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Crises & Confrontations

THE COLD WAR brought 45 years of heated confrontation between the U.S. and its allies on one side and the Communist nations aligned with the Soviet Union on the other. Sometimes this face-off flared into full-scale military conflict, as in Korea and Vietnam. At other times, sudden attacks by Communist forces on U.S. ships and aircraft threatened to spark major hostilities. And, more than 100 times, in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Western Pacific, the U.S. Navy mounted shows of force to counter Communist actions or to discourage aggression.

AT THE HEIGHT OF THE COLD WAR, "eyeball-to-eyeball" confrontations between U.S. navy and Communist forces over Taiwan, Cuba, and the Middle East carried the danger of escalating to all-out nuclear war. And even as the Navy fought in Korea and Vietnam, it had to support allies, deter potential foes, and protect American interests around the world.

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