Ph.D. (History), Senior Research Fellow, State Institution “Institute of World History of NAS of Ukraine”, Kyiv
The article argues that the United States entered the post-war world in a completely new role for the state, surpassed all other countries in the main indicators of strength – military, economic, technological and cultural. World wars turned them into the center of Western civilization, which opposed Soviet power, which secured significant spheres of influence in Eastern Europe and the Far East as a result of World War II.
It is argued that the main areas of geopolitical rivalry between the two centers of power are the regions that are on the periphery of Eurasia: the clash line in Europe, the Middle and the Far East. Throughout the entire period of rivalry, the United States has transformed from an episodic into a constant factor in European politics, institutionalizing its presence in the Old World and building relations with Western European allies on the basis of “Atlantism”, “interdependence” and “burden sharing”.
It was proved that the main task of the US administrations in the post-war period was the creation of a “power perimeter” around the zone of Soviet control, maintaining its functioning and further strengthening. First, its line ran in Europe, then in East Asia, and later was expanded to the Middle East, having adequate support with American military bases and military-political blocs.
It is noted that the confrontation between the two superpowers took place including the alternation of conflict and cooperation, reflected the desire of the victors to consolidate the subordinate position of the defeated – mainly Germany and Japan – in the new system of international relations. Carrying out “containment” of the USSR, the USA actually implemented a policy of “double containment”, directed both against the potential strengthening of Germany and in order to maintain control over Western Europe as a whole. In this regard, the consolidation of “spheres of influence” of each of the parties preserved the results of the war, providing “silent cooperation” on issues of principle.
Keywords: USA, Western Europe, USSR, Cold War, NATO, EEC, EDC.
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