The Cold War: The United States, NATO, and the Right Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The World War II (1939-1945) alliance of the United States, Great Britain, France, China, and the Soviet Union against the Fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan masked fundamental ideological differences among the Allies, which became apparent as the victorious powers attempted to reorder international relationships.

Political Considerations

The World War II World War II (1939-1945)[World War 02];and Cold War[Cold War](1939-1945) alliance of the United States, Great Britain, France, China, and the Soviet Union against the Fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan masked fundamental ideological differences among the Allies, which became apparent as the victorious powers attempted to reorder international relationships. The United States, as leader of the democratic, capitalistic nations, promoted free elections, collective security through the United Nations, and freedom of trade. The Soviet World War II (1939-1945)[World War 02];Soviet UnionSoviet Union;World War II[World War 02]Union, still stinging from the loss of twenty million dead during the war and fearful of American nuclear capability, was intent on securing its borders and surrounding itself with subservient, Communismcommunist governments. As a result of these differing goals, the United States and the Soviet Union clashed over occupation of Japan, the Soviet withdrawal from Persia, the selection of postwar governments throughout Eastern Europe, the development of nuclear weapons, and the eventual fate of Germany and Berlin, which had been divided among the European victors at the end of the war. On February 9, 1946, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, JosephStalin, JosephStalin (1879-1953) followed an ideological line in blaming capitalism for World War II, thus justifying an aggressive five-year plan of rearmament.Cold War (1945-1991);United StatesSuperpowers;United StatesCold War (1945-1991);United StatesUnited States;Cold WarSuperpowers;United States

In reaction to Soviet exploitation of postwar economic instability in Europe, particularly in Greece and Turkey, American leaders implemented two programs designed to forestall Soviet influence. The Truman Truman DoctrineDoctrine (March, 1947) called for a policy of global Containment policycontainment of communism and offered American support for free peoples resisting foreign domination. Its economic counterpart was a European recovery program proposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall, George C.Marshall, George C.Marshall (1880-1959) in June, 1947, with the rebuilding of the German economy at its heart. The Marshall Marshall PlanPlan and related programs had by 1954 funneled $41 billion worth of economic and military assistance to Germany, Japan, and the countries of Western Europe, helping centrist and conservative governments to consolidate their political positions.

The United States also restructured its Foreign policy;U.S.foreign policy institutions. The National Security Act National Security Act (1947)(1947) and subsequent reforms reorganized all the military service branches under the Department of Defense, established a National Security Council to advise the president, and created the Central Intelligence Central Intelligence AgencyAgency (CIA) to gather intelligence and conduct covert operations. Fear of revived German aggression and continued Soviet expansion led to the development in April, 1949, of the North Atlantic Treaty North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationOrganization (NATO), which provided for a unified military command structure in common defense of Western Europe. Original members included the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal. Greece and Turkey joined in 1952, Spain in 1982. France withdrew from the military command structure in 1966, though continued diplomatic support. When West Germany was brought into NATO as a full partner in 1955, the Soviet Union responded by drawing its East European satellites–East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, and Bulgaria–into the comparable Warsaw Warsaw PactPact.

Fearing that American influence would follow Marshall Plan aid, the Soviet Union prohibited the governments of East European countries–East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria–from participating. Creation of the Communist Information Communist Information BureauBureau (Cominform) brought communist parties more tightly under Soviet control. Two events in 1949 raised the international diplomatic position of the Soviet Union to one of near equality with the United States, creating the superpower rivalry that lasted until 1991. After four years of civil war in Chinese Civil War (1946-1949)China, the Russian-backed Communists under Mao Mao ZedongMao ZedongZedong (Mao Tse-tung; 1893-1976) defeated the pro-Western Nationalist Party of Chiang Chiang Kai-shekChiang Kai-shek[Chiang Kaishek]Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi; 1887-1975), driving him to the island of TaiwanTaiwan. In the same year, Russian scientists successfully exploded their first atomic Atomic bomb;Soviet Unionbomb.

By 1950 the world had become clearly polarized in an ideological struggle known as the Cold War. For more than four decades, almost every facet of international relations was a battleground between the United States and its democratically oriented allies on one hand and the Soviet Union and other communist countries on the other. Both superpowers vied for supremacy in weapons, space, economics, security, and influence in the undeveloped (“Third World”) nations. Ironically, with two superpowers possessing nuclear Nuclear weapons and warfare;Cold Warweapons by 1949, direct confrontation became so dangerous that the United States and the Soviet Union never engaged in direct warfare, instead choosing to compete through surrogates and to protect themselves by developing increasingly sophisticated technologies that made traditional warfare untenable.

