New Cold War?

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by ysabel, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    From Bananas' post in another thread:

    And other articles concerning Russia's 'new' alliances with south American countries (in this example, it mostly talks about Venezuela/Bolivia):

    Are we in a new cold war (or has the pause of the old cold war ended)?
    Sim likes this.

  2. Bjarki

    Bjarki Registered Member

    I wouldn't call it a cold war yet, but there's indeed a growing tension between the west and Russia. Russia is slowly taking back its sphere of influence it once possessed. Particulary the former Sovjet replubics are at stake. Georgia, the Ukraine, etc. I doubt the west is gonna risk another serious cold war by backing these countries to the very end.. So it wouldn't surprise me if these nations are once again occupied by Russian troops.

    I think one thing is for sure though, we're not living in a bipolar world anymore. Neither the US nor Russia is as powerful and omni-present as it was in the 70's. There are new centers of powers in today's world: China, the EU and maybe even countries like Iran, India or Japan.
    Sim likes this.
  3. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    That's an interesting topic and incidentally, I have just written a 25 page research paper about it for college.

    There indeed is the danger we're in a new Cold War soon. The deterioration of mutual relations started when Washington aggressively pushed anti-Russian and pro-Western regimes in the former USSR, next to Russia -- and even the opposition within Russia.

    America also violated agreements with Russia, ignoring their interests, for example by cancelling the ABM treaty or expanding NATO to the east.

    Now neoconservative foreign policy experts like Robert Kagan, now advisor of candidate McCain, even compare today's Russia to Nazi Germany, call for a new Cold War and a containment policy against Russia.

    I don't think such an aggressive policy towards Russia is wise. Russia could not stand a new Cold War including political and economic sanctions for a long time, so if their leadership is really crazy and capitulation to America is no option for them, they may be inclined to play the only card Russia still has -- the military card.

    In the very worst case, Russia has certain power to severely destabilize the West. They could cause a severe friction between Europe and the US, because EUrope is trapped in the middle: On one side, Europe relies on American military protection, because it has no united security architecture yet and is relatively weak. On the other side, EUrope is dependent on Russian oil and gas deliveries (30% to 50% of Europe's gas and oil comes from Russia). So Russia could blackmail Europe by threatening with a stop of these deliveries, while America could blackmail Europe by threatening with a withdrawal of military protection.

    Russia could also use Iran as a pawn, by supporting it, maybe even with nuclear material. That way, Russia may force the US to interveen in Iran even further, and thus to bind many military capacities there which wouldn't be available against Russia anymore and to defend Europe.

    If the Russian leadership really is crazy, they may then be tempted to use this short window of opportunity -- USA busy, Europe in economic chaos, and severe political frictions between Europe and the US -- for a large-scale military strike against Europe.

    Of course that would be the very worst case only. And we can hope that the Russian elites are not THAT crazy. But at any rate, a new Cold War could be most dangerous, especially for us in Europe.
  4. padd

    padd Registered Member

    Russia wants to regain their long lost Superpower status. Simple as that. After years of economic and demographic loss, can they make a comeback?
    Since Sim has mentionned almost every valid point I'll post the critera it takes to be a Superpower

    Political: lost their influence to the eastern bloc when few countries joined NATO.

    Geographic: Largest country in the world

    Military: largest air combat, and 3rd largest navy of the world, declared nuclear status

    Economic: Energy-Superpowers, largest supliers of fresh water, and sometimes surpass Saudi Arabia as the largest suppliers of oils to the world.

    Demographic: world's 9th largest country by population, lost alot through emigration and national seperations.

    Cultural: I don't know much about this one; the culture is rather poor in Russia now a days, although they habe rich cultural heritage to this day when it comes to winter sports program, it's honestly the only thing I can think of, although in my opinion this is not a big factor, as big as the other 5 factors i should say.

    The invasion of Georgia may be nothing but a statement, of course let's not get carried away and think the Russians became superpowers again over night. Georgia has a population almost 4 times smaller than Russia's army. Think about it.. what would happen if Russia and China allied? Which shouldn't sound to stupid as they have worked together for the 1st time last year.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  5. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    You know I thought of the China ally angle too.... :hmm: And who knows? With several really anti-western countries , I can see more of them siding with Russia.
  6. padd

    padd Registered Member

    haha yeah, with Russia loosing friends, they can make a new friend.
    Budding allies: Russia and China |

    Anyways that's just 1 example, I found a few more.. just google "Russia Allies China" or "Russia China Joint Mission" you'll find Military and even (what surprsed me) Space Mission. And this is what is known to the public! The bad news is, if the Western World looses Russia, our gas prices are gonna sky rocket. seeing as Russia leads the way of Europe's natural gas imports. As I mentioned before, they can hurt us economically.
    Sim likes this.
  7. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Russia certainly has some arguments in favor of it, but it does not have the potential to compete with the US (assuming the current crisis doesn't make America's economy collapse):

    Russia's economic potential still is, despite the boom on the oil and gas sector, very weak. Russia's GDP is hardly the size of France's, although France not even has half the number of inhabitants as Russia. Russia is no match whatsoever, economically, for the US or the EU.

    The only thing they still have is a decent military potential. In mere numbers, it's still no match for the US -- in 2007, the US spent more than 500 billion dollars on military, Russia not even 40. But let's not forget they are the world's #2 nuclear power, with an arsenal of 3000 nuclear missiles.

    Maybe Russia's relative weakness is exactly what makes it dangerous, though. They know they could not stand a new Cold War for a long time, because their economic potential is way too low. Which significantly raises the chances they'd play the military card -- if their leadership really is crazy. It would be their last chance.

    Very unlikely, I'd think. The trade relations to the US and EU are ultimately more important for China, than Russia could ever be. The whole Chinese economic boom is based on investments from and imports to America and Europe. If China takes sides, it will most likely be for the West.

    When the EU protested against Russia's occupation of Georgia, for example, China joined these protests.
  8. padd

    padd Registered Member

    I gues we're back at square 1, Russia's military card. Never the less Russia is the only country that could still rip the USA in half.. (I guess you could add China in there as well, but does their military have the intelligence to stand against USA?)

    US is aware of that, did it ever worry anyone that Russia can Ally with Iran!? is that more logical pick than China? ha if two strong Military cards get allied.. who needs superpower status!?.. but yeah I went a little off topic there.

    I would guess the only reason USA spends so much more on military then everyone else is because they are in the midst of 2 wars for the past 5 years or so..

    EDIT: doesn't the USA have a some trillion dollars in debt? while Russia has none if any..
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  9. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    No, we just REALLY love our military. As Sim said, Russia spent less than 40 billion on their military last year. In 1999, a year of peace, we spent 280 dollars on the military. During the cold war we spent so much money on the arms race that it just never really stopped.
  10. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    US may have the poorest ranking in terms of account balance, external debts but somehow they're also known for being "generous" in giving aid to other countries and other economic ties. This will play a role when they'd need to call in favors (allies) as more countries will (be made to) feel indebted to them or will protect the established ties because of the dependence.
    Sim likes this.

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