View Full Version : How close are we to another cold war with Russia?

Tar Devil
04-19-2007, 03:49 PM
Seems the tension continues to build.

04-19-2007, 03:57 PM
Russia needs an agenda to pull their country together?

Bruce Hooke
04-19-2007, 03:57 PM
"Cold war" maybe is not the right frame to put on the issue. For much of the cold war the Soviet Union was really able to challenge the US on a somewhat equal footing on the world stage. Now, with their economy in shambles, eastern Europe and many former provinces "gone," and their military at third world standards, a cold war anything like the old cold war seems pretty much out of the picture. If anything, it is China that could be our next "cold war" adversary on the old sense of someone who can lay a real claim to being a superpower. That said, Russia can certainly stir up plenty of trouble...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-19-2007, 04:28 PM
That's an interesting historical point of view, Bruce.

But its not today's.

Here in Britain we are in no doubt; we are Vlad Putin's Public Enemy Number One, because so many Russian exiles live here, because we are the financial centre of Europe, and because unlike our neigbours we are not actually dependent on Russian gas - yet!

Russia is not poor and disorganised any more: have you people over the water not noticed that:

1. Russia is the world's leading exporter of oil and gas - far more important than mere Saudi Arabia?

2. The prices of these commodites are, and have been, very high?

Consequently Russia is now rich and sucessful, and can pay good salaries to the very many scientists and technologists in its military industrial sector very well - no more "brain drain". And the same wealth, trickled down onto the street, makes 95% of Russians think that Vlad Putin is a great bloke, whilst 99% of Russians reckon they have nothing to thank us in the West for - we stood by and did nothing whilst they were struggling to survive, and we are guilty by association with the enormous corruption of the Yeltsin years, when their nation was robbed blind by crooks.

So the new Cold War has already started, so far as we are concerned.

You may like to worry about whether China will eclipse you; we have a much more urgent problem.

Bruce Hooke
04-19-2007, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the perspective Andrew. I was not aware of a good bit of what you said.

I will still say that round 2 is likely to be rather different from round 1. The old cold war model of two dominant superpowers, each with their spheres of influence seems unlikely to me to be the model for the new cold war. We may come to long for a time when so many international issues could be reduced to "us" ("the West") versus them (the Soviets).

04-19-2007, 04:53 PM
Interesting how the enmity springs up, whether Russia's communist, or whatever Putin's brand is. A variety of fascism, I'd argue.

It could very easily flip again into communism, or stay what it is now. And be as deadly as ever.

Which indicates to me that the Cold War was fought on false premises. The deadly peril wasnt from a political ideology, as both sides believed and propounded. It was from simple, old-fashioned relative power politics.

As it will be with Russia again, or China, or both.


Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-19-2007, 04:54 PM
It's risen very rapidly towards the head of our agenda here, Bruce - a few months ago I probably would not have written that, but the serious end of our news media are now showing a lot of interest in, and concern about, Russia.

Conversely, the sucessful settlement of the Hong Kong issue, ten years ago, has led to a flowering of good relations between Britain and China. We have no fear of being displaced, since you did that for us ages ago, and we have many ways to benefit.

04-19-2007, 05:44 PM
within the U.S. intelligence agencies....nothing has ever changed.....

Paul Pless
04-19-2007, 06:19 PM
Somebody say 'Cold War'? Ahhhh...for the good old days...

Peter Malcolm Jardine
04-19-2007, 07:36 PM
Russia, with their incredible energy reserves, which are now nationalized again, will rebuild their military strength. The old adversarial approach that once was is building again.

04-19-2007, 08:15 PM
...no more "brain drain". .

Even though I agree with most of what you have said. I don't agree with the "no more brain drain" statement.
Toronto all of sudden has a rather large Russian community, almost all recent arrivals. Where I work a week doesn't go by where we don't get a least a dozen resumes from Russians, their qualifications are impressive, all the way up to phd's from Moscow State University. I would guest in the last year we have hired at least 30 Russians, they have replaced the Chinese as the single largest immigrant group of new employees. When speaking with them the reasons they give for leaving are a) widespread deep rooted corruption b) money. In fact a pressing issue right now across Russia is shrinking a population, people who can leave are leaving in droves.

Tar Devil
04-26-2007, 07:44 AM
Putin pulls Russia back from post-Cold War treaty (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1708733.ece)

President Vladimir Putin today froze Russia's compliance with the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, one of the key agreements that helped end the Cold War stand-off between Nato and the Soviet bloc.

04-26-2007, 08:08 AM
i think canada definitely might consider having a meeting to discuss this

04-26-2007, 11:34 PM
I wonder if the placement of the ABM systems is a reflection of military companies influence on policy more than gov't seeing a security need being met by them.

04-27-2007, 01:32 AM
Yes, Russia's petroleum industry has expanded greatly in the last 15 or 20 years. With their nuclear and arms trade with Iran,(it's my understanding that many of the weapons that Iran is supplying our adversaries in Iraq are of Russian origin), cold is not the temperature we're worried about. Close does, however, seem to be the proximity.

This, I think, best explains our administration's not cutting and running from Iraq. This is not to say that it is, after all, a war for oil. If that was the case we'd just take it. It is a complication that has arisen due partially to a head in the sand mentality comported by some who have the most to lose, should the worst case scenario play out.