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The Cold War was a geopolitical and ideological conflict between the United States and its allies (primarily North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] members) on the one side and the Soviet Union and its allies (above all, the Warsaw Pact members) on the other, which shaped international relations after the end of the Second World War. Emerging from the war as the world’s two most powerful states and confronted with a power vacuum in war-ravaged Europe and East Asia, the United States and the Soviet Union found themselves in an increasingly rivalrous relationship, as both powers sought to expand their spheres of influence in an attempt to maximize their security and to shape the postwar order in their favor. Since the United States and the Soviet ...

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