History of War

IN THE 20TH CENTURY

 

The Cold War: Technological Advances

Cold War Statistics

Number of CIA employees involved in covert operations in 1949: 302

Number of CIA employees involved in covert operations in 1952: 2,812, plus another 3,142 overseas "contract personnel"

Number of warheads in the American nuclear arsenal in 1963:
29,049

Average number of US troops engaged at any time: 2.6 million

Average number of Soviet troops engaged at any time: 4 million

US military spending in 1985: $1 trillion


NASA SpaceshipSpace Technology

As part of the arms race with the Soviet Union, the United States poured billions of dollars into their space program, partly for strategic purposes of satellite surveillance, but also for the symbolic power of beating the Russians to outer space. While the Soviets implemented the first man-made satellite into orbit in Sputnik, the Americans were the first to put a man on the moon with the lunar landing of Apollo 11. Today, GPS technology is completely dependent upon satellites that were developed due to the space race pandemonium of the Cold War.

 

Portable cameras and recording devices

As part of the multitude of spy devices created for espionage purposes during the Cold War, the development of tiny portable and hidden video and recording technologies emerged. These same technologies can be seen in effect today in smartphone cameras, Go-Pro cameras, and other wearable devices.

Portable camera

Nuclear powerNuclear Power

For better or worse, nuclear power developed out of the Cold War’s mass production of nuclear weapons. As a result, nuclear power emerged as a valuable energy resource and has the potential to power the world more efficiently than any other available technology, however, as the events in the Chrenobyl meltdown demonstrate, nuclear power also can have a devastating effect on human life and the surrounding ecosystem if anything goes wrong.

 

 

The Internet/Arpanet

Yes, even the glorious Internet emerged from military technology. ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, was developed by the American military as a network of communication across the country on servers that were decentralized, as a way to safeguard against the possibility of a nuclear attack. By decentralizing the network, if one server of computers went down, the others would still be able to function because they would be able to simply pick up the same information from another server.

ARPANET