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It still is a superpower, but its influence has declined.
Both developed such powerful weapons which were too dangerous to be used in practice, but which contributed to the feeling of security, because they acted as deterrent.
(These weapons could be used “politically”[as deterrent] but not “militarily”[since they would bring complete annihilation].) “Each side armed itself to win a war which it expected the other to begin but for which it had no stomach and no plans.” (Calvocoressi p.4)Europe was a very stable area in the post-WWII era.
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).
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.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.For example, if the US had put an embargo on a country ten years ago, then all other western countries would have, without saying anything, followed that directive.If the US does so now, then these countries (although some still follow the US) complain and neglect this directive.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.Rather than changes, there has been a shift in the causes.The cause of war which has dominated the last 50 years was the cause of ideology.All the conflicts between the superpowers, were never directly between US and Soviet troops, but in these conflicts one superpower supported one side and the other one the other side.These were staged in the Middle-East, Africa, and Asia.