President John F. Kennedy meets with U.S. Air Force staff to discuss surveillance flights over Cuba in October, 1962.

(National Archives)

Cold War tensions peaked in times of crisis, such as the Korean War (1950-1953), the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Vietnam War (1961-1975), and the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989), with intermittent periods of cautious negotiation. When ideological and territorial disputes between Russia and China became public in the late 1950’s, the democratic world was cautiously optimistic, but authentic information was hard to obtain, and it would be many years before people appreciated the extent of the rift. The most promising period of Détente[detente]détente came in the wake of President Richard Nixon, Richard M.Nixon, Richard M.Nixon’s (1913-1994) 1969 Vietnamization Vietnamization policypolicy in Southeast Asia, in which the basis of U.S. policy in Vietnam was shifted from international ideological struggle to local civil war. Strategic Arms Limitation Strategic Arms Limitation TalksTalks (SALT) began in November, 1969, concluding with the SALT I agreement (May 26, 1972), which prohibited nationwide deployment of antiballistic missile systems and declared a five-year moratorium on strategic rocket launch systems. In the same year, Nixon made a historic trip to Beijing, leading to marginally better relations with the China;Nixon’s tripChinese.

After decades of massive military spending, the Soviet Union had achieved a rough technological parity with the United States by the 1980’s. Beginning in 1985 Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, MikhailGorbachev, MikhailGorbachev (born 1931) attempted to modernize Soviet political and economic institutions by restructuring the government and allowing greater freedom of expression. In March, 1988, he declared a policy of nonintervention in Eastern Europe, which rapidly led to the ouster of communist officials (1989). In December, 1989, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to abolish the communist monopoly of political power, with other republics following suit. In 1990, the Soviet government cut back aid to communist regimes. After prolonged strikes, negotiations, and threats, the Warsaw Warsaw Pact;disbandedPact was disbanded in 1991, and the Soviet Soviet Union;dissolutionUnion finally ceased to exist on December 25, 1991, leaving the United States as the only world superpower.

Military Achievement

The principal goal of United States and NATO troops during the Cold War was to contain communism within borders established during and shortly after World War II. A major NATO action in Korean War (1950-1953)Korea, dominated by American troops, successfully stopped North Korean communist expansion south of the thirty-eighth parallel. From the 1950’s, Western ideological commitment to democratic governments was complicated by two important prewar rivalries. First, indigenous nationalistic movements in Africa;anticolonialismAfrica and Asia;anticolonial movementsAnticolonial movements;and communism[communism]Asia, seeking to free themselves from American influence or European colonial domination, were attracted by the communist model of anticapitalist, state-controlled economies, and by the offer of economic and military assistance from the Soviet Union. Second, and closely related to emergent nationalism, was the conflict between Jews and Arabs, which had been simmering since the advent of the Zionist Zionist movementmovement in the 1880’s, and which broke out into open conflict with the creation in 1948 of the state of Israel;creation ofArab-Israeli wars[Arab Israeli wars]Israel. Although Germany and the United States played a major role in building up the Israeli military, and the Soviet Union contributed heavily to the modernization of armed forces in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, both superpowers stood aside from combat during the Israeli Wars (1948-1949, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982).

Important developing Developing nations;during Cold War[Cold War]nations such as Egypt, India, and Indonesia declared themselves neutral in the Cold War in 1955, but many undeveloped Undeveloped nationscountries found it difficult to resist superpower pressure and enticement. Fidel Castro, FidelCastro, FidelCastro (born 1926 or 1927) led Cuban Revolution (1956-1959)Cuban rebels in overthrowing the pro-American Batista regime in 1959, then joined the communist bloc in 1960. The threat posed by a socialist government in the Western Hemisphere led the United States to support the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion (April 17, Bay of Pigs invasion (1961)1961). Increasing Soviet Union;CubaRussian support of Cuba, including the installation of silos that could house missiles capable of supporting a nuclear attack on the United States, led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)1962. An American blockade and intense negotiations forestalled direct conflict, as the Soviets agreed not to deploy offensive weapons, though limited numbers of Russian troops remained in Cuba until 1991. Fearing further communist expansion in the Caribbean, the United States sent troops to the Dominican Republic (1965-1966) and Grenada Grenada invasion (1983)(1983) to support pro-Western regimes.

