| Cold War conflicts in
Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam
Frameworks for America's Past
Three major conflicts
of the Cold War
The U.S. policy of containment meant that the U.S. intended to push back attempts by any communist countries to take over any non-communist countries.
The timeline on the right shows three of the major conflicts of the Cold War era. These conflicts took place in Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam.
The fighting in Korea and Vietnam became full scale wars that lasted many years. (Technically speaking, however, the U.S. never actually declared war in either case.)
Both the Soviet Union and the United States were involved in all of these events in many ways. Keep in mind, though, that there was never a "hot" war - a shooting war - directly between these two superpowers.
Cuba's communist dictator
Cuba was under the control of Fidel Castro, sitting at the front in this photo.
Under Castro's leadership, Cuba had become a communist country and formed close ties with the Soviet Union. Opponents of Castro and his communist views were arrested, jailed, and frequently murdered. Newspapers, radio, and TV were all brought under Castro's complete control.
The Soviet Union asked Castro to allow it to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. Soviet leaders told Castro that such missiles would discourage any attack on Cuba by the U.S. The missiles began arriving in Cuba in 1962.
The end of the
The Vietnam War ended for the U.S. when a cease fire agreement was reached between the two sides in 1973. Once this agreement to stop the fighting was signed by North Vietnamese leaders, the U.S. pulled all of its troops out of the country. South Vietnam was on its own.
In 1975 North Vietnam broke the agreement. Its military invaded South Vietnam in full force. South Vietnam was defeated quickly.
The entire country was reunited under the control of the communist leaders. There is no longer a "North" or "South" Vietnam - it is just Vietnam.
Today the country remains under communist rule, but is on mostly friendly relations with the United States.
Copyright 2009, 2016 by David Burns. All rights reserved. As a guide to the Virginia Standards of Learning, some pages necessarily include phrases or sentences from that document, which is available online from the Virginia Department of Education. The author's copyright extends to the original text and graphics, unique design and layout, and related material.