Cold War: Cheat Sheet

Stuff You Need to Know

  • The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. fought the Cold War for 45 years. It consisted of covert action, proxy wars and a nearly-complete polarization between the two sides among the rest of the world.
  • In 1991, the U.S.S.R collapsed suddenly and completely, becoming a number of independent countries and the Russian Federation.
  • Those who credit the U.S. with the Soviet demise cite massive defense spending, the Star Wars program and the proxy war in Afghanistan for bleeding the U.S.S.R. financially.
  • Others believe the U.S. prolonged the Cold War and that the U.S.S.R's demise was based on a sudden transition to a free market system that led to its economic collapse.

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