John Westad's The Global Cold War

773 Words 4 Pages
Leffler also manages to note that the U.S. did care about the countries in the third world that managed to provide them with raw materials. These countries provided lifeblood to some U.S. industries and the Congo was no different. The Congo, particularly the Katanga region, had heavy mining industries that managed to produce things such as uranium. Most of the uranium used in the Manhattan project was provided by the Belgian Congo. Once Lumumba brought the Soviet Union into the situation by receiving their aid and weapons in an attempt to stabilize the government, it gave the United States the opinion that it was moving down a communist path. The United States’ fear of Communism infecting one of their suppliers of raw materials is evident …show more content…
Westad attempts to focus on how the Cold War played out in the Third World. The book develops how these interventions played out by pulling from a number of sources, to come to the conclusion that both countries, having emerged from the Cold War with a sense of destiny, attempted to remake Third World in each of their images, images they believed to be modern and progressive. This is evident in the scope of Soviet and American influence in the Congo. The Soviet Union armed rebels and pro-Lumumba factions with weapons and military support in an effort to expand its sphere of influence in the area. The U.S. was willing to prop up a politically fractured Congo, as long as this country would remain democratic in name and economics. Westad points out that though both countries offered different paths to modernity, some Third World countries effectively played them against one another. The fact that Lumumba was for the U.S. and the UN intervening to quell the growing insurrection across the Congo, but when they would not actually put up arms to advance his political cause, he sought out the Soviet Union. The United States propped up a Mobuto dictatorship, even as other African countries denounced the U.S. actions vehemently. The United States was no longer dependent on the uranium and other resources in the Congo at …show more content…
396). He said that the Cold War was not about strategy and economic gains, but it was about developing these new places and the U.S. and Soviet Union’s attempt to align themselves with these countries. In the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these dueling forces did more harm than good. In an attempt to keep rivaling ideologies at bay, the Congo was set up without any regards to region, role of the central government, and the scope of its colonial history. This reflects in the 21st century in the form of hostile civil wars, widespread famine, and continued political instability in the

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