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Spheres of Influence, Conquest, and Militarism: The World in the 21st Century

  Russian Special Operations Forces photo from 27 February Special Operations Forces Day, 2016* After WWII, the world was divided into so-called "spheres of influence" between "East" (led by the USSR) and "West" (led by the USA). The "East" extended as far as Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the German Democratic Republic in Europe and as far as North Korea, China, and (at first North) Vietnam in Asia. There were battles for influence and control between East and West in Africa and Central and South America. Some states, like India, managed to remain unaligned, but the spheres enveloped vast swathes of worldwide territory. In time, the contours of these spheres hardened, and something like "stability" set in after Vietnam and the US's opening to China. The US and USSR knew what actions and territories were off limits and the risk of direct conflict between them declined. The period after the Cold War has been called the US&#

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