The Cold War led to the polarization or division of Europe into two hostile camps or blocs. Because of the Cold War, Europe was divided into two antagonistic camps with divergent political and economic ideologies. These were the Western or Capitalist bloc led by USA and the Eastern or Communist bloc led by USSR (Russia). This increased the tension, fear, suspicion and conflicts between the European powers which threatened peace and security up to 1970.
The Cold War increased the arms race between the two super powers. The Cold War contributed to a continuous state of tension, fear and suspicion between the Eastern bloc led by the Soviet Union and the Western bloc led by USA which created a deire to manufacture weapons in preparation for an actual war between the two sides. This led to the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction by the two super powers like the American Thermal nuclear bomb of 1954 to 1953, the atomic bomb of 1945 as well as the Russian Ballistic Missiles of 1957 among others. This manufacture of these deadly weapons threatened world peace up to 1970.
The Cold War also led to confrontations or clashes between the USA and the Soviet Union (Russia). Due to the Cold War, the two super powers found themselves clashing or conflicting in the different parts of the world especially in those areas that were strategically located. For example, they clashed in the Korean Crisis of 1950 to 1953 as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. These confrontations increased the enemity between USA and Russia, thus undermining world peace up to 1970.
The Cold War promoted the decolonization of Africa and Asia, thus leading to the loss of territories by the European powers like Britain, France, Portugal and Belgium. The two super powers (USA and Russia) supported independence struggles so as to extend their ideologies. For example, in Angola USA supported a political party known as UNITA (the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) while Russia supported MPLA (the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola). This eventually led to the independence of Angola from Portugal in 1975.
The Cold War led to the formation of secret international spying agencies. During the Cold War, a number of antagonistic spynetworks were formed by the two conflicting blocs to spy and gather secret information about their rivals. For example, there was the Central Intelligence Agency of USA, the MOSAD of Israel, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of Britain as well as the KGB of Russia among others. As these organizations spied over their opponents, this increased the tension between the two hostile camps, thus threatening international peace up to 1970.
The Cold War led to the division of Germany into two parts and these were West and East Germany. West Germany was under capitalism and therefore followed democratic and capitalist ideas while East Germany under communism. This division was later strengthened when the Soviet Union (Russia) constructed the “Berlin Wall” in 1961. When this huge and heavily guarded wall was built, it effectively divided West Germany from East Germany. As a result, the Germans in the East would not be allowed to cross to the West. They therefore became prisoners within their own country. The continued division of Germany into two parts increased the tension and enemity between the Western Capitalist Powers and the Soviet Union up to 1970, thus undermining peace.
The Cold War led to political unrest or instability in Europen countries like Czechoslovakia and Poland. This is so because there existed communist and capitalist wings (political parties) in these countries and each of them struggled to takeover power with the support of the Eastern and the Western powers.
The Cold War facilitated the rise of dictatorship in Eastern Europe while democracy flourished in Western Europe. The communist ideology was associated with dictatorship while capitalism was associated with liberal democracy. As a result, those Eastern European countries that embraced Russian communism like Yugoslavia, Rumania and Poland among others fell under dictatorial regimes that were directly supported by the Soviet Union. This increased the enemity between these countries and the Western democratic nations like Britain, France and USA among others.
The Cold War led the division of Berlin into two regions. Because of the continuous enemity between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era, Berlin, the former capital of Germany was split up into different administrative regions by the Wold War II with the Western Powers of France, Britain and USA taking over what later became West Berlin while the Soviet Union (Russia) took over East Berlin. This division of Berlin further increased the enemity between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union (Russia). The climax of this enemity was in 1948 -1949 when Russia attempted to to limit or block the ability of France, Great Britain and the United states to travel by railway, road and canal to their region of West Berlin in what came to be known as the “Berlin Blockade” incident of 1948 – 1949. Though Russia later lifted the blockde on 12th May 1949, the incident increased the enemity between the Soviet Union and the Western Powers which undermined international peace and stability.
The Cold War led to the formation of antagonistic hostile military alliances by the rival camps. These included the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that was formed in 1949 as well as the Warsaw Pact formed in 1955. The NATO was composed of the Western capitalist countries while the Warsaw Pact had the membership of countries of Eastern Europe that believed in communism led by USSR (Russia). The formation of these military alliances increased tension and suspicion between the capitalist and communist powers, thus undermining international peace and stability up to 1970.
The Cold War undermined the operation or perfomance of the United Nations Organization (UNO), thus weakening the organisation. Formed in 1945 with the primary objective of mantaining world peace, the UNO was not able to convince the super powers to give up this conflict which threatened international peace after World War II. This therefore undermined its credibility and indeed exposed it as a weak organization.
The Cold War contributed to the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt in 1956 which caused the Suez Canal Crisis or war of 1956. In 1956, Egypt was invaded by Britain, France and Israel over the control of the Suez Canal in what came to be known as the Suez Canal Crisis or War. Britan and France decided to join Israel against Egypt because Egypt under President Gamel Abdel Nasser had adopted communism which did not please the above two capitalist powers. The war was a diplomatic victory by Egypt because Britain and France were forced by the the United Nations General Assembly to immediately withdraw their troops from the Suez Canal zone, leading to the end of the crisis.
The Cold War led to international terrorism and conflicts sponsored by the Western powers led by USA on one side and Russia on the other. During the Cold War era, the two super powes sponsored terrorist activities against each other in Europe and other parts of the world. For example, there were frequent suicide bombings, hijacking of ships and planes as well as assassination of prominent leaders who did not subscribe to their respective ideologies. These terrorist activities contributed to the mass loss of lives in the region and the world over.
The Cold War led to the signing of the Baghdad Pact in 1955. Because of the Cold War, Britain influenced the Arab countries in the Middle East like Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan to sign a military alliance known as the Baghdad Pact of 1955 with her so as to check on the expansion of the Russian influence or communism into the Middle East. This alliance annoyed the Soviet Union (Russia) which increased the tension or enemity between her and the Western European Powers especially Britain.
The Cold War promoted the Russian and American imperialism in Europe. Europe became a battle ground for the Cold War from the late 1940s through the early 1960s as each of the two super powers struggled to extend her influence in the region by securing as many allies and satellite states as possible. For example, the Soviet Union (Russia) entrenched her control over most Central and Eastern European states like Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Albania while USA’s dominance was felt more in the Western European nations. This imperialism undermined the political, social and economic independence of the European nations.