The origins of the East-West conflict stems from multiple events.This tension brewed into a bitter and long conflict known as the Cold War.The struggle for dominance and world power was masked with differences in ideas of political, social and economic ways of life.At the climax of the Cold War stood the threat of Nuclear War during the Cuban Missile crisis. To better understand why Soviet and United States relations diminished quickly after the World War II the framework of realism and idealism will be used.
Both systems of thought have contrasting views and ideas that relate to foreign affairs.These systems will analyze and explain the reasoning for why both nations, the United States and the Soviet Union, acted and responded the way they did towards each other. One of the more simple explanations of why the Cold War existed can be explained by realism.Realist believe that main characteristic of the international system is anarchy and that the dominate actor is the state.
This idea of no one governing body in the world was the ongoing struggle of power between the Soviets and Americans.This idea intern would be the basis of realist explanation for the decline of relations between these two countries. Realists assure us that self-interest, power and overall survival are goals of every state.For example, in 1945 after World War II at the time there were three big powers, the United States, Soviet Union and Britain. In postwar discussions the Soviets made it clear that security was their number one priority.The United States and Great Britain on the other hand accepted the Soviets demand for non-hostile countries along their boarders, stressed the idea of self-determination and free elections for the peoples of Europe (Lieber 37).George Kennan’s publication of his “X” article on containment provides another vivid example of self-interest.
This idea of containment would later be revived by the Truman Adm…