Explain your answer and be sure to address both sides, discussing why you support one and oppose the other. Be specific and cite any sources you use; do not take quotes directly from any source without proper punctuation and citations. The Post-Cold War is more dangerous than the Cold-War. In favor of Cold War. A. The Cold War (1949-1991) was an era of greater danger for the national security of the United States than is the era that began in 1991 and continues today, even after 9/11.  The threat of nuclear destruction, a global competition for allies and economic resources, and four decades of espionage and counter-espionage as well as other matters comprised a system of world politics that presented greater danger to Americans than the current world system. or B. The Post-Cold War era (1991-present) presents greater danger to the national security of the United States than did the era of the Cold War. The Cold War nuclear threat was obviously a high-level threat, but by the 1960s (after the Cuban missile crisis) the United States and the Soviet Union constructed a relationship which remained hostile but realistic and in which the purposeful use of nuclear weapons was highly unlikely. In contrast, the United States faces a world of many dangers, from hostile and growing competitors like China and Iran to very flexible and violent terrorist and criminal organizations that do not align with the world's national borders. The threat of a terrorist organization obtaining and using a nuclear weapons is more likely than was the launch of a thousand nuclear weapons by the Soviet Union.  

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The probability of a major conflict happening may be higher now than it was during the Cold War. However, the probability of that conflict being completely catastrophic for all of human civilization has been dramatically reduced. Therefore, I conclude that in the most important sense, we are safer now than...

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The probability of a major conflict happening may be higher now than it was during the Cold War. However, the probability of that conflict being completely catastrophic for all of human civilization has been dramatically reduced. Therefore, I conclude that in the most important sense, we are safer now than we were 30 years ago.

There are international relations scholars who believe otherwise, such as John Mearsheimer who argues that a war between the US and China is likely as China's economic growth continues. In my opinion, this argument neglects the fact that China's economic growth is largely driven by trade with the US; far from making war more likely, China's economic development could make it almost unthinkable, just as war between the US and Germany is now almost unthinkable despite being an event that happened within living memory.

The Doomsday Clock has also been set higher than it was during most of the Cold War, but this is frankly baffling, because during the Cold War we had thousands more nuclear weapons than we do now, and were actively maintaining a policy of rapid and overwhelming nuclear response. Today, even if the worst did come to pass and a fanatical Islamist organization like ISIS obtained and used a nuclear weapon, this would not result in a full-scale nuclear exchange. The absence of a government and cities to target is terrifying in its own way, but it eliminates even the possibility of an overzealous US nuclear response, as there is nothing to aim the nukes at. It would surely trigger a war, and the death toll could be in the millions---but in the Cold War we were talking about billions.

Indeed, I may be wrong to concede even that a major conflict is more likely. Overall the world is quite simply more peaceful now than it was then: "state-based armed conflict declined by 40 percent from 1992 to 2003", reports The Atlantic based on the 2009/2010 Human Security Report, and furthermore "The last ten years have seen fewer war deaths than any decade of the past century."

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