Tahir, aged 16

“Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just.” – Dag Hammarskjöld.  

The dangers to peace

The cold war, a vast topic that is difficult to comprehend. The period of time when the world was in chaos and the two most dominant countries strive to attain world power and mass destruction was the main policy. There were lots of factors that endangered peace during this period of time. The actions and reactions of most countries during this time caused most of the crisis. The main focus in this essay will be the dangers to peace from the beginning of the cold war to the period of 1949. The main countries that will be discussed in this essay are USA and the USSR.

1945 was a year when the world witnessed the beginning of the cold war. It all started after the Second World War when the Germans (although they were defeated) destroyed the USSR’s economy and left the country in a devastating state. This made Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, really anxious for the future safety of USSR and eager to extend his communism rule westwards and gain more countries on Eastern Europe (known as the buffer zone). By July-August 1945, Stalin had occupied most of Eastern Europe spreading Communism westwards. He backed up his actions by saying he needed a ‘sphere of influence’ mentioned at the Yalta Conference. Stalin’s Red Armies took control over Eastern Europe by force, looting every house, raping every woman, killing every man and above all disturbing the peace. The actions of Stalin unsettled the Western allies which made them introduce all policies in order to contain communism and stop it from spreading westwards. Of the policies was the Two Halves Of The Same Walnut: The Truman Doctrine and The Marshall Aid. It was now a war between Capitalism and Communism.

By 1948, Communism became a real threat to the West. Stalin stretched his rule westwards into Czechoslovakia and eliminating all anti-communist that threatened his rule. This is when the American policies came into action. President Truman went into Europe to offer his aid to any country threatened by a Communist take-over. The Marshall Aid was to rebuild the European Economy and make them more stable to be able to resist all threats from Stalin and Communism. The Truman Doctrine was to offer money, equipment and advice to any country which was threatened by a Communist take-over. Indeed the Soviet Union obstructed peace with all their bad acts.

As the Americans tried to rebuild the European Economy especially Germany, the USSR tried to stop all their actions and feared that Germany would rise and would be able to resist the communism rule. By ending 1948, the Soviet Union blockade Berlin by cutting off all supplies that connected West Germany with Berlin in order to try to stop the Capitalists from rebuilding the German economy. However, this action by the Soviet Union did not stop the Americans from transporting goods to Berlin by air and by May 1949, Stalin reopened all communications. As there was real possibility of war between capitalism and communism, all Western powers met to sign an agreement to work together; this new organisation is known as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). They agreed that all Western countries most work together and an attack on one is an attack on all. If a communist country should attack a capitalist country, they would all come together and support the country and all attack as one.

That is the outline of how the Cold War began. All superpowers and their allies had shown how suspicious they were of each other; how they would obstruct each other in almost any they could. Even though they would do anything to prevent each other from carrying out their plans, they were not willing to go to war with each other. A world of peace seemed almost impossible and inevitable with both powers sizing out each other. The only possibility of attaining peace is for both powers to forget all their policies and make peace with each other. By 1950, the Cold War started and to be in a world of peace it must begin within the private world of each of the superpowers. To be in a world without fear, all countries must first be without fear and to be in a just world all countries must be just.


About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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