Whoever invented the term 'Cold War'? - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Whoever invented the term 'Cold War'?

U.S. President Joe Biden, in his speech at the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations, stated that there is an open rivalry between China and the U.S., and said, "But we’re not seeking — I’ll say it again — we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs." According to statements from China, the U.S.'s Indo-Pacific strategy and its attempts to form a global bloc against China tell a different story.

American intellectuals, strategists, and politicians have been describing the "Great Power rivalry" between the U.S. and China as the "new Cold War" for a while now. “Cold War” is not an officially accepted term, it is a designation. This characterization also applies to the "old Cold War".

It is accepted that the Cold War, which started between the U.S. and the Soviet Union after the Second World War, ended in 1990. The term "Cold War", of American origin, was quickly adopted as an explanation of the situation between the United States and the Soviet Union and gained fame. American diplomat George Kennan proposed a strategy that could be summarized as "containment of the Soviet Union" in an article published under the pseudonym "Mr. X." Kennan had chosen to keep his identity secret so that the U.S. government would not be formally accused. Kennan's "containment" proposal became the defining strategy of the 45-year-old "old Cold War".

Whoever coined the term was controversial. Walter Lippmann, one of the famous journalists in the U.S., wrote an article criticizing Kennan's article in the "New York Herald Tribune" newspaper. Lippmann used the term "Cold War" in his column, accusing "Mr. X" of failing to distinguish between vital and environmental interests. Lippmann perpetuated the term by publishing a book titled "Cold War: A Study in U.S. Foreign Policy" that same year.

Bernard Baruch, a Jewish millionaire who is a special adviser to U.S. Presidents, also said, "Let's not be deceived, we are in the middle of a Cold War today," referring to "Soviet Russia" in a speech he delivered in the South Carolina House of Representatives the same year. Herbert Bayard Swope, who penned Baruch's speech So, the inventor of the term was Swope. There was a brief polemic between Lippmann and Swope about the term's inventor.

British writer George Orwell, best known for his novel "1984", was also included in this discussion. Orwell published an article titled "You and the Atomic Bomb" in the newspaper "Tribune" on October 19, 1945. The article was written after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Pointing out that nuclear weapons led to a new type of war, Orwell stated that the Soviets would have atomic weapons in a short time. Orwell, who also envisaged the theory of "mutually assured destruction", referred to a process in which nuclear powers would not fight directly as "peace without peace" and described this process as the "Cold War".

However, the term "Cold War" was used by Eduard Bernstein, one of the important names of the German Left, in 1893. In one of his articles, Bernstein criticizes the arms race between Germany and the other great powers of Europe, "I don't know if this expression has been used before, but it can be called the cold war. There is no fever, but there is bleeding,” he said. Likewise, according to researchers, Berstein used the term just before the First World War.

Some researchers date the term back to the 14th century. Accordingly, Don Juan Manuel, one of the famous princes of the Castilian dynasty in Spain, used the term "Cold War" in his books. Don Juan Manuel, who is regarded as the predecessor of Nicolo Machiavelli, described the long-term attrition or rivalry between Andalusian Muslims and Spanish Christians as a "cold war". According to some researchers, Manuel used the term "cool war" or "warm war".

Again, according to some researchers, when Manuel's books were published in Europe in the 19th century, the editors incorrectly translated the term "War war" as "Cold war". It is also said that Manuel used the phrase "A very fierce and very hot war ends either with death or with peace, whereas the cold war neither brings peace nor honors the one who made it".


Cookies are used limited to the purposes in th e Personal Data Protection Law No.6698 and in accordance with the legislation. For detailed information, you can review our cookie policy.