Who would have won the Cold War?

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Who would have won the Cold War?

The Warsaw Pact
5
23%
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
17
77%
 
Total votes: 22

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Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Iscarabaid » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:18 pm UTC

Well I always wanted to have a serious discussion about this question and the past times I have tried to attempt it didn't work out well which Is why I hope this can be considered serious enough for "Serious Business". Then again the only other times I've really had this discussion was in video game based forums where the only two opinions were American nationalism vs. American minors rooting for the opposing side, the Soviet Union with arguments built entirely on the fact that they had a "cooler" flag...
Anyways the question is simple enough I think to answer, just state which side you think would have won an all out world war, the two sides being The Warsaw Pact and the NATO Forces. I would hope you give a reason as to why you chose that side and any thoughts of why you think they would have won (such as tactics and statistics) is encouraged!
Another factor as to why this can be a hard question to answer is "In what year will the Cold War turn hot?". I'll let you decide on it if you really feel it makes a dramatic difference in your decision.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Anpheus » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:34 pm UTC

Africa. To a lesser degree, South America, south Asia.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Iscarabaid » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:41 pm UTC

Ugh I don't get it...

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Anpheus » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:43 pm UTC

Well, North America, Europe, and northern Asia would all be a nuclear wasteland.

And everywhere else would be relatively unscathed.

The losers would be North America, Europe, and northern Asia. The winners would be everyone else. (They would win by default.)
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:43 pm UTC

Iscarabaid wrote:give a reason as to why you chose that side and any thoughts of why you think they would have won (such as tactics and statistics) is encouraged!

For your second post, how is this not a homework question?

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Iscarabaid » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:51 pm UTC

Well if it makes you feel better, It is the weekend and I don't have homework.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Witticism » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:52 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Iscarabaid wrote:give a reason as to why you chose that side and any thoughts of why you think they would have won (such as tactics and statistics) is encouraged!

For your second post, how is this not a homework question?


I'm with you. If it's not a question gleaned from homework or from end-of-chapter textbook Q's then we most certainly have a future teacher on our hands :P

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Iscarabaid » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:55 pm UTC

Alright so it sounds like a teacher question! But that doesn't mean this is a bad enough thread not worth answering with some respect to its author...

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby theonemephisto » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:01 pm UTC

I fail to see how anyone can win an all-out nuclear war where both sides have massive first and second strike capabilities. That's the very principle behind MAD, there can be no winners and therefore any war would be bad for everyone.

As said, the Americas, Europe, and most of Asia would be nuclear wastelands. Everyone would be dead. No winners.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Dream » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:07 pm UTC

theonemephisto wrote:I fail to see how anyone can win an all-out nuclear war where both sides have massive first and second strike capabilities. That's the very principle behind MAD, there can be no winners and therefore any war would be bad for everyone.

As said, the Americas, Europe, and most of Asia would be nuclear wastelands. Everyone would be dead. No winners.

Seconded. If either side ever though they could win the Cold-War-Turned-Hot, it would have happened. With people like McNamara and Kissinger on the American side, and the Soviets on the Soviet side massive death was never an issue. They created enough death to prove that. So the most qualified people in the world to answer your question probably believed no one could ever hope to win.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Puzzlemaker » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:20 pm UTC

You are all assuming that it goes to nuclear strikes... If one side sets off one nuke, then it knows the other side will too.

So I don't think either side will start nuking things, but the war will instead devolve into more conventional fighting.

However, if one side starts to lose they will indeed start using nukes.

It will probably end in a tie, with a huge amount of fighting, death, and then a declaration of peace before things got out of hand, with both sides not having got anywhere.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:22 pm UTC

I don't recall ever not getting weekend homework. Assign it on Friday, due on Monday.

Anyways, I'd have to say there would be no true winner, for all the reasons listed above. The fact that both nations had the nukes is proof that there was SOMEONE in power willing to use them, and the first-strike / response-strike would pretty much wipe out life on Earth. Or, to quote Captain Blackadder:

    Blackadder:Well possibly. But the real reason for the whole thing is that it would be too much effort not to have a war... you see, Baldrick, in order to prevent a war in Europe, two super blocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side, and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast, opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way, there could never be a war.
    Baldrick:Except, well, this is sort of a war, isn't it?
    Blackadder:That's right, there was one tiny flaw in the plan.
    George:Oh, what was that?
    Blackadder:It was bollocks.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Dream » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:51 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
    Blackadder:Well possibly. But the real reason for the whole thing is that it would be too much effort not to have a war... you see, Baldrick, in order to prevent a war in Europe, two super blocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side, and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast, opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way, there could never be a war.
    Baldrick:Except, well, this is sort of a war, isn't it?
    Blackadder:That's right, there was one tiny flaw in the plan.
    George:Oh, what was that?
    Blackadder:It was bollocks.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby 22/7 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:55 pm UTC

Sunday evening?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Garm » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:51 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm with the sunday evening homework crowd. At least through high school. Once I declared my major in college it was work, work, work. Sadly, the year I graduated my school was number one party school in the nation. Can't say I ever noticed.

