There are parallels between the War on Terror and the Cold War. Fighting terrorism is dependent on ideas, and the Cold War is characterized as a clash of ideas. During the Cold War, opposing states did not agree to settle their differences, and the same remains so in the War on Terror, with the US emphatically stating that it would not negotiate with militant groups. Furthermore, US intelligence forces were engaged in monitoring during both Wars; however, in the ongoing battle against terrorism, there are more technological surveillance systems in place to foil planned attacks (Widmaier 781). The countries involved in both wars also experiences turf decision making between protecting the privacy of their people and enhancing national security. There is also similar tension and silence among people across the world whenever both wars are mentioned due to perceived threats. Moreover, it’s hard to differentiate enemies from the citizens, and the attacks would be launched in the middle of the night to destroy the missions of the enemies during the Vietnam and Afghanistan Wars.
However, there are some few differences between the two wars. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are small groups while the Soviet Union was made up of a significant number of allies with plenty of nuclear weapons. Further, the war on terror began when the U.S was attacked by Afghanistan while in the cold war, neither Vietnam nor Korea attacked U.S (Fleck and Christopher 181). Moreover, Cold War is believed that started in 1945 after World War II while the War on Terror began in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre. Therefore, the War on Terror is a second Cold War as there are numerous and tangible similarities which outweigh the differences.
Fleck, Robert K., and Christopher Kilby. “Changing aid regimes? US foreign aid from the Cold War to the War on Terror.” Journal of Development Economics 91.2 (2010): 185-197.
Widmaier, Wesley W. “Constructing foreign policy crises: Interpretive leadership in the Cold War and war on terrorism.” International Studies Quarterly 51.4 (2007): 779-794.