What Happened During the Cold War?

What Happened During the Cold War?

Chemist in protective suit the disposal of radio active waste

Not all battles have winners and bloodshed. An example is the cold war. It is a term that correctly characterized the growing tension between Russia and the United States for years beginning with the end of World War II.

What Happened?

The United States and Russia worked together during the Second World War as allies. When the war ended, both became superpowers with different ideologies and vision of leadership: Russia embraced communism while the United States valued democracy. Uncle Sam grew gravely concerned over Joseph Stalin’s abusive policies and management.

As a way to protect its vested interest and to curtail the spread of communism, the United States made a decision that dictated its policies for more than 25 years: containment.

The Idea of Containment

One of the goals of the United States was to suppress communism or to contain it to avoid its spread. To achieve this, the Truman administration came up with the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, which poured billions of funds to rehabilitate the ruined Europe. The main idea is to let people see or experience the value of a free market—a democratic economy.

Atomic Age

Undoubtedly, the containment strategy led to a dangerous arms race where both countries started producing and testing nuclear weapons. In the United States, many facilities provided the warheads, including the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Fortunately, both countries weren’t able to use them against each other. The road to the end of the cold war was long, but it eventually ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union when then-President Mikhail Gorbachev promoted the international policies of economic reform and openness.

Despite its end, people can still feel the traces of the cold war. For example, exposure to the nuclear components such as plutonium has made the lab’s employees gravely ill. The effects can range from lifelong disabilities to life-threatening diseases.

But there are home care facilities now that specialize in such health issues. The government also provides financial support to qualified individuals. If you or someone you know once worked in the lab and need special care, it’s time to explore this option.