The Era of the Cold War the Fierce Struggle for Power Between the US and the USSR
Mearsheimer believed that the end of the Cold War would lead back to a world that was virtually on tenterhooks uncertain as to when the next big war will come. For him, the Cold War was the stabilizing factor that underpinned the relative peace in the last 45 years. Mearsheimer feared that the end of the Cold War will usher in an era of serious instability for Europe and the prospect of a new war. He credited the absence of war in Europe to three factors that characterized the cold war: bipolarity of military power in Europe. equality, more or less, of the military strength of the US and the USSR, and. the presence of large nuclear arsenals each possessed by both sides. The end of the Cold War will mean, according to Mearsheimer, the end of bipolarity and the anticipated emergence of multipolarity, where not two, but many countries will vie for world supremacy, as well as the removal of the nuclear arsenals being maintained from Central Europe. A multipolar system poses more danger than a bipolar system because of the instability it engenders arising from the fact that many sources conflicts are possible, unlike a bipolar system where the only source of conflict id that between the two powers. The removal of the nuclear arsenals from Europe, according to Mearsheimer, also poses the great danger to the Continent because it also means the removal of their pacifying effects. Put another way, nuclear weapons are the best deterrents to the happening of a war because the idea of nuclear devastation is so scary that neither party would dare start a nuclear war.