To what extent do you believe that the Soviet Union played a more important role in starting the cold war than the US?

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This point of view is the conservative view in Cold War historiography stating that the Soviet Union was the instigator in the conflict. The Soviet Union actually did start to annex its Eastern European neighbors as it marched on Germany in 1944-1945. The Soviet Union engineered the Katyn Forest massacre early in the war in order to kill as many Polish officers who might be resistance fighters later. The Soviets also signed the non-aggression pact with Hitler and overran the Baltic countries—these countries were not given their freedom after the end of WWII. Soviet espionage was influential in making the Soviet Union a nuclear country and the Soviet Union did ship arms and money all over the world—including Cuba, which was a breach of the Monroe Doctrine.

However, there is also the liberal point of view which states that the Soviet Union had to appear strong so that it would not be pushed around by the United States. The United States also had propaganda campaigns such as Radio Free Europe and it also influenced elections in France and Italy towards anti-left leaders. The United States developed the atomic bomb during WWII and did not share this knowledge with its ally, the Soviet Union. There were some in the U.S. military, most notably George Patton, who wanted to march on Moscow after WWII and end the Soviet Union once and for all.

I believe that neither the Soviet Union nor the United States bear all the responsibility for the Cold War. Both sides had an equally important role in this tragic conflict which would influence governments around the world and still influences them today as Eastern Europe still lags behind the West in terms of economic production and the Korean Peninsula is still divided.

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