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Following theCold War,Russiacut military spending dramatically, but the adjustment was wrenching, as the military-industrial sector had previously employed one of every five Soviet adults[1]and its dismantling left hundreds of millions throughout the former Soviet Union unemployed.After Russia embarked on capitalist economic reforms in the 1990s, it suffereda financial crisisand a recession more severe than the United States andGermanyhad experienced during theGreat Depression.Russian living standards have worsened overall in the post–Cold War years, although the economy has resumed growth since 1999.

The legacy of the Cold War continues to influence world affairs.[After thedissolution of the Soviet Union, the post–Cold War world is widely considered asunipolar, with the United States the sole remaining superpower.The Cold War defined the political role of the United States in the post–World WarII world: by 1989 the United States held military alliances with 50countries, and had 1.5million troops posted abroad in 117countries.The Cold War also institutionalized a global commitment to huge, permanent peacetimemilitary-industrial complexesand large-scalemilitary funding of science.

Military expenditures by the US during the Cold War years were estimated to have been $8trillion, while nearly 100,000Americans lost their lives in theKorean WarandVietnam War.Although the loss of life among Soviet soldiers is difficult to estimate, as a share of their gross national product the financial cost for the Soviet Union was far higher than that of the United States.

In addition to the loss of life by uniformed soldiers, millions died in the superpowers'proxy warsaround the globe, most notably inSoutheast Asia.Most of the proxy wars and subsidies for local conflicts ended along with the Cold War; the incidence of interstate wars, ethnic wars, revolutionary wars, as well as refugee and displaced persons crises has declined sharply in the post–Cold War years.

The legacy of Cold War conflict, however, is not always easily erased, as many of the economic and social tensions that were exploited to fuel Cold War competition in parts of the Third World remain acute.The breakdown of state control in a number of areas formerly ruled by Communist governments has produced new civil and ethnic conflicts, particularly in the formerYugoslavia.In Eastern Europe, the end of the Cold War has ushered in an era of economic growth and a large increase in the number ofliberal democracies, while in other parts of the world, such asAfghanistan, independence was accompanied bystate failure.

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โˆ™ 2013-04-14 21:55:15
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