After 1953 the relation between USA and USSR improved to a large extend and cold war witnessed a thaw. The death of Stalin in 1953 was the first important factor that played role in the cooling of the relations. The radical character of Soviet policies underwent some change and relations improved.
In 1954 American senator McCarthy was discredited as he had played an important role in raising the fear of communism to alarming heights. The Austrian state treaty was signed in 1955 and this also led to improvement in the relations of the both the blocks. By this treaty, Austria was accepted as an independent country. Both the superpowers agreed to withdraw their forces from the territories close to each other.
The relations were improving during the period but it was temporary in nature. At the same time both the blocks were pursuing the policy of pacts and alliances to strengthen themselves.
In 1954 SEATO was established by the western block. It included USA, Philippines, Newzealand, Pakistan and Thailand. In response to this Warsaw Pact was established by USSR. This was soviet version of NATO.
The Eisenhower Doctrine also played important role in aggravating the cold war. He was the American President during 1953-61 and he put forward the Doctrine of Deterrence and brinkmanship. The doctrine was based on the concept that expansion of communism could be checked by the threat of war. He believed that the Soviet Block should be pushed to extreme limit but war should be avoided. He also put forward Domino Theory and proclaimed that the expansion of communism must be checked at the farthest frontier because if the communism was allowed to capture one state, its success against the other will become much easier.
The Cuban Missile Crisis carried the cold war to its climax in 1962.This crisis erupted when Soviet Union tried to develop missile base in Cuba to counter the American threat.