Do you think the evil and threat of the Soviet Union, etc. was exaggerated during the Cold War?
- penhead72Lv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
No. Declassified documents since the Cold War have shown how incredibly close we came to nuclear war with the Soviet Union on more than one occasion. It was a very real and dangerous threat.
- rz1971Lv 61 decade ago
The 'evil' part, yes, the threat - NO!
During the Cold War there were many times when the war could have become a shooting war, if that happened the entire world would have been at stake. One thing I am grateful for is that the leaders of BOTH countries recoginized this, unlike many leaders in most countries today (espically the Middle East).
- 1 decade ago
I think there was a real threat, but we were all pretty paranoid back then. Each side had more than enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over, and we couldn't wait to get our hands on more because we thought they had more than we did. There were definitely problems with the Soviet government, and that was the more what was scaring us that the actual ideal of communism, which was that property should be shared equally among members of a society. "Communism" was the big boogeyman under the bed for us.
- NCLv 71 decade ago
Repeatedly and systematically.
It was a very peculiar symbiotic situation. The Soviets wanted their achievements blown out of proportion for propaganda purposes (to instill pride in their own people and to have something to show to the world), while the U.S. government and its defense contractors wanted those achievements blown out of proportion to justify throwing more and more taxpayer money at (guess whom?) the defense contractors. Truth was of no interest to anyone. Organizations that could shed some light on the situation, at least from the economic standpoint (the IMF and the World Bank), were deliberately kept out of the loop, as their opinions were of no interest to either the Soviets with their unfounded superiority complex or the U.S. government with its spending agenda.
In the resulting frenzy, money flowed like water. Anything that had "strategic defense" written on it got funded and then funded again, no matter the cost overruns. Take the B-1 bomber for example. At the inception of the program, it was estimated that a SUPERsonic bomber will cost $12 million. By the time B-1s were rolling off production lines, direct cost of building a SUBsonic bomber (somewhere along the way it was decided that supersonic speed was not required) was $85 million; if you count the cost of research and development, a B-1 cost about $100 million.
By the time the IMF and the World Bank established presence in the countries or former USSR, the degree of hyping the Soviet threat gradually became known. While the Soviet propaganda and the Western Sovietologists used to agree that Soviet GDP was about $8,000 per capita, the IMF and the World Bank independently arrived at much lower figures in the $1,500-$2,000 range for Russia with its substantial oil and gas exports, $700-$900 for the Ukraine, and $400-600 for Uzbekistan, the most populous of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
One mistake that Western military observers systematically made was assuming that the entire Soviet armed forced are equipped and trained as well as the units they saw deployed close to their borders (mostly the so-called Group of Soviet Troops in Germany, also known by its Russian acronym, GSVG). In reality, GSVG was an exception, since it always received the newest equipment, the most attention from equipment manufacturers, and the best personnel. Much of the rest of Soviet armed forces was plagued with pervasive problems, from language barrier (conscripts from Central Asia, whose share in the conscript pool was gradually increasing over time due to higher birth rates in Central Asia, often spoke poor Russian) to food shortages (by late 1980s, almost every sizable standalone unit had a pig farm tended to by conscripts). Alas, as Mark Twain once said, "it is very difficult to get a man to understand something, especially if his income depends on not understanding it"...
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- FriendLv 61 decade ago
Yes it is what they are doing to us now over psychiatry and those dangerous people and the terrorist to scare us so that they can do mind control for purposes of social control on us. It was to keep war support going against those people so that America could have the power.
- the_lipsiotLv 71 decade ago
Probably, and I would also think that the evil and threat of the USA was exaggerated in the USSR as well.
- 1 decade ago
I also always thought that they perceived the U.S. the same way we perceived them. Something like North Korea is now. Leadership there believes that an attack from the U.S. is inevitable and that they are testing their nuclear capability so that they are ready when we do attack.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
- MoPleasure4ULv 41 decade ago
I think so, both sides played upon people's fear and used that to advance the arms race.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
No I think it was very real.