The thesis for this article is how the superpowers proxy wars and conflicts fought in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America continue to flourish and shape the world in these countries 30 years later1).
Kanet sources are primarily from academia, with institutions in the United States. One very prominent reference source is himself. It seems reasonable if you are an expert on a subject then it is appropriate to use yourself as a key source in your article2)..
This article is in line with my previous understanding of the cold war. As someone that came of age during the 1980s and saw the fall of communism this subject was a source of discussion while going to school. From reading and having teachers that often spoke about the cold war the idea of the US and the USSR in a proxy war was a common theme. The view of the US as always being king of the hill is a modern phenomenon. The author brought out nicely the effects of the Vietnam War and the whole Nixon affair and the toll this had on the psyche of the US population3). During the 1980s, the news constantly dealt with the US involvement in these struggles in aiding various factions. They at times backfired such as the Ollie North mess. The cold war was real to me growing up. One was constantly aware of the doomsday clock. This article only highlighted or reminded me of how different the world is today.
A personal observation deals with the point the author makes of the continuing effects from this involvement in these third world countries. It reminds me of the years I lived in Zimbabwe, a communist country. As a nation, they are extremely poor. Most people do not have indoor plumbing or electric, let alone televisions or cellphones. They did however have a large army with modern weaponry. The effects to these third-world countries may have a bearing on them for many more years to come.
Finally, I would disagree with the author in stating the nuclear superiority of the USSR. Both sides possessed enough missiles to destroy the world over many times. Therefore, any seeming nuclear superiority is an irrelevant topic.
- Roger Kanet, The Superpower Quest for Empire: The Cold War and Soviet Support for ‘Wars of National Liberation’) Cold War History 6 no. 3, (2006), p. 331 [↩]
- Roger Kanet, The Superpower Quest for Empire: The Cold War and Soviet Support for ‘Wars of National Liberation’) Cold War History 6 no. 3, (2006), pp. 349-352 [↩]
- Roger Kanet, The Superpower Quest for Empire: The Cold War and Soviet Support for ‘Wars of National Liberation’) Cold War History 6 no. 3, (2006), p. 338 [↩]