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The Enemy of My Enemy: The Cold War Proxy Wars Quiz
by Staff
During the Cold War, fear of the catastrophic outcome of a nuclear war prevented the U.S. and the USSR from openly going to war against each other. Instead, they waged proxy wars. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of these conflicts.

After the end of World War II, the Soviets supplied the Chinese Communists in the Chinese Civil War with weapons they had captured from what nation?

  • Japan
  • England
  • the U.S.

In 1947, the U.S. replaced England as the primary backer of what European nation, fighting a civil war against Communist forces backed by Albania, Yugoslavia and, to a lesser extent, the Soviet Union?

  • Poland
  • Greece
  • Spain

True or false: In late 1947, 3,000 U.S. troops were sent to Greece to protect Larissa from Communist attack.

  • true
  • false

When the U.S. announced it would provide aid to Greece, the speech that asserted such aid would be provided to "the free people of the world" came to be known as …

  • the Gulf of Tonkin incident
  • the Philadelphia Experiment
  • the Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine was based on a lengthy report from diplomat George F. Kennan, who described the Soviet attitude as one of constant war against capitalism and theorized that the U.S. could defeat Communism without direct military conflict. What is the historic name of Kennan's report?

  • the Kennan Paper
  • the Long Telegram
  • a Vital Report Characterizing the Tendencies of the Soviet Government, 1946-1947

What country controlled Korea prior to the end of World War II?

  • Korea was an independent nation.
  • Japan
  • China

When the U.S. took control of the southern part of Korea, and the USSR the northern part, what was the dividing line between the two parts of Korea?

  • the 38th parallel
  • the Imjin River
  • the Exclusion Zone

The Soviets refused to commit troops to the Korean War. What nation sent more than 100,000 soldiers to fight on behalf of the North Koreans?

  • Japan
  • China
  • Turkey

The U.S. never declared war in Korea. What did President Truman refer to the conflict as?

  • a NATO peacekeeping mission
  • a police action
  • an expeditionary effort

Where did U.S. Gen. MacArthur land his troops and launch the effort to recapture Korea?

  • Incheon, South Korea
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Busan, South Korea

Where was the dividing line between North and South Korea when the war finally ended?

  • the 38th parallel
  • the Imjin River
  • the Ahn-Yong Line

What is the area around the border between North and South Korea called?

  • the Demilitarized Zone
  • the Wall
  • the MacArthur Boundary

True or false: The U.S. seriously considered using atomic weapons in Korea.

  • true
  • false

When Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese communists first began fighting, who were they fighting against?

  • Japan
  • France
  • South Vietnam

While the Viet Minh were fighting Japan, they were funded by China and what other country?

  • Korea
  • the USSR
  • the U.S.

The communist rebels who fought using guerrilla warfare in South Vietnam were called the …

  • Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)
  • ROV
  • Viet Cong

Which president increased the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam from a few hundred advisers to 16,000 soldiers?

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Harry Truman
  • John F. Kennedy

What major North Vietnamese offensive, though militarily unsuccessful, devastated U.S. morale and created pressure for the U.S. to eventually withdraw from Vietnam?

  • the Tet Offensive
  • the Taking of Hill 272
  • the Battle of Ia Drang Valley

What was the name of the incident (likely exaggerated or completely fabricated) that led Congress to authorize higher spending and troop levels in Vietnam?

  • the Diem affair
  • the Saigon incident
  • the Gulf of Tonkin incident

What was the term for the process of withdrawing U.S. troops from Vietnam while training and bolstering the South Vietnamese military so they could fight against the North on their own?

  • the Nixon Plan
  • honorable discharge
  • Vietnamization

What Communist nation provided the most troops, money and equipment to North Vietnam during the war?

  • Cuba
  • the Soviet Union
  • China

During the Soviet-Afghan War, which side did the U.S. provide supplies and money to?

  • Muslim insurgents
  • the acting Afghan government
  • the exiled reformist Afghan government

How did the Soviet Union become involved in Afghanistan?

  • When Afghan troops pushed into Tajikistan, the Soviets considered it an act of aggression and responded by invading.
  • When the reformist government asked for assistance with the Muslim rebellion, the Soviets assassinated the Afghan president and installed a pro-Communist leader.
  • A coalition of Afghan peasants seeking socialist reforms petitioned the Soviets for aid against brutal government crackdowns.

What U.S. agency was most active in the Soviet-Afghan War?

  • the U.S. Air Force
  • the CIA
  • North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)

Why was Afghanistan strategically important to both the U.S. and the Soviets?

  • Soviet missile bases in Afghanistan could have threatened large areas of Europe.
  • The poor nations of the Middle East would have been highly susceptible to spreading communist ideology to nations outside the USSR.
  • It could have given the Soviets a foothold in the Middle East, providing a southern ocean port and potential launching point for a Soviet takeover of Middle Eastern oil resources.

What was the name of the CIA-planned and backed invasion of Cuba by forces opposed to Communist leader Fidel Castro?

  • the June 23rd Invasion
  • the Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • Operation Flywheel

Although the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis denied the Soviets the use of Cuba as a missile base, what did they place there successfully?

  • a submarine base
  • a tank division
  • a signals intelligence depot for analyzing U.S. satellite communications

The Soviet Union supplied significant arms to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Which side did the U.S. support?

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • both

In 1977, Somalia invaded what country against the recommendations of their Soviet allies?

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia

Which Cold War nation backed which side in the Ethio-Somali War?

  • The Soviets continued to back the Somalis, while the U.S. gave supplies to Ethiopia.
  • The Soviets withdrew support from Somalia and instead supported Ethiopia, while the U.S. did the exact opposite.
  • The Soviets supplied both sides in hopes of a "natural selection" outcome, with the strongest side winning and establishing a Communist government.