Saya kira istilah Cold War atau Perang Dingin muncul lagi dalam kosa kata media massa. Hal ini terjadi sesudah Presiden Rusia Vladimir Putin akan mengarahkan rudalnya lagi ke Eropa sesudah Amerika menegaskan akan tetap melanjutkan sistem pertahanan rudal di Ceko.

Cold War. The term “Cold War” is used to describe the protracted conflict between the Soviet and Western worlds that, while falling short of “hot” war, nonetheless involved a comprehensive military, political, and ideological rivalry from the end of World War II to the early 1990s. It entered modern political vocabulary after World War II, as a description, popularized by the columnist Walter Lippmann, of the conflict between the Soviet and Western blocs. It was initially used to describe a historical period—the Cold War—that began with the breakdown of the wartime alliance in 1946–1947. Some writers saw an end to the Cold War in the 1950s, after the death of Stalin; others saw its demise in the 1970s with détente. The term “Second Cold War” was widely used to refer to the period after the collapse of détente in the late 1970s.

“Cold War” was, however, also used in a more analytic sense, not to denote a particular phase of East-West rivalry but rather to denote the very fact of the rivalry between the communist and capitalist systems itself, one that involved competition and confrontation but not all-out “hot” war. In this sense, the Cold War began not in 1945 but in 1917, with the accession of the Bolsheviks to power, and their proclamation of a worldwide challenge to capitalism, and continued until the late 1980s. The communist revolutionary challenge, and the Western response to it, were checked by a variety of factors—the fragmentation of the world into separate societies and states, the power of nationalism, the fear of nuclear weapons, the limits on the power of each side—but it nevertheless endured for more than seven decades. Whatever the periodicity or meaning adopted, most writers agreed that the Cold War, in the sense of a global rivalry between two competing and roughly equal blocs, ended, after Gorbachev’s accession to power in 1985, with the collapse of Soviet power and the end of the Soviet ideological challenge to the West.

The development of East-West rivalry was marked by a set of crises, in both Europe and the Third World, and by an enduring competition in arms, especially nuclear weapons. Central as the arms race was to Cold War, however, the latter comprised a broader strategic and political contest. After the end of World War II, Europe was soon divided by the “Iron Curtain” of communist border controls into the Soviet and Western blocs, which led to the Berlin blockade of 1948–1949 and to the formation, in 1949 and 1955, respectively, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Further crises over Berlin followed in 1959 and 1961, and attempts by states under Soviet control to assert their independence were crushed by force—the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1953, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Poland in 1981. Yugoslavia, Albania, and Romania were able to evade Soviet domination but remained ruled by Communist parties until they, like the Soviet allies, were overwhelmed by the democratic revolutions of the late 1980s.

The rivalry of East and West was also fought out in the Third World. After the Azerbaidzhan crisis of March 1946, a dispute over Soviet reluctance to pull forces out of Iran that marked the first major dispute of the Cold War, there followed the Chinese Revolution of 1949, the Korean War of 1950–1953, the Suez crisis of 1956, the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and, in its aftermath, the missile crisis of 1962, and the U.S. involvement in Vietnam of 1965–1973. In the latter part of the 1970s the collapse of détente and onset of the so-called Second Cold War was in part the result of U.S. concern at the advent to power of pro-Soviet revolutionary regimes in a dozen Third World states, notably South Vietnam, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola, and Nicaragua.

The Second Cold War came after the lessening of tensions that was evident in the 1970s with the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks of 1972 and the Helsinki Accords of thirty-three European nations, the United States, and Canada on European security in 1975. This amelioration had ended by the late 1970s and appeared dead when Soviet forces occupied Afghanistan in December 1979. The period after 1980 initially saw an intensification of East-West confrontation: an increased emphasis in the West on the arms race, with the deployment of intermediate-range cruise missiles in Europe and the Strategic Defense Initiative, and an encouragement by the United States of anticommunist guerrillas in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Angola, and Nicaragua.

In the Second Cold War the Soviet leadership appeared to have retreated behind the defensive positions of the earlier cold war, but from 1985 onwards, under Gorbachev’s leadership, the Soviet Union made wide-ranging concessions that brought the earlier confrontation and the Cold War as a whole to an end. In 1988 the Soviet Union declared an end to military support for the Eastern European communist parties it had kept in power for forty years and in 1989 withdrew its forces from Afghanistan. In the same period it signed wide-ranging agreements on arms control and arms reduction with the United States, and abandoned its global ideological rivalry with the capitalist West. In November 1989 the opening of the Berlin Wall signaled the end of communist power in Eastern Europe. In December 1990 the Cold War was officially declared over at the Paris Organization for Security and Cooperative in Europe (OSCE) conference. In December 1991 the Soviet Union broke apart.

Writing on the Cold War has revolved around two broad questions. The first has been that of historical responsibility, of which side caused the cold wars of the late 1940s and late 1970s. Whereas earlier writings tended to polarize around a Western view that the Soviet Union was responsible and a Soviet view that the “imperialist” countries were to blame, a later school of “revisionist” Western writing stressed forms of U.S. responsibility. In the 1980s a “postrevisionist” school emerged, locating responsibility in both the Soviet and U.S. blocs, while, with the advent of glasnost in the Soviet Union after 1988, Soviet writers began for the first time to concede that the policies of Stalin and Brezhnev had contributed to exacerbating East-West tensions.

The second broad set of questions concern what the Cold War was and what the sources of the conflict were. Here four broad schools of explanation have emerged. The first, a traditional application of power politics, sees it as a continuation under new ideological guises of the kind of great power rivalry for empire, influence, and domination seen in earlier epochs. A second school stresses the cognitive and subjective factors, the degree of misperception involved in the failure of the two sides to maintain their wartime alliance and resolve subsequent disputes, and to extricate themselves from the reinforcing anxieties of the arms race. A third school views the Cold War as only apparently a rivalry between two blocs, and more as a means by which the dominant states within each bloc controlled and disciplined their own populations and clients, and by which those who stood to benefit from increased arms production and political anxiety promoted a mythical rivalry. Fourth, there are those who see the Cold War not primarily as a conflict between states or as a merely military rivalry but more as a conflict between two distinct, competing social and political systems, each committed to prevailing over the other at the global level. Despite its rapid and, in Europe, relatively bloodless end, the Cold War continues to exert a hold on world affairs. In Russia there is pervasive nostalgia for world stature, exacerbated by the economic collapse that has followed the end of Soviet centralization. In China a communist party still rules, amidst growing social and political pressures. Although communism as an alternative ideology is discredited, many of the tensions, economic and social, that produced it remain acute, as the breakdown of state control in a number of areas formerly ruled by communism has produced new civil and ethnic conflicts.

Fred Halliday, The Making of the Second Cold War, 2d ed. (London and New York, 1986).
Raymond Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation, 2d ed. (Washington, D.C., 1994).
John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (Oxford, 1997).

Fred Halliday

Fred Halliday “Cold War” The Oxford Companion to the Politics of the World, 2e. Joel Krieger, ed. Oxford University Press Inc. 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.