Military Security in Europe: The Cold War (1948-1991)

Serhat Güvenç, Ph.D.

Kadir Has University

This module focuses on military threats Europe had to endure during the Cold War. It covers mechanisms, institutions and alliances devised to tackle the most serious source of threat, the Soviet Union, which dominated eastern part of the continent ideologically and militarily.

The module begins with a discussion on the European origins of the Cold War, including the Polish and Eastern European problems, the East-West tension in and over Germany and finally the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. In this context, NATO figured prominently as the main military security provider in Western Europe, particularly after the failure of attempts to erect European military security structures such as the European Defense Community and the Western European Union. Finally, changing role of nuclear weapons in NATO strategy is also discussed.


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The Cold War and Nuclear Weapons: Role of Nuclear Weapons- 1953-1962, Stanford CISAC – Security Matters,

The Formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact – History Channel,

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