencing the western-most countries. Russia requested that Germany be split into half and the halves shared by the two superpowers, due to the fact that a united Germany caused two major wars with Russia. They also wished to use the countries in their sphere of influence as a buffer from Germany and the western European countries. They were divided by their contrasting ideals.
Deterrence is a method of the cold war where each country builds up their fighting capacity but neither ends up fighting because of fear of Mutually Assured Destruction. This led to the two world powers to keep building up their military power, but not using any of their own weapons.
Ma N' Pop News Stand
The people need to be self- sufficient!
State Foods Buy now
The people need to be ran by the state!
US President John F. Kennedy
There were many proxy wars during this cold war, including the Cuban Missile Crisis. This led to the closest the USSR and the USA came to engaging in nuclear warfare. Known as brinkmanship, this is when they attempt to push a dangerous position as far as they can without conceding to the opponent. Luckily, in the end they removed the missiles from their respective areas.
Get your missiles out of Cuba! It's threatening my entire nation!
WHAT ABOUT MY COUNTRY?!
Leader of the Cubans, Fidel Castro
Not until you get your missiles out of Turkey! It's threatening us all the same!
Leader of the Soviets, Nikita Krushchev
After managing to defuse the nuclear threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis, both of the Superpowers ended up afraid of mutually-assured destruction, and because of this they decided to enter a period of deterrence or a period of relatively peaceful relations, with many treaties being made and the countries engaging in events.
Remember the war?
Oh, haha. Yeah! Time flies, hey?
As the Cold War ended, this signified better relations between the USA and Russia, the end of the East-German Communist regimes, the fall of the Berlin Wall / Iron Curtain, and the dissolution (the closing down or dismissal of) the USSR.
Leader of the Soviets, Mikhail Gorbachev
Have my pen to sign, President Reagan!
The scene pictured is the exchange of pens between Reagan and Gorbachev at the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signing ceremony.
US President Ronald Reagan
I insist you sign with mine, President Gorbachev.
Remember the Proxy Wars? Yeah, those still existed. Due to the USSR's and the USA's proxy wars, major unrest rose in Middle-Eastern countries. This led to the groups known as Al-Qaeda, and more recently ISIS. The first group is responsible for "initiating" the War on Terror, by attacking the USA. However, after many years Al-Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden, gets assassinated by members of the Navy Seals. This led to ISIS, a contemporary terrorist organization. Furthermore, the Proxy Wars caused North Korea to build up its nuclear power, a threat only recently being handled.