posted on Apr, 22 2004 @ 11:51 PM
I was teaching American history, in college, when the Cold War ended. Among my students, there was a certain understandable euphoria that communism
had fallen and the long, Cold War was over. It was if "we don't have to worry anymore..there won't be another war."
I was somewhat less optimistic. I think that time has proven me, at least partially, correct. It is true that we no longer have two huge nations,
fully armed with nuclear weapons ready to target one another at any moment. That is a major change for the better.
What I feared then, and do fear now, is a more insiduous form of warfare...one without defined boundaries or nations. There's also the horrible
possibility of rogue groups or of other terrorists gaining control over chemical, nuclear, biological weapons.
In some ways, it was easier during the Cold War. We could easily define our enemies and we had the hopes that reason would prevail and not exterminate
So, yes, the Cold War, as defined by post World War II history, is over. What we have, now, is another form of warfare that is potentially as
dangerous and, in some ways, more difficult to fight.
During the Cold War we could unite against a common enemy. We knew who "they" were. Although we know some of our enemies now..they are not confined
to one particular nation, but adherents of a philsophy that doesn't know political borders.
It's a toss-up, for me. I grew up with duck and cover drills and am spending my middle age in airports guarded by troops. Sometimes I don't know
which was more unsettling.