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International Relations Since 1945

International Relations Since 1945 (3rd edn)

John W. Young and John Kent
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date: 12 April 2024

p. 1787. Fighting the Cold War: The Offensive Strategieslocked

p. 1787. Fighting the Cold War: The Offensive Strategieslocked

  • John W. YoungJohn W. YoungProfessor of International History, The University of Nottingham, UK
  •  and John KentJohn KentEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics & Political Science


This chapter examines the offensive strategies employed by the United States and the Soviet Union in fighting the Cold War. It begins with a discussion of US covert operations and its revised national security strategy, focusing on Operation Solarium, the search for a post-Solarium national security policy, and subversion and intelligence gathering. It then considers the Berlin Crises, noting that Berlin was at the heart of the Cold War, the heart of the German question, and on several occasions became the focus of tension between the two blocs in Europe. The airlift of 1948–9 to preserve the Western position in the city, which was an island in East Germany, had become a potent Cold War symbol. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the Offshore Islands Crises and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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