Wikipedia:WikiProject Outlines/Drafts/Outline of the Cold War

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Cold War:

Cold War – period of political and military tension that occurred after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact). Historians have not fully agreed on the dates, but 1947–1991 is common. It was termed as "cold" because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides. Based on the principle of mutually assured destruction, both sides developed nuclear weapons to deter the other side from attacking. So they competed against each other via espionage, propaganda, and by supporting major regional wars, known as proxy wars, in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Key areas of competition in the Cold War[edit]

History of the Cold War[edit]

Main article: Timeline of events in the Cold War


The Cold war started in the aftermath of World War II, and the emergence of the Soviet Union and the United States as competing superpowers.


Creation of organisations in response to the Cold War[edit]

Throughout the Cold War a series of organisations were created to either further the goals of individual and groups of states, or to act as intermediaries in reducing the tension.

Proxy wars[edit]

Main article: Proxy war#Cold War

While the superpowers never engaged each other directly, they fought a series proxy wars throughout the period of Cold War, with one, or both sides arming or otherwise supporting one side against another.

Periods of heightened tension[edit]

The following were periods of tension between the Eastern Bloc and Western Bloc, that did not lead to actual fighting.


While many observers state the 1989 Malta Summit was the end of the Cold War, it was December 1991 before the President's of the United States and the Soviet Union formally recognised the end, with the Soviet Union also being dissolved at this time.

Participants in the Cold War[edit]

The Cold War primarily consisted of competition between the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc. While countries and organisations explicitly aligned to one or the other are listed below, this does not include those involved in specific Cold War events, such as North Korea, South Korea, and Vietnam. It also does not include countries such as China which, while not aligned to either blocs, still played an influential part in the Cold War.

Eastern Bloc[edit]

The Warsaw Pact was a defensive pact led by the Soviet Union for defence in Eastern Europe. Its members were:

Western Bloc[edit]

As part of its Containment policy, the United States backed a series of regional alliances.

In the North Atlantic and Europe, NATO was formed in 1949, and its members during the Cold War were:

The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization was formed for the collective defence of Southeast Asia was formed in 1954, and was disbanded in 1977. Its members were:

ANZUS was formed in 1952 as a form of defensive cooperation in the Pacific. Its members are:

The Central Treaty Organization was formed in 1955. Although the United States did not formally join, the country did support the alliance, aimed at containing Soviet ambitions in the Middle East. The organization was disbanded in 1979.

Persons influential in the Cold War[edit]

Military personnel[edit]

National leaders[edit]

United States[edit]

Soviet Union[edit]


Effects of the Cold War

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Educational Resources