International hostilities without recourse to armed conflict take the form of propaganda of all kinds, espionage, restrictive trade practices, restriction on information and expression, the issuing of false and misleading information, ideological rivalry for influence in other countries, arms race, and war scare. Isolated acts of covert terrorism, including assassination and sabotage may occur. Cold war-type strife constitutes a barrier to progress and cooperation with the risk that increasing militarism will lead to armed confrontation.
In its most intense form, the cold war is the battle of nerves illustrated, for example, by Hitler's actions in the late 1930s. A cold war struggle can also exist between a neutral nation and a belligerent nation trying to intimidate it during war. The cold wars since World War II, besides the USSR versus its former allies, include bordering nations strife such as China versus USSR, and India versus China, among the more notable. Although the cold war between the former USSR and the USA and its allies was deemed to have ceased with the dissolution of the USSR, by 1994 the refusal of Russia to sign NATO's Partnership for Peace pact was seen as possibly signaling a resumption of some form of cold war.
A typical cold war intervention is the alleged role of the USA embassy in Jakarta, in the years up to 1965, in supplying the names of perhaps 5,000 members of the Indonesian Communist Party, or PKI, to the Indonesian army under General Suharto (later President). The Communists were hunted down in the largest massacre since Hitler and Stalin, which crushed the party and left hundreds of thousands dead (the incident partially caught in the movie The Year of Living Dangerously). It is probable that the "attempted coup" in 1965 against then President Sukarno was staged as a pretext for wiping out the PKI. The resulting rift between Indonesia and China, as presumed supporters of the communists, was only healed in 1990.
Cold war has been used by governments to enlist public opinion in support of various foreign and domestic policies, which would have otherwise encountered resistance.