In the wake of the French defeat in Indochina (1954), the United States in 1961 pledged to support South Vietnam War (1961-1975)Vietnam in combating communist guerrillas known as Viet Viet CongCong. Despite the commitment of more than 500,000 troops at the height of the war (1964-1973) in Vietnam, the United States was unsuccessful in halting infiltration by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops, supported independently by the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. In 1975 Communist governments were established in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, the U.S. government secretly worked to undermine communist Communism;Cold War expansionexpansion. Communist or procommunist movements were successful in Ethiopia (1974), Guinea-Bissau (1974), Mozambique (1975), Angola (1976), and Nicaragua (1979) but were defeated in the Philippines (1945-1954), Burma (1948-1950), Malaya (1948-1960), Guatemala (1954), Indonesia (1965-1966), Chile (1973), Afghanistan (1978-1988), and El Salvador (1980-1992).

Weapons, Uniforms, and Armor

Early Cold War battlefield weapons and uniforms were little changed from those of World War II. All NATO military organizations employed some form of khaki in varying shades of tan, green, or camouflage, depending on conditions of deployment, with other colors generally reserved for dress purposes. Battle Uniforms;Cold Waruniforms were generally olive drab, with camouflaged U.S. M-1 helmets. The beret was the most common nonbattle headgear for NATO armies.

The M-1 .30-06 Rifles;postwarrifle remained standard issue for U.S. troops throughout the Korean War, though early prototypes of the M-14 M-14 rifle[M 0014]rifle were being tested. Debates over standardization of ammunition among NATO countries led to adoption of the 7.62-millimeter round in 1953. The M-14 was finally adopted by the U.S. Army in 1957. It was replaced in 1966 as standard issue by the M-16 rifle[M 0016]M-16 5.56-millimeter assault rifle, which was lighter, faster, and cheaper to manufacture. By 1969, almost all U.S. Army and Marine units were equipped with M-16’s. At least a dozen countries used some version of the M-16 throughout the Cold War.

The M47 and M48 were the main battle tanks (MBTs) most commonly used by the United States and its allies during the 1950’s. Though highly adaptable and still in service in the 1980’s, they were increasingly replaced from 1966 by the M-551 Sheridan light Sheridan Light TankTanks;postwartank, from 1979 by the M-60 MBT, and from 1985 by the German Leopard Leopard tanks2. The most effective versions were fitted with British-designed 105-millimeter L7A1 rifled guns. The most advanced MBT tanksMBT of the Cold War was the U.S.-designed M-1 Abrams tanksAbrams, developed during the 1970’s and increasingly deployed in the 1980’s.

In the air, NATO forces were outnumbered, generally about three to two, by those of Warsaw Airpower;NATOAirpower;Warsaw PactPact nations. With better pilot training and superior equipment, however, NATO was able to maintain tactical superiority. The B-52 bomber[B 52 bomber]B-52, in several versions, remained the primary strategic Bombersbomber from the time it was introduced in 1955 until the end of the Cold War. The F-86 Sabre fighter planeSabre was the backbone of the American Fighter planesfighter force in the 1950’s. The F-111 fighter plane[F 111 fighter plane]F-111 was the principal attack aircraft from 1967 until the introduction of the F-14 Tomcat, which was put into service in 1972 and remained the principal interceptor. During the 1980’s, the NATO aircraft inventory included large numbers of American F-111’s, F-15 fighter plane[F 015 fighter plane]F-15’s (the primary air-superiority fighter), F-16 fighter plane[F 016 fighter plane]F-104 fighter plane[F 104 fighter plane]F-16’s, F-104’s, British/ German/Italian Tornado aircraftTornados, Anglo-French Jaguars, and several versions of the French Mirage fighter planesMirage. The first B-1B Lancer aircraftLancer, designed to replace the B-52, was put into service in 1986.

The USS Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser, firing an antisubmarine rocket during trials in 1985.

