Cold War conditions prevail, U.S. and Russia divided over issues
June 06: “Cold war is over.” This statement made headlines when Union of Soviet Socialist Republics USSR, disintegrated in 1989. Then post-cold war followed and became a buzz word along with unchallenged supremacy of United States of America USA and a unipolar world. Now history is repeating itself. The shackled ‘Gulliver’ is now trying to persuade the world as the contender and the balancing force in the world.
The message is that Russia is back and world is at the verge of neo-cold war.
Former KGB officer and president of Russia Vladimir Putin is at rhetoric best to stop, what he calls, the aggressor and transform the unipolar world with a front end support and alliance as opposed to the omnipresent American administration.
The political analysts have cited the latest happenings as affecting the global order. Many have forewarned of the commencement of second cold-war, following the widening of differences and interests. Some see the recent confrontations, involving U.S. and Russia as the precursors of Cold War period, whereas others profess that it has already started.
The mounting power exercised by Putin has put Washington in dilemma. A good number of institutions and world famous organisations, with American influence, are trying to check the rise of the new Czar. Ever increasing confidence and economic developments within Putin’s Russia paved the way to unshackle the burden of disintegration of USSR. Now Russia seems to be more than ready to envisage its position within the world affairs.
A severe jolt to US hegemony, a small spark is the Russian reluctance and refusal to US intention of installing Missile Defence system in eastern European countries of Poland and the Czech Republic.
Russian President lost no time and expressed anguish about the move. His statement indicating, indirectly, the neo-cold war between historic adversaries is worth to quote.
“We are not the initiators of this new round of the arms race,” Putin told a press conference in Kremlin before leaving for Germany to participate in G8 summit while emphasizing on “new round”.
“Our partners are stuffing eastern Europe with new weapons,” he said, adding, “What are we supposed to do? We cannot just observe all this.”
Most powerful man in Russia didn’t stop there. He was quoted by several publications advocating the possibility of finding new targets. “If the American nuclear potential grows in European territory, we have to give ourselves new targets in Europe,” Putin was quoted. He warned about the greater possibility of a nuclear conflict.
Till now this seems to be a one sided explanation of Russian commitment towards reclaiming its position within the world arena, well explained by the opposition towards US Missile defence plan besides UN resolve to draw a plan to pave the way for the independence of Kosovo from Serbia.
US assurance to Putin that the initiative won’t threat Russian power in the region was unable to cut the dead lock as Russia refused to take the bait of inspecting the installation sites. Russia seems to have accepted the “imperlistic”, as has been perceived by most of the countries, agenda of controlling everything, which is something, in the world.
The inability of US administration to convince Russia is not linked with present world scenario but the policy initiated way back in 1997. No matter what US claims, Russian, and also other countries, know what the lone super power and its allies are up to.
In 1997 Bush administration formed an organization called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with an aim to further take forward US hegemony to new level and safeguard countries interest.
The PNAC philosophy was formed in response to the ending of Cold War hostilities with Russia and the emergence of America as the world's only preeminent superpower. Claiming that this is a "strategic moment" that should not be squandered, members of PNAC say that America should use its position to advance its power and interests into all areas of the globe. They believe the time is ripe for establishing democracies in regimes considered hostile to U.S. interests and are not hesitant to advise the use of military means to achieve those ends. They believe in the world where America is everything and everybody else is subordinate, which might not be acceptable to Russia and countries like China.
PNAC officials are of the opinion: that a nuclear war with Russia could be "winnable”. Their central policy document is entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses (RAD)", 80 page document. It outlines a plan for American hegemony in the coming years; pinpointing "problem areas" of the world and suggesting regime change of unfavorable governments so that eventually the whole world will be unified under the banner of American democracy.
The ways and means to counter Russian power has been detailed in the RAD.
If anybody visualizes US policy and RAD as two different things, then a look over the similarities is quite inevitable.
The concept of "Homeland Defense" comes straight from "RAD." Iran, Iraq and North Korea, nations that George Bush calls the "Axis of Evil", are listed together in "RAD" several times as possible military threats. There is a suggestion that military spending be increased to 3.8 percent of the GDP, exactly the amount Bush has proposed for next year's budget. Its basic statement of policy bespeaks and advocates the very essence of the idea of preemptive engagement.
The document is written with all of the single-mindedness, unilateralism and inattention to international ramifications (with either friend or foe) that the Bush administration displayed in its current build-up for war with Iraq. There is even assertion of the necessity of American political leadership overriding that of the U.N. a policy that was sadly played out when the U.S. invaded Iraq without the approval of either the U.N. or the international community.
While addressing "Summit on Energy Security" at West Lafayette, Indiana, this month, the powerful chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, termed Russia as US adversary along with other countries like Iran and Venezuela. And RAD advocates, “…..the United States must also have the capability to deny America's adversaries the use of commercial space platforms for military purposes in times of crises and conflicts”. Bush and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s claim that missile defence is not for Russia ands country shouldn’t feel threatened, seems just another diplomatic exercise.
America wants absolute power, a unipolar world; Russia wants its share. Bush wants to preserve American dominance but Putin believes in reclaiming Russian role.
US administration wants complete control over land, sea, air, space and cyberspace; believes in pinpointing regions considered as trouble spots for its policy and to spread its influence into geographic areas that are ideologically opposed to our influence. Russia wants to guarantee and safeguard their interests, which contradicts US policy.
Till now US had the say because of weak Russian administration but now things have changed. Russia attract considerable investment, development is going on, stability is creeping into every sphere of the country and now this is the time to take stock of things, which US intends to.
The clash of interests is inevitable and the death will take its toll. The Cold War, after resting quietly for 17 years, is once again awake. Welcome to the end of the world.
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