These Wars were “proxy” wars, which almost always began because one superpower saw its (often ideological) interests threatened.Thus they begun to support one side; for example in Korea and Vietnam, where the US feared a communist government to take over instead of a “democratic” one.On one occasion, the whole World held its breath, as everyone thought that now the Cold War would turn “hot”; the Cuban missile crises.
It still is a superpower, but its influence has declined.
Nowadays, several countries openly criticise America and US foreign policy.
As a result to this, and of the re-unification of Germany on the 3rd of October 1989, the whole eastern bloc could be seen to move into a more liberal direction; the Soviet Union started to disintegrate.
Several states declared their independence from mother Russia, for example the Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia.
This could be seen in 1991, when a “multi-national-force” (although mainly US troops) invaded Kuwait and parts of Iraq; Russia did not condemn these actions.
The position of the USA as a superpower has also changed.Especially some Multinational Corporations neglect these directives, since there is a lot of money to be made.An example is the recent breach of an embargo which the US had put on a Middle-Eastern Country and which was broken by a French MNC.Due to the reforms Russia fell into economic chaos.Inflation rose to four figures, and prices for the bare necessities of life, e.g. People could not just buy bread when they wanted, which was not just due to the high prices, but also because there were shortages in supply.Although these reasons have always played a role as causes of war throughout history, they were in the last 50 years overshadowed by the cause of ideology.Now, with ideology not on top of the agenda anymore, these causes have regained their importance.In the post WWII-era the Americans thought that the Russians were aiming to incorporate Western Europe (the US & British sphere of influence) into their sphere of influence (Eastern Europe) by supporting the communists in these countries.Their fears were enforced when a “coup substituted communist for coalition rule in Prague.” (Calvocoressi, p.15)(even though this is an Eastern European Country, the fact that a coup was staged against a democratic government is reason enough to raise their fears).Ever since that incident, there has been an era of détente, but only in terms of arms, not in terms of ideology.Critics argued however, that the reforms were to radical, and they said that they were introduced too quickly.