Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev bemoans the fact that he can’t quite decide if we are politically in 2016 or 1962. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Medvedev stated that we have slipped into Cold War II, where Russian and Western relationships have slipped to new lows.
Russian President Putin’s goals of recreating the Russian/Soviet Empire has largely created the crucible for this, as well as Russia’s expanding economic desires with traditionally American trade partners.
The Ukrainian and Crimean crises, followed by the ruble free fall, the BRICS bank establishment competing with American trade interests, selling military hardware and nuclear know-how to unstable nations, and Russia’s unilateral role in the Syrian crisis have all fueled western concerns — all of which have been reported on IVN for over a year.
While a hot topic within the Republican primary -- how the candidates would 'manhandle' our enemies -- the reality is certain, a newer Cold War is starting.
While Russia is definitely leading much of its traditional bloc of allies, including Iran, India, Syria, and China, they’ve gained new ones along the way, including Brazil and South Africa as significant trading partners.
And this is the difference between the last Cold War, which was won through military might and blustery rhetoric.
The Russians and Chinese are forming a significant economic force, and the new Cold War will be all about economics, information, and trade partnerships. While the Cold War of the past century had Russia and China divided on ideological grounds, they seem to be forming a lock-step policy against Western nations.
Blustery rhetoric will only make them a more powerful force; our politicians must focus on strengthening our political, military, and trade alliances around the world, ones we have ignored and even stifled since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
This means improving our relationships throughout the world and shedding our national image of being the world’s policeman and bully. Obama has started to make some headway on this, rekindling relationships with the Philippines, but the need for more allies grows with every development on the world stage.
Winning friends takes diplomacy, not bullying. Our next president will be in a position to increase our worldwide strength or further isolate us by alienating our remaining traditional allies. But from here on out, we can make no mistakes; the Russians see us back in a diplomatic Cold War, and it’s heating up.