Do you agree that it was more a combination of misunderstanding and distrust that caused the Cold War?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The phrase "misunderstanding and distrust" implies that there were no "real" reasons for the Cold War to take place.  If the Cold War was caused by "misunderstandings," then proper understanding would have prevented it.  If the Cold War was caused by "distrust" then trust would have prevented it.

But I would argue that this was not the case.  There were "real" reasons that caused the Cold War that would not have gone away if the US and USSR had only trusted or understood one another.   The major factor here is that both sides truly were striving for the other's destruction.  This was not a misunderstanding but rather a fundamental aspect of the two sides' ideologies.  Because of this, both sides truly were taking action to undermine the other.  This was not a conflict that could really have been avoided by having the two sides think in the proper, less bellicose ways.

billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Your question is difficult to understand. It sounds as if you were asking if it was misunderstanding and mutual distrust that caused the Cold War rather than any real threat by either side to the other. I can understand why pohnpel397 answered exactly the way he or she did. The Soviets and Americans had very real, very serious opposing interests during this whole period which could have led to the annihilation of all life on the planet. The climax probably came with the Soviet loss of nerve and loss of face during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

rosannalilly80's profile pic

rosannalilly80 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

the editor has re-written the question! The question was do you agree that it was more a combination of misunderstanding and distrust that caused the cold war in the period 1945-1950 OR 1953 OR 1962???

Please could your answer relate to this period. thank you

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