Geopolitics in the USA in relation to the Soviet Union
The two texts depict America as the home of civilisation while the Soviet Union as a barbaric state. America was home to containment. Consequently, America was able to flourish in a period full of evil and danger during the Cold War. The Soviet Union on the other hand, held a belief that the USA was a threat to the security of its territorial borders. As a result of this, there was mistrust between these two nations.
In the USA, the period was marked by nuclear strategies which would be important in creating an ideological rationale of its national security. Consequently, they introduced containment militarism (Dalby 1988, 418). The introduction of this form of militarism meant that security was based on geopolitical boundaries. Hence it had the characteristics of superpower rivalry, power and space as well as the potential of power that is present due to geography of states.
The international relations of the USA and the rest of the world are therefore on the basis of interests. Such interests are structured on the basis of their similarity and difference to one another. Therefore, the USA takes political actions on the basis of geopolitical boundaries. Which is on the basis of the space of “others” in comparison to the space of the USA (Dalby 1988, 419). It is on this basis that territory is divided, contested and conquered from the “others.”
Based on this demarcation of territories, a world political map forms the basis of analysis. Political boundaries are therefore formed. These global areas form the basis of America subdividing spaces into either a “friendly” or a “hostile space” (Dodds 2003, 206). As a result of this, the USA invests heavily in its military forces and weapons in order to tackle these geopolitical boundary threats. Such an investment, results in creation of conflict on the basis of ideological and geographic blocs.
The USA depicts itself as a centre of democracy and freedom. The Soviet Union on the other hand, is depicted as a centre of anarchy. Therefore, Americans are taking every effort to ensure that these principles are upheld for the good of its citizens as well as the good of the whole world. The Soviet Union on the other hand, is described as evil (Dodds 2003, 207). A Union that is unwilling to let people express themselves freely. Therefore, the USA is willing to take measures to fight this believe of using political muscle to stifle the rights and freedoms of people.
The Soviet Union’s communism, is viewed as being destructive. This is because they fear foreign intervention or relationships with the outer world such as the Western world. They feel that such a move would mean a loss of its geopolitical territory. As a result of this, they seek security in destructive struggles which means totally destroying a rival power (Dodds 2003, 208). Therefore, this is a problem that the USA must strive to fight. Because such an ideal is authoritarian and is characteristic of undemocratic states. . In the early 1950s for instance, the cold War had intensified. The USA undertook armed interventions in Vietnam, Latin America and Korea which were seen as defensive reactions rather than violent acts. These acts were used to drive the American and Political agenda. Consequently, the USA was viewed by the Soviet Union as a rival. This was far from the truth because the agenda was more driven towards liberty and democracy.
Dalby, Simon. “Geopolitical Discourse: The Soviet Union as other.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, vol. 13, no. 4, 1988, pp. 415-442.
Dodds, Klaus. “Cold War Geopolitics.” A Companion to Political Geography, pp. 204-218.