(U.S. Department of Defense)

The proliferation of nuclear Nuclear weapons and warfare;Cold Warweapons was at the heart of the Cold War arms Arms racerace. In 1949, the United States possessed between fifty and one hundred nuclear weapons. During the Korean War it added more than one hundred each year and in 1952 developed the hydrogen Hydrogen bombbomb. During the Eisenhower administration, the U.S. nuclear arsenal grew from 1,000 to 18,000 warheads. Just as important as the weapons themselves were the means of delivering them. In 1950 the United States possessed 38 B36’s, which provided the first true intercontinental delivery capability. In 1957 the Soviet Union successfully launched the first satellite, Sputnik satellitesSputnik, and the first intercontinental ballistic Intercontinental ballistic missilesMissiles;ICBMsmissile (ICBM), leading to an intensification of American research and development of similar capabilities. In early 1962, the United States enjoyed a significant lead in both heavy Bombers;Cold Warbombers, with 639 B-52’s alone to 100 Russian bombers, and ICBMs, with 280 U.S. to 35 Russian missiles. By the early 1970’s, however, the Soviet Union had surpassed the United States in the production of both, though each country had many times the number of nuclear weapons necessary for annihilating both its adversary and the earth itself.

After the peak period in Vietnam, the U.S. military reached its low point in numbers (420,000) in 1972 and remained relatively weak in troop strength, quality, and morale throughout the 1970’s. At the same time, the Soviet Union made massive strides in improving the quality of its air force, navy, and missile delivery systems, leading to much debate in NATO countries about basic defense doctrines. With the growing strength of the Soviet Union and increased U.S. responsibilities in the wake of the Iranian Revolution of Iranian Revolution (1978-1979)1979, President Jimmy Carter, JimmyCarter, JimmyCarter issued Presidential Directive 59 (July, 1980), which ordered significant development of new forces designed to win a limited nuclear war. This was followed by the aggressive administration of President Ronald Reagan, RonaldReagan, RonaldReagan (1981-1989), which spent more than $2 trillion in building up both conventional and nuclear weapons, including the controversial space-based Strategic Defense Strategic Defense InitiativeInitiative (SDI), commonly called Star Wars, in 1983. As the Cold War drew to a close, NATO forces included about 1.1 million troops; 20,000 main battle tanks; 3,250 combat aircraft; and 650 attack helicopters, all excluding potential French contributions.

Military Organization

Throughout the Cold War, mobile army infantry units were central to the projection of American power. The U.S. Army, U.S.;Cold WarArmy was organized into sixteen regular divisions for fighting. Ordinarily ten of these were divided among five continental U.S. armies, and one was assigned to Hawaii. The remaining five divisions comprised two field or tactical armies, four being part of the Seventh Army in Germany, and one, along with the entire army of the Republic of Korea, comprising the Eighth Army. Of these, four were Armored Divisions, five were Mechanized Infantry Divisions, five were Infantry Divisions, one was an Air Assault Division, and one was an Airborne Division. Each division had its own supporting artillery.

In the event of war in Eastern Europe, which was the most likely scenario early in the Cold War, the U.S. Army U.S. Army EuropeEurope (USAREUR) would have become part of North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNATO’s Central Army Group, which would have been responsible for the ground war from the North Sea to the Bavarian Alps. Under ideal conditions, the U.S. Seventh Army would have been joined by two British divisions, eight to twelve German divisions, one Belgian division, and two Dutch divisions. The exact French contribution in the event of a Soviet attack was unknown, but it was estimated that it would be a force of sixteen divisions. The governing body of NATO was the North Atlantic North Atlantic CouncilCouncil, comprising ambassadors of member states. Headquartered in Brussels, the Council was headed by a European secretary general. A multinational Defense Planning Committee developed strategic policy. NATO military commands were supervised by a Military Committee of permanent military representatives from each state, with the exception of Iceland. Territorial commands were divided into those of the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers in Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers in EuropeEurope (SHAPE), deployed on the continent and commanded by an American general; the Allied Command, Allied Command, AtlanticAtlantic (ACLANT), responsible for the North Atlantic region and commanded by an American admiral; and the Allied Command, Allied Command, ChannelChannel (ACCHAN), responsible for the English Channel and North Sea regions and usually commanded by a British admiral. A Nuclear Defense Affairs Nuclear Defense Affairs CommitteeCommittee (NDAC) made up of defense ministers established general policy for use of nuclear weapons.

