Monday, January 4, 2010

A Day in Cold War History, January 1

Over the years of the Cold War, the start of a new year was often set by treaty as a time for change among the nations of the world. At the Cold War Air Museum blog, we occasionally shift from current events at the museum to the past, so our readers can remember (or learn of) events that helped form our present. In celebration of New Years past, we offer the following "January Firsts":

1 January, 1958 - The European Economic Community takes effect

A series of treaties beginning in 1948, led to the formation of the European Union that exists today. One of the pillars leading to the EU was the establishment of a common trading community. At the time, the loss of sovereignty, (especially regarding trade protection) and individual currency controls, was hotly debated.

1 January, 1962 - The U.S. Navy Seals are formed

The establishment and recognition of unconventional warfare units, be they Green Berets, Seals or Spetsnaz reflects a shift away from conventional force structures as nation states first recognized the dead end of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) and later realized, or have begun to realize, the high cost of conventional warfare. Force projection evolved through "proxy" conflicts during the cold war and is likely to continue to evolve in the future.

1 January, 1972 - Full Formal Relations between the U.S. and China take effect

The largest remaining Communist Nation in the world, China, borders on many other countries and has beem directly or indirectly involved in conflicts with the U.S., the Soviet Union and other countries over the course of the last 50 years. While normalization of relations between the U.S. and China has not resolved all issues of concern between the countries, it has led to the countries becoming major trading partners, to the economic benefit of both.

1 January, 1983 ARPANET shifts to Internet Protocol
1 January, 1985 Domain Name structure is established

The impact of the communication of ideas and cultures across national boundaries is without parallel in history and the world is still adjusting. News of freedom (or governmental oppression) now flows quickly to every corner of the world.

1 January, 1992 - Russian Federation declares independence from former Soviet Union

A combination of 83 member states, the Russian Federation covers one ninth of the worlds surface, the largest land area of any country in the world. Rich in natural resources and now free from the restraints of its former communist system, this former enemy is re-establishing its wealth and power through energy sales to Europe.

To return to the aviation theme of the blog and in support of the coverage of the re-emergence of the new Russia, a video of the joint performance of two Russian aerobatic teams is linked below.

Credit and thanks is acknowledged to YouTube and Wikipedia for various references and links within this post.

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