Historian Paul Kennedy, in his article,“ The good old days of the cold war”, asserts that the world was a far more dangerous place during the cold war. He backs up his arguments with instances during 1945-1990, which could have turned out to be catastrophic wars, potentially dangerous in their respective magnitudes and killing powers. This view cannot be agreed with. In fact, the world is far more dangerous today, than it was during the cold war. If the issue is checked from a broader perspective, then it is evident that the author is missing out on two important points. One, the growing resistance among populations of all nations to remain unified as one entity. Two, the ghastly development of the present day weapons, which are much more advanced in their destructive capacities, than the nuclear weapons. All over the world, maybe due to the growing awareness of self rule, nations, states and districts are facing divisions. The smallest clan, want to be independent. This tendency has especially risen after the cold war, and the most powerful nation of this world, USA , is not able to escape this threat. Texas wants to secede from the USA, and become an independent state.
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A couple of groups are already functional, to wake up the Texans, and spread the independence movement. ( Texas secession facts ) The crux of the argument is that unrest among people against their respective rulers, is perhaps at a all time high than ever before in the human history. This makes the situation much more volatile and dangerous, than only two countries pointing guns towards each other during the cold war. The danger of war and ultimate destruction, has many more nuclei than just one. Technological advances are witnessed in every sphere of life, and lately the pace has been much faster. Research for destroying the enemy is reaching new heights, lately. Nuclear weapons have now become a story of the past, and perhaps redundant. The world is facing a threat of destruction by biological and chemical warfare.
About 17 countries are considered to be having offensive biological programs.( McGovern T.W., Christopher G.W. ) Both these points prove that during the cold war, the possibility of explosion was centered around only one nucleus, in today’s’ world, there are so many points from where collisions may erupt. The power to destroy has also increased many more times, than during the cold war. The world is much more volatile today. One more interesting fact is that during the cold war, there were only two opponents who were running a race. Today, many more countries have joined the race. India and China need a special mention here. Both countries have adapted themselves very well to the changing scenario post cold war, and are racing ahead to become economic super powers. A point of worry is that nuclear weaponry has become a child’s play in the present scenario. Even countries like Korea and Pakistan have been successful in arming themselves with nuclear weapons.
During the cold war, only two nations were competing each other, now many major have joined the competition. Each one of them is well equipped to destroy its enemy. In simple terms of physics, the ‘potential’ for destruction is much more than it was during the cold war. In the end, let us take a look at what would have happened if collision had triggered off during the cold war. Either USA or the USSR would have been the targets, unless the clash doesn’t assume global proportions. Rest of the world would have remained unaffected. However, in the post cold war period, it is not so. If collisions were not stopped by mediation of third parties, the post cold war period would have already seen the deadliest of wars, at many places in the world. However, humanity will never forget the misery of the two world wars. Institutions like the UN, have been helpful in the past in avoiding crisis blowing up into full fledged wars and one can hope that it will be continuing to do so in future also. It is doubtless that in the event of any untoward happening, the destruction will be of much higher scale than it would have been during the cold war.
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