In non-European conflicts, the United States depended first upon the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Rapid Deployment Joint Task ForceForce (RDJTF), which included Army airborne, air assault, infantry, and mechanized divisions; armored and air cavalry brigades; two Ranger battalions; a Marine Amphibious Force; twelve tactical fighter and two tactical reconnaissance squadrons; two tactical airlift wings; one surface action group; and three carrier battle groups; along with five aerial patrol squadrons. Once deployed in an ongoing conflict such as Vietnam, the military force was restructured to meet existing circumstances. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, France wished for the European European CommunityCommunity (EC) to take over many of the responsibilities of NATO, though Great Britain and other countries opposed any actions that might undermine defense ties with North America. The major questions facing NATO as the Cold War drew to an end involved relationships with nations of the old Warsaw Pact, which had been disbanded in 1991, and the fate of some 27,000 nuclear Nuclear weapons and warfare;post-Cold Warweapons scattered in the former Soviet republics of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Doctrine, Strategy, and Tactics

Fearing an increasing and overwhelming Soviet influence in world affairs, the United States based its military doctrine upon the belief that the Soviet Union was ideologically committed to relentless expansion, which in turn required a “rapid buildup of the political, economic, and military strength” of countries committed to political freedom. The countries of NATO, however, were never willing to maintain an army large enough to counter a conventional invasion by the Soviet Union. NATO therefore embraced a policy of massive retaliation, including U.S. use of strategic nuclear weapons, to fend off Russian invasion. Almost from the beginning of the Cold War, the nuclear strategy of both nations was one of Deterrencedeterrence, based upon the perception by both sides of the suicidal nature of any nuclear attack. In order for deterrence to work, however, it was necessary to convince the Soviet Union that nuclear weapons might be used if necessary and that any initial Soviet attack would be unsuccessful in removing the U.S. threat. In 1967, after the Soviets acquired intercontinental nuclear capability, NATO shifted to a doctrine of flexible Flexible response doctrineresponse, suggesting that lower levels of force might be used. In terms of conventional warfare, U.S.-NATO doctrine stressed defense and technological superiority, with an emphasis on the importance of winning the first battle of a future war. The threat of tactical nuclear attack remained integral to the defense of Europe, as Warsaw Warsaw PactPact countries could within weeks have mobilized vastly superior conventional forces. In the early 1980’s, for instance, NATO forces were outnumbered five to one in men, seven to one in armored vehicles, five to one in artillery, and between two and three to one in aircraft.

Outside Europe, the United States lacked a clear doctrine of intervention. Trained through World War II to fight total Total warwars of annihilation, they responded uneasily to the limited objectives of warfare enjoined by potential nuclear destruction. This led to a confusion of U.S. purpose in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, and Nicaragua, and highly publicized conflicts, which saw General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) relieved of command in Korea in 1951, massive antiwar demonstrations from 1966 to 1973, and the public conviction of Colonel Oliver North, OliverNorth, OliverNorth (born 1943) in 1989. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan Afghanistan;Soviet war (1979-1989)(1979) ended the last remnants of détente, the election of Ronald Reagan (born 1911) as president in 1981 led to a simplistic but clear doctrine that appealed to Americans after the malaise and military decline of the 1970’s. The Reagan Reagan DoctrineDoctrine (1985) was designed “to nourish and defend freedom and democracy” from “Soviet-supported aggression,” and led to active involvement in affairs in Grenada, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan.

Contemporary Sources

In an age of easy access to both battlefields and print, the number of contemporary sources is immense. The amount of documentation is further augmented by memoirs of government officials, which in an age of limited political warfare become as important as those of field commanders. Important accounts by general officers include those by Matthew B. Ridgway, Soldier: The Memoirs of Matthew B. Ridgway, as Told to Harold H. Martin (1956); Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences (1964); Paul Ely, L’Indochine dans la tourmente (1964; Indochina in Turmoil, 1964); Henri Navarre, Agonie de l’Indochine, 1953-1954 (1956; Agony of Indochina, 1956); William Westmoreland, Report on the War in Vietnam, as of 30 June, 1968 (1969) and A Soldier Reports (1976); and Alexander Haig, Caveat: Realism, Reagan, and Foreign Policy (1984). Among hundreds of personal accounts by soldiers are those of Martin Russ, The Last Parallel: A Marine’s War Journal (1957); Frederick Downs, The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War (1978); Francis J. West, Small Unit Action in Vietnam: Summer, 1966 (1967); Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War (1977); Al Santoli, Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam War (1981); Wallace Terry, Bloods: An Oral History of the War by Black Veterans (1984).

