Look up cold war in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
A cold war is a state of conflict between nations that does not involve direct military action but is pursued primarily through economic and political actions, propaganda, acts of espionage or proxy wars waged by surrogates. This term is most commonly used to refer to the American-Soviet Cold War of 1947–1991. The surrogates are typically states that are satellites of the conflicting nations, i.e., nations allied to them or under their political influence. Opponents in a cold war will often provide economic or military aid, such as weapons, tactical support or military advisors, to lesser nations involved in conflicts with the opposing country.
Origins of the term
The expression "cold war" was rarely used before 1945. Some writers credit the fourteenth century Spaniard Don Juan Manuel for first using the term (in Spanish), when dealing with the conflict between Christianity and Islam as a "cold war". However he used the term "tepid" not "cold". The word "cold" first appeared in a faulty translation of his work in the 19th century.
The definition which has now become fixed is of a war waged through indirect conflict. The first use of the term in this sense, to describe the post–World War II geopolitical tensions between the USSR and its satellites and the United States and its western European allies (which in practice acted as satellites of the opposing force) is attributed to Bernard Baruch, an American financier and presidential advisor. In South Carolina, on April 16, 1947, he delivered a speech (by journalist Herbert Bayard Swope) saying, "Let us not be deceived: we are today in the midst of a cold war." Newspaper reporter-columnist Walter Lippmann gave the term wide currency, with the book Cold War (1947).
Tensions labeled a cold war
Since the US–USSR Cold War (1947–1991), a number of global and regional tensions have also been called a cold war.
^Gaddis 2005, p. 54 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFGaddis2005 (help)
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