On topic: There is no winner in nuclear war. As others (Black Adder) have pointed out the cold war was about deterrence. Or sustaining the military industrial complex. There's this rather pernicious myth about how Reagan "won" the cold war by outbuilding the Russians. I think it was Zbigniew Brzezinski who said that Reagan's policy hastened by fall of the U.S.S.R. by a good seven to ten days. But yeah, if the cold war went hot.... The whole world loses.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Kizyr » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:38 pm UTC

I tried to simulate nuclear war in Civ4. The result is that everybody dies.

Well, not everybody. But the world sort of becomes irradiated and a wasteland. So it's tough for anyone to survive thereafter.

The Third World might survive, relatively speaking, a little bit better. Though only on account of less irradiation. KF
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby 3.14159265... » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:06 am UTC

Why isn't there a third option?

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Jack Saladin » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:13 am UTC

This is so fucking stupid.

I don't know if anyones posted, but:

A) The US won the Cold War. That's how cold wars are won.

B) If there was an "all-out world war", the world would no longer exist. Have you never heard of MAD? Are you 14 or something?

So not SB.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Will » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:20 am UTC

Fearbears?! wrote:If there was an "all-out world war", the world would no longer exist. Have you never heard of MAD? Are you 14 or something?


Given the "it's the weekend (implies) no homework" comment, I'd have to say that the OP would have to be in middle school, tops. I can't remember the last time "weekend" implied "no homework" for me.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Rat » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:52 am UTC

DUDE THE SOVIAT UNYUN TOTALY WUD HAVE ONE THEY HAVE A FUCING HAMMER AND SIKKLE :twisted: ON THERE FLAG

THE YCAN STILL EWIP US OUT HOEWVEER WE ARNT WERTH THE EFFERT :roll:

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby German Sausage » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:01 am UTC

its not even a matter of the southern hemisphere being more-or-less okay. if there had been an all-out nuclear war, there would be no more civilisation. nuclear winter is still a possibility if india and pakistan decide to mess one another up.
sure, people get killed in explosions and by radiation. thats not even the half of it though - the soil kicked into the atmosphere would bring about such radical climate change that agriculture would simply not work.

http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/S ... orumNW.pdf
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby william » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:08 am UTC

And just so Adalwolf doesn't try to be a dick in this thread as well(you see, 70 is larger than 40) hunter-gatherer society wouldn't work either.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby photosinensis » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:09 am UTC

Have you ever seen Dr. Strangelove? That's the answer to your question, right there. It all comes down to the mine shaft gap, and in whose favor it lies.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Solt » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:24 am UTC

Assuming no nuclear war, NATO would have won.

Why? For the same reason the Soviet Union collapsed. Better investment in technology and the military by the western capitalisms. Russia simply did not have the money to keep up.

Now, if Russia had detonated nukes over the western countries (as EMPs) and then invaded with their conventional armies, we might have been fucked. But in that case nuclear submarines are an unknown factor.

But generally, I think the sides are evenly matched enough that if we take into account things like espionage, the element of surprise, and first strike (conventional, not nuclear), then either side could have won depending on how they did it.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Maseiken » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:39 am UTC

Um... Wasn't the point of the whole thing "MUTUALLY ASSURED destruction" No-one would win, everyone would have died. Hence the "Mutual Assurance".
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby btilly » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:05 am UTC

Puzzlemaker wrote:You are all assuming that it goes to nuclear strikes... If one side sets off one nuke, then it knows the other side will too.

So I don't think either side will start nuking things, but the war will instead devolve into more conventional fighting.

However, if one side starts to lose they will indeed start using nukes.

It will probably end in a tie, with a huge amount of fighting, death, and then a declaration of peace before things got out of hand, with both sides not having got anywhere.

Sorry, no.

The Soviets had far more conventional troops than NATO did. NATO never bothered trying to achieve conventional equality because they had nuclear bombs and planned from the start on nuclear retaliation to conventional war. Furthermore if they were losing the conventional war, then NATO would be in a "use 'em or lose 'em" position because when their missile positions got overrun, if they didn't use them then they'd be wiped out.

So if the projections both sides relied on were true, NATO would have lost the conventional war, but it would inevitably go nuclear.

Random trivia. Multiple simulations run by multiple countries including both Pakistan and India have concluded that the next war between them would go nuclear. Therefore the last time it looked like they would go to war, the Pakistan military had a coup to avert this horrific possibility. That is how Musharraf came to power.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Birdman » Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:11 pm UTC

I always feel skeptical about the whole "nuclear winter" idea. I mean, the USA and then-USSR have already detonated over 500 nuclear weapons each in the atmosphere. That's the same as the Soviets detonating 10 in each state of the USA.

