The main political outcome of the WWII was distinctly shaped bipolar political structure of the world order. Former allies in anti-Hitler Coalition entered the unprecedented confrontation lasted for more than 40 years. The world was divided between two superpowers according to their spheres of interests. During the Cuban Missile Crisis the world faced the real threat of the new devastating war. The state of the Cold War could be characterized as a state of balancing between the war and peace.
Both countries possessed nuclear warheads in an amount able to destroy both superpowers as well as the entire humanity. The reason for that confrontation was the system-defined one. Soviet totalitarian regime with its command economy was completely incompatible with the democratic political system and the free market economy. The involvement of the ideological doctrines of the Soviet “revolution export” and the “Domino Theory” by President Truman only worsened the situation.
At the same time both superpowers realized the danger of nuclear weapon proliferation and the global security depended upon the way the superpowers were able to find the compromise. They succeeded to do that during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Europe was divided into two mutually hostile parts. The history of the post-war Germany was the most tragic one. The country happened to be divided into two parts and the Berlin Wall demolished in the late 80’s was the symbol of the post-war confrontation.
Principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my ally” was widely used by both superpowers. The phenomenon of so-called proxy war was the tool of confrontation of two superpowers. Very often relatively small countries became the arenas of the US-USSR confrontation. The examples of proxy wars were Vietnam, a number of conflicts in Africa (ex. Angola), Latin America (Nicaragua), Asia (Korea), Afghanistan etc. Superpowers transferred their weapons, gave economic support etc. to feed such conflicts. Sometimes such support returned back like a boomerang.
The example of this could be Afghanistan where the United States supported the anti-Soviet opposition including Taliban. Later Taliban was in a vanguard of a terrorist movement committing bloody attacks against the United States (9/11). The collapse of the Soviet Union changed the balance of forces in the global security. The most remarkable thing was that bipolar US-USSR geopolitical structure which was more or less predictable was replaced by the unpredictable multi polar US-global terrorism confrontation. Both superpowers, USA and Russia are fighting now with the same threat.
Perestroika and Glasnost were the political factors which democratized the former Soviet society. At the same time, former Soviet Union being created as an unnatural political formation has become the area of confrontation. Russia is fighting with the Chechen separatists supported by the same structures who assisted the terrorists committing their attacks worldwide including the United States. Thus former opponents got the common enemy, global terrorism and both parties are vitally interested in providing the global security.