This article asked one of those seemingly easy questions: Who won the Cold War? Under "last man standing" rules, it was the United States that emerged the victor. But in another context, the question remains unanswered: Did the U.S. win the Cold War by beating the U.S.S.R. or did the Soviet Union lead to its own demise, with the U.S. merely as belligerent bystander? This view raises a far different question -- with a far different answer.
It turns out that a closer look at Perestroika, the Soviet restructuring plan that served as the transition from communism to a more capitalist society, convinced me that the U.S.S.R. died of natural causes. Perestroika was simply instituted too rapidly. A shock to the system like the one the Soviet economy took when it turned to a free market after 80 years of government intervention was too much to bear. And a stricken economy can topple a nation faster than any army.
In the end, though, this question is too complex for any simple answer and it will likely never be conclusively established, which makes me admire the question all the more.
- Allen, Richard V. "The man who won the Cold War." Hoover Institution. 2000. http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/3476876.html
- Beichman, Arnold. "Who won the Cold War?" Hoover Institution. July 2, 2001. http://www.hoover.org/pubaffairs/dailyreport/archive/2856931.html
- Grier, Peter. "In the shadow of MAD." Air Force Magazine. November 2001. http://www.afa.org/magazine/Nov2001/1101mad.asp
- Huntley, Wade. "Who won the Cold War?" in Breen, Timothy, ed. "The Power of Words: Documents in American History." New York: Harper Collins. 1995. http://www.nautilus.org/admin/staff/wademore.html#WCW
- Hess, Pamela. "Defense spending approaching Cold War high." UPI. February 8, 2006. http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/ Defense_Spending_approaching_Cold_War_high.html
- Kaplan, Fred. "Ron and Mikhail's excellent adventure." Slate. June 9, 2004. http://www.slate.com/id/2102081
- Kissinger, Henry A. "Diplomacy." New York: Simon and Schuster. 1994.
- Korkmaz, Ozgur. "Do not forget the unfortunate." Turkish Daily News. Apil 11, 2008. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=101504
- Powers, Thomas. "Who won the Cold War?" New York Review of Books. June 20, 1996. http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/powers.htm
- Reagan, Ronald. "Remarks to members of the National Press Club on arms reduction and nuclear weapons." University of Texas. November 18, 1981. http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1981/111881a.htm
- Spring, Baker. "President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative proposal 25 years later: A better path chosen." The Heritage Foundation. March 10, 2008. http://www.heritage.org/Research/BallisticMIssileDefense/ upload/wm_1841.pdf
- "Anatoly Dobrynin: Soviet diplomat." CNN. http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/ episodes/12/interviews/dobrynin/
- "Cold War." Global Security. December 30, 2007. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/cold_war.htm
- "Perestroika." Ibiblio. http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/perest.html
- "The second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), 1979." U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/qfp/103736.htm
- "Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the limitation of strategic offensive arms (SALT I)." U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/t/ac/trt/5191.htm