They could do it all again, probably a couple of times over, without any catastrophic climate change.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby SpitValve » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:46 pm UTC

The cockroaches.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Dream » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:13 pm UTC

Birdman wrote:I always feel skeptical about the whole "nuclear winter" idea. I mean, the USA and then-USSR have already detonated over 500 nuclear weapons each in the atmosphere. That's the same as the Soviets detonating 10 in each state of the USA.

They could do it all again, probably a couple of times over, without any catastrophic climate change.

Yes, but that was over 25 years of atmospheric testing. A war would be most likely bigger in megatonnage, and also all happen within the same day. That could easily cause climate change, or just massive irradiation. I don't think anyone really knows what the consequences of fallout from the testing are to ordinary people. The fact is everyone in the world got some of it in them, and it entered the food chain. Who knows what damage it has done?
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:00 pm UTC

Well, technically, we tried the Cold War and they lost.

If you mean, who would have won the Cold War had it gone hot, well...Whoever wins, we lose. It would have gone nuclear unless there was some absolutely amazing fighting done by NATO, because as a previous poster said, we didn't have the conventional arsenal to win.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Habanero » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:11 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Well, technically, we tried the Cold War and they lost.
Well technically, as the cold war did not go hot, everyone won.
Why make things difficult when it is possible to make them cryptic and totally illogical with just a little bit more effort?

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby silent man » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:33 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:The cockroaches.


Interestingly enough, no.

While they won't go extinct, like a certain species of mostly hairless apes, they will be reduced to their original habitat. Without all that delicious trash we produce and most importantly without our heated buildings to live in, the cockroach-population in the nothern industry states will die.
If there is a nuclear winter on top of that, they will be pushed back to the tropics.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Puzzlemaker » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:33 pm UTC

btilly wrote:
Puzzlemaker wrote:You are all assuming that it goes to nuclear strikes... If one side sets off one nuke, then it knows the other side will too.

So I don't think either side will start nuking things, but the war will instead devolve into more conventional fighting.

However, if one side starts to lose they will indeed start using nukes.

It will probably end in a tie, with a huge amount of fighting, death, and then a declaration of peace before things got out of hand, with both sides not having got anywhere.

Sorry, no.

The Soviets had far more conventional troops than NATO did. NATO never bothered trying to achieve conventional equality because they had nuclear bombs and planned from the start on nuclear retaliation to conventional war. Furthermore if they were losing the conventional war, then NATO would be in a "use 'em or lose 'em" position because when their missile positions got overrun, if they didn't use them then they'd be wiped out.

So if the projections both sides relied on were true, NATO would have lost the conventional war, but it would inevitably go nuclear.

Random trivia. Multiple simulations run by multiple countries including both Pakistan and India have concluded that the next war between them would go nuclear. Therefore the last time it looked like they would go to war, the Pakistan military had a coup to avert this horrific possibility. That is how Musharraf came to power.


...Yeah? I said if one side starts losing, they will start using nukes. And the other side would know this, so they wouldn't push it.

If things where pushed beyond a safe point, the side would start using nukes instead of conventional forces.

Also, nice random trivia.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby stockpot » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:24 pm UTC

Much of the cold war was about bluffing. For much of the war, neither the US nor the Soviet Union knew that the other side was too chicken to actually use one of these things, so they both acted like they could and would at a moment's notice.

Direct traditional warfare would have produced nuclear war right away - there'd be no "wait until we start losing" dynamic going on.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Maseiken » Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:57 pm UTC

Habanero wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Well, technically, we tried the Cold War and they lost.
Well technically, as the cold war did not go hot, everyone won.

Except for, you know, all the people who died.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Habanero » Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:10 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:
Habanero wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Well, technically, we tried the Cold War and they lost.
Well technically, as the cold war did not go hot, everyone won.

Except for, you know, all the people who died.
Yeah, there is that.
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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Jack Saladin » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:51 am UTC

For much of the war, neither the US nor the Soviet Union knew that the other side was too chicken to actually use one of these things, so they both acted like they could and would at a moment's notice.

The attitudes of the USSR and the US were actually pretty radically different, especially from the 60s onwards. There are thousands of books you could and should read, but The Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis gives you a very basic rundown of the political setup, which most people seem to be rather ignorant of. It's very short, very simplified, and very pro-American, but nevertheless it's a pretty good introductory text for the average person.

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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Anpheus » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:53 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:
Habanero wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Well, technically, we tried the Cold War and they lost.
Well technically, as the cold war did not go hot, everyone won.

Except for, you know, all the people who died.


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Re: Who would have won the Cold War?

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:22 pm UTC

Birdman wrote:I always feel skeptical about the whole "nuclear winter" idea. I mean, the USA and then-USSR have already detonated over 500 nuclear weapons each in the atmosphere. That's the same as the Soviets detonating 10 in each state of the USA.

So shooting one person 500 times is the same thing as shooting 50 people 10 times each?
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c0 = 2.13085531 × 1014 smoots per fortnight
"Apparently you can't summon an alternate timeline clone of your inner demon, guys! Remember that." —Noc


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