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I assume that you are asking about proxy wars during the Cold War. These were wars (often civil wars) in which the US and the USSR would each support a separate side.
The significance of these wars was different for the superpowers than it was for the countries that were most directly involved. For the superpowers, a win or loss in one of these wars led to a relatively minor change in power and prestige. For example, the US loss in Vietnam had a fairly minor impact on the United States. By contrast, the wars were typically devastating for the countries in which they happened. They caused destruction as well as lingering enmity between the combatant groups within the countries.
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