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World’s Newest Country – World’s Newest Countries – and Gorbachev’s Perestroika

Updated on March 27, 2011

World War II

Towards the end of World War II, in August 1945, the Americans detonated offensively two nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. At Hiroshima, they dropped a uranium gun-type device code-named Little Boy. At Nagasaki, they dropped a plutonium implosion-type device code-named Fat Man. These were powerful bombs that may have led to the end of World War II. From this experience the American concluded they have found the right weapons to be using in fighting their future enemies. They went in mass production of nuclear weapons. The Russians realizing the danger posed by the Americans also went into mass production of nuclear weapons. The world feared that the World War III will be the end of the world as it will be fought using nuclear weapons. It was because of this fear that the World War III was never to be. Instead, there was to be a cold war between the two superpowers, namely the US and USSR. This is one advantage of nuclear weapons – that we have not had a World War since 1945.

Cold War

One can say that the Cold War was between 1945 to 1991.This cold war was just a cold political conflict, building military tension without crashing and economic competition. This cold war was a war between US together with western block countries on one side and USSR together with eastern block countries on the other hand. Yes, the two superpowers never crashed but did strategic conventional force deployments, raced in making nuclear weapons, proxy wars here and there, propaganda and competed in development of technology.

Mikhail Gorbachev - He overlooked the fact that to humans, change is not a natural act and that systems seek homeostasis and equilibrium
Mikhail Gorbachev - He overlooked the fact that to humans, change is not a natural act and that systems seek homeostasis and equilibrium

Mikhail Gorbachev

On 11 March 1985, president Chernenko of USSR died and Mikhail Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was elected the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) by Politburo. Mikhail Gorbachev enters office with one thing at the back of his mind: that the 1945 to 1991 cold war has made US together with western block countries richer and richer – that the cold war has made USSR together with eastern block countries poorer and poor. Mikhail Gorbachev could not help seeing a tiny country like Japan being a superior superpower than USSR. The credit USSR was getting for being a superpower was meaningless because this could not put a plate of food on the table for the Russians. At the back of Gorbachev’s mind, the real superpowers were actually Americans and Japanese.


According to Gorbachev, the stagnating USSR economy had to change, and to change very fast for USSR to retain its dignity as a superpower. To counter the strong financial muscle of the US, Gorbachev came up with strategies which Russian had to implement for their financial muscle to equate or better that of Americans. Gorbachev thus set to introduce the strategies of openness – glasnost, restructuring – perestroika, democratization - demokratizatsiya, and acceleration of economic development – uskoreniye to the Russians.

Perestroika - New Thinking for Our Country and the World

By June 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev had released a book “Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World” for his fellow countrymen to understand him. But many Russian must have been taking a lot of vodka to bother to read and understand where their leader was headed to. But to the top US administration, they must have been reading Gorbachev’s new policies day and night trying to imagine what is it that Mikhail Gorbachev was seeing that they could not see. In this Perestroika policy thing, were proposals for multi-candidate elections, appointment of non-party members to government positions and independence of business enterprises – all these were all unheard of in USSR.

President Ronald Reagan

Mikhail Gorbachev also sought close relationship with leaders of western countries such as President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl – all who agreed that Mikhail Gorbachev was a nice guy to do business with. Mikhail Gorbachev at the same time came up with the policy of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries especially of other Warsaw pact states. It was in 1988 that Mikhail Gorbachev said this: “any interference in the internal affairs, or any attempt to limit the sovereignty of another country, friend, ally was inadmissible”.

And Reagan asked Gorbachev, "Mikhail, what is it you are seeing in this Perestroika thing of yours that I can't see?" Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons.
And Reagan asked Gorbachev, "Mikhail, what is it you are seeing in this Perestroika thing of yours that I can't see?" Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Financially Strong

In simpler terms, Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika was aimed at making the USSR and eastern block countries financially strong by being more efficient economically and politically to counter the economically strong US together with the western block countries.

Dormant Countries

In the meantime, Ronald Reagan and Bush went into high gear trying to counter the gains to be gained by USSR and western block countries. For many years, the Americans had entertained poor leaders in continents such as Africa where these countries were considered as reserve for Americans future natural resources. Most of these countries were former colonies of Great Britain and France and were considered as dormant countries. These countries had presidents-for-life who ruled by iron fist. These rulers could do anything they wished except sourcing military hardware from non-western block countries. The strategy from Reagan and Bush was “we have all along known where their problems are and the solution is to remove these dictators from power, introduce democracy and free market economy in those so-called dormant pro-western countries”.

Nelson Mandela - Does he know that his freedom has something to do with Gorbachevs Perestroika?
Nelson Mandela - Does he know that his freedom has something to do with Gorbachevs Perestroika?

Nelson Mandela

One day, out of the blues, it was announced that Nelson Mandela who had been in detention for more than thirty years was now struggling in a detention cell more than ever before and has to be released so that South Africa can become independent. At the same time the untouchable presidents-of-life in Africa, Asia and South America were no longer popular with their own people whom they had ruled for decades. The whole thing was given a name and it was called wind-of-change passing throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

Tiananmen Square protests

By June 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev’s tentacles had spread all the way to China for the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. The Tiananmen Square protests were led by students and intellectuals, some members of Communist Party of China and free market reformers and were meant to collapse the communist government of China. The protests were calling for removal of government authoritarianism, economic change and democratic reform.

Authoritarian Government of China

The authoritarian government of China, having not been used to such opposition for several decades, ruthlessly crashed the protests. They banned the foreign press from China and strictly controlled any further protests.

Change is Not a Natural Act

Mikhail Gorbachev may have overlooked the fact that to humans, change is not a natural act and that systems seek homeostasis and equilibrium. For all their life times, the Russians had only known communism and when Perestroika’s change came into view of the people, fear and resistance to change followed despite the obvious benefits. This left Mikhail Gorbachev as the guy who started a fire which he couldn’t control. Mikhail Gorbachev lost as USSR continued to disintegrate into small states.

Bush, Save Your Face

With Mikhail Gorbachev having lost, the Americans were left wondering if it was logical to continue or abandon their democratization and free market economy project of “wind-of-change passing throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and South America”. Someone was overheard telling Bush, “but you see Bush, you have to continue with it albeit reluctantly to save your face.”

China - Main Beneficially

With free market economy in most countries, the sly China is quietly coming up as the main beneficially – harvesting where Russia would have harvested. With a cheap labor force, technologically superior than many other countries and with cheap prices coupled with greed for natural resources and markets, China is mercilessly exploiting these previously dormant countries without regards as to how they are governed. From exports of plastic toys, road building, dams building, and harvesting timber to mining in Congo Rainforest – it’s all China. The US manufacturers have followed suite and have all camped in China believing China is the one controlling the world markets. It’s no wonder my mobile phone is imported from China having been made in China with US technology. What does this mean for China and US? Only time will tell.

World’s Newest Country – World’s Newest Countries

It is since 1990 that the world has seen many countries being created. The breakup of USSR and Yugoslavia has resulted in creation of world’s newest countries.

Below is a listing of world’s newest countries with the world’s newest country being Kosovo.

World’s Newest Country – World’s Newest Countries

Newest Country
Germany (unified)
Marshall Islands
Czech Republic
East Timor
Southern Sudan
World’s Newest Country – World’s Newest Countries

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