Cold War

State Violence and Social Control in Communist Romania

A great amount of scholarship based on archival research has been produced so far on the organizational pattern, ideological drivers, and working methods of the Romanian communist political police, commonly known as Securitate. Following a totalitarian approach to the history of the Soviet-type regimes, scholars and former dissidents have described Securitate as a ruthless machine of institutionalized terror, focusing on the primary role physical violence and brutality played, especially in the first few years of communist rule.

Exporting the "Salvadoran Option" to Iraq and Beyond

Shortly after declaring “Mission Accomplished” in 2003, the United States confronted an “unexpected” development: an armed insurgency against the occupation. The outbreak of violence quickly demonstrated the disastrous shortcomings of the administration's pre-invasion policy and made a mockery of George W. Bush’s premature announcement. Within several months, violence plunged Iraq into the abyss. As Iraq disintegrated, US officials looked to the past for guidance, including a largely forgotten example, the US intervention in El Salvador (ca.

Jordan, the US, and the Cold War: The Birth of a Strategic Alliance

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been a strong American ally for decades and has helped the US greatly during the Syrian crisis and battle against the Islamic State. Currently, the United States has an undisclosed number of military units in Jordan training the Free Syrian Army and supporting efforts against ISIS. These forces have engaged Bashar al-Assad's Syrian forces on at least one ocassion.[1]

21 Newly Translated Soviet Documents on North Korea, 1968-1969

The North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP), a part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program, has just published translations of 21 documents from the archives of the former Soviet Union. The records, which come from the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI), deal with a number of subjects, including North Korean decision-making during the USS Pueblo and EC-121 crises, North Korea-China relations during the Sino-Soviet split and China's Cultural Revolution, the Kim Il Sung cult, and economic conditions inside of the DPRK.

How Stalin Elevated the Chinese Communist Party to Power in Xinjiang in 1949

Records just added to DigitalArchive.org show that Soviet aid (along with military cunning, political skill and some luck) enabled the 1949 PLA invasion

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army invasion in October 1949 of Xinjiang, the vast “province” bordering the Mongolian People’s Republic and Soviet Central Asia, was a stunning development.

In Iran Contra's Cold War Shadows: A Correspondent's Murder, a Senator's Anger, a Mercenary's Secret

Photos courtesy San Diego State University Network Television News Archive.

His hands bound, the American stood between two military guards as a Nicaraguan judge approached, stepping over metal debris strewn across the jungle floor.

Pointing to the twisted fuselage of a downed C-123 cargo plane, the judge asked, in halting English, "Is this the craft your Imperialist superiors sent you with weapons to destroy the people’s government of Nicaragua?"

Pages