The Cold War: An Ideological and Geographical Conflict? A Re-Evaluation of a Critical Era in World Politics
World politics has been led by the notion of a unipolar world since 1989/1991 when the Cold War "ended". This strategy has seen an increase in the size of NATO, an expansion of the war on terror, and a renewed sense of military and diplomatic hostility between the United States and Russia. This study will show that not only did the Cold War not end in 1989/1991 but also that ideology was only a small contributing factor at the start of the Cold War which was really a battle of geography between the West (primarily the United States) and the Soviet Union which is still on-going with the modern-day Russian Federation. This research will focus on three events that have occurred since the Cold War is said to have ended that have direct ties to the current thoughts on the Cold War: the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that began in 1994, Russian military aggression in Eastern Europe in areas that formerly fell under the control of the Soviet Union with the main focus on Ukraine and Crimea, and the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in direct opposition to the West. Through the use of process-tracing, these events will prove that the Cold War is still very much alive and well, as the ideological aspect was resolved when the Soviet Union dissolved while the geographic aspect, also playing a critical role since the beginning, evolved and is still very salient with the emergence of Russia as the successor state.