How Did the Cold War End?

By Toby Tunwase

The cold war is one of the most popular conflicts in recent times that did not involve direct military action. Instead, it was a battle of supremacy of ideologies between two of the world’s most powerful nations at the time – the Soviet Union and the United States of America. Even though they had been allies in World War 2, both nations had been wary of each other, and when the war ended, the hostility continued leading to the “arms race” and “space race” between the nations. 

Image credit:

This period saw unprecedented stockpiling of ammunition, as well as the quest to prove scientific superiority, with the landing on the moon being one of the United States’ most significant victories.

However, the war began to disintegrate firstly due to agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union and then the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself. However, many agree that the cold war had ended before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

Image credit:

Soviet and US pacts largely started in 1989 with a meeting between Gorbachev and President Bush Sr on the neutral island of Malta, which discussed the Soviet military withdrawal from Eastern Europe and the future course of their relationship. After the Malta Summit, the US and Soviet Union started negotiating several arms control agreements, which led to agreements like START I and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Additionally, the United States began to build positive long-term relations with the Soviet Union, still believing it would continue to exist in the long run.