The Cold War was so named as it never featured direct military action, since both sides possessed nuclear weapons, and because their use would probably guarantee their mutual assured destruction. Cycles of relative calm would be followed by high tension which could have led to war. The most tense involved the Berlin Blockade (1948â€“1949), the Korean War (1950â€“1953), the Suez Crisis (1956), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Vietnam War (1959â€“1975), the Yom Kippur War (1973), the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979â€“1989), the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (1983), and the â€œAble Archerâ€ NATO military exercises (1983). The conflict was instead expressed through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to client states, espionage, massive propaganda campaigns, conventional and nuclear arms races, appeals to neutral nations, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race. The US and USSR fought proxy wars of various types: in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the USSR assisted and helped foster communist revolutions, opposed by several Western countries and their regional allies; some the US attempted to roll back through subversion and warfare, with mixed results. To alleviate the risk of a potential nuclear war, both sides sought dÃ©tente in the 1970s to relieve political tensions.