Civil War - Duration of Civil Wars - Effect of The Cold War

Effect of The Cold War

The Cold War (1945–1989) provided a global network of material and ideological support that perpetuated civil wars, which were mainly fought in weak ex-colonial states, rather than the relatively strong states that were aligned with the Warsaw Pact and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In some cases, superpowers would superimpose Cold War ideology onto local conflicts, while in others local actors using Cold War ideology would attract the attention of a superpower to obtain support. Using a separate statistical evaluation than used above for interventions, civil wars that included pro- or anti-communist forces lasted 141% longer than the average non-Cold War conflict, while a Cold War civil war that attracted superpower intervention resulted in wars typically lasting over three times as long as other civil wars. Conversely, the end of the Cold War marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 resulted in a reduction in the duration of Cold War civil wars of 92% or, phrased another way, a roughly ten-fold increase in the rate of resolution of Cold War civil wars. Lengthy Cold War-associated civil conflicts that ground to a halt include the wars of Guatemala (1960–1996), El Salvador (1979–1991) and Nicaragua (1970–1990).

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