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< Back to question Should the Cold War be considered a war? Show more Show less

The Cold War was a time of geopolitical hostility between the United States and the Soviet Union. This conflict spanned about 45 years until the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 90s. However, no physical fighting ever occurred, there was only a consistent state of friction between these two nations.

No, the cold war should not be considered a war Show more Show less

Although the Cold War was an ideological competition between the Soviet Union and the United States, that does not justify defining this period of conflict between the two nations as an actual war. While this Cold War may have led to other proxy wars and even the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union, no true armed conflict ever occurred. Furthermore, because this Cold War was mostly about two superpowers trying to exert superiority over the other in everything from sporting events to space programs, this period of conflict cannot be accurately defined as a war, just a competition.
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No Physical Combat

Although there were proxy wars and an arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States, there was no period of physical combat between the two nations at all.
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The Argument

The Cold War was a global struggle, but should not be considered a war. There was a constant threat of war throughout the period, but the US never fell to direct conflict with the main aggressor, Russia. This period can be eloquently described by the words of French Sociologist and political expert, Raymond Aron; ‘impossible peace, improbable war.” [1] The government even references the Cold War as "arguing on the world stage that Western-style democracy was superior"[2]. The US's involvement in the Cold War can be boiled down to an ideological disagreement and nothing more.

Counter arguments

The US has not officially declared war since WW2 despite being active in conflicts, primarily due to the fact that by remaining formally neutral, less responsibility falls on members of the US government. [3] Therefore, an official declaration or documented conflict should not be needed to define a war.


Rejecting the premises




This page was last edited on Wednesday, 9 Sep 2020 at 01:41 UTC


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