Military and Political Consequences of the Cold War
There were many military and political consequences of the cold war. Among the military consequences of the cold war was a change in military expenses. The cold war spurred the exhaustion of the Soviet Union which desired to achieve great-power status. It explored the atomic bomb development as well as space exploration.
Space competition was rampant among the superpowers. Tactical and strategic conventional and nuclear forces were established by superpowers. The aim of this was to prepare for possible attacks by the rivals. Countries invested heavily in the military. For instance, the Soviet Union recruited one individual among five adults.
During the cold war, the United States is estimated to have spent about $8 trillion in military expansion. About 100,000 Americans died during the war that was sparked by the cold war in Vietnam and Korea. The number of soldiers lost by the Soviet Union and the expenses is difficult to estimate. This is because the Soviet Union had a much higher financial cost in terms of the gross national product at the time of the war.
Until this day, nuclear legacies established during the cold war are easy to identify. Militarization has also continued even after the cold war with the United States and Russia spending millions on military developments especially in the establishment of defensive systems and nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.
Since no treaties were signed to formalize the end of the cold war, superpowers are still maintaining and improving as well as modifying their nuclear weapons.
Politically, the cold war created the impression that there were two main political ideologies. These were communism and capitalism ideologies. The United States supported the capitalism ideology while the Soviet Union supported the communist ideology. Each strived to spread its ideology across the world.
The ideologies motivated and shaped the political conceptions of people and organizations in different countries. The impact of the cold war on politics was not only geopolitical but also philosophical. Geopolitically, the cold war was aimed at establishing control over the Eurasian landmass and then controls global preponderance.
To each side, the control of each side had to be ejected from the eastern and western fringes of Eurasia. Effective containment of the ideology of the other side had to be established and this would determine the ultimate geostrategic result of the competition. Nevertheless, the cold war ended the many years of combat during the military World Wars. It also shaped the post-war structures and inclinations of most nations of the world.
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