Presidential positions can be followed in the ongoing publication Public Papers of the Presidents. The early years of the Cold War are described in the works of Harry S. Truman, Memoirs (1955, 1956); Dean Acheson, The Pattern of Responsibility (1952); Henry Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (1948); James Forrestal, The Forrestal Diaries (1951); Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department (1969); George F. Kennan, Memoirs, 1925-1950 (1967);

The Eisenhower years can be followed in Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Mandate for Change, 1953-1956: The White House Years (1963); Anthony Eden’s Full Circle: The Memoirs of Anthony Eden (1960); Adlai Stevenson’s The New America (1957); Peter G. Boyle (editor), The Churchill-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1953-1955 (1990); and Charles Bohlen’s Witness to History, 1929-1969 (1973). The Kennedy and Johnson years are covered in John Kenneth Galbraith’s Ambassador’s Journal: A Personal Account of the Kennedy Years (1969); Henry Cabot Lodge’s The Storm Has Many Eyes: A Personal Narrative (1973); Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (1965); Lyndon Johnson’s The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969 (1971); Dean Rusk’s As I Saw It (1990); George Ball’s The Past Has Another Pattern (1982); and Clark Clifford’s Counsel to the President: A Memoir (1991).

The latter stages of Vietnam and the 1970’s are covered in RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (1978); Henry Kissinger’s White House Years (1979); The Pentagon Papers, as Published by the New York Times (1971); Jimmy Carter’s Keeping Faith (1982); and Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Power and Principle (1982) and The Grand Failure (1989). The final years of the Cold War are dealt with in Ronald Reagan’s An American Life (1990); Caspar Weinberger’s Fighting for Peace (1990); Margaret Thatcher’s The Downing Street Years (1993); and Oliver North’s Under Fire (1991).Cold War (1945-1991);United StatesUnited States;Cold WarSuperpowers;United States

Books and Articles
  • Black, Jeremy. War Since 1945. London: Reaktion, 2004.
  • Collins, John M. U.S.-Soviet Military Balance: Concepts and Capabilities, 1960-1980. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.
  • Cowley, Robert, ed. The Cold War: A Military History. New York: Random House, 2005.
  • Freedman, Lawrence. The Cold War: A Military History. London: Cassell, 2001.
  • Gabriel, Richard A. Fighting Armies: NATO and the Warsaw Pact–A Combat Assessment. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1983.
  • Glynn, Patrick. Closing Pandora’s Box: Arms Races, Arms Control, and the History of the Cold War. New York: Basic, 1992.
  • Graebner, Norman A., Richard Dean Burns, and Joseph M. Siracusa. Reagan, Bush, Gorbachev: Revisiting the End of the Cold War. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Security International, 2008.
  • Jordan, Robert S. Norstad: Cold War NATO Supreme Commander. New York: Palgrave, 2000.
  • LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945-2006. 10th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008.
  • Mayers, David. The Ambassadors and America’s Soviet Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Miller, D. M. O., et al. The Balance of Military Power. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981.
  • Oberdorfer, Don. The Turn: From the Cold War to a New Era. New York: Poseidon Press, 1991.
  • Schmidt, Gustav, ed. A History of NATO: The First Fifty Years. 3 vols. New York: Palgrave, 2001.
  • Stone, David. Wars of the Cold War: Campaigns and Conflicts, 1945-1990. London: Brassey’s, 2004.
  • Thomas, Nigel. NATO Armies, 1949-87. Botley, Oxford, England: Osprey, 1987.
  • Tsouras, Peter G., ed. Cold War Hot: Alternate Decisions of the Cold War. Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2003.
  • Von Mellenthin, F. W., and R. H. S. Stolfi. NATO Under Attack: Why the Western Alliance Can Fight Outnumbered and Win in Central Europe Without Nuclear Weapons. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1984.
  • Wenger, Andreas, Christian Nuenlist, and Anna Locher, eds. Transforming NATO in the Cold War: Challenges Beyond Deterrence in the 1960’s. New York: Routledge, 2007.
Films and Other Media
  • The Cold War. Documentary. Cable News Network, 1999.
  • Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Feature film. Columbia Pictures, 1964.
  • Fail-Safe. Feature film. Columbia Pictures, 1964.
  • The Falcon and the Snowman. Feature film. Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, 1985.
  • Spy in the Sky. Documentary. Public Broadcasting Service, 1996.
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Feature film. Salem, 1965.

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Categories: History