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The term Cold War is generally associated with the 1945 to 1991 period and defines the political, ideological, strategic, or military conflict, hostility, tension, or competition between the democratic and capitalist West and the communist East. The United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies formed the Western Bloc, and the Soviet Union (USSR) and its Warsaw Pact allies created the Eastern/Communist Bloc. The Eastern Bloc (or Eastern Europe) generally included the USSR and the communist-run Central and Eastern European states, while the Communist Bloc included non-European states aligned with the USSR. Other concepts used to mark the Cold War division were the First World—denoting the countries aligned with the United States, France, and the United Kingdom; the Second World—European communist-run states; and ...

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