The Divided World c. 1980


Map Code: Ax01051

Following the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Cold War tensions escalated as the US stepped up anti-Communist military strategies under President Ronald Reagan from 1981. This marked a stark reversal of the arms reductions during the period of détente in the 1970s. In 1979 the two global superpowers, the US and Soviet Union, signed a treaty following the second Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, agreeing to limit new missile and nuclear warhead developments. Although the nuclear threat was somewhat mitigated, proxy fighting through funded militia groups increased dramatically in this period as the Communist agenda was pushed across much of the developing world. Communist-backed guerrillas were highly active across South America, whilst many rebel groups of various political affiliations were backed by the US in countries that had experienced recent Communist revolutions. Communist China was increasingly at odds ideologically with the Soviet Union and assumed a more neutral (non-aligned) stance.

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